Commonly held misconceptions are provided to parents repeatedly
1.) A child needs to have the time-out explained or know why she is in time-out
There is no evidence that a child needs to verbally understand why he is on his way to time-out. Parents and teachers will frequently lecture a child when he is on his way to the time-out. This can be counterproductive to the technique and at best irrelevant.
2.) A child should say "I'm sorry" after the time-out
Requiring a child apologize is unnecessary and often counterproductive. There are many other opportunities to teach the child empathy.
3.) A response from the child about why he was in time-out will help him avoid the behavior the next time
Discussions about appropriate behavior are equally (or more) effective prior to behaviors occur.
4.) Time-out cannot be used with toddlers or adolescents
Time-out is a naturally occurring event in all of our lives and is effective for everyone.
5.) Punitive versions of time-out such as standing with one's nose in a corner are most effective
If properly applied a time-out with a child sitting right where the behavior occurred for a short (less than 2 minutes) period can be just as effective as more punitive versions.
Given the varied and inconsistent recommendations about time-out it isn't surprising that many parents and professionals claim that "time-out doesn't work!" Our workshops focus on guidelines for time-out and time-in which are based on the voluminous body of research and Dr. Casper's years of clinical (and personal) experience of applying the techniques.