Positive Time-Out vs. The Naughty Chair

Positive Time-Out vs. The Naughty Chair

by | Mar 2, 2023

A quick summary based on Jane Nelsen’s book: Positive Time-Out (https://www.positivediscipline.com/products/positive-time-out

The most popular discipline methods used today, besides spanking, yelling, threatening, bribery, and guilt, are time-out and withdrawal of priviledges.

Although It may seem to work for the moment, time-out is usually a humiliating and discouraging experience for children. Isolation and humiliation are far from helping children feel better, regulate their emotions or learn right from wrong. Traditional time-out is just another way of punishment and is mostly used to make children ‘pay for what they did’. The belief behind this old tool is that children have to suffer to learn. But have we wondered what exactly children learn?

Next time you are tempted to use time-out with your child, ask yourself about the long-term results. What are the children thinking and feeling about themselves and about what to do in the future? Could time-out be used differently? What if we focused on discipline that teaches instead of punishes? What if we helped children feel better so that they can do better in the future?

The idea of Positive time-out is to empower children to learn self-control and self-discipline, not to make them pay for what they did. Positive time-out teaches children to understand that their brains don’t function well when they are upset and the value of taking time to calm-down.

Involve children in the creation of positive time-out by:

  • Discussing the purpose before it’s needed
  • Letting children create a name
  • Letting them help design
  • Establishing rules

Adult guidelines for positive time-out:

  1. It is not the only effective discipline tool
  2. Allow children to choose positive time-out
  3. It is ok to suggest positive time-out
  4. Let children decide how much time-out they need
  5. Positive time-out works for adults too!!

Jared’s Cool-Out Space (Children’s Picture Book)


· The adult decides when to use it

· The child refuses to use it and thinks she won’t be caught next time

· The child perceives only adults have the control

· Children are forced to use it

· Children have to be by themselves


· The child decides when to use it

· The child learns self-control and self-discipline

· The child learns how the brain function and how to calm down

· The child is invited to use it and it is not the only option

· Children can decide to use it by themselves or with someone


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *