A 6 year old child should probably receive about a 5 minute time-out while a 10 year old child would receive a 10 minute time-out. A general guideline can be: 6-8 years of age, 5 minutes; 8-10 years of age, 10 minutes; 10-14 years of age, 10 to 20 minutes.
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Time Out Time-out means time out from positive reinforcement (rewarding experiences). It is a procedure used to decrease undesirable behaviors. The main principle of this procedure is to ensure that the individual in time-out is not able to receive any reinforcement for a particular period of time.
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While time-out works well, it can only work when the child actually serves the time out. There are a number of ways to handle refusal. None of them will work of all children. You may have to experiment to determine which one will work for your child. Tell younger children that you will count to three and if they are not in time-out when you get to three the time-out will be doubled. Very difficult children, such as those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder, may need to be placed on a short reward program. This could include a chart with 20 to 30 squares. Each time a child does a time-out, the child gets a star or sticker on the chart. When the chart is full they can earn a special treat for learning how to do time-out. Use response cost. Select an activity or object you can take away. Tell the child that until they do the time-out, they will not be able to use the object or engage in the activity. For instance, you can remove the cord from the TV and tell them that they may not watch TV or play a video game until they do the time-out.
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