Your 7 1/4-year-old: Time-outs

Your 7 1/4-year-old: Time-outs

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Your 7-year-old now

Your child isn't too old to receive a time-out for misbehavior, especially if you've been using this tactic all along. But what if he doesn't take time-outs seriously?

Consistency is the key here: Don't call a time-out today but skip it tomorrow for the same infraction because you're in a better mood. And always follow through on a warning if your child doesn't heed you.

It's also important to give the time-out on the spot. Don't wait 30 minutes — or even five — until it's more convenient. If you're out in public, give the time-out right where you are. At the supermarket, you might have your grade-schooler sit on the floor in an out-of-the-way corner or take him to the car if he's out of control.

If you wait until you get home, you lose the opportunity to use a time-out in the way it's intended. As soon as a time-out is disconnected from the immediate behavior, it becomes a threat and then a punishment. That doesn't teach your child much.

Remember that the point of time-out is not to make your kid quake in his boots. It's simply to help him (and you) cool off and regain self-control.

Your life now

Is there a screen time device in your child's room? Take it out. That's the consensus of pediatricians and other child specialists.

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