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Toy Time-Out

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Putting a toy in time out sounds silly but this is an alternative punishment for children (siblings or friends) who have trouble sharing. If you see continuous arguments over toys then you can explain to the children that if they are not able to come up with a way to get along or share the item then it will have to go to time out. Pick a spot where the toy will be put and a specified amount of time. If the children decide to share then great your job is done. If the children can’t stop fighting over the toy then you can gently explain that the toy is causing too much fighting and needs to be in time out for a while. Take the toy and quietly put it in the time out spot (preferably where the children can’t reach it). Then go about you business. Later take the toy out of time out, but if the children have moved on to a new game or are getting along you can simply add the toy back to the toy bin or other place it is usually kept. If the children want to play with it you can give a short reminder that if the toy causes too much trouble it will have to be put in time out again and the next time it will be for the rest of the day. This approach usually makes children figure out how to share the toy so that it won’t be taken again.

Author: Hattie Carroll-Ratliff

I am a licensed counselor and have been working in community counseling for more than ten years. I am a working mom and love to give back to others. I get a lot of satisfaction and joy from my work with families because I am passionate about helping as many people as possible feel successful and happy in this important part of their lives. I have a private practice on the main line in the Philadelphia Metro area. Please contact me if you would like more information. hattie.counseling@gmail.com

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