Discipline: The Time-Out Chair


[Q]: I think we should use a time-out chair at church.
Other teachers say, “Never!” What do you think?

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[A]: Kids need consistency. So whatever you do, your
church teachers must come to an agreement about the “time-out
chair” method.

The time-out chair is a useful tool in preschool classrooms if
used correctly, but it isn’t the epitome of discipline techniques
that it’s sometimes thought to be. If you choose to use this
technique, here are practical tips to make it work well.

  • Think of the “chair” as a way to help children learn
    self-discipline. Help children understand that when they’re in a
    bad mood or angry, they need to get away from other people to
    collect their thoughts and emotions.
  • Don’t leave a child in time-out for longer than the duration of
    his attention span. That means one minute in time-out for each year
    of age. Otherwise, the child will forget why he’s even in the
  • Keep a special chair in a predetermined corner of your room.
    This helps the children know where to go when you send them to
  • Apply the same questions and standards to each time-out session
    and every child by posting these questions above the chair: “What
    rule did you disobey?” and “What could you have done
  • Reaffirm that the child is loved and accepted. After focusing
    on the child’s behavior, finish her time-out by saying, “I love you
    and so does God!”


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Children's Ministry Magazine

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