The old way of doing time-outs is most definitely out. Remember there’s a difference between consequences and punishment, says Kolari. If you give a time-out as a punishment (“You’re going to sit there and think about what you did!”), then it’s never going to work (for all the reasons mentioned above).
Instead, try a time-in. Here’s how: A time-in means taking a break—together as a family—to regroup. “A time-in allows a kid to calm their brain and feel less emotionally overwhelmed while staying connected to their parent,” says Compton. So if your kid is in the middle of a tantrum, you would take her to a quiet place and say something like, “I know you’re upset. Let’s take some deep breaths to calm down and then we can talk about your feelings.” Time-ins can help teach kids how to self-calm and self-regulate.
Or a reset. Kolari may be pro time-out, but hers is an updated version. She advocates for a “gentle interruption in behavior” that she refers to as a reset. In other words, don’t shout at your kid and send them to their room. Instead, remove them from the situation, without making a big deal about it, for as little as 10 to 20 seconds for kids under 4 or a couple minutes for older children. Then, when you think they’ve had enough time away from the situation, allow them to continue their play and welcome them with open arms so they can ease back in without any shame. You may have to repeat this a couple times, but your child will eventually realize that the behavior means no more fun and that’s when they’ll change it.