Vlog: How To Give Your Child An Effective Time-Out

Tedd Tripp in Shepherding a Child’s Heart (a book I highly recommend) says “You must not be embarrassed to be authorities for your children. You exercise authority as God’s agent. You may not direct your children for your own agenda or convenience. You must direct your children on God’s behalf for their good.”

Remember that just as you are in authority over your children – you are under authority to God. You are both in the same boat – under the authority of God. When your child disobeys God by disobeying you – and we fail to be loving, kind, self-controlled and gentle while we are training our children – then we are also disobeying God.

Our goal should not be to change their outward behavior but to change their heart. And those changes can only come through loving discipline and Godly instruction.

Here’s how I do time outs:

Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

If we as moms fail to teach our children the fear of the Lord and the greatness of God daily through role modeling it in our life, reading Bible stories, memorizing verses with them and prayer – then we can expect the heart of our children to be hard. We must remember to teach them God’s word in fun moments along the way of life – so when we pull out verses during training time they don’t feel thumped over the head by God’s word but rather lovingly instructed.

Remember that when you train your child, you train generations to come – so persevere! Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary in doing good for in due season you will reap a harvest IF you do not give up.”

Walk with the King!

I am linking up here :


  1. Courtney, this is wonderful. Thank you for helping me understand the "gentleness" and "perseverance" through your specific way of demonstrating discipline with love.

  2. Oh thank you so much for this post! I so desire to be a mother that shows God's love to my children. You have inspired me 🙂 Thank you!

  3. I've been reading this book too! We spank with one child in the way you described, but not with our older child as he has anxiety issues and it isn't effective. My sound is working on my computer, so I'll have to wait to hear your vlog. Thanks! BTW, I'd love input on whether to continue homeschooling next year when my youngest leaves Christian preschool for Kindergarten. Do you have an extremely shy, introverted child? Are they "homeschoolable" too?

  4. Anonymous – My best advice for making a decision on whether or not to homeschool is to pray.

    James 1:5,6 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt…"

    Pray and ask God for direction – he will answer…whatever answer he brings – believe and not doubt.

    In our home – we LOVE the lifestyle of homeschooling – but I know it's not for every mama and we are taking it just one year at a time. We are trusting God to show us each year what is best for my children, me and the hubby.

    Much Love,

  5. I think that last paragraph of your post is key. Saturate them with Scripture during the everyday activities of life to, as you said, set the foundation for training.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this! I have really had some issues with my son and his behavior at school. He's a great student academically but I just can't seem to get him to be obedient. I thank the Lord almost daily for his teacher, she's a gift from God and and her persistence and love for my son shows through her patience and willingness to correct my son rather than dismiss him. I felt like a failure for so long because of this and your analogy of God being the perfect parent and Adam and Eve still disobeying really hit home. I too disobey God, my perfect parent, how then can I feel like a failure for my son's disobedience? We will continue to persevere and seek progress not perfection. THANK YOU!

  7. Courtney, thank you so much for being used by God. Being willing to share what God is putting on you heart. You have a wonderful gift and please continue to use it. I have been SO encouraged and inspired by your messages and I LOVE the videos..KEEP THAT UP! I have added you to my blog list for bible studies and hope you are encouraged.

  8. Thanks Courtney! We don't have children yet- in the process of adopting, but this is certainly something to remember!!!


  9. Do you have any suggestions for training/time out for a 1.5 year old? He obviously has no concept of sitting still, but I'm starting the process.

    Just started reading that book too! Next is Ginger Plowman, Don't Make Me Count To Three :).

  10. I'm also interested in any specific further advice you may have for giving effective time outs to a young toddler. My daughter is 20 months old, but isn't verbal enough yet to say what she did wrong. I'm pretty sure she understands me though, when I explain it to her. Thanks for this helpful vlog!

  11. Wow! God just started dealing with me on this on Thursday!

    Okay…God I get it! lol

    You're blog is just so awesome.

  12. Thanks for this! I get lazy with my parenting and had given up on time outs.

    I've been trying to make God's word more of a daily focus in our home and this is a great way to apply it without preaching at the children.

    I'm also having them apologize to the offended person. I think this will be a wonderful way to soften their hearts to one another and me.

  13. Thank you! I especially loved your tip for explaining after the time out what they did wrong and WHY GOD says its wrong. We use a time out for our young toddler and it is effective. I always reiterate after his time out why he shouldn't throw his toys, hit someone, etc. But now I realize I also need to point out that its not just Mommy and Daddy saying its wrong, but God says its wrong.

    I love reading your blog!

  14. Thanks so much for this post! It is a great reminder that if our heart attitudes are out of line when we are disciplining our children, we are in the wrong also! I also liked your statement that we are aiming towards progress, not perfection with our children. Right now my husband and I are going through a series called Growing Kids God's Way. It falls right in line with everything you have said on this post. We need to reach our child's heart for God, and not just try and correct wrong outward behaviors. It is our responsbility to teach them God's Word and to model a godly life before them. Your words bring such encouragement. Thanks so much!

  15. Courtney, this post caused a lump in my throat, then tears to fall from my eyes. I really struggle with consistency and patience where discipline is concerned. I was not raised in a strong Christian home (my mom took us to a denominational church occasionally, and even put us in that denomination's schools, but a consisent Christian walk lived out in our home was not my childhood experience.)

    Of my four children, two are
    v-e-r-y challenging. They *need* me to succeed in training them, to not fail them (due to their adoptive histories, they are at high risk for some things). With my two challenging children, I feel like I often fail. I've read Ted's book. It's wonderful, but I came away wishing my husband and I weren't first generation Christians, wishing we had been raised in solid Christian homes. I

    I won't give up. And your words about our perfect father, God, and the garden were so very encouraging (that's when the tears came). THANK YOU! Your ministry is so very appreciated. I'm off to get a Kleenex now.

  16. I always love your wisdom when it comes to parenting and marriage.

    I noticed that "Anonymous" asked about homeschooling a very introverted child. My oldest was extremely introverted. In nursery class he sat in a locker every day and the teacher let him. In K he tried and the teacher said it wasn't an option. So in grade one I started homeschooling him. He remained introverted, but never shy (I did find out there was a BIG difference).

    Anyway continuing with my two cents… I homeschooled him for six years. He did great. Went into public school at grade eight without social issues, and finally graduated high school with honors. He's very well adjusted and gets along with people better than anyone I've met. By that I mean he's tolerant, patient and personable. But he still prefers his solitude even to this day. And that's okay with me, it's just who he is.

    Sorry to bud in, but I can so relate to "introverted and anxiety" kids.

  17. I just started reading Shepherding a Child's Heart and can't wait to get in deeper.. Thanks for sharing! ~ Meg @ Life Together

  18. Darlene – thanks for sharing your experience! I appreciate it!

    Melissa and Erin – during the age where you can not "reason" with a child – there should be swift action with firm "no no's" and "God is watching and that makes him sad."

    With those words you can add a swat on their bottom to emphasize, you can remove them to their crib or playpen for a 1-2 minute time out and as you carry them there tell them "Jesus says we must love others and hitting is wrong", or you could verbally reprimand them and redirect their behavior by practicing the right way to behave.

    For example if your child hits, you can take their hand and say "no no – ouch that hurts and God wants us to love others." Then take their hand and rub softly on your arm and say "be gentle – this is gentleness."

    It's not easy and it takes time to train our little ones but the hard work will pay and will be well worth it!

    Love on your little ones today!!!

  19. What do you do if your child throws a fit in time out? Our 3 year old daughter screams bloody murder every time we put her in time out. I don't know whether to make it longer until she has calmed down or let her up at 3 minutes.

  20. Corrie – great question. Here's what I have done in the past…I say – "the timer begins when you are quiet in the corner." (with a sweet cheery voice)

    So if my children start to back talk or giggle and be goofy in the corner – I start the timer over…

    So for your little one say "cry as much as you need to (reverse psychology 🙂 and then when you are finished crying mommy will start the timer for 3 minutes." If your child really struggles with 3 minutes…then give grace and maybe start with working her up to 1 minute and then 2.

    I remember a long long time ago sitting beside my son while he was in time out and saying – you need to sit here quietly until mommy counts to 60 – then I would count and he would sit quietly and listen to me count – if he started to cry again – I'd start back over at 1…oh this takes patience -but truly you are training your child in much much more than just the time out – you are teaching self-control, patience, obedience and so much more.

    When your child succeeds at the time out praise her – good job – mommy knew you could sit quietly for 3 minutes!

    Give hugs and go on your merry way.

    Another tip that helps kids find self-control is to ask her to fold her hands…this gives her a place to channel her energy and often times it magically closes their mouth :-)! Give it a try!!!

    Hope this helps!

  21. "cry as much as you need to (reverse psychology 🙂 and then when you are finished crying mommy will start the timer for 3 minutes."

    Loved this part! My children are older but my sister is going through some struggles with her 3 year old. I'm going to share this with her.

  22. Courtney, This is just perfect timing in my life right now raising a hard to manage 4 yr old son. It reminded me of the importance of time out which had become infrequent and had been replaced with too much yelling between mommy and son. Above all that you have reminded me that FIRST must come prayer for both me and my son. Thank you.

  23. Great reminder for me right now!! After yesterday's church sermon and this I am definately feeling convicted to work on gently lovingly disciplining:)

  24. LOVE YOU, GIRL! Thank you especially for your encouragement to PERSERVERE!!!!

    hmmmm. is that a Relevant necklace I spy?


  25. Have been trying this the last few days, and it is such a blessing! Thank you for letting God love us through you! BTW, any encouragement for overcoming frustration in discipline. I mean just by the end of the day my nerves seem completely frazzled!

  26. Hi Courtney.
    Might I add a book suggestion regarding discipline?
    Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson(Sally's Husband)
    Here's a description.I borrowed my copy from the Library.

    A wonderful book on discipline and some insights on the Proverbs verses regarding instruction that I have been blessed to come to understand.
    Truly eye opening.

    (I love that color on you btw)

  27. Thank you for your help in this. Your tips have been perfect. I implemented your suggestions immediately. It is wonderful because it keeps me calm and gives the kids a chance to understand they did something wrong. I love how the kids say exactly what they did wrong and why it was wrong! Hooray! Thank you so much.

    My just turned two-year-old is doing great in these time outs. My 3.5 year old is a pro at them now. Lol! I guess another good thing about the matter-of-fact time outs is that I can be more consistent. Hooray! Thanks again!

  28. I’m so happy to have find your blog. Lots of great insight. I’ve heard of this book but haven’t read it yet. It will be on my next book buys. With 8 children I am always looking for good Mommy books to read.

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