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Marking Time-Out

Marking time-out is a specific application of time-out for use in circumstances that are unfavorable (e.g., in the car, grocery store) for punishing children's disruptive behavior in an effective or meaningful way. Children misbehave in public places for three reasons: (1) they learn that parents are reluctant to punish them in front of others, (2) they believe that parental threats or punishment will be forgotten before returning home, and (3) their self-control is compromised by the stimulation of public places and increased opportunity for misbehavior.

In our experience, marking time-out is very effective in controlling disruptive behavior in public. Children mark time for misbehavior until they are able to serve a time-out in the regular time-out setting at home. All that is required to ...

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