Give yourself time-out Remeber to give yourself a time-out.

Wether you have already lost your temper, or feel like you are about to, rather remove yourself from the situation and get that stress-release time you need.

You give your special needs child a time out to regroup, or sit in a chair for a few minutes to distract them, before moving onto something less disruptive, so why should you not take some time-out for yourself to do the same?

It is not only your child that occasionally needs a time-out, but we as parents could use some now and again, too.


  • Choose your time-out spot
  • Find a place where you can close the door and hide for a few minutes while you blow off steam and get control of your emotions. You can take a break in your bedroom, or anyplace where you can be alone and feel comfortable.

  • Tell your child where you are going
  • Tell your child that you are giving yourself a time-out. By letting your child see how you deal with a stressful or annoying situation, without screaming and shouting is a good lesson in coping skills.

  • Don’t sit still
  • Do some stretching exercises, or even throwing yourself on the bed and hitting the pillows can be pretty therapeutic.

  • Take deep breaths
  • Taking slow, deep breaths is one of the quickest ways to calm yourself down and to de-stress. Count to ten while breathing in, and do the same when you breathe out.

  • Listen to music
  • Listen to something calming and quiet – but anything that relaxes you will also work.

  • Think about what you’ve done
  • Think about how you behaved in the situation with your child, and if you could have behaved differently. Learn from what has happened and put steps into place for yourself to make sure that deal with the next situation differently and in a way that makes you feel more comfortable.

    Give yourself a time-out
  • Get in control
  • Give yourself time until you feel in control again or have clamed down enough to handle things again, you may want to hide, but don’t stay in your room forever.

  • Acknowledge what happened
  • When you come out again, talk to your child about why you gave yourself a time-out. Apologise if you where wrong, and also for the way you behaved. Talk to your child about what frustrated you, and how you could all have handled the situation better.

  • Teach your child
  • Children learn from watching and coping their parent’s behaviour. Let your child know that it is alright for them to give themselves some time-out when needed. They can go to their room and do something else to take their mind off the problem for a while, being able to anticipate meltdowns and heading them off is useful skill for any child with special needs to learn.

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Before disciplining/ Public meltdowns/ Public tantrums/ Time-out discipline/ Time-out spots

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