Time Out Pad – Review

I first bought the Time Out pad as we were having a little trouble with the terrible two’s (for little read big) In nursery they were using a traffic light system for bad behaviour, Starting off the day with a green sticker, changing to yellow if a warning was issued, and then red for time out time. You then started again back on green, as time out is supposed to be the punishment and then you kiss and make up starting afresh. Apparently Thomas was responding well to the traffic light system in nursery, so I thought we’d give it a go at home too.

I initially did try time out’s just sitting down on the stairs, your supposed to leave them there to get on with it in silence but this didn’t work as Thomas would just get back up when I wasn’t looking. So I needed something to keep him sat down on the stairs without me being able to see him doing it. After some investigation online I came across the Time Out pad and decided to give it a go.

You can customise the amount of time your time out pad is set for according to your child’s age from 1 minute to 5, it’s recommended that you set a minute for each year old they are. The pad has three lights down the side of it, showing your child the stage of time out they are in. Red is the beginning of time out and also the alarm when they remove themselves from the mat, Yellow comes on for the last minute to show them that it’s nearly over, and green is for when time out is finished. You also get a nice song when the green light is on too to signal the end of time out to your little one, this is when you have hugs and cuddles and they say sorry for whatever they did.

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In theory the Time Out pad is great, and to begin with it did everything I wanted, Thomas stayed on the pad and didn’t want to have Time Out as it was now a proper punishment because he had to stay still or I would know about it. The problem I then had is that Thomas is very strong willed, and to his credit very clever and very good at winding me up. He quickly realised that he could still move around as long as the mat was still on his bum, so he’d slide and jump up and down the stairs. When I called him up on this his answer was “Well the alarm hasn’t gone off” and technically he was right, even though that’s not what your supposed to be doing with it.

Soon after this we stopped using the mat as it had stopped being a deterrent, it just wasn’t working anymore. Fast forward a year and we now have another little boy having a bit of trouble with the terrible two’s, although it’s come a bit later on as he’s three now. So the time out mat has come out again, and this time things have gone a lot differently. Jacob does sit on the mat, he also hates having time out and is usually in tears at having to be put on the step. He hates loud noises too, so would never get up and make the alarm go off on purpose, in short the time out mat has been amazing for him.

So basically I’ve had an okay first experience and then a brilliant experience with the mat, it’s effectiveness really depends on the child. If your little one is really bloody minded and determined to find a way around it they will, if they are more placid but just need a bit of a kick up the bum this will really do the trick. My advice would be that it’s not really that expensive of a product and if it does work it’ll be well worth it. So why not give it a go and see how you and your child do with it, it could be the answer to your prayers.

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