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Its always good to keep track of the time when using this time out method. Many times, parents just simply leave their kids alone and forgot to get back to the issue. Having a timer can be a good reminder for parents not to keep the underlying issues in the "buffer zone" for too long :)
This is a fantastic idea. I teach this concept to parents also. The idea is that by getting your toddler to take ownership of something you get far less resistance. There are many situations where you can implement this.
My grandchildren learned negotiating skills before nap time. They were more receptive to resting if I let them set the timer. They knew that when it went off it was time to get up. Thankfully, sometimes they even slept thru the alarm!
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