Unitasker Wednesday: Boys Time-Out Chair

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Each parent has a different style when it comes to discipline. This isn’t a post about the merits of those styles, but rather a mocking of an item that I believe is supposed to be used with the 1-2-3 Magic time-out method. In short, the discipline system boils down to a parent counting to three, and then a child earning a time out if she fails to comply with a request.

If you read up on the 1-2-3 Magic method, the time-out is supposed to take place in the kid’s room if the discipline occurs at home. I guess some furniture designers don’t think an entire room is punishment enough, so they have invented a specific chair to put in a kid’s room just for time outs — the Boys Time-Out Chair:

First, why in the world would someone need a specialized chair just for time outs? What is wrong with a kid’s room like the method suggests? Or all the other chairs in a person’s house? Or a spot on the floor? Or the stairs?

Second, and this seems to be a thing with me lately, why does a kid need a gender specific time-out chair? Can’t a kid just have a plain chair that isn’t painted with stereotypical gender items? If you have multiple kids of different genders, are you expected to buy two chairs? Or do girls just never need time outs?

Third, with “time out” emblazoned on it and a child mentally associating it with punishments, a kid isn’t going to use this chair for anything else, ever. I don’t have any evidence to support this claim, but my guess is that a kid will develop a fear of chairs of similar shape and size as this one and quite possibly need counseling for the phobia later in life.

Finally, as far as time-out chairs go (and, there are surprisingly a lot of them on the market) this Boys Time-Out Chair is the bottom of the barrel in comparison to a sand filled hourglass time-out stool you can build yourself. At least that stool serves the function of being a really cool game timer once your kid outgrows time outs as a punishment. From time-out stool to world’s largest egg timer! Weird, but at least a multitasker.

Thanks to reader Samantha for sharing this unitasker with us.

24 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Boys Time-Out Chair”

  1. posted by Debra on

    Well I’ll try to restrain myself from ranting about time-outs and punishment and just talk about the stupidity of this chair.

    Why would you want this thing to take up space in your house or your kids’ room? And if it’s supposed to be punishment, why is it painted with fun cars and trains? Better yet if you have to use a time out space, why not just walk the kid into his room and point at a chair or pillow or spot on the floor or whatever?

  2. posted by Ana L. on

    The chair is ridiculous.

  3. posted by NoAlias on

    Sometimes I think product manufacturers see making this site (Unitasker Wednesday) as a honor and symbol of success. Hey Frank! Did you see we made Unitasker Wednesday?! Now we’re Big Time!

    How else can you explain something as silly as this product? Maybe only boys need time-out chairs?

  4. posted by Dorothy on

    Anyone who buys this simply has too much money.

    Judgmental? If this statement makes me judgmental, I’ll wear that label.

  5. posted by Jacquie on

    And why would you send a child for a time out into the room where lots of his or her toys are? That’s why stairs are so useful. Nothing to do apart from sit so it focussed their mind on the fact that their behaviour left a little to be desired and no stupid piece of furniture taking up space the rest of the time. And if you have an upstairs, you have stairs.

  6. posted by Pamela on

    Wow– I counted at least 17 “Time Out” mats,chairs, and stools. Indeed, there are Time Out chairs for girls, too.
    I dont get it. Put the kid in a corner, or on the stairs, or any chair in the house.

  7. posted by Nicole on

    I agree with using something else instead of the child’s room. A – the room probably has multiple, cool distractions, and B – it gives a negative connotation to the room itself (so going to bed can start to be seen as a punishment). BUT – the special chair is still not needed! The bottom stair step, corner, etc. is simple and already there.

  8. posted by Sarah on

    Let’s not forget that the 1-2-3-Magic method becomes successful when the time-out is no longer required and parental counting curbs the undesirable behavior. Presumably this happens fairly quickly (and my experience leads me to believe that is so)making the chair obsolete in no time.

  9. posted by Julia on

    Too funny. My sister makes her 3-year-old stand in a corner for a minute when she’s being a brat. When we went on vacation together I distinctly remember my sister saying “There are lots of corners of this condo. I WILL find you one!”

    That’s a portable punishment if I ever heard of one. I’m now imagining trying to pack the punishment chair into a suitcase.

  10. posted by Jean on

    This reminds me of Dennis the Menace’s time-out chair!

  11. posted by ChrisD on

    Sarah raises a good point, when my friend use a counting method the kids would usually obey, it’s more of a technique to get good behaviour than to punish continued bad behaviour. I don’t know if my friend had to train up the ‘obeying’ with time outs, or if the counting alone worked. I have the impression it was the latter.

  12. posted by Ella on

    Does it come in an adult size? I attend a monthly meeting where one big-boy participant is continually loud and disruptive. It might be just the thing for him.

  13. posted by purpleBee on

    The only places I can see a use for a time out chair are child care centres and preschools where there may be 40 kids and a marked chair may sensible. But not a gender specific one

  14. posted by Anna on

    I want one, to sit on while everyone is instructed not to come near me or make any noise because I am having a much-needed Time Out.

  15. posted by JustGail on

    I’d guess that being sent to your room is not the punishment is used to be, what with so many having toys/TV in their rooms now. But a special gender specific chair? No, that’s a bit much.

    @ Anna – that’s a good idea :-) . Mine would have a secret compartment for the chocolate.

  16. posted by Christina on

    A special chair sounds like a treat…not exactly the purpose of time out.

  17. posted by JC on

    DD had been frequently locked in closets while living with her bio-mom. A time-out, no matter the location, was nothing to her. However, putting her nose on a sticker on the wall/door/corner and having her hold her arms parallel to the floor for the duration of the time-out (never more than 5 minutes) made a huge difference as it made her concentrate on something rather than just stand there.

  18. posted by lady brett on

    oh, thank god.

    we have a time out chair, but it’s pink, so my little boy can’t sit in it. it works well for our daughter, but i’ve been looking for a solution for our son’s behavior for years!

  19. posted by Jessica on

    Although not politically correct now a days, I use an old the old fashioned way and there is no clutter associated with it. When it’s done, it’s done, consequence finished, we start new, there’s a clean slate. And now that my child is 6, I rarely have to do any disciplining at all. Which is both less physical and mental clutter. We have a very peaceful, quiet house.

    I think time-outs/sent to room/stand in the corner does one of two things, the child sits/stands there and self loathes in guilt or stews in anger tword there parent. I find neither a good thing. I speak from personal experience standing in corners or being sent to my room where I would proceed to throw all it’s contents into the hall.

  20. posted by WilliamB on

    I remember wondering, as a child, what the big deal was about being sent to one’s room? Isn’t it full of great stuff to do and it had the added advantage of being out of sight of the unreasonable (to my 5 yo mind) parent. Now a step or a corner – that was boring.

    If one must have a time-out chair, it shouldn’t be cool-looking and pretty. It should be ugly and uncomfortable. And cheap since a time-out chair should only be used to time-outs, right?

    @lady brett – best comment.

  21. posted by momof3 on

    we just used the club chair of our suite of living room furniture as the designated time out chair. I would set the timer and the kids would hold it until it went off….generally one minute per age.
    Kids are now 22, 19, and 17, and we still call it the time out chair.

  22. posted by ChrisD on

    Actually after reading this I happened to come across Archie Kohn’s books where he discusses what sort of child do you want to raise and what sort of methods should you use to get there. He feels that time outs can be terrible, though if the child voluntarily goes somewhere quiet to gather themselves that is much better. Seemed like some good food for thought. I came across it when someone on Listserve mentioned Punished by Rewards, by Kohn.

  23. posted by Heather on

    Corner, standing with face to the wall works for me. Free and not fun. I haven’t had to use it for years but when I did, he thought about what he did and offered me a solution and an apology without whining or crying. Welcome to being parent. You need to discipline your children sometimes. Given them “a chair” sounds like to much fun to me.

  24. posted by Marie on

    What is this “time out” you speak of? When we misbehaved, we got swatted on the butt. It worked fine.

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