Time-out means exactly that - taking some time away from the situation to calm down. That is quite useful for some children. It's certainly better than screaming and smacking them. It's quite useful for many parents who feel they're getting to the end of their tally, to actually walk into another room and take some time out for yourself. What it shouldn't be thought of is a punishment. If you use time-out in a kind of punishing way, dragging a child who's reluctant into a room and slamming the door and all of that, then you've really lost it already, and I think it's not so useful. Time-out should be a last resort. You must use all your positive discipline methods first. You must get the child, have that good relationship with the child and all the positive praise and so on first. Time-out should really not be the first thing you do, but the very last thing you do.