My 4-year-old son is a lovely child who melts my heart, but I admit he spends a fair amount of time in time out. Now, before I lived with a small boy I’d have said an electronic Time Out Pad ($35) is overkill. Now I know that this child would do the laundry and change the oil in the car if he was being timed. Whenever we need him to do anything we just set the kitchen timer and that “BEEP” is more powerful than the voice of God Himself. Using a coin, parents set the dial to for the proper time. The enclosed parenting guide suggests one minute per year of age. When the need arises, sit that sassy little character on the pad and push the button. The lights work like a traffic signal and change from red to yellow to green when the time is up. When the offender has served his time, a happy little melody plays and we wrap it up with an apology and hugs and kisses.

If he should defy the all-knowing-all-telling Time Out Pad and try to make a run for the prison gates, a loud alarm sounds. My one complaint is that the pad is a bit too sensitive and can sound the alarm if he’s sitting a little bit off center. He now knows just to scooch over a bit and it’ll stop going off.

My husband is such a huge fan of the Time Out Pad that he asked me to bring it on vacation with us. I declined because one more piece of gear was going to require us to rent a burro in the airport, but seriously considered toting it along!

The bottom line is that our son wiggled and screamed and tried to escape from time out before we had the gadget. Now he sits still and quiet because he doesn’t want to risk offending the all-powerful Time Out Pad. Whatever works!

— Kristen