Depends on the age. If my 5 year old won't stay in time out, the time out goes on until she gives up and is willing to sit there. With my 2 year old I actually sit there with her and physically hold her there.
dd is five and it has ALWAYS been a problem. Also trouble can be worse if I am cooking and just can't leave it safely. Thought I was being really sinful closing the kitchen door and holding onto it while she screams but only do this very rarely and when it's last resort due to not wanting to upset other children. The timer might help as it might give her something else to focus on thanks for that.
I lock mine in the bathroom if they refuse to sit on the step - only for a minute or so but it usually calms them down. Didn't last night though - DD broke her potty by smashing against the door in a rage
oh sandyballs - so glad I'm not the only person that uses the bathroom as a time out spot!!! Ours is downstairs one right at the back of the house, and with the bathroom AND kitchen doors closed you can't hear my 4yr old shouting his guts out . He gets told to sit on the bath mat and if he throws the washing around, or similar, knows that he gets even longer in there...............everyone else who I've told that I use the bathroom as a time out room have looked at me like I'd gone crazy - it's just its the 'safest' room in the house and furthest away from the 'action'.
Gwenick - our bathroom is also downstairs and it's the only place I could think of where I can actually lock the door, rather than standing there holding it closed! There's also less in there to trash if her temper is really bad!
I think some of my friends think it's a bit weird but they seem to have easier kids so it hasn't got to this! My other DD will run to the step if I ask her to and will just sit there until I tell her she can move, then she will apologise and it'll all be forgotten. But the other DD is a bit more of a "challenge"!!! Bless her.
we can't lock our bathroom door (from inside or out ) but like you say there's less stuff to break if they go on the rampage - thankfully use of the 'bathroom' has been much reduced in recent months - interestingly since he started nursery last September - think he's learned to express himself better rather than just flying off the handle.
DS2 (14 months) is SO different, if he does something horrible - like smack his brother over the head with a metal car, or bite someone we sit him down on the floor in where the corners of the sofa and chair meet - tell him to stay there. He screams blue murder, but 9/10 will stay when told.