Many of us grew up with the concept of time-out being negative. The words, "Go to your room and think about what you did!" still rings in some people's ears from childhood. This form of time-out, punitive, is really not helpful to anyone. This book focuses on the concept of a positive time-out, one that helps everyone involved, for example, the child who was having a melt-down and the exasperated parent trying to keep herself from saying or doing something she might regret.
Jane Nelsen points out that a friendly, respectful tone of voice is imperative when using this tool and encouraging the child to take a time-out (cool-down period, chill-out time, trip to "Hawaii", as examples of time-out spot names that I've heard children choose for their time-out spots). The main idea is during a no-problem time, a parent discusses with their child (who is old enough to understand the concept of positive time-outs) what it's for (a place to cool down when angry, sad, upset, needing to regroup) and then to be able to reconnect with others again (do recovery after making a mistake - perhaps, apologize and/or other forms of making amends). Also, the child and parent discuss where the time-out spot could be and what could be in it (no electronics, as a general rule).
The chapter called "Action Tools for Avoiding Power Struggles While Empowering Children" contained 40 additional tools, besides positive time-out. This served as a great reminder that there are many other effective parenting tools available, besides positive time-out. The tool to use typically depends upon the situation, child's development (age included), and child's temperament.
This book is an easy read and is a great reference-type book when needing a quick refresher on positive time-out or one of the other action tools mentioned. I suggest you take a positive time-out for yourself and read this book. You'll be more prepared to face those parenting and teaching challenges from the children afterwards.