Serious outbursts can be prevented by creating a place for your child to give himself a time-out. This type of time-out is different from those used for misbehavior. This is a place for retreat, not punishment. You can help him create his own safe haven in the house or yard. Let him put things in his safe place that he feels would help soothe him. He may want a beanbag to sit in, pillows to lie on, a favorite stuffed animal to hug, or a small ball to squeeze.
While time-out is a common term, you and your child may want to create a more positive name. He will make more use of his time-out place if he helps select a secret signal for you and him to use to let one another know when a break is needed. The location must be safe and prevent harm to himself, others, and property. The break should last as long as your child needs to calm himself down. Expect that initially he may “abuse” the privilege by taking more breaks than are really necessary.
Don’t worry about this, as it simply gives him more practice recognizing his stress signals, responding appropriately by removing himself and going to a safe place to calm down. The number of breaks will diminish when the novelty wears off and he learns that he is not able to avoid cooperation with requests, chores, and tasks by taking a time-out.