When you were a kid, did you ever have a set-to with your siblings and end up punished as a group? Parents sometimes have a difficult time judging just who was at fault and find it both easier and fairer to apply the punishment to all concerned. While one might have started it, another probably continued the disagreement.
When my kids were growing up, I found that most disagreements were between the same-sex siblings. Since I had two boys and two girls, that made for a lot of squabbles. Back in my day, we didn't call it time out. We called it the corner chair. Of course it wasn't that effective as I had four dreamers who were perfectly happy to sit in the corner and think their thoughts.
Have you ever thought what would happen if adults had time out? I envision an office setting where two secretaries get in an argument. The boss comes out and sends them to the time out chairs. Hmmm. If it's a really busy day with the phones ringing off the walls, maybe I would want to go to time out!
Sometimes I want to send the house hunk to time out. He does have "his" room and if he gets too rambunctious, I suggest that he go to his room for a while before he seriously annoys me. Annoying me is not a good thing in his eyes. He doesn't like living with me when I'm annoyed.
Maybe the next time things get overwhelming, I'll put myself in time out. After all, nobody is supposed to talk to you when you're in time out. Of course I would prefer to serve my time out at the local ice cream parlor. Preferably noshing on chocolate almond chip with peanut butter sauce and lots of cherries. Time out!