Let’s be honest, we don’t know what we are doing. The timeout step has moved 25 times in undisclosed locations and you’ve even considered putting a stool in the shed out back as a new spot just to get your point across. However, you are concerned with what the neighbors would think. You are out of ideas when the threat of no treat after mealtime is countered with “ok, I don’t what a treat.” Speechless, the treat gets earned back because you’ve caved for the record 82nd time, and bedtime, well forget it. That has backfired because your child has managed to put you to bed because you are now passed out in theirs, after the “no talking” rule. So now what? We’ve all been paralyzed in time when our child has dropped to the floor in the grocery store check out line. People staring, you’re holding 18 products because you only went in for one and your son wants you to hold him in between the cat littler and the bag of potatoes only to follow with “you love vegetables more than me…wah!” So…
We take it personal. They say they hate you and you believe them, You have forgotten that they are four and hated Mickey Mouse the day before. What did Mickey Mouse every do to them? Nothing and neither have you. Time to regroup. Maybe you need a timeout.
Timeout to me means self reflection. Why am I feeling this way? Have I done or said any wrongdoing? I need to take control of the situation before it controls me. We are no different than our children when we are also throwing ourselves on the floor, kicking our feet when we don’t get what we want. We teach them to use our words and to use the wisely. Practice what you preach.
Discipline takes discipline. Control your impulses. Control your emotions. You can act angry without being angry, if you address it quickly enough. I believe things work differently with different families, but I do believe wholeheartedly that addressing it early avoids internalization and a better respect unto you from your child.
Consider that. Timeouts are for everyone, and it isn’t always because of wrongdoing. Maybe you forgot what’s more important. Is getting angry over them jumping on your folded laundry more important than them happy while doing it? Don’t miss out on the good because you are focused on what’s wrong. Breathe. Sometimes what we miss is that all your child needs is a little snuggle or cuddle to hit the refresh button and, too often, we forget that’s all we may need from them too….and it’s okay to put down the bag of potatoes to get one.