Time Out

February 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

I don’t do time outs with my kids. The kids I gave birth to don’t want them and I don’t want them. However, I do feel like I do my own version of a time out. It’s something I’m calling privacy. This is the way we go:

Bilingual baby is having a hard time dealing with X.

I watch.

I suggest that she trade for another toy. (Repeat)

When that doesn’t work and her anxiety has escalated and (especially when) there’s been harm done to another kid, she and I get some privacy.

This privacy is what I call a time out, but it’s really just privacy to talk with her.

We talk on the stairs where neither of us are interrupted; where we can practice working through the emotions that overcame her. I also get to work on loving her beyond her actions.

She doesn’t have to stay if she doesn’t want to (though I’ve had to be quite convincing a couple of times) and I won’t withhold my love toward her. I do my best to keep from evicting my parental look of disapproval. I feel like she’d only think that I don’t love her. I don’t believe she can separate what she’s done with who she is.

One of the perks of walking over to the stairs to get some privacy is that I get that time to calm myself down. Even though it’s only a couple of seconds it really can help me clear my head so that I can really listen.

This is another step I’m taking to ensure that bilingual baby and I are building blocks of understanding and unity for those days in the future when we’ll need some stability to keep our relationship afloat. I want her to know that I’m on her side. I’m always rooting for her.


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§ 2 Responses to Time Out

  • Terre Houte says:

    Leila, You have such wisdom as a mother. I wish I could have had just a little of yours! Terre

  • QueenHoneyB says:

    This really made my heart feel warm when I read it. I grew up having plenty of time outs, and I know they are not the best discipline tool, but I’ve resorted to using them occasionally, and then regretted it afterwards. They don’t really work. My husband uses them occasionally, I find it hard to explain to him why they are not really effective. On the other hand, my daughter gives herself time-outs which is kind of funny. If she spills water, for example, and I ask her to wipe it up, she’ll say she wants a time out first. I say okay, then she’ll go sit on the steps for about 10 seconds, and then she says she wants to wipe it up. So I say okay, and then she wipes up her spill. Not sure where she got that from, I guess it’s her way of doing what she’s supposed to, but on her own time.

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