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 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.