Try as I might, some days I can’t keep my cool. I have gotten much better in the past months but we all have good days and bad. That said, I recently got great advice from a wise mother. I told her I don’t like getting mad at Micha because I don’t want her to learn a negative behavior from me. I also shared that I feel bad when I get mad in front of her or at her.
This calm mother told me that every parent loses their cool. She didn’t seem like the type who would so I was comforted to learn she did too. She said one day was so bad, she and her husband looked at their son and said, “Mommy and Daddy are going to time out!” The child was 3 and in a kid-proof room so they weren’t worried about him getting hurt. Their son was confused, so the mom repeated. “Mommy and Daddy are really frustrated and we need to go to our rooms until we calm down.” The boy still didn’t understand but off they went. The parents went to their room and stayed there a few minutes until they had calmed down and had regained patience.
BRILLIANT! I laughed at the creativeness and logic of the idea. The boy is now 8 and has learned that when he needs to calm down from a frustrating situation he can go to his room.
I put myself in time out yesterday. Micha was dumbfounded. I said, “Micha, Mommy is going to time out!” “HUH!?!” She thought I’d misspoken. I repeated, “Mommy needs to go to time out. I’m mad right now and need to go to my room, okay?” “HUH!?!”, was her response again. I just
walked upstairs and went to my room. I started taking deep breaths and then heard her little steps coming up behind me. I kept breathing deeply. Finally, Micha was on the other side of my door. “Mommy?” “Yes, Micha.” “Mommy?”
By then, I’d calmed down enough to open the door. “Micha, Mommy is okay. I just need a time out because I’m angry. I’m almost done, okay?” “Okay.” I closed the door, took a few more deep breaths and then opened the door again. Micha was standing there, curiously waiting and observing. I squatted down and told her I was mad so I went to my room. Then I said, if she ever feels angry she can go to her room too. It helps you calm down.
I’ll keep putting myself in time out because it’s better than the alternative. I’m also teaching Micha a good lesson. No matter our age, we choose between reacting negatively or removing ourselves (time out) until we can respond appropriately. I hope you can benefit from this wisdom.
Have a good week and hopefully one where no time outs are needed 🙂
Angela M. Barbieri
I am a happy mother of two. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Since becoming a mother, I’ve started sharing my writing to connect with others and share what I learn. I hope to support parents through my writing because parenting challenges us (understatement) but also allows us to relive innocent, new experiences through the eyes of our children (amazing!).
For more posts, (not all parent-related) check out: http://momange.tumblr.com/