Time Outs Aren't Just for Your Child

Time Outs Aren't Just for Your Child

The other day at our house, it seemed like the whole world was imploding.  We have two toddlers and a newborn, and the two oldest were having meltdown after meltdown.  It got pretty rough there for a while, and after yet another timeout, I started thinking about how those time outs are good for not only the kid, but also us haggard parents.

I don’t like to use timeouts, because I never want to give them the impression that I don’t want them around, so sending them to their room is a last resort.  This particular day, however, our two year old was screaming bloody murder about a toy or something, and we are teaching her that screaming is not the way to handle frustration – if she starts screaming at us, she must go to her room until she’s done with it.

While those timeouts give our daughter a chance to bring herself under control and take a few breaths away from the line of fire, they also give us parents the opportunity to draw a few breaths too.  A time out is just that – time to stop whatever is causing the trouble and regroup.

So when you are feeling at your wits’ end, taking a time out is not only a good idea but also probably necessary.  It sure beats the alternative of struggling to maintain your cool when things seem to be falling apart, and usually just a few minutes is all it takes for everyone to calm down and be ready to play nice again.