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.