Parents need time-outs? Yup, you read that. Not time-outs for the kids, but time-outs for themselves. But, Heiddi why should I give myself a time-out? How will that help me? I’ve got answers for you.
This morning, I gave myself a time-out after kiddo tells me that he forgot a project due today. As he was eating breakfast, he realized that he did not write it down. Kiddo usually loves doing projects though not ones where he has to write a lot. (Another story for another day.) This project is a storybook for his partner who is in Kindergarten.
Frustration, Anger & Sadness
What frustrated me enough to put myself into time-out? Kiddo wasn’t motivated enough to do it and didn’t care about going to school leaving his partner without a story. I felt that kiddo was selfish thinking that it was okay for his partner to be the only kid in his class without a story. Nope, the guilt trip didn’t work. Neither did the threat of canceling hockey tomorrow. I heard my voice slowly rising and went to my room. Parents, there’s my time-out.
Why You Need Time-Outs
Parents need time-outs just as much as kids do if not more. With jobs, volunteer work, kids, bills and events sucking up your time, you have even less of it to give to yourself. I know it happens to me a lot. Especially since I’m prone to sleeplessness and stress.
Time-outs give parents time to cool off. As frustrating as parenting can be, it can bring with it great anger. Making parenting decisions (or any decisions) when angry causes more harm than good. You may not want to emotionally hurt anyone, but anger throws your good intentions out the window.
Time-out gives kids time to think about their behavior. Granted, younger kids may not think about their behavior. Time-out allows your child to say, “Wait a minute!” Mom/Dad is so upset! Maybe I can do something to help.” Your child can take the opportunity to think of ways to please you because that how kids roll. They don’t want to get into trouble. Kids want to give their parents the best they can.
Time-out gives parents perspective. Quiet time allows you to reflect on what got you to this point. How did you get to your frustration and anger? By thinking about the steps that you took, you can modify them next time. It also helps get you out of your own head. Time-out allows me to step outside of myself, my anger and frustration and remember that this moment while difficult, it is not bigger than everything in my life. One unfinished project will not be the end of the world for kiddo, being late to school won’t be either so why should I let myself get so worked up?
Parents, remember that being kind to and taking care of yourself is so beneficial. Not only for your mental health and wellness, but for your child. You can teach your child how to calm themselves down and manage their feelings in a healthy way. Give yourself time-outs often and you may find yourself in a happier place. Or writing a great blogpost about it! Happy Friday!