Wednesday 11 August 2010


Implementing "Time-out"... I mean for mom, not child

Over breakfast in the office this morning, I learned a tip from a colleague, which I thought was brilliant. I will share it here.

"Time-out" is a concept usually mete out out on children when they misbehave, to get some self-control. The child is asked to sit in a corner or in his/her room for a time and it is over when the parents say so. It is recommended for 1 minute for each year of age.

However, we moms are not perfect too. Sometimes, we, being human, do things that are not the best models to our kids. For example, getting angry, occasionally losing our cool and yell when we know we are not supposed to, etc. When we do something which we are not supposed to do, it is good to "mete out" time-out to ourselves.

How do we do that?

According to my colleague, you do so by:

1. Telling your child that you have done something you should not have done, and that you have regretted your actions, so you need a time-out for X amount of time.

2. Then you go to the room and have some time for reflection (my colleague's sister actually use this time to indulge in her hobby - reading)

3. You come out of your time-out, with all guilt removed, and ready to try again... in your role as mom :-)

Why should we implement time-out on ourselves?

1. You show your child that you are not a double-standard person, but a just and fair mom. When you do something wrong, you get the punishment too.

2. You release the tension from whatever situation that made you lose your cool.

3. You get time alone from your child, to re-charge your energy and try again.

4. You become a role model to your child by meting time-out the same type of punishment on yourself.

5. You take yourself out of the situation before it gets out-of-hand, i.e. more yelling.

6. You actually get some time to relax from the frentic and hectic every-day life with children at home. It is good for the mental and emotional well-being of mothers to have time-out to themselves.

7. You remove the child's fear for time-out if he/she sees that you get the same "punishment" too.

I have to say thank you to my colleague for this idea.

Hmmm... going by the 1 minute for each age recommendation... I would have more than 30 minutes to myself, hurray :-D... that would be great!!! Well, however in reality, it should only be for about 10 minutes. But even 10 minutes of break from your child can do wonders, isn't it?

When Joshua is older, and able to understand, I am certainly going to implement "Time-out" on myself with him :-)

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