Give YOURSELF a Time Out!
It’s a known fact to choose your battles as a parent (or in any relationship)…whether you’re single OR married. And,sometimes, as parents we are the ones who need to take a time out.
When you’ve done all you can in a given situation, and just need a break – let your children know that YOU are taking a time out. It can be an innovative way to take care of yourself and let your children know the importance of being good and kind to yourself.
When my son was in a mood or took (an obvious) advantage of me, I finally stopped threatening him at that moment in time (besides he was bigger than me); I gave myself a time out and went into my room to spend time with myself.
He knew he was also sequestered to his room when I was in mine. In those moments (and sometimes hours), I took the time to get in touch with my anger or resentment or sadness and saw things more clearly.
I got familiar with whether I was projecting emotions where they didn’t belong or if either one of us was unfair. It’s so easy to act unconsciously when our buttons get pushed, and our children learn where those buttons are and where to poke us to make a point, or to get even.
Sometimes we get triggered by certain words or certain tones if we are tone sensitive (like I am). These are good things to look at, so we don’t keep reacting the same way time after time. You know that’s the definition of insanity!
It really makes a difference when our kids know we need to take some time out for ourselves, it can create the same self-care philosophy in them. People big and small MUST take care of themselves to be healthy and whole for others. That is probably why on airplanes, they have you put the mask over your mouth first before your children.
The best thing we can do is not to lose track of US and remember – “to our own selves be true” is the real way to parent successfully!
Time Out Types.
Taking a time out can include being on the phone with a trusted friend for advice or with a therapist; it can also include writing in a journal, watching your favorite TV show to unwind or exercising, which relieves stress and gives us more energy to face our day or evening with renewed energy or relaxation.
The way we were raised is so different than the way the world is now, and new ways of parenting reflects that change. It’s time to be innovative and let go of routines or discipline procedures that no longer work.
Know that when YOU need a time out from your children and from parenting as a whole – you are honoring yourself with a time out! It’s hard enough to go through what we go through as people, and when you enter into the parenting zone, we can get stretched beyond belief. So every once in a while get a babysitter or start a childcare coop with friends – you are honoring yourself with a time out!
You SO deserve it!