Top 5 reason's why they don't work in our house:
1) I (wearing my parenting cap) find that it is totally mindless to send them on a time out.
2) I am only sending the children there because I am annoyed & I need to cool down.
3) I don't think anyone is really clear on what merits a time out?
4) I am never consistent with them!
5) & Last but certainly NOT least what are my children learning while on these "time outs"?
So while conducting a week of gratitude (& talking to my Aunt on the phone) I had an epiphany, which I'm sure I've read in some sort of parenting book/advice column or other... what are my children learning on "time outs"?
During this week of gratitude when children acted out in some form or another showing a lack of gratitude we would send them off to a quiet spot & they would have to list 10 things that they are most thankful for. I think at one point I actually heard Tyson saying to William "don't say that out loud Will or you'll have to list things you're thankful for"
Thank-you week of gratitude & thank-you Mr. Tyson for giving me an "Ah ha! Moment".
What is it that I would like to accomplish while placing them on a time out? & then I began to think, which really hurts sometimes when you're really busy and tired! But I really gave it some thought, and low and behold there it was staring me in the face the entire time...I want my children to be more thoughtful & more mindful of how they treat each other and how they conduct themselves in the world...hence, I have birthed the reflection spot (which my Mother is responsible for naming) So instead of being placed on another "go sit on time out! you do NOT hit your brother!"...
You will now be asked to go upstairs & reflect by drawing a picture of a favorite time or memory spent together & listing a few reasons why:
- You Love your siblings
- You are thankful
- You should tell the truth
- You should treat people with love, kindness & respect
- What you are good at
- Why you need to listen to your parents
- I'm sure this list will grow & transform over time so we'll add new ones when necessary (depending on the "crime")
I actually over heard William tell Sonny "it's fun cause you get to draw". William had been sent to the reflection spot because he got upset with Sonny & called him an "ijiot!". I asked William to draw a picture of a good memory he has of him & Sonny playing together. When he was finished his masterpiece I asked him to go to Sonny with the picture and tell him what it's about.
William: Sonny member when we pwayed pirates togeder? I had so much fun, didn't you?
Me: What do you want to tell Sonny?
William: I'm sorry Sonny for calling you an ijiot.
Sonny: I forgive you.
Here are some more bonus's for kicking "time out's" to the curb:
- Your children are being mindful & creative
- They are actually enjoying the process & we all know that if you are enjoying something you are more inclined to learn from it
- You are teaching your children to express themselves in a positive manner
- You get to save these learning moments, I've been putting them on the fridge as reminders
- A quiet/peaceful area in your home
- Crayons/pencils/pencil crayons & markers
- White/colored paper
- Different types of reading materials (sometimes it's just good to go and have some quiet reading time to yourself)
- A loving and nurturing attitude toward the reflection spot. It will only work if you are able to stay calm and go through the process with your little one(s) & help motivate them to understand that this is a "good space" NOT "a bad space"
If you give this a try please feel free to tell me about it or perhaps you have some great suggestions to add! It's all about sharing our parenting tips & ideas, I find it's what gets me through the "phases of parenting"
In closing my week of gratitude, I just wanted to give a BIG thank-you to ALL of the parents who have shared their light & love with me over the years. I am a better person for knowing you!
PS. Thank-you God without you NONE of this would be possible!