I want to be a good mom. I believe all moms want this. For me, this means educating myself on parenting styles, on different ways to do things, on stepping out of the box and what’s normal, on trying new things, and above all on doing whatever keeps my baby happy and makes her feel loved.
Time-outs are one thing I was never a fan of. When I think back to my childhood I feel like time-outs were completely pointless. I didn’t learn anything and I remember just being angry at my parents for putting me in time-out.
I don’t believe children learn from a time-out and after researching a lot about it, I confirmed my belief of not wanting to give time-outs to my daughter if she does something I don’t agree with. If you want to read more about time-outs, I recommend this post and Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn.
Last night my husband and I were having dinner with our daughter when we started talking about the subject. We love talking about how we want to raise our baby and future children.
To my surprise when I started talking about time-outs my husband said “we will have
time-outs in this house”.
He jokes a lot so I asked him if he was for real since he looked so serious. I was about to start telling him why we should not do time-outs (I was freaking out a little to hear he actually said that) when he asked me to hear him out.
My husband’s view on time-outs
The term “time-out” typically means placing an unruly kid into some sort of solitary confinement as punishment.
My husband argued that placing the kid alone at a time when he or she needs love is the opposite of what should happen. His belief is that a child acts out because he or she is dealing with too many inputs, too much stimulation and the system overloads. Like any adult who has too much going on, we step away from the situation, talk to our most trusted allies, and then get grounded again. This is what he defines as a time-out is. For kids, this means finding comfort with the parent and removing the extraneous inputs.
So, when our child acts out due to over-stimulation, she will take a time-out with daddy or mommy by taking a break from the “noise” and bonding with one of us.
I’m from Costa Rica and my native language is Spanish. This means sometimes when my husband and I speak I understand something slightly different than what he means to say.
When he explained his view of time-outs I understood something a little different.
What I understood about time-outs…
We will have time-outs and many of them during the day. It will be the moment when you stop everything you’re doing to take a break and get a hug from mom and dad.
When I heard this it melted my heart – it even made me love him more!
He continued saying that he would love to take this expression that has such a negative connotation and give it positive one. He wants to say it’s time for a “time-out” several times a day so our daughter learns that we need to take break from what we are doing to bond and show each other love.
I couldn’t agree more! What a great way to have a time-out!
When my daughter gets older and hears someone has to go on “time-out” hopefully she will give them a hug or ask where is his/her mommy or daddy to give them a hug.
After hearing my husband’s version of time-outs and the way I interpreted it I realized the perfect time-out in our family will be a combination of what he said and what I understood. We won’t have time-outs nor use this word in the sense that is currently used.
Let’s all take away the negative connotation that comes with using the word “time-out” and let’s start using time-outs as a time to reconnect with our kids and help guide them through their emotions and the situation.
I am happy to say we will be having plenty of time-outs in our family…for love and bonding.
Do you take time out of your day to show and tell your children how much you love them?