Hello to all! I am starting with the first out of 5 of my “Patient Parenting” series. Today, I am going to cover “Giving Yourself Timeout”. I plan on doing one criteria per week, so that we can all practice one habit at a time.
Why do I call these tips a habit? We learn habits, and we create habits. Some say it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. If we look at Patient Parenting as a habit that we would like to practice, we can become more successful that way. If we overwhelm ourselves with too many habits to practice in one day or even in just one week, it is more than likely we will fail, or break the habit. Just like any habit we want to acquire, such as, smoking cessation, or exercising, we all need to start slow, and slowly progress to achieve the results we want.
Therefore, this week let’s start with:
Giving Yourself Timeout
A lot of times when our child does something we do not like, such as, tantrums or disobedience, we tend to raise our voice and say :
“Don’t do that!”
“I’m calling Mommy/Daddy!”
“Stop that or else…!”
However, often times our children look at us without a care in the world, and it drives us nuts! Am I right?! Then, we just keep raising our voice, lose our cool, and give orders that toddlers sometimes cannot comprehend or achieve. According to Green Child Magazine, during the age of 2 “the midbrain (the emotional brain) and the prefrontal cortex (the logical brain) have poor connection and communication. So while a child’s emotional brain is capable of experiencing strong feelings, his logical brain is not capable of appropriately acting on those feelings. The resulting behavior is a “flipped lid,” or emotional meltdown in which he expresses his feelings in the only way his brain is capable: yelling, crying, and carrying on.” Therefore, the time we waste trying to blatantly say “NO, DON’T DO THAT!” to our child in a yelling manner is quite useless. Which in return makes a little more aggravated.
So, the first habit we need to practice is giving ourselves timeout. Sure, you’re confused or upset with your child for misbehaving or not listening to your directions, but as a toddler with an immature brain, they cannot fully comprehend our long elaborated sentences with an endless list of orders. Thus, we need to pause and breathe. Before having a “tantrum” yourself, take a moment and collect yourself. Easy to say, but hard to do.
Examples of giving yourself timeout:
-If you’re public with your child, calmly take your child to the corner of the store, or back into the car, count to 10 and practice deep breathing. Think of something positive your child has done that day to ease your mind.
-If you’re at home, put your child in a safe place like their bedroom, and let them have their space while you have yours.
-At this time, take a moment in your bedroom, or bathroom. Count to 10 or to 30 and just breathe, and talk to yourself about what you are going to say and how you’re going to say it.
When you are finished giving yourself a timeout, return to your child. This week, let us first practice pausing and taking a moment to breathe before reacting to our child’s misbehavior or tantrums. Slowly practicing this can create a healthier habit of communication in your life, not just with your children, but also with others. We not only become upset with misbehavior from our children, but also the actions of other individuals. Therefore, try also using this first habit with your spouse, colleagues, or any one you may encounter.
Next week, will touch base on avoiding harsh or yelling tone. How do you give yourself a timeout? What do you do, or where do you go? Do you find it helpful with your family?
I’d love to hear your feedbacks and if you found this post helpful! Please let me know if you’d like to contribute to the series, and if you have any questions!
Thanks for stopping by!
Til Next Time,