Posted by: Meagan | May 23, 2009

Time Out!

I was a working mom for almost the first year of my son’s life, then my husband finished school and we moved for his new job… I quickly learned that staying home was not for woosies. I found out fast that I needed to control myself and mostly my frustration with my son. He would cry and I couldn’t figure out why, he would misbehave, etc. I then instituted a “Mommy Time Out” (which I am actually in right now).

A MTO is when I feel too frustrated or angry and need to step back. I feel very strongly that parents should not discipline children when angry. It only scares them to see mommy out of control, and then she spanks or is too physical putting them in time out. The reason a child should behave is not out of fear but knowing what is actually right or wrong. I was getting too frustrated, and before I could trust him alone in a room, but I needed 5 minutes to calm down I would put him in his crib, shut the door, go to my room and calm down. Once I had control of myself I would go get him, and explain what made mommy so angry/frustrated then I would apologize. I think apologies are key because I believe that they show your child that you respect them and in return they will respect you. It is hard to apologize and I admit I felt dumb doing it the first few times, but it was well worth it.

Now MTOs happen far less often, and I don’t feel silly talking to my son about my frustrations and apologizing. By learning to control my frustration/anger when he was small I deal with his tantrums as a toddler with a much more even keel. I am calm, I give him to the count of three to stop misbehaving, if he doesn’t he knows he has to go to timeout. He knows where time out is, and goes to it, and (mostly) stays there until I say otherwise.

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