Make Use of the Adult Time-out

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou may think time-outs are a strategy just used with children, but you would be sadly mistaken. I learned early on in my parenting the beauty of the adult time-out.

When we give ourselves a few moments to cool off we can prevent all kinds of heinous crimes to humanity. I vividly remember sitting on my bed one time saying, “You need to leave the room and give me a little time to myself. Think of mommy like she’s in time-out. I’ll talk to you in a little while, otherwise I might be really ugly to you right now.”

My husband demonstrated the value of this piece of heaven a few months back. A few times a year we decide to do “church” at home. This could be because someone is sick or we’ve just had an incredibly busy weekend. We always do a mini-lesson of some kind with our boys and sing a few songs. On this particular day I had them do a scripture scrapbook picture, and I felt like I had chosen the perfect activity to engage them. My oldest, for reasons I will never understand, decided to become incredibly uncooperative. I assure you, this behavior was truly unusual for him.

Jason’s body language indicated he might just explode. He desperately attempted to hang on to his temper. His face steadily grew more red as he tried to convince our son to cooperate. Deftly, he rose from the table and retreated into the adjoining room for a few minutes. I knew exactly why, and offered thanks that my husband knew how to practice self-control.

Why does life so often work this way? Our best laid plans blow up in our faces. We find ourselves teetering on the brink of a break-down, fit, yelling match, or fight over the most inane circumstances. By golly, Sunday morning was supposed to be easier staying at home avoiding the hurry up, get dressed, get in the car regular routine! We’re trying to be spiritual people!

Regardless of whether you have children, I encourage you to use this life-saving technique. Step away from the ledge!

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