You’ve probably all seen the “Mom on Strike” video (click on the video to watch). Listening to her, I can feel a little empathy; what mom hasn’t wanted to go on strike, at some point? There are some days I’ve felt so fed up with my children, I’m counting the minutes till Jang gets home so I can hand at least one of them off to him.
Even right now, I’m writing this post while my son is in his room for a time out, watching a few minutes of Frozen.
“What?!” You might think, “Letting your son watch videos in time out isn’t punishment!” And you’re right. He isn’t in time out; but I am.
Even as a young mom, I’ve already learned there are times when children just won’t cooperate; punish them, cajole them, bribe them, threaten them—they just won’t do what you want them to do. If your kids are anything like my toddler, they have the will of a tyrant. When he wants something, you have to be pretty creative to get his mind off of getting that thing. To reach things we’ve taken away, he’s made step stools out of everything–from clothes to boxes to toilet paper. (So-o much toilet paper).
Of course, I can always force him to do what I want. But that gets tiring. Sometimes, after a day of pestering and high-spirited behavior, I get so fed up that the slightest thing could tip me over the edge.
So, even though I’m generally opposed to parking your kids in front of the T.V. or tablet, there are times I just need ten minutes (or twenty, or thirty) to just chill out.
I do something for myself—blog, listen to an audiobook, or watch Downton Abbey. I don’t worry about television rotting his brain, or really anything at all. I do exactly what I want to do, just for a few minutes.
Then, when I’ve calmed down and retrieved my toddler from his media haze, something magical has happened: he’s better-behaved. Sometimes the time out was just enough of an interruption to make him forget his mischief-making. Other times, I just have a renewed patience and can channel his energy into more constructive activities.
My mommy time outs have already had a positive effect on our relationship. When I’m calmer, my discipline is more consistent and less reactionary. This helps him learn more quickly which is appropriate behavior, and which behavior that will get him punished. He’s learning to control himself.
Don’t get me wrong, he still has a will of steel. But we’re working on this parenting thing together. Hopefully, we’ll be able to figure it out in the next 16 years or so.