You should have seen her face. It was like I had just explained to her what water boarding was. (Or some other form of torture)
Let me bring you back to the scenario.
My dear mom visited us this last weekend and as usual after a long day we ended up gathered around the kitchen table with a seemingly endless cup of tea and the best of talks. (Best of talks are usually combined with an oversized cup of tea, you know)
Anyway I had told her a story about a couple asking for advice on their child and said that they had used time out and it hadn’t worked.
(My mom): what’s time out?
Mind you this from a woman who is college educated and intelligent.
So I explained to her the concept of “time out” and that there are parents who use this technique when handling their children.
At first she stared at me like I had jut explained water boarding and repeated back what I had just said. I confirmed that she had indeed understood me correctly.
(My mom): ….and people do this to their kids? You’ve got to be kidding me?!
At first her reaction kind of made me giggle because here’s this intelligent, educated woman just now hearing about time outs.
Tonight it hit me. It wasn’t that she didn’t grasp the concept that had made her question me and had made me have to repeat myself several times. It was the fact that it, in her mind, was so wildly outrageous that she couldn’t even fathom that anybody would put their kids through this and think it was ok. It also made me realize even more how much I love her and how blessed I am having her as my mom. I sometimes wonder where I got my moral compass, and although she’s probably say I’ve always had it, I can’t help to think her as my dad had a lot to do with it. It makes me very grateful to think about.
I always have and always will be against time outs. To me it shows that you don’t know how to resolve a conflict in a proper way but that you resort to asserting your dominance over your child because “I’m their parent and you WILL obey me”. I think it’s counter productive and all you really teach your child is that they are bad ppl and need to be punished and that love is conditional (the love for a child should ALWAYS be UNconditional!) and can be removed by alienating the child and sending him/her to their room. All you’ve really done is say “I can’t deal with you right now, you’re the problem. Go away and return when you are nice again” when really you as a parent need to learn a better, more effective and healthier way of communicating with your child.
If you want to know more about why and how time outs are harmful to children you can click HERE