Time Outs; Not just for children

25 Sep Time Outs; Not just for children

As parents our actions have a lot of power. We are constantly modeling the behavior our children mimic and setting the environment for their developing minds. Recently I found myself having one of “those days.” The kind of day when you’re super frustrated, everyone and everything is pissing you off and nothing seems to be working out. When I get in that state, I know I’m not caring for myself and certainly can’t offer anything constructive or caring to those around me. As a yoga teacher I have a rich tool box of mindfulness techniques to choose from. I invite you to try it.
I give myself a time out. Yes, the same kind children get. If I’m acting badly and my presence and involvement in my surroundings is negatively impacting my family or co-workers, I completely remove myself from the situation. By taking a moment or two, I find I am able to get still and quiet. I can reflect on what’s bothering me and in a more rational state of mind, I can see the issue with some distance rather than feeling the hurricane of emotions violently swirling around.
After a few moments, I can return to the situation and calmly discuss what isn’t sitting right with me or perhaps I simply needed to resolve the issue within myself and further conversation is unnecessary.
Not only does my “time out” help keep the peace at home, but my kids see me actively taking responsibility for my own moods and actions. My daughter even has taken it upon herself to find her own way of taking a personal time out. Sometimes she goes to her room, other times, she curls up in her play tent in the playroom. Last time this happened, I asked her what she was doing and she said, between teary gasps, she was getting calm.
I think the beauty of this practice is it’s gentle reminder that whether you’re a parent or child you need to ensure your needs are being met. As a parent you’re doing this for your child- don’t forget to include yourself. Our children can be powerful mirrors to our personalities and loving reminders of the grace we need to afford ourselves and model to them.
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