Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Go to your room"...or "Time-out"

Yesterday, D and I were playing Hide and Go Seek in the hotel room.  She specifically said that I was not to peer over anything that was white (ie, the bed, the comforter, the pillow).  We played that for a bit.  But then her last hiding place was to the side of bed such that if I were walking toward her from the sliding glass door, I technically would not walk past it to peer because it's white.
What I did was walked past the bed,
around the corner, then back again and discovered her.

That made her mad!!  "You are not supposed to look behind anything white!"  She screamed (my daughter is, by now, pretty notorious for her least notorious to me and the hubs) and then she tosses her swimming goggles that happened to be in her hands directly at my head.  And, nails my head!

Well, because I am quite familiar with her temper (as she clearly gets it from me), I found that act rather amusing so did not get mad.  But also did not let it go unnoticed.  I sent her to the bathroom.  "You may go in there until you are ready to come out and apologize."

She and I both knew that her behavior was unacceptable.  I'm pretty sure she was just thankful I didn't launch into a tirade.  I can be pretty scary sometimes.  It's sad to admit but I'm just being honest here.

So, she goes into the bathroom for maybe 2 minutes, then comes out and apologizes.  All is done.

Something else happens, I can't what. I send her to bathroom, she comes out within less the minute.  "Sorry mama."  Done.  It wasn't anything monumental.

Then as I'm sleeping this morning...I wake up in the wee hours and can't get back to sleep.  Sometimes I do some of my best thinking either late at night in bed or in the wee morning hours. I should start sleeping with a journal by my bed.

Anyhoo, I thought y'know, by sending her to the bathroom, I basically was sweeping the "issue" right under the rug.  The temper tantrum and unsightly behavior of manifesting her anger physically was not addressed at all.  In further contemplation, what I should've done was something maybe like this:

When said pair of goggles hit my head, I could've just picked up the goggles then gone over to D and taken her hands and said very gently, "Hey, hey...that's not how we treat each other.  It's not kind to throw something at mommy's head just because you are frustrated."  In that moment, it probably would've diffused her anger a bit and I would've addressed the physical outburst issue in a kind and caring manner.

Which then led me to think - "Time outs are just band aids."  They don't fix anything and they certainly don't help a child that is acting out.  Now if I could just think fast enough in these situations to act accordingly....I aspire...I aspire..

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