Time Out

It’s hard to imagine that this sweet little girl looking up at you could behave any differently from what that little innocent face portrays, isn’t it?  It’s true she is the sweetest little sixteen-month old girl on the planet, but according to her mom she’s quickly closing in on what they call the “terrible twos” and I can attest, due to the magic of our frequent Skype visits, that she has a mind of her own and knows how to push her mom’s buttons already!  My daughter has started giving her short periods of time-out to teach her what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t. 

I was thinking about time-out as I was driving home this afternoon.  The concept is to separate the little one from the unacceptable behavior and provide an opportunity for them to calm down and make a better choice when they are removed from the time out.  I think I could use a time-out sometimes.  I have a tendancy to become very focused (perhaps obsessive) on the task at hand to the exclusion of everything around me. 

My husband might suggest I need a time-out on Saturday mornings when I am driven to write; my yorkies might suggest I need one when they want to play and I am in the middle of a good book; my co-workers might suggest a time-out would be in order when it’s time to participate in one latest team-building “fun” activities and I feel I have too much work to do.

I recently realized I needed a time-out first thing in the morning.  For years I have had a morning routine that I rarely deviated from from the moment my feet hit the floor, but for the past few weeks I have mixed it up a bit.  I’m forcing myself to slow down and take better care of myself.  (I heard someone say recently “if you wear out your body, where are you going to live?”)  Unbelievably, it’s working!  Those few minutes that I take my morning time-out carry through to the rest of my day and help me be more mindful of making healthier choices for myself.  Who knew it would actually work for an old ‘gal like me?!

Have you taken any time-outs lately?  Do you need to take any time-outs?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I have to agree…time outs are great….used them with my kiddos…and everyone had a time to re-think their actions…me included…

  2. I think if I don't find time for a time-out once a day I'd blow up. Naturally implode.

    I've found 3-4 to be a trickier age so far. Two was easy compared to 3 1/2.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Wendy – Our children are all so individual, aren't they. Wait until they get to be teenagers – now that's tricky!
    Deb – Yup I agree. Mom's need time out to regroup as well.

  4. I really like this mom!
    Wendy, yikes please don't say that about it getting worse…though as my mom proceeds to mention…"just wait for the teenage years"!!

  5. Laurinda, here's the bright side of having a willful toddler. By the time we made it through my daughter's terrible twos (and she had straightened out my foolish belief that I would be in charge of choosing what she would wear and fixing her hair the way I wanted it) Lex had me so well trained that her teen years were an absolute breeze! All my friends were envious.

  6. Laurinda, I think Makaya's teenage years will be an incredible adventure! She is a bright little girl with an wonderful mom! (not to mention that grandma hanging around in the wings!)

  7. Becky – LOL we all think we can tell our little ones what to wear and how to do their hair, don't we! Laurinda was trying to put Makiya's hair in a pony tail the other day and she was fighting it all the way. Although when she relented, she did look mighty cute! (think Pebbles from the Flintstones!)

  8. We just put up a screened gazebo on our deck this year, for the first time. I'm suspecting I'll be having more time-outs out there than I should!

  9. Joanne, that sounds like a wonderful place for a time-out! Let me know if you want company!

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