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?!