Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Time Out

What do you get when you combine this book, guilt, a whiny child and a nosy retailer? A trip to IKE@! Magic 123 has been a wonderful resource and if you follow it I think it's very good. It's a time out method with some skill involved. Some of the things I've found most important are being consistent, staying calm, follow through and hugs. However, time outs (especially in public) are guilt inducers for me even though I know they work, every child needs discipline and in the end it's a positive thing.

I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes Buttons cries and whines. Ok, she's 2 so it's not so hard to believe. We were shopping with our friend B. and her two daughters who are all very close in age and want to do all the same things. Buttons wanted to push a cart around and I wanted her to stay in the cart. I was going to let her down after we had shopped for a little while, but she started the whining. One of the things I'm trying to convey to her is that whining will not get you what you want. So, I started using the Magic 123 system. She whines, I count one. She whines again I count two and up to 3 when she gets a time out. This becomes challenging in public because the child is not supposed to have any interaction during this time but I would never leave her alone. So, I have her safely buckled in the seat and put her next to a column and stood three feet away. She can see me, I can see her, but I'm trying my best to do a time out for her. She cries and says "mommy" and I'm doing best to stand my guilt ridden ground.

Next thing I know an employee comes up and asks Buttons where her mother is. I'm thinking ok, maybe she doesn't understand that I'm her mom since we do look a bit different from each other. Then I tell her I'm the mom and she's in a time out right now. The woman stares. Blink. Blink. Blink. Finally I say "It's ok." She continues to stare and then says "you will take care of her, right?" to which I reply "it's ok and yes I will take care of her". Then I surprise myself and stand my ground by waiting until Buttons' time out is over before I go to her. I didn't do anything wrong, damnit and I don't want Buttons thinking that if she cries loud enough to get someone to come over that I'll just cave. I can so easily cave on so much in my life, but I want my girl to feel secure and I think this is a decent way to do it.

I did go to her, gave her a big hug and let her know time out was over. She asked where her friends were and we went to look for them. I knew they aren't far because my friend is also a believer in this system, so she knew we'd only have time out for 2 minutes (1 minute for every year of the child). Buttons calmed down and asked for a snack. Ah yes, hunger can make anyone crabby. So, snacks were served, details given about future plans of the shopping trip. My friend asked the girls to raise their hands if they were ready for lunch. Oh, the hands went up fast. Time out forgotten. A little bit of my own guilt remains. Arrrgghhh.

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At June 27, 2007 at 6:42 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

YOU GO MOM!!! That's hard work & YOU DID IT! I'm checking it out.

At June 28, 2007 at 8:23 AM, Blogger Marsha Brofka-Berends said...

Don't let other people make you feel guilty about your parenting. You have nothing to worry about!

At June 28, 2007 at 9:44 AM, Blogger wzgirl said...

Great job, Mom! Magic 123 rocks tha' house. And, apparantly Ikeaaa, too.

At June 28, 2007 at 2:08 PM, Blogger Katie J said...

Thanks friends.

At July 2, 2007 at 5:17 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Don't feel guilty. In the store where I work I see kids all the time who need a good time out (although I would gladly volunteer to give some of them a spanking because they have moved waaaaay beyond the time out stage), but whose parents just indulge them endlessly. You are doing great!


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