Monday, December 19, 2011

Re-Thinking "Time-Outs"

I needed to go to the grocery store. Isaac was of course pantless, isn't he always? So I told him, "Put your pants on" and the tantrum began. When he cries, he doesn't just whine, he lets it all out. Yelling, kicking, and more yelling. All because of pants. Boy. I could feel my blood pressure rising, I wanted to send him to his room . Except I didn't. Instead, I sat there on the floor with him and held him. He clawed at me, he tried to bite and hit me he kept yelling. It was lots of fun. Ha. Bu I just kept whispering in his ear, "I love you, it's OK." And he would swat at me some more. Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, he started to calm down. Through his near hyperventilating he began to say, "Mommy, I just need a hug." So I hugged him and just like that all was well again. And he put on his pants without fussing.


I seriously am rethinking my approach to tantrums.

I have heard of the term "Time-In" before, but honestly never really considered it. Time-Outs the way we do them {non-reactionary, as gentle as possible and talking about what happened after} appeared to be working. Appeared, but the reality is that they weren't, even with all the accompanying parenting. The behaviour that led to them continued to happen {whether it was the next day or within 5 minutes} and they didn't really solve the issue as the kiddo was left feeling rejected and un-well.. So needless to say, we were starting to feel near our rope's end. After all we are in this phase so many like to call "The Terrible Two's".

In preparation for a Parenting workshop I am facilitating next month, I've been doing a lot of reading and re-reading of pertinent material. And working on what I plan to include in the workshop material. I knew I wanted to incorporate the experience I had with Isaac, but I wasn't even sure what had happened and why it worked.

In my search, I came across the blog Super Protective Factor (the blog for the Hand in Hand Parenting foundation) and read about Staylistenng. It really intrigued me. The critic in me thought, "That would never work with my kiddos." But I was wrong. As I saw with Isaac the other day, it really did work and was exactly what he needed.

They have several other techniques, all with the purpose to enhance the parent-child connection. Right up my alley! Some of the techniques, I was already familiar with, but this staylistening concept really opened up my eyes and heart, because it demanded more of me, or at least challenged my current beliefs and approach on tantrums and misbehaviour.

I love challenging myself and allowing myself to grow as a parent {and as a person}. I am hoping to take one of the parenting classes they offer to learn more.

I am really excited to keep working on this! Their techniques seems to work with Maddie too {surprise, surprise!} so I am looking forward to see how this affects our home environment more long-term.

I'll keep you posted!

1 comment:

  1. That's so cool – I hope you blog more about your journey. I haven't heard the term "staylistening," but it sounds like something I need to practice for sure!


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