Why You Need to Give Yourself Time Outs as a Parent
Do you ever give your kids time outs? Time outs to refresh and regroup can be so, so valuable both for kids and for us. We've kind of been trained to look at time outs as punishment; what if we look at them as a way to get a grip so we (or our kids) don't lose it? It's all right to give yourself permission to take a time out when you're ready to blow! Trust me, it can make all the difference in the world.
Quick Ideas for Giving Yourself Time Outs as a Parent (works for kids, too!)
1. Deep Breathing.
This you can do right there with your kids. Slowly breathe in for a count of five; breathe out for a count of five. Repeat four or five times. It's amazing how deep breathing has the capacity to calm us and center us. This one also can work for our kids: when Benjamin or Hannah get "super, mega, angry", I've taught them to count to ten slowly and then take a deep breath. Works like a charm most of the time!
Related: How to Handle Actions and Consequences as a Parent
2. Grab a Quick Snack.
Are you hangry? When was the last time you ate? As busy moms, it's SO, SO easy to push through, focus on the kids, and neglect to feed yourself. Often, by the time we feel those hunger gremlins rear their ugly heads, we're already past the point of no return and either lose it or grab oodles of fatty carbs to bring our blood sugar back up. The end result is that we gain weight (Ugh!) and still risk losing it in the time it takes for our blood sugar to rebound.
If you're prone to this, set a reminder in your phone so you remember to eat. I use protein bars for this a lot, since it can get me through longer periods of time when I'm not able to graze on fruits or veggies. Store some nuts or snacks in your car for emergencies (those little packs of goldfish have saved me on more than one occasion!) Make sure you're drinking enough, too. Thirst can masquerade as hunger and make everything worse. These are things to keep in mind about your kids. Just like we can get hangry or thirsty, so can they! It's an underlying reason for bad behavior a lot of the time.
3. Do Ten Jumping Jacks.
Well, not really. :o) Ummm, maybe, if you're at home or some place where you can. Exercise keeps our vibration up and produces endorphins. This is another thing you can quickly do with your kids as well. It gets your heart pumping in a good way; it gets your energy up, and it can totally channel your frustration (or theirs) into something positive. I give myself this kind of time out a lot. Drop and give me ten! You can do push ups, squats, jumping jacks, lunges, running in place; all will help you regroup and leave you feeling better!
These are just a few examples of adult time outs that work. To see a bunch more, check out my free guide here:
Hi, I'm Beth. I help busy moms ditch the overwhelm and gain confidence, so they can enjoy parenting more, yell less, and have peaceful kids and a happy family.