Friday, June 24, 2011

A 5 hour time out

peace - it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.  (unknown)

My ultimate goal is peace - earthly and heavenly - but that doesn't mean our lives are always absent of trouble and hard work.  My main Mothering goal is to remain consistently calm in my heart in the midst of trouble and hard work.

So, here's a story for you.

Sophie's been a little sassy the past few weeks (or years!), and here's my story.  I will NOT have a sassy, disrespectful 7 year old.  I keep envisioning a 13 year old daughter.  What is my end goal?  That will not happen on accident.  I don't want to wish for a re-do.  I'm going to fight NOW.

So, as "simple" as I can keep it - she's out - zero tolerance.  If she comes down the stairs in the morning and is sassy from the get go, she's gone.  Good-bye - back to your room.  And so on - throughout the day.  You may not tarnish our day.

It's that simple.

So, at swim school this morning, she lit up in the locker room - totally sassy and disrespectful to me (I was soooo proud of myself and the calmness I displayed) as we were heading out.  I calmly said, "When we get home you will go straight to your room.  I will bring you lunch.  You will stay for 2 hours (that's equivalent to a rest time).  If you ask to come out, time will be added.  If you yell and stomp on your way, time will be added.  Am I clear?"  But then, Daddy came home for lunch, had a meeting with us and added to the time... hence, 5 hours - 11:30-4:30 (of course, she came out a few times to use the restroom and ask some questions, but she could not join our "party" until 4:30)  The longevity of the consequence - and the fact that she was missing out on playtime with our house guests and even a trip to the zoo - was huge.

So, here's the success.

She served her consequence with grace and peace.  She had a beautiful afternoon and evening.  I remained calm.  Josh and I had a beautiful conversation this afternoon on parenting and our goals and intentions.  I'm empowered.  Simple Parenting.  Say less.  Calm is Power.  Don't let these battles get us worked up.  It's simple.  Really!?  Fight NOW.  What is your end goal?  It won't happen on accident.  It's simple.  Really?!  If you take out the emotion, it is.  But... that is my biggest challenge - and that is why I'm thankful for my husband.  He makes it so simple, and he clarifies things for me.

I'm writing this to empower you and my children (if they ever read this in the future).  Say less.  Don't engage in the emotion and manipulation.  Calm is power.  Consistently calm.  State the consequence and follow through.  We will begin to see results - some day - and I'm confident it will be beautiful.

I'm hopeful and inspired!

I'm grateful for my blogland community and the encouragement I receive from each of you!

Please take a moment to say hello!  :)


  1. Myah - I wish I would have had your wisdom (and resourdes) when my kids were little. It's so easy to let emotion get the best of you and get dragged into an argument. Simple - and follow through - are key. Empty threats don't produce anything except more of the behavior you don't want, because they learn that there really are no consequences.

    The only caveat to time alone in their room is if you have a child (like one of my grand kids) who is perfectly fine with being by herself for hours - and if their room is full of toys to occupy them. Then it's not really a consequence.

  2. Thank you, Joan! :) Most of our toys are in our basement toy room. She does have books, which I'm fine with, and Sophie does NOT like to be alone. But, she really did serve the consequence with grace and peace. The longevity of the consequence - and the fact that she was missing out on playtime with our house guests and even a trip to the zoo - was huge. She was amazing from 4:30 and on. I was inspired! I think she did a lot of reflecting in there. Thank you for the encouragement! :)

  3. Uh...2 hour rest! Daily? :~) -Jen

  4. Jen, NO - she does not do a 2 hour rest daily. Sophie and Halle have 30 minutes-ish of Room Time daily. But, my thought process went a little something like this... "If you're going to act like a 2 year old, then you can rest like a 2 year old. for 2 hours! or 5 hours!" :)

  5. Myah, I'm not ready for my girls to grow up! I thought two was supposed to be a challenging age, but seven sounds rough. I'm reading Grace-based Discipline right now. Have you read it?

  6. Steph, I'm going to write a bit about your comment. :) Thank you for the book suggestion! I have not read it, but I'll add it to my list.


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