Sunday, 1 July 2012

Time Out on Time Out

When you send me to my room, put me on the 'naughty step', thinking cushion, calm down zone, out of the classroom, down from the table how do you think I feel? 

At that moment when I have hit my brother, snatched the toy, knocked my tea on the floor, shouted "no" in your face, ignored you for the nth time, refused to do what you tell me, I have pushed you too far.  To make you angry with me was not my intention, I wanted your attention, I wasn't concentrating, I had switched off, I was being a child and just wanted the toy, was frustrated with my brother but now I am in trouble.

Sitting on this stair, standing in this corridor, sitting away from you, from everyone, how do I feel?  How do you want me to feel?  Sorry, ashamed, like I want to be good now, full of regret, upset, embarassed.   Are you angry, don't you like me, don't you want me around you right now, are you frustrated with me, do I make you despair of me, do you keep hoping I will start behaving better soon, are you disappointed with me?

Sitting here, standing here, I feel rage, despair, rubbish, sad, lonely, not good enough, like I messed up again, stupid, embarassed, confused, like I got it wrong again, cold, bored, worried, like I just want to be near you.  Now I can't remember what I did, just how I feel, I can see you are upset with me and have shut off from me, sorry, say sorry you say.  I'll whisper it but can't look into your face as I might see how upset you are with me and that might hurt me too much.

Can I only be around you then if I get things right?  How do I know what is right?  Time out shows me what you don't want but then I forget.  What I really would like is time with you when I get things wrong, your guidance and teaching will help me understand why its not OK to snatch something, hurt another, shout at some one.  Time with you will help me unpick the strong feelings I had and the feelings I have caused in others.  Time with you and your acceptance that sometimes I do get things wrong, try your patience, make you feel upset, angry, frustrated, not because I want to but because I'm learning and to do that well I need acceptance, reassurance and understanding not stairs, steps and isolation.  


  1. This made me cry this morning... I see and understand it Jane, but it is not easy to impliment... And then as a parent you see yourself doing something like time out or shouting that you don't want to do, so you start to get angry with yourself and dissapointed in yourself and then if becomes in possibile to see through the dark clouds....And then it's the same for the adult, if it is hard to love yourself then it's hard to let others (your child) love you in that moment... you just want to be left alone... Always a kiss and a cuddle after the clouds have past...

  2. None of it is easy Ruthie, we all have difficult days and moments as a parent/carer/teacher/childminder/nursery worker. It is just sometimes important to remember or realise the impact we have on the children we are raising but it is so we can learn not feel bad about ourselves as we are all learning everyday and that is the best thing of all as the children in our care will benefit.

    Hugs, cuddles work better than any parenting method I know of as they soothe us and the child and then we can begin again and learn together.