I recognize that in most houses time out is a useful and effective tool for diffusing a situation. I also recognize that asking my SPD kids to go to time out in the middle of or at the start of a meltdown is the equivalent of expecting to hit Powerball every time you by a ticket! You know, for most of us we may hit a $3 winner but in our lifetimes the chances of every seeing the big payoff are pretty much non-existent.
Let me tell you, Time out, while not effective for my children in our world is effective for, hang onto your seats folks, ME!! Yes, that's right, Mommy LOVES time out!!!
You know those moments when your child has hit the motherload of all meltdowns? The physical challenges of protecting yourself, your family and your child from his powerful anger? The emotionally draining moments when you know that if this continues for even one more minute you will fall into a heap of emotional garbage right in the middle of the kitchen floor? I know these moments all too well! Since leaving Preschool this past June these moments are frequent!
I have found the moment where I can find peace and my kids can learn that Mommy can't handle it all. Yes, you read that right, I CAN NOT HANDLE IT ALL!!! I know, to actually admit it? What's wrong with me? I'm super mom right??? Full time job, managing meltdowns, negotiating lego allotment (which we're currently doing at the kitchen table as I type this) and I do reach my limits.
In this moment, the moment where I want to walk right out my door and hope someone else will step in, a SPD fairy godmother of sorts, to save me from this madness I'm living in, I have found peace in TIME OUT.
Ironically, in these moments where I warn my frustrated child that I have no patience left in me only then to say "I'm done, Mommy is going in TIME OUT" I have found that place where nothing can hurt me or bother me. I walk away from the chaos, close (and lock, this is a very critical point to make here) my bedroom door and lay on my bed. I don't say a word. I don't respond to anything. I don't turn the t.v. on. I don't read a book. I just lay there, looking up at the ceiling and yes folks, I smile. I smile because I have found my peaceful place in the midst of complete chaos.
Don't get my wrong, I felt guilty the first time I did this. What horrible parent could walk away from their child in an uncontrollable time of need? Do I feel guilty any more? NO... You see, about 2 minutes after moving into a peaceful space I heard my children crying. This wasn't an angry cry, rather a sad cry. They wanted me, better yet THEY RECOGNIZED THEY NEEDED ME!!! What an amazing feeling. It's enough of a break, usually 3 minutes of time that feels like an hour, for my children to "snap" out of whatever meltdown they have entered into and recognize that I am not there to fix it.
Once I've felt that I've spent enough time visiting the peaceful land of TIME OUT I open my door, walk down the hallway and sit down. Eventually my boys calm down and we talk about how it's ok that Mommy went to time out and that sometimes, yes sometimes, Mommy's need a break and time away just as much as little boys.
I dare each of you to try this someday... and I hope that just maybe you will find the peaceful place for just a few minutes that I have discovered..
On that note, Lego meltdown has begun and we are now entering Mach 5!!! good night