I get a sticker for giving myself a time-out

Discipline is one of the trickiest things for all of us. Mastering time-outs, time-ins, punishments, restrictions, rewards, incentives, accountability, teaching… this is some of the real work of parenting.

Responding well to unexpected behaviors requires us to be ready: ready with a plan and a measure of calm. The emotions around these tricky times run high for everyone involved. As the grown-up, stepping back (or away for a bit) helps us to see more clearly and react as we want to.

We are not always going to get it right – that is what do-overs and forgiveness are for. But a deep breath is always a good option.

One of the best things in your discipline tool box is your time-out. Your ability to step back and settle is important both in the moment and as a model of healthy self-control and balance. You deserve a shiny sticker for your choice to pause and reengage in a better state.

I get a sticker for taking a time-out.

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