Tuesday, August 18, 2009

back to timeout

Again with the lull in posting... Been busy over here, family in town, Mitch's brother and wife and daughters, which was great big amounts of fun and energy and no time for posting. They're gone now, back to our routine.

I've reinstituted timeout. I'd been having so many problems with responding to Frances when she shoves Clark--I become a screaming lunatic. I was really struggling, hating the way I was so enraged but unable to control it. So we've gone back to timeout. I've done it not for Frances--I don't really think it helps her or teaches her not to do whatever she's doing--but for me. And so far it works! Rather than having to come up with a response to each situation, I have something I can turn to; I can send her to timeout. I don't have to question myself because the consequence of her action is already built in.

When I decided to try this route I told her about it and how it would work. She agreed to this, but the first 2 times she did have a bit of a fit. I allow her to have her blanket and paci in timeout (after all, it's supposed to be a time to calm down for her, and what better way?) but no toys. Now that she understands the rules it runs pretty smoothly. Thank goodness.

In other news, Clark is down to one nap a day! He made the transition practically over night--it's amazing how flexible he is--and can go down for his nap anywhere within a 2 hour window. If I pushed F's nap back that much at his age she would fall into a hundred pieces, bless her heart. But not Clark! I'm so relieved to have an easy one. If I knew the 3rd might be as relaxed I think I'd consider it more seriously. But I'm not considering it.

Now and then I come up with yet another reason we should not have another baby and I announce it to Mitch, which he finds funny because he's already decided we're done. I guess somewhere inside I still wonder, or long, or something, but I do have quite a long list of reasons it would be better for us to stop with two. I'm sticking to it.


Paige said...

I think with this post, you sort of commented on your pp about playing/talking all the time with your kids. Of course, it's important to play with your kids; but it's also important to remember that there are a billion ways to raise your kids, and what works for other people won't necessarily work for your kids, or for you. Just like time-outs; they work for Frances, but maybe they won't work for Clark, and they certainly don't seem to work for Ozzy. Same with playing/talking to your kids non-stop all day: some kids might thrive on it, others might feel smothered. And don't forget about YOU! If you're doing something supposedly for your kids, but it makes you resent them like hell and blow up at them and generally makes your time with them not-quality time, then it's time to try something else. I just let Marley CIO today for the first time today, bc I realized that I was getting into the same situation that I did with Ozzy, where I spent way too much time getting them to sleep, which I resented on several levels, and which made me yell at them. So, I decided this was the better course of action (20 mins AM nap, just 10 mins PM nap; broke my heart completely both times).
Just like you can't judge other people for parenting different from you do, you can't judge yourself for not parenting like others do. You just have to find your own way, based on trial and error, and intuition, and knowledge.

Amy said...

"Just like you can't judge other people for parenting different from you do, you can't judge yourself for not parenting like others do. You just have to find your own way, based on trial and error, and intuition, and knowledge."

This may be one of the best comments I've ever read. Really sums it up that you (generic you here, not "Cali/you") have to do what is right for your family and try not to compare to what others are doing. Sure, it's great to borrow/reject parenting ideas and advice from friends, but as each child and each family is unique, there often aren't one size fits all solutions to lifes issues.

In terms of time outs, my kids react so differently from them. Sarah just kind of has always gone quietly into them (well, after a minute or two she's quiet) and has been quick to apologize and get it over with. Megan, on the other hand, goes kicking and screaming and usually stays that way for at least 1/2 of the experience. It then can take her up to 10 minutes to utter an apology (and usually one so quiet that you can barely hear it). Sometimes time out is for you in an attempt to difuse the situation so you can deal. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. I also just leave the room when they have gotten me to my boiling point or I start looking towards the skies and counting to 10 and this usually freaks them out so much ("what is mommy looking at, why can't I see it, mommy-why aren't you looking at us") that they stop the behavior and we move on.

Cali-I continue to think that your honesty and your constant desire to be the best you can be is still the best gift you can give your kids. Are you going to have days where nothing you do is "right"? Of course, but in the grand scheme of things, I read your blog and can tell that your intentions are sincere and that you do the best you can (which is all any of us can do).

As always, a pleasure to read your thoughts. :-)

Cali said...

I want to thank you both, Paige and Amy, for reading my blog and writing comments full of such thought and introspection. You are wonderful friends, both here and in person. :) Both of these comments, in particular, are very helpful to me in thinking about myself as a parent. We're all in it together, aren't we? It sometimes feels so isolating, and is very helpful to know you're there with me.

WendyKrug said...

Whew. Can barely keep my eyes open but wanted to finish reading your posts and comments. Such wonderful, respectful, insightful responses. You must know some fabulous people! Just wanted to say how excited I am that Clark's down to one nap. Can we do something in the morning now, out and about?