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There are a wide range of memorable moments in parenting ranging from the warm and emotional moments, to the ones when you want to throw an adult tantrum.
You know, lay down of the floor and pitch a big, loud, messy FIT.
If you have those types of “moments”…no worries; you are NORMAL.
All parents have those instances where, they love their kids madly, but they also want to send them to Mars for a few hours at the same time. To make matters more challenging, our own children are also the ones who have the inside scoop about our temperaments and they know exactly how to push our buttons for maximum reaction.
So here’s the rub – how do you know when you need to take a time out and step back for a few moments to regain your cool?
Honestly, if you feel like you are smothering under stress or the top of your head is about to blow off, for everyone’s health and safety PLEASE don’t be afraid to step back. Cool off and acknowledge that Parents Need Time Outs Too.
Parents Need Time Outs Too
Here are some other warning signs that parents need to extract themselves from a situation, or take a Parent Time Out:
The Argument Has Lasted Too Long
There is a time to talk things out, and a time to end the conversation. If you have been arguing with your child for a lengthy amount of time and it simply keeps on going, perhaps it is time to take a break. Putting the talk on hold doesn’t mean you can’t continue it later, but it is often wise to end it and continue it later when you are both feeling refreshed.
P.S. Advice from a veteran mom of a tween and teen: Pick.Your.Battles. I know that sometime I personally get so wrapped up in being right or being in control, I lose my ability to be flexible. Will it really matter in 10 years that your tween refused to shower Friday night because they would rather bathe Saturday morning? NOPE.
There Is No Resolution in Sight
Sometimes there is an issue that you must discuss, but you feel like you and your child are both talking in circles. It can get to a point where everyone becomes more determined to make their point, and each party stops listening to the other. This is another moment where the only solution is to temporarily put the conversation on hold. I also think bringing in a 3rd party like Gramma or a counselor isn’t all bad either.
You Begin to Feel Angry
If you begin to feel tense while parenting, or feel your blood pressure rising, you may have reached your limit. It may be time to walk away and spend a little time alone. When you as a parent are feeling angry, this can turn into a power struggle and it will always be tipped in your favor, leaving your child feeling powerless and trapped. This is a feeling that can negatively affect your relationship, so end it while you have the chance to settle things in a calm manner.
Your Child Appears Angry
If your child is feeling angry, it is possible you are not acting or speaking in a loving and fair manner. Sometimes our children need breaks from us, and we must be the mature one who removes ourselves from the situation and gives them the space they need. Take a time out and allow your child the chance to cool down without having to always be the one who retreats.
You Feel Tired
Even as adults, we are still human. There are moments when we have reached our limit and need to take some time to breathe. Find a relaxing activity that you enjoy and take a while to recover. You will come back refreshed and ready to parent with more energy and positivity.
Ideas on how to Recharge and Regroup
- Go for a walk.
- Do some adult coloring
- Climb into the kids’ treehouse with wine and a good book. Be sure and pull the ladder up behind you. #KiddingNotKidding
- Phone a friend
- Do some yard work
- Run an errand away from the house (as long as there is another responsible adult still at home)
- Enjoy some nature
- Indulge in Retail Therapy (a.k.a. Shopping at Target)
Parenting is rewarding, but that reward is not always felt strongly when we are burnt out or in the middle of an argument with our children.
There are times when you will need to take a step back and embrace silence.
Give yourself a time out and come back to real life when you have been fully recharged.