I put myself in time-out this morning. Jonathan refused to read for me – after squirming, talking, and generally disrupting his way through Spanish and Science – and I lost my temper. And I was so angry I left the room and locked myself in the bathroom.
After some crying and talking to myself (“You’re okay, you can do this, you can always pick up chocolate on the way home from ballet”), I emerged and asked Jonathan to go downstairs and stay downstairs until he was ready to do his schoolwork with a cheerful attitude.
The amazing thing is that it worked! When I called down a half-hour later and asked if he was ready, I heard, “Yes, Mom.” He came up, got his book, and quickly and efficiently read his assignment. I went over his math and language pages, and he worked his way through that, more quickly than usual.
And I’m left wondering: was it the timeout downstairs or the fact that Mommy left the room sobbing that did it?