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Pete Wilgoren

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Dadmissions: Time Out

Posted: 09/19/2012 5:34 pm

The past five decades have seen the birth of computers, man walking on the moon, the fall of Communism and other earth-shattering events, but time outs are still the best we can do?  

According to Wikipedia -- so I know it must be true :) -- "the concept of time-out was invented, named, and used by Arthur Staats in his extended work with his family and was part of a long-term program of behavioral analysis beginning in 1958 treating various aspects of child development."   Snooze.

Well, I'm hear to say that Staats had it all wrong. Because let me tell you, when I'm angry at the kids, the LAST thing I want to do, the L-A-S-T thing I want to do, is watch them sit awkwardly and silently in a chair mulling what they did to get them banished to a chair where they need to sit awkwardly and silently. Right. Behavior modification. I don't want to see them when I'm mad and they're misbehaving. Sure, I can question them about what they did, and if they know it is wrong, and if they know they shouldn't do it again. But guess what? They already know. And they misbehaved anyway. And they're just sitting in the chair silently mocking us, surprised at the fact that we're quizzing them on what they did wrong, when we ALL know what they did wrong and why they shouldn't have done it.

If time outs were so great, the UN would send certain countries to the naughty chair.  

If time outs were so great, we could send the Kardashians to the corner.

If time outs were so great, Lindsay Lohan would STILL be sitting there thinking.

If time outs were so great, I'd put TLC and Honey Boo Boo's producer there right now.

If time outs were so great, I'd put my Oreos and M and M's there. They're evil.

So here's the deal. Staats had it all wrong. The way I figure, time outs shouldn't be for the kids, they should be for the PARENTS. You're misbehaving, I'm aggravated, I'm taking a time out. Go ahead and misbehave and do whatever you were gonna do all Lord of the Flies style while I take a time out, some "me time" if you will, while I sit in a chair, silently in the corner, thinking. I may decide to take my time out in the bathroom just to kill two birds with one stone. In the end, kids will always misbehave. In the end, they're our kids and we'll always love them. In the end, I think Velcro to hold the kids' tushes in place so they stop and listen and slow down would be just as valuable as any time out. You agree?

 

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