Parenting Tips

Take Time Out

There are lots of things you can do to prevent taking your frustrations out on your child. When the big and little problems of everyday life pile up to the point where you feel like lashing out, it is possible to stop and take time out. It is possible to get a hold of yourself before you get a hold of your child.

When you do stop, take time out, and do something immediately that will help you cool down and collect yourself. The next time everyday pressures build up to the point where you feel like lashing out stop and try any of these simple alternatives. See what works for you. You'll feel better and so will your child.

Alternative Actions

  • Stop in your tracks. Step back. Sit down.
  • Take five deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly. Slowly. Remember you are the adult.
  • Press your lips together and count to 10. Better yet, 20. Or say the alphabet out loud.
  • Phone a friend or a relative.
  • If someone can watch the children, go outside and take a walk, or go visit someone.
  • Put your child in a time-out chair. Remember the rule: one time-out minute for each year of age.
  • Put yourself in a time-out chair. Think about why you are angry: Is it your child or is your child simply a convenient target for your anger?
  • Thumb through a magazine, book, or newspaper.
  • Do some sit-ups.
  • Pick up a pencil and write down your thoughts.
  • Take a hot bath or a cold shower or splash cold water on your face.
  • Lie down on the floor or just put your feet up.
  • Put on your favorite record or radio program. Maybe even sing along.
  • Pick up a pencil and write down as many helpful words as you can think of. Save the list.
  • Close your eyes and imagine you're hearing what your child is about to hear.
  • Still mad? Hug a pillow. Or munch on an apple.