I believe in time outs. They are not punishment but small rewards. I look forward to time outs.
When I was younger, I am pretty sure my parents did not force me to my room or make me sit in a corner of our house to think about what I did wrong. I am not saying that my parents had the most affective disciplining style. I have seen time outs fail and turn into secret play times. I have also seen very affective time outs during which lessons are learned.
Now, sometimes I wish that someone would send me to my room. Not because I have misbehaved, but because everything about adulthood is busy and constant. I am a college student only three semesters away from graduation. I am loaded with homework assignments, exams, essays, and class. I currently have three jobs to assist in paying for school. In addition to this, I attempt to remain involved socially with my local friends, boyfriend, and long distant phone calls to my family. There are days where I am scrapping to find a half hour for lunch. To think that this is not even “the real world” yet freaks me out. Maybe I am not ready for adulthood yet. How much more can I manage, balance, and support?
In so many ways, I believe I am still very much a kid. I usually cannot go a full week without a nap, intentional or not. I think that cookies and candy are a necessary part of my diet. I enjoy watching cartoons and PG movies. I get geeked about ‘gold stars.’ And I still need my mom. Every time I am feeling ill or when I am forced to face a second-degree burn to my right hand after a cooking misadventure, I call mom. I need her to tell me how to feel better and comfort me. Although she cannot do much via phone call, I need her. I do not think that will change much.
I believe that no matter how many birthdays pass, I will probably never be 100% adult. I kind of like it that way. I will need the childhood elements to get through the traffic, the lines, the meetings, and the work. I need time outs. Actually, I think everyone does. No one wants to be caught up in adulthood, full of stresses. Maybe if we all gave ourselves a time out every once in a while, our behaviors and attitudes would improve. I believe in time outs.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.