You know when you were young and you were bad, or, in particular when you got yourself so het up that you would scream and cry and couldn’t breathe and most parents knew it was time for you to have a Time Out.
I don’t know what yours looked like. Some of my friends were sent to their rooms, but my room was full of books and games and a tambourine (yup…) which made it not seem like too much of a punishment to have to go there. Also, my parents had enough trouble getting me to want to sleep at night without me thinking that going to my room was because I was bad. So we had the bottom step. We would have to go and sit there until we were ready to say we were sorry, or until Mum and Dad felt we had spent sufficient ‘time out’ to have calmed down. If we were at Grandma’s, she lived in a bungalow so there was no bottom step, so we had to sit outside the lounge door. The lounge door was frosted glass so this was EVEN MORE INFURIATING because I could still see everything going on inside, but was not welcome to be a participant.
I wasn’t a very bad kid, in fact a few attitude problems in teenage years aside, I really didnt give my parents their fare share of worry and hassle. I was terrified of breaking the rules and hated the idea of being in trouble. I did sometimes bully my little brother (he is getting his own back these days) but generally the times when I needed a Time Out were because I have a temper. If I am having a bad day, it only takes one little thing for me to blow, and I get angry and upset and very flappy and often very snotty in a remarkably short space of time. Those were the times that I would be sent to calm down.
I feel like I forgot something valuable when I stopped being put on the bottom step (which was well into my teens, it was an ongoing punishment.) I think I forgot that sometimes I NEED to be sat down and not allowed to do anything else until I have caught up with my own thoughts. I need to realise that sometimes I’m in the wrong, or I’m just in one of my moods, and I need to sit and let my thoughts catch up with me and stop reacting (or usually over-reacting) for a few minutes.
My temper has got a little better, some days, but sometimes I find that there is a lower level over-reaction going on in my heart about something for too long. I get all het up, indignant or frustrated and can’t let it go. I need the time to sit and think. I need to take that time without TV, music, crocheting or Facebook so that I can listen to He is who is infinitely patient and wise and hear what He is saying to me.
This afternoon I am having a Time Out. Hopefully when I come back I will be in a better mood!!