Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On timeouts and unconditional love

We suddenly have a two-and-a-half-year-old who has discovered, to his joy and dismay, that when you say don't do that, HE CAN DO IT ANYWAY. Sometimes that's dangerous. And in general, nobody likes a kid who doesn't respect any rules. On the other hand, it took me 45 years to learn that when somebody said don't do that, I could do it anyway. Just like their parents, Pa and I want to feed the spirits of our grandbabies, not break them. Talking late last night, he and I agreed that the timeout system had resulted in a momentous struggle and bad feelings yesterday, and we need to find a new way. For example, at daycare, a timeout might be spent in an embrace and discussion, rather than in an enforced isolation followed by discussion. I don't know how The Nap Wars are progressing in my absence right now, but a few moments ago, this story about timeouts and unconditional love  popped up in the New York Times.

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