I am a parent. I know what its like when you reach that point where you just can’t do anymore. Or you are so annoyed that every little thing your child does or says just grates. This is when it is time to quit. This is something you already know. The question is – do you do it? Quit, that is? Do you actually stop and say to yourself “I need to quit!” “I need time out!”
We are great at seeing when our children need it. We know when they are too tired. Too emotional…. Too angry. What about ourselves? If you do acknowledge it to yourself it is quickly followed by a “Oh, but I can’t because…..they need a bath, their nearly in bed, the dishes still have to be done….” I’m sure you can think of others that you use.
We live with the myth that it is easier to keep going then take time out ourselves. Somehow we think it will be quicker. Quicker to get them in bed. Quicker to get them in the car. I have come to the conclusion that the more you are annoyed or try to rush your children the slower they go.
It takes quite a bit of extra effort to quit. Quitting is time out for parents. It can be going to your bedroom and locking yourself in and listening to some music. Walking out the door and doing a few laps around the yard. Ringing a friend. If by chance you have another adult in the house then you can get in the car and go. Sometimes we need 5 minutes, sometimes 15 or even more. How long depends on how long you put off taking the time to quit.
Quitting is smart. It’s the better move than trying to deal with children when you’ve had enough. Children pick up on and respond to your mood. It is much better to deal with them after you’ve delt with yourself. Behavior isn’t as annoying when you’ve had a break, you are not so snappy, so do yourself a favour (and them) and quit when you need to. No-one will tell you to quit and that it’s time you took a break. You have to recognize it for yourself. We all need to quit at times. It’s okay and it’s smart.