My two year old son has developed a strange habit. When ever he gets mad, has his feelings hurt, or gets physically hurt, he will put himself in time out.
I guess he doesn’t quite understand that time out is a form of punishment for doing something wrong.
He is the youngest of five kids so he has witnessed his older brothers and sister going to time out. Most of the time while they are on their way to their room, they make it known that they are not happy about their punishment by crying or screaming. Then once they get to their room, they will start yelling “Can I come out”. Then depending on what they are in timeout for, we will tell them yes or no. My two year old takes great pleasure in delivering the message to the child in time out whether they heard our response or not.
There are times when one of the kids in time out will yell from their room “can I come out” and with out missing a beat, my two year old will stop what he is doing and run to the stairs and yell “No”.
The other day he was crying because his four year old brother took one of his toys. Now, in most situations one would think that the brother that took the toy away would be the most likely candidate for time out right? Well, not in my two year olds mind. I was in the middle of talking to my four year about not taking toys that others are playing with when I hear the familiar sound of my two year old calling from his bedroom “mum mout” which translates into come out.
I do have to admit that my husband and I have a good laugh as he continues to call “mum mout”. Not wanting to punish him even more, I call out “Yes, you can come out of time out”. Then I heard him yell “NO”, to which he continues to yell “mum mout”. I had to tell him a few more times that yes, he could come out before he allowed himself to come out.
The poor kid is punishing himself for things that are completely out of his control. No matter how many times my husband and I try to tell him that we did not send him to his room and that there is no reason for him to be in there, he still goes. He is the one who ultimately decides when it is time to come out.
I started thinking the other day that in my life, I tend to do the same thing. I punish myself for things that are out of my control.
I punish myself for somebody not liking me. I tell myself that it is my fault that we are not friends. I punish myself for not getting the amount of views I want on my blog. Thinking that if I would have taken a better picture or maybe posted a different recipe I would have gotten the views that I needed. I punish myself for not being a good enough mom. I stress over whether or not I am doing enough and possibly screwing up their lives.
The list goes on and on. These are all things that I either have no control over or I am already doing the best that I can and I just need learn to have a little faith that things will work out.
As silly as it seems for my two year old to send himself to time out for things that he has no control over, I am willing to bet that just like me a lot of you are doing the same thing.
So lets make a pact right now to stop punishing ourselves. We are all human, which means we are going to make mistakes. Instead of dwelling on them, pick yourself up, dust your self off, and keep moving forward. Today is a new day and a clean slate. Let go of the things that you can’t control and learn to celebrate the good things in your life.
What do you say, are you up for the challenge?
Until next time,