The Art Of The Team Time-Out

Life is hard. For whatever reason we all forget this at times, whether or not it is for convenience or something more nefarious. My head is basically scrambled eggs for 90% of my day so in theory I would like to think I understand. A lot of times this can bleed into unwanted behaviors either directly aimed at our kids, or just as dangerously, presented in front of them. The idea of a "time-out" for bad behavior is one that we all accept, regardless of personal beliefs; however, I do find it strange that we insist young kids be put in time-out, when we very rarely do it to ourselves. That's why I propose the team time-out, and what better way to calm the storm than with music.

The idea is pretty simple, instead of locking a kid in his room waiting for a tantrum to subside, or sitting in a corner counting to ten, let's find a calm with music. More importantly, let's do it together. Sure kids can learn a lesson from missing out, or being deprived of their main fuel, instant gratification, but what does it teach them that they are on their own to fight through that? Something definitely, I am just not sure it is what we want it to be. Taking the time to listen to a song together helps you relate to them in a way they can understand. The kid is no longer stuck thinking about all they did wrong, and all that is being taken from them, they are now in a situation where they are being comforted as opposed to feeling in some way they have been abandoned, or yanked from the group.

It's not even that the song has to do the calming. Ask your child if they want to listen to some angry music, or sad music, or music that makes you want to dance. It's the process, not the device. Your child can actually talk you through their thinking instead of having to figure it out themselves, and isn't that the key? The best way for us to master this parenting dance is by understanding your dance partner. We do an obnoxious amount of references to being on the same team at our house, and teammates don't leave someone on their own in the dugout to figure out the world by themselves, unless of course they are pitching a no-hitter.

Again, life is hard, let's do this together.