Thursday, January 12, 2012

The First Time Out

Gus's Time Out Chair

When I bought the time out chair in the picture above, everyone said, "You'll never have to use that..." but I'm smart. I knew that no child is perfect and even those that are perfect 99% of the time, will have that 1% of error. It's in the 1% that the learning happens for most kids (and parents).

When we moved into the new house I made sure to keep the time out chair out where Gus could see it. He liked it. He liked to sit on it and move it around the house. He had never had to sit on it for its intended purpose... until last night.

I shouldn't be too upset... my darling son waited 20 months before having to go to his very first time out. 

The other night Gus had been jumping on the couch. Since he's figured out how to jump on his own (a bigger milestone than I had ever anticipated-- I never knew kids didn't naturally know how to jump), he's jumping all the time. He recently figured out that his crib, the couch, and our bed provide even more spring for his jumping fun... and as a result, he jumps everywhere he can.

So while he was jumping on the couch the other night, he fell off (we knew it was going to happen). When he fell, he landed on his neck/head and I freaked out. It made me realize that he could land wrong and do some serious, life-altering damage. If he fell and became paralyzed, or even died (I'm extreme I'm sure), I'd never be able to live with myself. So from that moment on, a no jumping on the furniture rule was created.

Last night, Gus didn't want to obey the new rule. He wanted to jump. He was told three times and removed from the couch. Finally, he was told that if he did it again, he'd be going to time out. He got on the couch... and with a sly little grin (totally testing us), he started to jump.

Steve swooped in and grabbed him and we marched him into the foyer where his chair was. We spent a good 5-10 minutes, just trying to get him to actually sit on the chair. He thought it was a game at first and was laughing, but neither of us talked to him, we just put him back on the chair. He eventually figured out that he was in trouble and not going to be able to just get up... so he stopped trying to get up and sat on the seat for a minute and cried his little heart out.

After a minute, I bent down and told him why he was on the chair and then he gave me a hug (still crying) and we went into the livingroom. He was still VERY upset and went to see daddy... and Steve told him that he loved him, hugged him, and explained that jumping on the couch isn't safe. After realizing that we weren't mad at him he stopped crying, but he totally stayed away from the couch.

Gus doesn't like to be in trouble (I don't know of too many kids that do) and he doesn't like seeing others in trouble. He's very empathetic. He's a tender-hearted little soul and just as sweet as can be. It was important for us to stay firm and make sure that he knows that there are rules for a reason... his safety.

He went on the couch this morning, but didn't try to jump, so maybe the time out worked as it was supposed to work.
The cutest timer on the planet


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