Timeouts and Preferred Shipping Methods

Cove, Dylan coaching Julian

Standard shipping is nice, unless you need it same day or overnight.  There are certain things that I want right away, but I can be patience and wait.  Some things I need overnight, like the time my computer power cord fried and I could not access any files.  Some things I need the same day, like the messages I need my children to hear and internalize.  Since children can get interference from just about anywhere, including the sound of absolutely nothing, time and efficiency are critical in order to slide the message in a quickly closing slot; actually it is more like a slit.  I accomplish this by deviating from standard ways. There is no time for standard shipping, same day service is survival mode.

When my children are bordering on risky behavior and finally follow through with it, in spite of many warnings, the timeout method is commonly used.  It is in many books that have to do with raising children; but I tend to read, evaluate, comingle with instinct and develop a personalize version.  In this case, I knew when, my currently 19 year old was a toddler, that timeouts were not thought out to completion. After fast forwarding in my head and envisioned myself giving a fourteen year old a timeout, I could see myself being bombarded with a snicker attached to the words, “What am I, five?” If it was not said aloud, we would certainly both be thinking it.  So in the very beginning, I decided to change the “timeout” term to “penalties.”

I chose that term because professional football players in their thirties who weigh close to 300 pounds can still get penalties, and they are not five and they are much bigger than the person giving them the penalty.  Besides that, a penalty is exactly what it is; it is the consequence for not playing by the rules. Although I would find great humor in hearing a coach or referee yell, “consequence!,” it is a little weak in the voice of authority.  “Penalty!” says it all. No time wasted. Message delivered.

Now for timeouts, I still use that term but it is only during those times when emotions are rising and warnings of eruption are coming through quite clearly.  I use it for myself, my husband, the children, and they use it on me. So, a “timeout” is an attempt to rescue the erupting emotions from breaking through. They are meant to give time to calm down. And a penalty is for the behavior that resulted in not good choices. Timeouts are great at sending messages in a timely and calm manner. Penalties, however, require same day delivery. It is efficient, clear and at my 5’0” frame, I find that word has great power. But I must admit I would love life a little bit more, if I heard a professional coach tell a player to “Please go to your timeout place and take some time to reflect on what you did.” That would probably create an entirely different shipping class.

Ivy Lifton



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