Time Out Is Time Well Spent

, , , , , | Related | May 21, 2019

I was a foster child before I was adopted, and before I was given up, I’d had little or ineffective discipline. As a foster child, my parents were not legally allowed to physically discipline me in any way, so they had to get creative.

The first thing my foster mom did when I was newly in the home — like within the first week or so — was sit me in the corner. The general rule is that you’re supposed to put a kid in time out for one minute per year of age. I was four, so I had to sit for four minutes. My mom made that clear. What she also made clear was that she wouldn’t start the timer until I was quiet. And boy, could I yell. I yelled and screamed and beat the tile floor and escaped and was put back and got quite colorful with my language, apparently. She sat at a table and tried — pretended — to read.

I was there for over three hours the first time.

The second time, less than three. The time after, just over an hour. I slowly started to get it. This (saint of a) woman was not going to put up with my nonsense.

I was adopted by them within the next two years.

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