Sunday, August 3, 2008

Co-Opting Playdates and Time-Outs

In my last post, I mentioned hosting my book club meeting on Saturday afternoon. We had a great time catching up, discussing the book, eating and drinking sangria and pomegranate margaritas. I always enjoy this time because the women in the group are wonderful, warm, interesting and intelligent and I’m guaranteed to have a good time. In fact, I come to refer to these dates as a “mommy play date.” That’s right, I’ve co-opted the term “play date,” and just as I plan these important and vital activities with my kids’ friends and classmates to foster friendships and assist in the development of their social skills, I, too, see the need to identify and organize “adults only” activities so my brain doesn’t drift into atrophy as I raise my children and navigate parenthood.

I'll also share another secret--- sometimes instead of sending my kids to “time-out,” I put myself in “mommy time-out.” This one works like a charm, because I usually put myself in time-out right in the middle of some melt-down between Olivia /Yannick and instead of banishing them to their room to get themselves together and to “think about it,” I sashay off to the sanctity of my own bedroom, admonishing them not to disturb me until my time-out is over. I don't use this one too often, but when I hit them with this little role reversal, they're so dazed and confused they usually forget whatever they were fussing about. I’m convinced this little maneuver has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

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