Thanks to good friend Mimi, I recently started really trying to practice time ins as a consequence for Hope’s behavior. With my recent travels and surgery, I noticed that Hope was really struggling with being separated from me. Her struggles were manifesting in crazy behavior that drove me nuts when I was home and/or lucid enough to pay attention.
Interestingly, I had missed a lot of the signs that she craved more attention. Aside from doing stupid things that garnered negative attention, she was also doing things like dragging all of her homework into the living room, spreading it all out of all over the place and just sitting with me, working on the homework. She didn’t want help, she seemed to just want to be in the same room with me. Occasionally she’d asked me to look over an essay. Sometimes she would jokingly suggest that we watch a movie or a favorite show on Netflix. Other times she seemed to simply pick a fight just to engage me. Unfortunately, I’ve been so overwhelmed that I just missed the point. I missed the fact that my daughter missed me, even when I was still in the house.
I was talking about this with Mimi not long ago, and she said “Hey have you thought about time ins?”
No I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about time ins. Things have been so off the rails for the last couple of months, and all I’ve been able to manage is managing us and in an almost case-like way. Parenting hasn’t been fun; it hasn’t been fun for months. I imagine that being a kid hasn’t been fun for Hope for months either. So I decided to give this time in thing a whirl.
We have a squabble,”Come sit next to me.”
She do something worthy of punishment: “Come let’s sit and watch a show.”
Freak out over homework? “Hey look naked and afraid is on TV!”
Random spastic Behavior? “You know yeah Yappy loves to ride on your back; let me take video of him riding your back!”
Come here you know you want a hug; stop fighting it!
It is nice to hear my sweet Hope giggle again. It’s nice to see her smile. It’s nice to build a small bridge back to trust and safety.
I gotta say though it’s hard as a single parent to have so little time for solitude. When I get home from work sometimes I just want to sit and enjoy the quiet for 20 minutes or so.
That seems to be against Hope and Yappy’s religion. They don’t seem to believe in my need to take that time. This makes practicing time ins on a nearly daily basis a bit exhausting because I get very little time to just breathe.
The flip side, though, is that I see a positive change in my daughter, one that she needs probably more than my need for brief moments of solitude. And there’s something to be said for a teenager who actually wants to hang out with her mother. As annoying as it is sometimes, I’m choosing to look at that as a positive thing because it is. It speaks to our growth and evolving attachment. That really is the best outcome: that’s what we’re striving for, to be a connected family– one that loves and trusts and one that is safe.
So time ins are where it’s at for now at Casa d’ABM.
So, anyone else using this discipline method effectively? Is it working for you? Any suggestions? Help! 🙂