As ever, I am try­ing to sort out my life and my pos­ses­sions. Tedious. Because each time I try to sort through my ‘stuff’ var­i­ous ongo­ing relics of trau­ma cause me to relive those trau­mas even 7+ years lat­er. I’m pooped.

I have reached a very demand­ing stage of life, espe­cial­ly since I had my chil­dren in my 30’s. There have been no mid­dle years for me to enjoy. 

My moth­er is now near­ly 88 years old and lives in Eng­land. I know that if I vis­it her she will enjoy the com­pa­ny and days out. She is very fit and inde­pen­dent; I real­ly have a hard time keep­ing up with her pace! But I will be fit­ter when I return home.

My hus­band has been total­ly dis­abled for near­ly 8 years. I am thank­ful for how far he’s come but I am still respon­si­ble for every­thing that hap­pens in our lives, includ­ing mon­i­tor­ing his well being.

In reor­ga­niz­ing my ‘stuff’ I come upon lit­tle pearls of wis­dom (notes to myself on scraps of paper!). Here are a cou­ple as food for thought.

1. Has any­one thought of ‘time in’ instead of ‘time out? 

‘Time in’ is time for hugs and warmth – the exact oppo­site of ‘time out’!

I believe if we deter­mined that when our instincts or impuls­es sug­gest putting our chil­dren in ‘time out’ we did just the oppo­site, many of our prob­lems with our chil­dren would be solved.

As a point of inter­est our fam­i­ly nev­er had ‘time out­s’ or ‘the naughty chair’. I sel­dom use either with the chil­dren I care for. I occa­sion­al­ly make them sit near me and I busy myself with some­thing else (even wash­ing dish­es) while they count to 100 – I count along with them cajol­ing them all the way! 

At the end they’ve had time to regroup their bod­ies and minds with­out feel­ing you’ve been very hate­ful towards them and as a byprod­uct they end up being able to count to 100!! 

Once our chil­dren reached their teenage years they did ask for a ‘family meet­ing’ to dis­cuss our dif­fer­ences! I think that idea was insti­gat­ed by our youngest son before he reached his teenage years: “I think we need a fam­i­ly meeting”!

2. If you are the pri­ma­ry care­giv­er for your child – in oth­er words a total­ly at home moth­er (not one work­ing on the com­put­er or phone at home. You may be the only one in the house but you aren’t moth­er­ing your chil­dren if you are pre­oc­cu­pied with work) – the fol­low­ing list should enable you to main­tain a sta­ble household.

If your child is mis­be­hav­ing and you can’t work out what’s wrong (or maybe even choose to believe that there’s noth­ing you can do) please ask your­self these five things (one or more is an indi­ca­tion of what you can do to sta­bi­lize your child’s behavior):-

Is he or she: 




Too much sug­ar or junk food 

Too much time in front of the ‘TV’ — one hour could be too much, in some cas­es even less (any screen — be it edu­ca­tion­al videos, reg­u­lar children’s TV, movies or video games).

These are all issues of parental respon­si­bil­i­ty. If you end up being one jump ahead of all the things on the list your child will be much eas­i­er to care for and you will have hap­pi­er times together.

If you are a work­ing moth­er then you must add to this list the following:

New caregiver/s (any time there are mul­ti­ple care­givers chil­dren have issues – don’t for­get putting your child into the nurs­ery at your neigh­bor­hood gym – always an issue for young chil­dren; leav­ing your child at a strange house for the first time).

New vis­i­tors to your home who expect your child to be friend­ly towards them. With­out ade­quate prepa­ra­tion for their vis­it – such as shar­ing pho­tos and rec­ol­lec­tions of the last time you met – your child will be dis­com­bob­u­lat­ed for a while.

Back to reor­ga­niz­ing my ‘stuff’ – per­haps I’ll have more pearls to share next week.