A couple years back I wrote a post right here on The Better Mom about my struggle with anger. It was a very popular post and I received many emails from moms, and even some dads, who struggled with this very issue. I knew the topic resonated with many and I knew I needed to speak about my own struggle. In that post I shared several things you can do to help you win the battle against anger. One of the tips I shared was to take a time out!
When we think of the word timeout we often think about children, toddlers/preschoolers, or even a teenager who needs to be sent to the room to cool off. We don't however usually think about moms so I wanted to share the benefits to you today of timeouts for you, especially when you are angry!
Here are five benefits timeouts can give to you if you have an anger problem:
- They can help you cool off and calm down. When you are in a situation that causes you a great deal of anger, this is usually the time you went to lash out with your words or even worse. This is the time you need to take the time out, it helps you to separate yourselves and to take a deep breath and relax.
- Time to pray and seek the Lord. This is a perfect time to begin to pray. Pray that God gives you the wisdom to know how to handle the situation without blowing your top. No matter how much you think you want to scream and shout, trust me you don't. It won't help you and it isn't effective. All it does it weaken your relationships and hurt the ones you love!
- Timout can give you space from whatever or whoever caused you to be angry. This is the time to get your space away from the person who is made you angry. I remember one time I had a very colicky baby and it was very difficult because he cried literally all day and all night. I remember telling the pediatrician that sometimes I would put the baby in the crib where he was safe andjust go in and run the shower so I wouldn't have to hear the crying because it was so overwhelming. I will never forget what he told me, "that is the best thing you can do." He said I was giving myself a break and space between something that was very difficult, and when I was able to go in after a short break I always felt better and I could then take care of my baby. Sometimes we need to do that with people who make us angry, we need to just step back before we say words that will linger forever. Trust me you will not be sorry that you did this.
- They can give you time to think about how you can handle the situation once you walk come out of timeout. I know in the heat of anger we think the best way to vent is yelling but it rarely the answer. We can read study after study that proves yelling is not effective and the only thing you are doing is damaging relationships whether it be with your husband or with your children and ladies it is just not worth it. Timeout gives you a way to think of other ways to handle it. Maybe there needs to be a consequence, maybe there needs to be a conversation, or maybe there just needs to be forgiveness. Whatever it is this gives you a way to think of other options that are much better than losing it.
- They help you win the battle over anger. Doing time out on a regular basis when you get angry is helping you with your battle over anger. Once your family sees that this is what you do when you become angry they will know to expect it, it is a wonderful example to set for them and a great habit for everyone in the family to get into.
To establish time out in your family you need to let them know that this is something that is very important to you from here on out. You want them to know that when you start to have an anger issue you are going to be taking a timeout in your room with the door locked. This helps establish a protocol with your family. Trust me, they want you to conquer this issue, so they will try their best to support you in your endeavors.
I know anger is a very difficult emotion to deal with. We know that all anger is not wrong, we all feel anger at times and often it is righteous anger. However there are some of us who really struggle with this issue beyond the norm. We have to be intentional with purposeful steps to take to help us in this journey and timeout is a great place to start.
Angela Richter, Together with Family