I just gave Ruthie a time out for ignoring me (a frequent happening in our relationship). After her time out, when I spoke to her about what she’d done, she seemed flippant and more concerned about getting back to Dora than she was about repenting and telling me she is sorry.
So I sent her to her room.
After THAT time out was done, we had another talk. Well, it was more like I lectured her. But the end of my lecture we dialogged, and she said she was sorry.
We hugged and kissed, and as she walked away she turned back and said, “Mommy, can you smile at me?”
And I did, and she skipped happily down the stairs.
I look forward to the day when I don’t have to go into robot mode while disciplining my children – when I can let my emotions run freely because they are healthy emotions, when I can switch more readily from a righteous anger to a loving forgiveness, when I can take myself less seriously and offenses less personally.