Playing Timeout

July 26, 2011 at 7:04 am (Play Time)

You know how kids get a hold of a large cardboard box and it becomes  vessel for creative play?  Our past box acquisitions have become forts, train cars, houses, jails, animal beds, and spaceships (to name a few).

This week, it was a timeout box.

They were baby possums and Elia told JJ he needed to do something “bad” so she could send him to the timeout box.  He would dutifully crawl over and swipe a “paw” at her leg, at which point Elia would shout, “Timeout!”

Now, Elia and JJ have never been sent to a timeout.  That is, they’ve never been ordered to take one either in their room, on a step, a certain chair, in the corner, or any other designated spot.  Though, we’ve all had plenty of times when someone (or everyone at once) have been upset and not behaving all that pleasantly, and we’ve taken plenty of willing timeouts for ourselves in order to calm down and feel better.

When I need a break I’ll go to my room and lay on my bed for a while, the kids usually go to their rooms, turn on their stories and play with their rats.  We won’t try to talk or fix any problems then; we wait until we feel better.

But at our health club’s “Kids World”, Elia and JJ see kids sent to timeout every time they’re there.  Timeout in Kids World involves sitting on a chair alone.  They themselves have never been told to go to timeout in Kids World, but others frequently go for misbehavior, usually hitting.

So this timeout box in our playroom was intriguing to me.  I found it interesting that they wanted to play timeout.  I was also amused that they didn’t just leave it as an empty, solitary box, but left one side down and also filled the box with toys.  So the baby possums were still able to interact together, and the toys were, “You know, so he can play while he’s in timeout.”

Yes, I do know.  You can put a possum in a timeout box, but he still needs to feel better before he can do better.

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