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Carol Perkins: Six reasons to give an adult time out

Previous Column: The Butter Bean Episode

By Carol Perkins

"Be Good," the mother said as she sends her child home with her grandparents. "You all call me if you need me." She is wasting her words.

First, kids are much better behaved without their parents, and second, no grandparent would tattle on a grandchild. At least I wouldn't. Some might threaten to call when the child is jumping from couch to chair to another chair, but grandparents still know how to discipline.

The problems arise when two or more children come to visit. Have you noticed that many grandparents refuse to keep more than one at a time? There is a reason for that.

When adults tell kids to "be good," I think about how children (and teenagers) might want to say the same thing to their parents. Kids see the goodness in their parents, but they also see times when they would like to put them in time out! What upsets a child the most and makes him nervous and afraid and embarrassed? Here are a few:

  1. Fussing and fighting. Mama and Daddy may kiss and make up, but the kid is left with the battle scars. Parents should be good.

  2. Silence/pouting among adults is almost as bad as fighting. Mama goes off and pouts while Daddy won't talk. Think about how a child feels.

  3. Having a fit! Mama gets mad and throws things. Daddy hits a wall.

  4. Storming out of the house gives a child a fear of abandonment. Will he come back? Where has he gone?

  5. Public embarrassment such as cussing out the referee at a little league game, dressing like a streetwalker for a PTA meeting, trying to be a teenager in front of a child's friends... the list goes on and on, all of which are humiliating.

  6. Getting drunk, taking drugs, smoking pot, and even cigarettes do not make a child happy. How many adults have said, "I can do what I want; I'm the adult?" Really?
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to BE GOOD, but it's not any easier for us than it is for them. If we don't behave, maybe our children and grandchildren should tell on us and let us sit in time-out for a while and think about our infractions.

Just think, if we all were good, we'd be "do-gooders." By the way, this is my Dr. Phil moment.

Follow Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss in Edmonton on Tuesdays from 10amCT to 11amCT and replay on Sundays from 4pmCT to 5pmCT. Listen to Carol's podcast at for entertaining stories and a replay of Susan and Carol-Unscripted.

This story was posted on 2020-03-06 05:05:30
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