Time-outs are for rookie parents who don’t know any better. Even your average intelligence kid is smarter than your lame timeout strategy. A word to the wise, putting your child on a thirty-second time-out does nothing but teach them that time-outs really aren’t that bad and totally worth continuing the poor behavior that got them there in the first place. If you’ve already graduated to the long-ass time-out (I’m talking an hour), having removed every last toy from your child’s room and it still doesn’t curb their bad behavior…what next you ask? When no threat of punishment or consequence and no timeout regardless of length seems to be effective in correcting your child’s behavior, what’s a Not So Zen Mom to do?
Just so you can understand where such off-color daydreaming stems from, my rock bottom was back when my oldest son was four and he spent his days running around like a madman from before sun-up, till the moment he went to bed. He blazed a trail through life with the kind of “joie de vivre” (French for “Joy of Living”) reserved only for the most exuberant and spirited souls. One can imagine that such spirited souls don’t have the time, inclination or focus to listen much to direction, even that coming from their very own mother. This can make for a rather frustrating experience for the adult in charge of such a child. There were many episodes of torturing his baby brother, launching toys through the air and darting into parking lots while laughing maniacally. On the other hand, I had my one-year-old son who made it his mission in life to torture my husband and I from 6-12 months old, by waking up 3-5 times per night. He sapped me of the very energy I needed daily to keep up with my older son. I have always said that I don’t do well without sleep, but honestly, who does? Those were some pretty dark days of parenting for us!
I’ve ranked the top alternative options to the lame ass timeout, which I dreamed up one day when my boys were being especially evil. The imagination of a Not So Zen Mom who’s seemingly at rock bottom can be a very scary place, but I’ve found, it can also be rather entertaining. Remember, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, so let’s have a look!
In third place is the Pillory. This one broke into the top three mainly because the thought of your kids locked into this contraption is enough to crack a smile on even the most overwhelmed Not So Zen Mom.
In second place is the straight jacket. With the ability to contain your child’s flailing arms from throwing toys at your baby’s head and drawing pictures on your car with a rock, it would prove rather effective. On the other hand, with their legs free to run, the straight jacket doesn’t offer the type of restriction needed to keep your crazy kid at bay.
In first place is the Mummy Straight Jacket. With all the benefits of your run of the mill Straight Jacket, this model comes with the added benefit of containing both the arms and the legs. If you were to throw on one of those masks that Hannibal Lector wore in “Silence of the Lambs,” the look would be complete!