A New Twist on Time Out

5 minutes of hand holding…I love it! Ali Martel describes how she gives her son and daughter a time-out with 5 minutes of hand holding. While this doesn’t work for everyone, say siblings that can’t keep their hands off one another, it works for her. Maybe it can work for you too!


“The sky is blue.”

“Actually it’s more like a shade of turquoise-ish aqua.”

“Josh! If I want to say it’s blue, then it’s blue.”

“But you would be wrong Isabella. Just like always.”

“That’s not true! It’s blue!”





Now, as a parent, I rarely get things right. I pack the wrong lunches. I serve the wrong dinners. I clearly don’t help enough when it comes to Emily’s Medieval Times report. I don’t cuddle enough. I cuddle too much. I am so mean for forcing Isabella to brush her hair. I buy the wrong yogurt, the wrong milk, and the wrong cereal. I listen to the wrong music, I watch the wrong shows, and I sign the kids up for the wrong activities. I don’t buy the right sandals, or shorts, or t-shirts. I am horrible for not buying my pre-teen a cellphone.

It’s amazing that the three of them are still alive and breathing, isn’t it?

But, there is one thing I do that’s 100% right.

I have got this punishment thing down to a science. A very sneaky, sneaky science.

It’s simple, really.

If you disrespect your sibling? 5 minutes of hand-holding.

If you raise your voice to your sibling? 5 minutes of hand-holding.

If you make fun of your sibling? 5 minutes of hand-holding.

If you argue for the sake of argument about the color of the sky or any other such nonsense? 5 minutes of hand-holding.

Nobody likes it.

Nobody, of course, except for their Mama.

Mostly because this method of parenting actually works, and, well, because it makes for adorable photos.


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