Friday, July 9, 2010

Mikko's first time-out — and why it didn't work

Megan with FatherWe went to pick up Mikko from school yesterday, and we couldn't find him at first — even though the class was outside and we passed everyone including him to get to the room where we thought they were. He was sitting playing quietly by himself and didn't call out to us when we arrived.

The teacher — a newer one — pointed him out where he sat playing with the garden hose, soaking the sidewalk (and himself).

"He had a little time-out today," she told us.

Ah.

Apparently, he had wanted to run around the corner of the building, where he was out of view of the two teachers, and after he had done so three times, he had a time-out before he was given his popsicle with the other kids.

"You might want to talk with him about that," she said, meaning, I presumed, the inadvisability of running around the corner of the building — not the experience of the time-out itself.

We've never given Mikko a time-out. I don't believe they're effective, for one thing, and they strike me as a form of love withholding, for another. (More on both of those issues later.)

Don't get me wrong; I know time-outs are super common and I believe most people who choose time-outs as a discipline technique are doing the best they can to find a discipline method that's not harmful or mean. I much prefer a short time-out over something harsher like spanking, for instance.

But I would have preferred even more that the teachers had used a gentler method more in line with his developmental abilities — like a time-in, where you sit with the child and give undistracted attention. (Sometimes "acting out" is just a cry to be focused on.) And like talking through the problem — as many times as needed. With a three-year-old, yes, it can take a lot of times to get the message through. In this case, apparently more than three. I would have appreciated if they'd asked him why he was running around the corner (more on that later, too), and if they had brainstormed ways for everyone to be happy and safe (such as moving one teacher further down the playground so everyone could be seen, even around the corner). And, yes, as a mother I sometimes need my own time-out to cool off and not go with my first reaction to misbehavior, so it's not always easy to think charitably in the moment. So I understand that, in a classroom, teachers might not have the time or opportunity available for that sort of intensive, one-on-one experience.

And I don't think, either, that having one discipline method (as long as it's not abusive) in one environment (a school, a divorced partner's house, the grandparents' place) and having another in your own home is overly confusing to a child — I think children can adapt and learn the rules for each place. And, from a gentle discipline standpoint, I feel comfortable that most of Mikko's discipline experiences will be with us, so I know he'll feel loved unconditionally where it counts (well, I hope!).

Sam picked Mikko up, and Mikko immediately snuggled into him, turning his face away from the teacher. I thought he seemed kind of distant and abstracted, but she said they were all tired from being out in the sun.

We looked around for his shoes. Where were they? Not in his cubby, not on his feet, not on the playground. The teacher peeked around the corner. Ah, in the base of a tree! Tucked in neatly where the two trunks diverged. After the teacher gave him the go-ahead, Mikko ran to the tree, around that forbidden corner, to retrieve them from his hidey-hole.

It was on my mind, but I didn't talk to Mikko about it that night, or to Sam. But today, we wanted to take Mikko back to school for a make-up session.

And he didn't want to go.

This isn't rare, precisely, but he's been happy about Schule for the last several weeks. We thought we'd turned the corner and now we wouldn't have problems anymore with dropping him off. But now we were back to chants of "No Schule, no Schule, I can't like Schule."

And then it changed to "Schule too scary." Too scary.

Sam and I started talking to him about the time-out, and he was clearly still very upset about it. He didn't like being in trouble with his teacher and the feeling of being ashamed, with no way to right it. I don't know what kind of resolution the two of them had had after the incident, beyond that he did get a popsicle eventually. I bet he didn't like watching the other children eat theirs while he had to sit apart from the group, and the further shame of that.

What struck me the most was what the time-out had accomplished:
  • It had made him frightened of and disconnected from his teachers, and made him shy away from the school he used to look forward to attending.
  • It made him feel misunderstood and picked on.

and what it hadn't:
  • Never once did he mention why he had been punished, or say he was sorry about it, or indicate he understood the problem and wouldn't do it again.
In other words, punishing him made him distressed at the punishment and his punishers, but it didn't make him focus on changing the behavior that brought the punishment down on him. In that case, why punish at all?

Now, I know you might say if he was used to time-outs that he would have been less distressed to receive one. Then again, if he was used to time-outs to that extent, he would be used to tuning them out entirely. I rarely received punishments at school, because I was one of those obnoxious teacher's pets — but when I did, boy howdy, did I feel awful. Angry at how unfair my teacher was being, hot shame at being called out in front of the class. Again, there was no sense of sorrow and regret for how I had misbehaved — more just a resolve to avoid being caught in future.

I finally convinced Mikko to let me take him to the school and just peek in to see that, as I'd promised, today's teachers were different. It's Spanish day, so the German teachers aren't there. As we passed by the side of the wall that he had kept running to yesterday (which, frankly, could easily be within view of the teachers, so I'm not clear what the problem was except maybe for short tempers from being out in the hot sun), he pointed to the trees there. "Trees so tall," he said, showing me, a note of apology in his voice.

I almost cried.

He just loved those trees. He just wanted to play over in their shade instead of out in the bright 90-degree heat. There was no malicious intent, just a three-year-old who wanted to do what he wanted and didn't understand why it might not be safe.

Sam and I talked more about the time-out afterward, and we're not sure what to do. My understanding from the school manual is that time-outs are a last resort, so I'm not clear if this was a case of last resort (according to the teacher's view) or if the teacher was unfamiliar with the discipline standards. I feel like we need to talk with the teachers, anyway, just to let them know how badly he was affected by the time-out and how easily his feelings can be hurt. As a sensitive person myself, I know it can be hard to bounce back from being rejected like that, and I think that's how Mikko's feeling.

Some would argue he needs to be toughened up by such adversity so he's ready for the "real world" of school with teachers in charge and jobs with bosses in charge — but, frankly, if the real world's that mean, count me out. I'll stay in the one where people are respected, even the small ones.

I don't have time to talk in this post about all the reasons I believe what I do about discipline and the futility of rewards and punishments, but I hope this showed a real-life example of (a) how punishments are ineffective, (b) how they harm relationships, and (c) how there's often more to the story than what a parent or teacher wants vs. what a child is doing. For more information on theories of gentle discipline, a book that absolutely blew my mind was Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason. And Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves: Transforming parent-child relationships from reaction and struggle to freedom, power and joy, by Naomi Aldort, has helpful and practical tips for how to change our responses to our children's behavior.

Some other resources on the subject:

What do you do when the discipline style of other people your child comes into contact with (teachers, co-parents, grandparents, etc.) differs from your own? (I really want to know!) I'm wondering how to talk about this issue with the school — what should I say, and how?

Photo courtesy Michael Smith on flickr (cc)
P.S. I'm aware I'm over my Photobucket bandwidth limit again
so some posts might not show any pictures. I'm working on it!

20 comments:

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I must say - I rushed right over here to read when I saw your tweet - Lauren gave Mikko a timeout?! I thought I knew her! ;)
Seriously though, this whole post made me sad. What perceptive, intuitive parents you are, Mikko is so lucky to have you!
I definitely think you need to talk to the teachers. The staff is probably so used to time-outs that they don't see the danger. Heck, they might not even know there are drawbacks to such a "gentle" (by mainstream standards) disciplinary measure.
I would tell them in exactly the same storytelling way that you related it here.
Poor Mikko :(
I have that same thought sometimes about "the real world," but it's hard to see your baby get hurt by another adult that he trusted.

Michelle @ The Parent Vortex said...

Oh, that sounds so awful for both of you. I don't know if I have any advice... I looked around at preschools last year and just didn't feel like anything fit for Bea so we didn't register her for preschool. I spent most of the year reading about homeschooling and meeting some other local homeschoolers. That's on our agenda for her 4-5y/o year as well. We'll make a decision about kindergarten when we come to it, I suppose.

My mom has a much stricter view on discipline and whenever she starts disciplining Bea in a way that we don't discipline at home (counting to ten, threatening the "time out chair"), I simply say, "we don't use that at home," and take over the discipline from there. This works for us because we see my mom infrequently and when we do I am almost always with both her and Bea.

If I were in a situation like yours with a preschool I would speak with the teachers and describe the kind of discipline you do use, and perhaps recommend a few books. And also talk with Mikko about what happened, of course.

kelly @kellynaturally said...

This is a tough one. Firstly, I'd say that his behaviour hardly warrented something as severe as a time out. We don't give time outs either. Though we have. They don't work. And really... good, I'm glad they don't. But like you, I understand in some circumstances, and some situations, a separation may be warranted. Case in point, we never ever gave my 1st child a time out - didn't even seem like a possibility on the horizon - until my 2nd was born. And things like... Hitting a baby. and Hitting Mommy. and Kicking walls. and Kicking babies and Mommies. and Repeating those things ad infinitum with increasing fervor while all attempts at redirection, explanation, example, empathy, and even nursing didn't work.... Only then did the time out come into play. A few times. With terrible results for all involved.

I've learned its nearly always better to weather the storm, to empathize, to be the calm you wish to see, than it is to try to get embroiled in some kind of punishment/lesson with a toddler who doesn't even know why they're doing what they're doing in the first place.

Deep breath.

Not that we haven't used them, but at nearly 6yo, a time out is a whole different animal than it is with a newly 3 year old. At six, you can say, please go take a time out - calm down, think over how you're feeling, when you feel more calm & ready to interact with kindness, then come on back. With a 3 yo, a time out is a parent-enforced separation. And its apt to be misinterpreted.

As far as the school situation.

My youngest (also newly 3) has been with the same teacher since 18mo. The policy at their school also has time out listed as a last resort, but the teacher doesn't use the word time outs - they aren't enforced by anything other than the teacher gently guiding or asking the child to please move to a quiet area of the classroom, or edge of the reading area, etc, until they are peaceful again and when the child has calmed they are welcome to come back.

There is no "think about what you did". There is no "say sorry". Just an expecation of behavior, encouraged and directed by example. When the child has calmed, the teacher talks to them about how the other child may have felt about whatever the issue was (hitting, etc.)and asks what the child thinks they could do to help the injured child feel better - hug, share a toy, etc. There's no coersion though... from what I've observed & talked with his teacher.



I love our kids school, it meshes well with our parenting. Its a Montessori, and its wonderful. But, I'm rambling, wow.

I do think a talk with the teacher is warranted, but I'd bring it up as what you observed in your child's behavior at home after the incedent & ask if the teacher could relay what happened - that you're trying to piece together the story. Not as an accusation, or an expectation of how you think school should be run, but more like an information gathering/sharing session... and see where it goes from there.

The school thing is hard at times. Its hard to give over care of your child, even for a little while, to someone who may do things not quite the same way as you. But overall... I think if you're happy with the school in other ways, this is just a small bump in the road, and will build resiliancy in children - and a more broad understanding of the complexity of human response. Not everyone will always react the same way to our childrens' behavior... and I think its okay for our children to experience that. Within limits, of course.

((hugs))

Amber said...

I chose my daughter's current school because they don't use time-outs. Although they still use some discipline tactics I don't love. Like, if you get up and run around during nap time, you are the last child who is released from your cot when nap time is over. I understand that children up and playing during nap time disturb everyone, but the consequence is arbitrary and removed from the act by a significant period of time, so I don't love it for that reason.

However, honestly, I don't sweat it. Different people handle discipline differently, and I personally believe that as parents we matter far more than teachers. I don't even remember my preschool teachers - I sort of think one of them was named Elizabeth, but in the long run they didn't have a huge impact on me. And so, I haven't made an issue of the different styles. However, neither has my daughter, so that changes things, too.

As for what you should do - I agree that the whole thing may have been arbitrary, but asking teachers to move to facilitate your child's play may be unreasonable. I assume that there are many children to watch, and so the ability to be present with one child is limited. I find this to be true for myself even just with my 2 children. However, discussing the discipline approach and particularly the aftermath is reasonable. I think that by sticking to facts as much as possible, and avoiding accusatory language, you can have the best conversation.

Momma Jorje said...

I have a DVD a friend gave me of a talk given by Alfie Kohn. I love it!

My husband has a 2yo daughter that lives with her mother. The mother spanks her and it breaks our hearts. She has even been known to use a wooden spoon. What could a 2yo *possibly* do to warrant that?! Even if it IS over a diaper! Sigh.

I've used "reasoning" with my 11yo since she was tiny and I feel it worked. She would sometimes still feel shame from my disappointment when she did misbehave or damaged something that wasn't hers, but I think I managed to keep clear the most important: unconditional love.

Sorry I don't have advice. Good luck!

emily wierenga said...

i learn from you. thank you for caring so deeply.

Melodie said...

HOnestly this post made me feel a bit ashamed of myself - but in a good way. You see, once in my daycare I gave one of the kids a time out. I didn't call it that but it was time away because I was at the end of my rope and I could no longer cope with their behaviour. Once I was cooled down I talked it over with the child and gave her a hug, but also made it clear she couldn't do whatever it was that she did. I also told the parents. A few days later I got a call from the parent saying she was having trouble getting her daughter excited about coming to my place and that this had been happening for a faw days. I felt absolutely awful!! In the end we amended the situation and I gave this child lots of extra attention to make up for what I realize now was shaming her. I admit I was at fault. However, I guess I also want to put in a plug for child care providers in general. It can be pretty crazy, nerve racking, stressful and annoying to look after a large group of children, many of whom won't listen to you, and sometimes (in my case anyway) there aren't helpers who can watch child A and B while you wrangle the rest of them. Even if there is there is SO MUCH going on that you have to keep an eye out for. My eyes were in about 20 places at once and I only have two eyes! Somedays it gave me a headache! So while the teacher should have, under optimal conditions, chosen to do act differently, I would make sure you consider that there were likely other factors at play that may have caused her not to use her best judgement at the time or to use all that she could under the circumstances. One thing I learned doing child care, you may think parenting is hard caring for your own kids - well add even one more (up to five more for me on some days) and you will wonder what the problems were you ever had with only one (or two).

Melodie said...

Let me know if my comment went through. I got a note saying it was too big and then later it looked as though it was being saved for approval. It was really long though so I don't want to re-write it if I don't have to. Thanks.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

Thank you, everyone, for the support!

First, an update: Sam went to pick up Mikko from school today and was able to talk with the teacher in charge (who wasn't there yesterday). Conversation turned to how Mikko was chasing someone and throwing bark on the playground (whoops!), and Sam was able to slip in, conversationally, that Mikko was already feeling bad about coming today because of the time-out yesterday. The head teacher was really surprised, saying they don't usually do time-outs (which was my reaction, too, so it was nice to have it validated). From what Sam related to me, it sounds like Sam kept it really neutral, not as a tattling on the other teacher or we're-super-angry sort of thing, just relaying how Mikko had felt about it. So maybe we'll get to talk with the other teacher next week and hear some more of her side of the story. (I will say it's this sort of thing that makes me hesitant to tell people IRL I blog. ;)

I also want to reassure Amber and Melodie (and everyone) that I have the deepest respect for the preschool teachers. Pretty much every time we witness them at work, Sam and I turn to each other and say, I could never do that, and thank goodness someone wants to and likes it! Because I totally get stressed with just one, and I don't at all expect them to treat him like the king of the daycare or anything. Even when I was saying what I wish would have happened in this situation, I completely acknowledge that such one-on-one attention (with a mind free for clear thought and examining every child's every motive) is not likely to happen in a group setting. It's partly for that reason that I allow the school to have different disciplinary techniques without (too) many qualms. This even includes, for instance, praise of the good-boy sort, which is something I choose not to use but would never correct in them. Just in general, I don't want to be someone with the effrontery to teach the teachers how they should be doing what I know must be an amazingly tough job.

I guess I was just reassured when I read the manual upon choosing this school that time-outs were reserved as a last resort, but now one's been used in a situation where I'm not sure it was warranted (and this apart from my own distaste for the technique). But, you know, maybe it was warranted, either in the teacher's mind or in fact. I mean, it's possible I misunderstood how far he was roaming; what they showed me was not out of sight, but maybe I wasn't understanding, with the German-to-English translating going on. I do want him to be safe, because there's a parking lot just beyond that grassy area, so if he were roaming beyond the next corner, he'd have been practically into the street. Maybe that's what she meant? Even if not, clearly she was worried that's where he was headed. So I do understand her concern, and that he should not do such things and needs to learn to listen when they say to stay put. I just feel so bad that his spirit had to be broken like that during the lesson and feel like there could have been a more respectful way, you know?

BUT, people could certainly write judging blog posts about the ways I sometimes blow my top and do things I don't want to (sigh) — maybe this is a case where the teacher overreacted and now realizes that. Or maybe she doesn't know the school's position on time-outs and will learn and change.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

Blogger yelled at me for being too wordy. :) To continue:

And, I do know that partly it's my responsibility as a parent. If I really don't want him to be exposed to alternate discipline styles, then I need to take him out of school. We're choosing to send him, so we're choosing to allow him to rub up against people who think differently. I've decided that's OK for now, but I might change my mind when it comes time for the next phase in schooling since we're still weighing homeschooling/unschooling (hard, though, when Sam and I both work from home and really cherish the time we have to get work done, even though it's just twice a week right now). And we chose this school based on its language immersion, rather than looking toward a Montessori or similar program, although being a (good) preschool, for the most part it's still very laid-back and child-honoring.

Dionna: I almost changed the title because of that but then figured it might get more hits this way. Ha ha! Thank you so much for your caring response.

Michelle: I'm going to memorize "we don't use that at home" for my family trip this summer. I hope I won't need it, but based on past visits, well, it might come in handy. Sigh.

Kelly: Love your comment. I think what you've written is just a perfect description of how, even when you think you need to use something like time-outs, they still don't really do what you were hoping. I like when you say "weather the storm," and so on, because I think we as parents (adults) see the logic in what we're asking so clearly that it befuddles us and then angers us that our children are too immature either to understand or to agree, and we want to reach for something, anything, to force them to change to the way we want. You know? I mean, I say this as someone who's been at the end of my rope before and acted in ways I've regretted — and the contrast w/ when I can be calm and persistent is so striking. I'm much more likely to get the results I wanted that way, anyhow, but more importantly, we all feel better about the interaction. I like how you point out that different ages handle time-outs differently, too. Like, if my husband says to me, it looks like you're stressed, why don't you go take a walk? (in a nice voice) I would feel fine about that. Well, after the walk at least! ;) But sitting a 3-year-old on a naughty step is coerced separation and reads as judgment. And I agree with what you say (and Amber's thoughts here as well) about schools giving our children other experiences that just widen their view of how the world reacts to them. Oh, heck, I just agree with you altogether.

Jorje: Spanking a 2-year-old with a spoon. Deep, deep sigh. That must be really hard for you and your husband to stomach; I'm so sorry. Thanks for the testimonial of your 11-year-old. You bring up a good point that, whenever there's conflict, there might still be that feeling of having disappointed someone. But what I notice is Mikko is then quick to offer a sincere "I sorry, Mama" and give me a hug and try to make the situation better if I'm being reasonable and loving; with the time-out thing, he didn't even want to make eye contact with the teacher. So, yeah, when you keep the love flowing, it makes such a difference in the result.

Emily: Thank you!

Melodie: Thank you for sharing that story. I'm so glad you could give her extra attention to make her feel safe again. Probably that's just what Mikko needs, too. We all have those moments (well, I do, even with just one kid), so I totally understand.

mamapoekie said...

poor kiddo
and that's why I'm never putting LO in school

kelly @kellynaturally said...

Okay, I'm back again! Firstly, thank you so much for your comment to my comment. I felt like I babbled on a bit, and didn't fully say what I was trying to say, so I'm glad a bit of my intention came through. :)
But secondly, I'm back because I was browsing around, and came across this blog post... Written by a preschool teacher trying to teach natural/logical consequences. It seemed relevant, and so I'm passing it along.
http://mariamontessori.com/mm/?p=906

kyrielle said...

Lauren - I'm no Mikko, but I was very sensitive as a child - and several of my deepest, most hurtful memories are times I was shamed by authority figures and then not backed by my parents. In some cases they very much DID feel I'd been wronged, but didn't communicate that to me.

I'd wait until you know what happened, and it depends on how you'd take it, but you may want to reassure him that you would have handled it differently or the like. One thing to remember - you left him with these people in charge of him, which means that what they do is in your name - I think sometimes it is easy to forget how early kids understand that (and how singularly true it seems).

Lisa C said...

I don't have time to read the whole post, but I read the story about Mikko and your preference for time-in.

Today in the church nursery, a little girl was sitting on the rocking horse and pushing anyone that came too close to her. I gave some sympathy to one little boy who kept going up to her and getting pushed away, and then I noticed the little girl had in her hand another little girl's hair barrette. The other girl was wanting it back. I asked her for it and she refused to give it back. So I scooped her up and took her into the other room. I sat her in my lap asked if she was having a hard day. She got that "You understand??" look in her eyes and nodded her head. Then I had to take a little boy to the bathroom and asked her to wait for me. When I got back to her, she was calmed down and ready to give the barrette back to the other girl. She was fine after that.

I think time-ins work. Though I don't like that term. I wish I could just say "time-out" but unfortunately that term has already been claimed by a technique that means something else.

Susie said...

It's interesting for me to see how my responses to thigns have changed in the past 20 years. (My oldest is turning 20 and youngest is 4, I have 5 altogether)

I am a lot more easy going now at 40 realizing the amount of knowledge I know have is zip compared to the vast banks of knowledge in the world, than when I was 20 and I thought I knew everything.

I am a lot less judgmental about myself and others. I don't let everything go, but I choose the important battles. (both with my kids and in life)

I have realized that the way I react to thinks affects the way my kids react to things. Even if I hide my reactions, if it is something that upsets me, my kids know and react accordingly. So I don't bother.

I also think the more kids you have the more dynamics in general there are. Now it's not just the parents between themselves and each of them with the child. There is each sibling which each other, with each parents, 2 siblings in regard to a 3rd.... basically the dynamics increase exponentially and whereas once upon a time you had a semblense of control over things, it is now all lost. For good and for bad.

Everyone needs to follow the route that is right for them.

Hope this wasn't too long.

Betsy B. Honest said...

Aw, you are such a sweet, loving mama & papa. I think you understanding Mikko's point-of-view in this kerfuffle will mean the world to him.

I do think time-outs are too harsh in a preschool environment. A timeout from a teacher in a classroom would be harder on a kid then one at home. But I do see how the teacher would be worried about his safety if he kept running off. Poor little boo.

I can tell you will find a way to turn it into a learning experience for all involved.

Suzanne said...

Your post really struck me and made me worry about preschool for my LO. I'd be really curious to hear whether you think that this event is still affecting him in a week or two. I'm just curious what the long term affect of the event was, having only a 8 mo myself.

Momma Jorje said...

@Lauren It does break my husband's heart. At one point (before the spoon), she wanted to spank her for not being affectionate toward him (tying in with your newest post)! He insisted that she not be spanked for anything in regards to him.

And me... every time he tells me about a spanking, I instantly physically ill. I'm in no position to nudge toward change, there is nothing I an do about it. I just... ugh, it makes me sick!

mamamilkers said...

Oh so much to say on this subject. First off, I use time-outs, but more so with my 6 yo. I use them because she gets so worked up and out of control and needs a place to sit down and re-group. It is not the only tool I use, not by far, but it is one. And for the most part, it works-- in that when she's done resting, she comes back calmer. Does she NEVER act that way again? No, of course not! But I would venture to say that no discipline tool, positive or otherwise, produces such perfect results. In my ideal world I would sit with her and snuggle her and figure out what was up and be a picture perfect mother every time she mis-behaves, but holy cow. I have two kids. I have stuff going on. I am not the picture of patience. Added to that, my kids both need A LOT of me. A LOT. They have issues and oh, my. It's a lot. I find the space to sit with them every day but dear lord, I simply couldn't every single time one of the two was sassy.

On another note: I can't even believe the teacher told you to talk to your NEWLY THREE YEAR OLD about not doing it again. My goodness. Like you're going to say something that will make him never do it again?

I have never, not once, been told to deal with a behavior at home so it stops happening at school. They offer me suggestions, but it's never put on me like I need to fix what the girls do at school. I honestly find that part pretty darn shocking.

The girls' school doesn't use time-outs, either. I mean, not like your son's was. Not in the "go sit over here and miss snack because you were naughty" sort of way. I am sure they get re-directed and whatnot, but not punished like that.

And three, newly three, is so young for that kind of punishment. I am hoping that it was some random misunderstanding that caused the teacher to do that.

On that note, though? He's going to be fine. I mean, I know you know that. And he is so little, you worry. But he will be fine. It sounds like such a positive place in sooooo many other ways for him to be.

Lisa said...

Hey there, I just read this post. It breaks my heart. I am super huge on not using time-out. I wrote a post on it too awhile back...
http://barefootbarn.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/time-out-doesnt-work/

you've got it right on sister...isolation doesn't work. Yet we do it from 2 yrs old on -- and in our criminal "justice" system. Think about that one! What kind fo society are we?!

With Aidan we try to use a lot of time in, like you. We also use a lot of humor and a lot of "oh you must not be feeling too good. Why don't you come and be with me?" And I bring him closer to me.

You post really resonated w/ me. see what you think of mine.

blessings, Lisa

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