Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time In

Adoptive parenting experts often recommend "time in's" instead of time outs.  I'm sure I've talked about this before!  Oftentimes, kids with backgrounds involving neglect, trauma, and maltreatment, just can't handle time outs.  They don't yet have the ability to calm themselves down so time outs just sort of carry on the big feelings that made them act out in the first place.  What they really need is be pulled close to you when they misbehave. 

We used to do time in's a lot with J-Man, but he was so physically aggressive for so long that our "cuddles" turned into this contorted position where I would hold each of his arms in my hands and hold his legs down with my keep him from hitting and kicking me.  Needless to say, this position did not feel like the nurturing closeness we were going for. 

We started therapy again last week and the therapist suggested we try to sort of swaddle J-Man with a blanket during his time in's and even refer to it as "baby time" if that would help.  The first night with the swaddling went great!  He loved acting like a baby.  But the second night, he was very upset, telling me he's a big boy, and thrashing around.  I had to hold him very tight so he could not injure me, but using the blanket that was wrapped around him to keep him confined felt so much more nurturing. It's such a simple thing, but man, we should've introduced a blanket into our time in's a long time ago!  It keeps him from hurting me while simultaneously making him feel nurtured.

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