Confidence Buster #4: Fearing Intrusive Children
Confidence Booster #4: Claiming a Parental “Time Out”
Train your children early in life that mommies and daddies need their special time together, and that it’s very inconsiderate to disturb them during these times. To make sure you get that special time, consider installing some sort of lock or hook & eye latch on your bedroom door to prevent any unwelcome surprises.
As soon as our children were old enough to comprehend, we explained, “Erin, you know how much fun it is to have Mommy all to yourself to play and all of her attention is on you and no one else? And other times, it’s fun to have Daddy all to yourself for some special playtime? Well, there are times when Mommy and Daddy want to have each other all to ourselves. Do you think you can watch this 30-minute Barney tape without knocking on Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom door? If so, there’ll be a reward at the end of the movie.” This was easy-breezy with our compliant daughter. But our mischievous son was a little more resistant to the idea. He tried to insist on joining our private little party, so we had to create additional rules and incentives. “If you knock and we say we’ll be out in a minute, you have to go read a book or play by yourself. If you keep knocking, you’ll be sent to bed early that night.” Of course, he knocked for some reason every time we closed the door, so we made a new rule. “You’re not allowed to disturb us unless there is blood or vomit!” we declared. He eventually got the idea.
This may sound a little cruel, but it actually is a very healthy thing for children to learn boundaries and to understand that husbands and wives need private time alone together. This will free them up mentally to fully enjoy their own parental time-outs when they become married adults.