When my children were young, I used various corrective methods to teach them proper behaviors. But as they grew to four years and older, I realized that simply saying, “Don’t do that” was insufficient. They needed an explanation.
All parents want their children to grow in virtue, but achieving this end requires calm, careful instruction across a broad range of disciplines, which, of course, is impossible when a parent is angry and a child is screaming.
So I began to write The TimeOut Papers, presented here in an easy-to-use spiral-bound book.
If Sam is teasing Mazy and she responds in anger, Sam will enter the TimeOut Zone and copy the paper that reads: “Teasing hurts others and causes hard feelings. . . . Dear God, help me to apologize and do something nice for ________________ to make up for being mean.” And Mazy will learn through her own writing exercise that “ he who has a hasty temper exalts folly (Proverbs 14:29).”
When various situations arose that required correction, I used this gentle method of “punishment without tears” by either reading the appropriate papers aloud to my younger children or by having my older children copy and read them to me.Through this direct, prayerful process, my children learned to resolve behavioral problems in positive ways that led to virtue and reliance on God. They practiced their penmanship too!
The dozens of papers in this book cover misbehaviors that every child needs to overcome in order to function well at home and in society, including disrespecting parents, talking back, whining, swearing, lying, fighting, name-calling, bullying, slamming doors, complaining about going to church, gossiping, tattling, evading chores, not doing homework, and many more. The book is chock-full of instantly accessible solutions for the problems that all children face.
If you’re struggling to bring peace and virtue to your home, The TimeOut Papers is a quick source to train your children in the gospel way of life in a way that sitting in a corner or lecturing simply cannot accomplish.