One day, after having a particularly calm morning (I was focused that day and remembering to use my new, “non-threatening approach!), things began to get a little tense. The kids were beginning to fight among themselves and fight for attention from me. I could feel my calm beginning to unravel. I remembered discussing “self-quieting” in class as an alternative to time out. It occurred to me this was as good a time to try it, so I said to them, “OK guys, Mommy is starting to feel a little crabby and angry, and I really don’t want to be that way. I think I’m going to take a little break and quiet myself.” Then I went to the living room which is where I usually go to be alone. After about three minutes, my son appeared, dragging his “blankie” with him and climbed on the sofa next to me. He leaned against me and quietly sat there sucking his thumb. I asked, “Do you want to sit with Mommy and have some quiet too?” Scott nodded and continued to sit with me as I tried to contain my amazement. Then Sammi came in the room with a glass of water (I almost always have a glass of water nearby), and said, “Here, Mommy, I thought you might want something to drink while you’re having quiet.” I thanked her and she climbed up on the couch on my other side. We sat together for about another ten minutes saying very little, and when we left our “quiet time” together, we were all obviously happier and calmer. We went on to have a terrific day. What a gift!
– Jan Shay