67. Time-out

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Mildred went to pick up her son Bill from school one afternoon. When she got to the school, Mildred noticed that Bill looked upset. He was pouting and did not want to look at her. "What's wrong?" she asked him. "I got in trouble," Bill said in a low voice. "What happened?" Mildred asked gently. "I got put in time-out for grabbing a toy from Mary," Bill said.

Mildred wasn't sure what a time-out was. She knew that time-outs were called in sports whenever a player was injured but she wasn't sure how that would be used in a kindergarten classroom. Mildred was sure though that her son grabbing a toy from a classmate was not correct. The next day when Mildred took Bill to school, she stopped the teacher. She asked the teacher to explain what a time-out was. Mildred told the teacher that Bill was very upset about the time-out he had the day before. The teacher explained that time-out was a discipline tool she used in the classroom. When she saw Bill grab the toy from Mary, she told him to go into time-out. Time-out is a chair next to the teacher's desk where a student has to sit quietly when they do something

"They aren't kicked out of the classroom, just taken out of the immediate situation so they can reflect on what they did wrong," the teacher explained. Mildred thought it was an interesting way to teach self-control to little kids. "Can I use this at home?" Mildred asked the teacher. "Of course!" the teacher said.

Later that night, Mildred got into an argument with her husband for something. In the middle of the argument she slammed her hand on the kitchen counter. "Mommy, you need a time-out," Bill said.

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