The "cooling off period" (Nelson, 1996) is an effective tool for putting some space between you and your children when emotions run high, and communication breaks down. Basically, the cooling off period is a "positive time-out" that allows everyone a chance to readjust emotionally so that constructive solutions can be found to problems. You can use the cooling off period to:
Recently a young mother confided in me that her almost eight-year-old daughter had begun telling lies. The lies were mostly small in scope, and didn't seem to be focused on hiding anything in particular. In fact, they seemed mostly like little white lies. When this mother confronted her daughter, the youngster explained that she had noticed that some kids seem to get away with lies. She gave a few examples of other children who had either told a lie at school, or at home, and had seemingly not been caught. Moreover, in some cases these children had gotten away with something because their lies had been taken for the truth.
An important aspect of a child's personality has to do with what is called "temperament." Temperament refers to a one's predisposition to act and react in certain ways based on personality characteristics that are present at birth. One of the most well known scales for assessing temperament is the "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator" developed by Isabel Myers and her mother, Kathryn Briggs. The Myers-Briggs scale is based on Carl Jung's "psychological types" described in his book of the same title.
Time-out is probably one of the most well known and widely used disciplinary techniques to emerge since the baby boom of the 50's. It was originally used as an alternative to spanking and other forms of corporal punishment, and became very popular with the advent of behaviorally oriented parenting programs. Today it is still considered a useful tool in the parents' bag of tricks, and it can be very effective if employed properly. We offer the following guidelines.
A powerful tool for enhancing the parent-child relationship and building self-esteem is to provide children with "recognition" on a regular basis. Recognition can be offered in a variety of ways, however, is particularly effective when given verbally. Howard Glasser has developed four types of verbal recognition that are easy to use and take a minimum of time to employ.