Have you ever tried to reason with a two year old? How does it work out for you?
Yeah…doesn’t work for me either.
My middle child has recently fallen into the dreaded pit of “terrible twos”. He wants to eat watermelon or popsicles for dinner. We offer something slightly more nutritious and he howls like a wolf and manages to push out real tears.
When we put him in timeout for kicking the twins, he begins a succession of high-pitched cries. Only after a few seconds, he’s not really crying. He’s just making noise. Unbearable noise. His punishment becomes our punishment.
I kneel down to his level and explain why he’s in timeout. He can’t hear my reasoning because he’s screaming. Even after we release him from timeout, he continues wailing in short bursts of annoying ridiculousness.
Timeout is normally a chair in the living room. The other day, in a moment of desperation my husband decided to change things up. Our rotten beloved son was having an epic meltdown, and we couldn’t take it one more second. He calmly walked him into the sunroom, AKA the room with a door and excellent sound barriers.
Admittedly, I was not a fan at first. The hubs assured me it was fine because the door was glass, and he could reach the handle. I noticed within seconds the ear piercing cries stopped. He didn’t get worse or bang on the door. He didn’t try to come out. He stood there completely content, as if nothing had happened. Wait…what?
A few days later I tried it for myself. I could feel his emotional tornado gaining speed. I held his sticky hand and led him over the magic threshold into the sunroom. Abracadabra…it worked again. My sour kid turned sweet before I could close the door. Crazy how they shut it off so quickly, right?
Now, I’m not trying to go all Mary Poppins on you. I don’t really think our threshold has magic powers. But I do think there is something to be said about resetting.
This evening after I used the magic threshold for the 85th time, I said a prayer. I asked God to help me remember to cross over and reset. When I’m overwhelmed by housework and needy children. Or when I feel lost in the busyness of my schedule.
I can’t physically go into the sunroom. (Ya’ll know the kiddos would just follow me.) However, I can stop and imagine myself crossing the threshold emotionally. Crazy how quickly my attitude changes when I let God take me by the hand and calm me down.
When I cross over into His presence, my problems start to shrink. Sure, the kids are still sick, and the bills won’t pay themselves. But stepping over the threshold changes my perspective. It changes my attitude. It changes me.
Join me today in crossing over. Reset yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
(Now if I could just find a magic threshold for potty training…)