Why Adults Still Need To Get Put In Time Out

This is my daughter Lyza.


This is my daughter Lyza in time out.


She tends to find herself in this situation quite frequently (more posts on that subject later) and it is usually due to her making bad decisions or knee jerk reactions in moments of excitement or anger.

In time out, Lyza tends to sit fairly quietly until she calms down enough to follow simple instructions and act reasonably.

Lyza is not the only one in our family that needs timeout, I do too. 

I have found in my life that there is always a justifiable reason to make a bad decision or have a knee jerk reaction in tight situations. Here are some examples of those times:

  • Kids put on clogging shoes and tap dances on hood of car.
  • Kids decide to make sand castles with a tub of flour in the kitchen.
  • Kid decides to pee from front door down steps.
  • Kids decide to draw murals on car seats with markers and pens.
  • Kid locks themselves in car and won’t open door (happening as I write this post).
  • Kid locks sister in room.
  • Kid shoves 3 DVDs in player upside down (didn’t know this was possible)
  • Kid hides loads of dirty diapers in a “secret compartment” until our entire house smells.

While these are all rather comical now,  all of these situations create fantastic opportunities for knee jerk reactions. I have had my fair share of getting angry, or excited, and making completely illogical decisions at times like these. Instead I have set a goal to put myself in grown up Time-Out.

When something bad happens I try to never make a big decision on how to handle the situation immediately. I sit on it, I sleep on it, I write out the options, I talk to other people or I try to get alone where I can just sit and think so that my decision making isn’t based completely on current emotions. I fail  at times… Ok, all the time. But, there have been big decisions where a time out has lead me to the best options.

Here are a few examples:

Hillary getting home from her Mission in Peru

It was no secret I was interested in Hillary when I left on my mission to England. It was no surprise when we dated after I got home. It was set in stone that she was going to serve a mission and when her call to Peru came everyone wondered what would happen afterwards. When she came home it was super awkward. I was so ready to spend my life with her, but I wasn’t the only one interested and Hillary was just trying to get used to being home.

I put myself in time-out. 

I sat outside one day and just thought through things.  At the time I was reading a book called The Alchemist and it talked about watching and learning from signs in the universe around you. As I was sitting outside I saw two birds flying. The bird in front darted all over the place, back and forth. The bird in the back could never quite catch or pass the one in front because it was focusing on the chase compared to the destination. As I watched these birds flying all over, the distinct  thought came to my mind…

If you continue to chase Hillary she will continue to fly away

So, even though my emotions were crying for me to rush and give her the top 10 list of why she would be crazy to not date me, I decided to leave town and keep working the sales job I had in Utah. A week went by and I got a phone call from Hillary. She practically said “Why aren’t you chasing me?”. The rest is history. If I wouldn’t have taken time to myself with zero distractions I wouldn’t have calmed down enough to make a good decision.


Starting Nifty

I had a great job at Rove Pest Control and had no plans to start my own company. Due to a rough summer things changed, and the job I thought I had changed scope dramatically. I had a very short time (like 1 day) to decide whether to stay on at Rove, or do something else.  My wife was pregnant, we had starting building a house in Burley that same day, and I was in my final semester of school. My initial thought was that I had to stay at Rove due to all of the crazy things happening around me. I took a day to think. I talked to my Mission President about my options and got advice from him. I talked to my wife. I prayed. I thought.

I can’t explain what happened, but I can say that I knew I could start my own business, I knew that I could be successful, and I knew that everything would work out.

I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I didn’t take that time out to think through my options and receive some wonderful advice from people I looked up too. Now, I still am able to work with Rove (they are a great client) and have been able to be in a wonderful new industry with some wonderful people.

Daily Grind

Without getting too specific I can say that on any given day I deal with fires like disgruntled employees, upset clients, massive hiccups on projects that incur 10,000’s in additional expenses, and the list could go on and on. With each issue I feel I get better about sitting back and thinking on a response. I get better about sending my thoughts to a 3rd party for feedback. It’s never easy but it’s always worth it.

What about times I failed to put myself in Time Out

It wouldn’t be a complete story without a few failures. With that in mind here are a few times I wish I would have handled it differently.

The Voice

It’s a fine line to walk when you create a business to stand up to a community bully.  While many decisions with The Voice were thought out, slept on, prayed about, and seriously contemplated there were a few times that my emotion got the best of me. I do not regret starting the company, I do not regret exposing the conflicts of interest by running as a write in candidate,  but I do wish that I could have found a way to be effective without offending so many people through the process. My emotions at times were a little too strong on specific subjects and news happenings.

Making Kids Cry

There has many times where my kids do something and they get some very fast and sharp words. I knew when I took it too far when my son Joshua burst into tears once and said through uncontrollable sobs…

You really hurt my feelings Dad

Those words were like knives. I’m sure he doesn’t remember what I tried to correct him on, he just remembered that I hurt his feelings.

“Discussions” with Hillary

I have the best wife in the world. She is so grateful for what I do and truly expects very little of me other than to treat her and the kids with love and respect. 100% of the “discussions” we have usually are my fault. Like the time I complained about a chair my wife got for Christmas. I had been asking for a chair in my office. Around the 23rd of December I came home and there was a recliner in our bedroom and she said “Merry Christmas!”. I instantly said,

I asked for a chair for my office, not for you to get yourself a chair.

It hurt her feelings. What I missed was that she had other presents for me, and the chair was for both of us to use in the bedroom with one of our newborns. If I would have waited and not spoke, I would have sure made that Christmas better.


I need time-outs. Some of my greatest moments of self discovery have came when I pause and reflect. They have also been the moments that help me know and understand God and his will for me. Try a time-out yourself and let me know how it goes.