I just read this on another blog and loved it...
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Yesterday I caught myself yelling at the top of my lungs for [my children] to just be quiet. I put Laylee in timeout. "Laylee," I said calmly, "Do we yell in this family?"
She looked up at me with utter confusion, a look that said, "You were just yelling but I don't want to be in timeout forever for talking back to you so I'm going to wait this out," and stayed mute.
So I apologized for yelling and now I have to go in timeout if I yell in the house too. To me, timeout seems like a great place. You chill out, staring blankly at the wall "thinking about what you've done" but honestly you can think about anything you want. Laylee's not the boss of my inner-most thoughts. No one is supposed to interact with you in timeout so it's really like a mini-vacation in the middle of the day. I may have to start yelling on PURPOSE!