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We need a nursery for cranky old coots, at work, at the grocery store, even at church. Yep, a crying room, a time out for those grown ups who need a moment to get a grip on themselves.

And I, chief among sinners, would cheerfully be the first one to use it. I’m a big fan of time outs. Not for kids, for grown ups. Ideally you’d have a padded wall in which to bang your head, and perhaps a juice box and a blanket handy.

tantrumI am absolutely serious. What’s the difference between a two-year old having a tantrum and a 70 yr old? Nothing but the pitch and the tone of their voice. Two year olds tend to have a higher pitch and more oxygen behind their wails, but basically it is the exact same thing.

By the way, I have no idea who this Cydni is. I just snagged her little meme because it was so perfect.

Quite  a few of us older people really do need to learn how to use a time out and avail ourselves of it the very second we feel our charitably begin to leave us. Men and women. In fact, sometimes women can be the worst on account of the fact that we can be so passive aggressive, so completely disconnected from the fact that we are actually having a tantrum, and sending out little spiteful, mean, fiery  darts.

Just like a two-year old trying to kick you in the shins.

And men aren’t any better, they tend to try to justify their tantrums as just fixing things, just straightening everyone out. Utter rubbish! In fact, the very moment you think the problem is someone else, you’ve just descended into full-blown tantrum territory.

You need a timeout. Probably a blanky and a nap, too. Regardless, anything you say at that point should be completely disregarded. You done lost your mind and all sensible people are going to completely ignore you, henceforth.

I write a lot about honoring your mother and father, about trying to respect the wisdom of our elders and honor them, but there’s another part of that in Ephesians Six:4,  “provoke not your children to wrath.” Or if you prefer other versions, “do not exasperate your children,” “do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them,” “don’t stir up anger in your children.”

It really doesn’t matter how you phrase it in the bible, it all means the same thing. Don’t exploit your position, don’t look down on young people, don’t have impossible standards, don’t be unkind, and don’t throw tantrums.

I’ve walked on both sides of this fence, so you betcha I see it, and I speak  with full authority on this matter. If you have impossible standards and unrealistic expectations, you will provoke your children to wrath and that includes the middle-aged children around you, many whom you did not even give birth to.

I empathize with the cranky sometimes, but that still doesn’t make it okay. Tantrums are NOT okay, unless you schedule those things first and remove yourself to a quiet room. I don’t care how civilized your words appear on the surface, if they are dripping with sarcasm and outright contempt, well, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

That’s in the bible people, and the fact that we get older does  not make us less accountable for the condition of our hearts, it makes us more accountable.

I’m not any better, I mean I too am relationship challenged. In fact, I have a great deal of trouble dealing with stupid people. Also, mean-spirited people. Also, people who won’t listen because they think they already know everything. Also the hyper critical. The contemptuous. The disrespectful. The sneering. The snooty. The demanding, as if the whole world exists only to serve them….

Trust me on this, it’s a long, exhaustive list, and I often need a time out and some deep breathing. A padded room. A juice box, a cookie and a nap…….

 

white and brown bear plush toy

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