During our GAFT episodes, I have realized the following:
You MUST (and I repeat MUST) have a "Check Out System". I am not sure when Gator Guy and I officially started our Check Out System, but it is the only thing that keeps us sane.
The Check Out System is when one parent is struggling like hell getting Mr. T to calm down and in turn getting frustrated, angry, upset or any other emotion we don't want Mr. T to do. The other parent gives a look, a tap on the shoulder, or even verbally says "time to check out". At that moment, parent #1 walks away... usually making no eye contact. My preferred method is verbally while Gator Guy gives the look. Fitting.
This works for us because it makes us realize that we are not alone, we BOTH get frustrated and it is not good for any parties involved if the parent is too worked up. We've all been there...you raise your voice at the toddler to make that point that they should not yell or scream. Makes sense, right? Hell no. That's damn confusing for the little ones. So the Check Out System is a necessity.
Now, if the Check Out System is not available where either both parents are so fired up to handle the situation or you are alone, then is it time to implement the Parent Time Out. I remember using this one when Mr. T was just a babe and wouldn't stop crying. I felt like a terrible mother that I had to sit in the bathroom downstairs with the door closed just to have a moment to breathe. But it is what kept me sane. A fellow Yogi reminded me of this technique this week. She would say to her little one, "Honey, it is time for Mama to have a time out." That is correct. Mama needs a time out!! Mr. T may be confused and he may just continue to cry it out, but the Mama Timeout already has served us well.