Recently, Arizona Daily Star reporter Patty Machelor reported on a new child-care tactic from the Arizona Department of Child Safety called the “10-10-10 Rule.” It’s a method to help parents deal with moments of frustration with their infants to reduce the incidence Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Anyone who’s been around the high-pitched, ceaseless, hysterical wail of a newborn knows why such tactics are important. After many minutes of soothing, changing, feeding, walking, bouncing and burping to no avail, parents reach the danger zone. There is a split-second when you just want to shake the baby and scream, “Stop crying!”
Luckily, most parents realize they are about to break and put the squalling baby in a crib and walk away.
But some do not, resulting in 32 to 38 U.S. babies out of every 100,000 annually becoming victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The baby’s brain is jostled violently inside his skull by the shaking, resulting in permanent brain damage or death.
The 10-10-10 approach tells parents to take 10 minutes to call a friend, put 10 feet of distance between themselves and the baby, or put the baby in a crib or other safe place and distract themselves with another task for 10 minutes.The 10-10-10 approach tells parents to take 10 minutes to call a friend, put 10 feet of distance between themselves and the baby, or put the baby in a crib or other safe place and distract themselves with another task for 10 minutes.
Sitting on my patio, stuck on my phone in Call Center Hell the other day after reading Machelor’s article, I started thinking this technique could easily help outside the nursery as well. We could use 10-10-10 to save our sanity, our once-common decency and maybe even our democracy. For instance:
Road rage. That man just cut you off? Keep 10 car lengths between you. That woman speeding by while applying makeup? Distract yourself with a funny podcast for 10 minutes. That grandpa flip you the bird? Keep your eyes on the road and count the colors of the next 10 cars you see.
Spousal arguments. Go for a 10-minute walk alone. Look at your wedding pictures for 10 minutes. Hold hands for 10 minutes while maintaining eye contact and imagining your spouse on your first date.
The neighbor with the crass “Kid Peeing on Politician” bumper sticker. Silently list 10 things you like about that neighbor (he doesn’t let his dogs run wild, he lends you a shovel, he wears pants, etc.) Run 10 minutes in the opposite direction. Call a friend and ask her to talk about the best thing that happened to her recently.
Your stubborn, emotional teenager. Take 10 deep breaths, counting to 10 on each out-breath. Hug your teen for 10 seconds, no words needed. Play “Happy” by Pharrell Williams loudly and dance through the house for 10 minutes with abandon.
That relative or colleague on the opposite side of the political aisle. Watch 10 funny cat videos. Spend 10 minutes reading “Now What? How to Move Forward When We’re Divided (About Basically Everything)” by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers. Go hog-wild and listen without judgement as said relative or colleague vents, preferably from at least 10 feet away with your feet up and drinking a beer.
The slow person taking your lunch counter order. Smile for 10 seconds straight, singing “Baby Shark” silently to yourself. Repeat if necessary. This also works when dealing with computer repair folks.
People sending memes that ignore the complexity of life. Step away from your phone for 10 minutes to prevent yourself from sending a “You’re an idiot!” message. Do 10 minutes of sit-ups. Spend 10 minutes asking questions with an attitude of curiosity: “Can you show me the data on …”, “What is your biggest concern about … ?” “How has XYZ directly affected you?” Would you be willing to hear my perspective?”
Call center employees. Being on the phone keeps you at least 10 feet distant from the robot voice asking you to press 2 if you want to speak to a human or 4 if you’d like a call back or 456 if you want to cry ‘uncle’ and give up. It does not, however, keep you from slinging your phone against a wall in frustration over the entire situation, so go ahead and buy that shatterproof case as soon as you can, because there’s not a lot of 10-10-10 help here.
SOURCE: tucson.com, Renée Schafer Horton