I have read mixed things about mom time outs. One school of thought says that it gives the idea that you won't be there or love the child when they are being unpleasant so to stick it out showing them that your love is unconditional. Nice theory, but in reality, sometimes the tension coming off the mom no matter how much she tries to keep it in is still leeking out and being picked up by baby. It got harder for me as my kids were about 2 to 3 years old and behavior issues became more predominent. I am just not that advanced of a person to sit there and be screamed at and abused even if it is by a little kid. At some point if I don't step away, I will probably yell something mean and scary and I know it. I try to use words like "I don't being yelled at, hit, whatever. I love you, but I'm getting really angry and I need a break." Of course they are mad about it, but they were obviously mad anyway and we both usually need a minute to calm down. Later we always talk about it. I let them know they are loved, but that the behavior was unacceptable and I was feeling like I would lose my temper and yell or act mean so I take a break when I feel like that. I still feel bad that maybe I should always stay there and I try to as much as I can, but sometimes you have to follow your instincts and know when to go away. I also think it's good for kids to see the example of cooling off, time to yourself, and to realize that I will always love them, but that they can not abuse people and expect them to sit there and accept it. Sometimes (a lot) we read so much and try so hard to be these great parents that we set ourselves up for failure. I mean, we're human, and everyone has a different level of tolerance. We're growing all the time hopefully to be better prepared for future issues as the kids grow up, but expecting perfection is a big set up for guilt. The biggest thing I think is making sure they know that they are loved and that you are doing your best.
Marcy74, it sounds like you really feel bad. I am sure your son was shocked, but it is not something that is irreparable. I would apologize to him and even though he's little explain what happened. It sounds like he was just in one of those really frustrating places where nothing could make him happy. It's so hard to realize that we can't always fix everything for them. But do remember to take care of you too. I'd say if the DVD gets you through this, roll with it. These things are just tools and sometimes they can really save the day. Best wishes.