Many years ago when my daughter was young, we took her to McDonalds Play Place. There were a lot of kids there and some others were really too old to be playing in there. But, for the most part, everyone was well behaved. There was this one older boy old who was a wee bit on the wild side. His Dad was there keeping careful watch over him though. Every so often, the Dad would shout at the kid in a thick German accent, “Eric”. And the kid would settle down a bit. This went on several times until the Dad finally stood up and shouted, “Eric – STRUDEL”. The kid stood still and with trepidation said, “Yes Dad, I’ll be good”. That was obviously their word for – YOU’D BETTER BEHAVE OR YOU ARE IN MAJOR TROUBLE. Eric obviously understood the severity of the word because that boy behaved like an angel the rest of the time. I always felt bad for him though as he probably would never truly be able to enjoy a good strudel!
We never had a “magic” word in our house. My daughter was so well behaved; you’d just have to talk to her calmly and most of the time she would be able to behave better. Flash forward many years – we have a son now, that isn’t as easy as my daughter. No surprise! I had seen many people, like Super Nanny, use a “naughty spot” for time out. I had even seen some cute chairs that had “naughty spot” painted right on them. I knew I needed one of those.
I found a stool and put a base coat on it. But when it came time to actually paint the words “Naughty Spot” or “Time Out” – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I started thinking – I don’t want my son to think ‘he’s’ naughty. Neither do I want to him or myself to view discipline as something bad. So I switched gears, repainted the stool and happy red color and painted hearts all around the edge. I didn’t paint any words on it but instead, decided to call it the “Chair of Cheer” (ok, so it’s actually a stool of cheer, but you get what I mean).
We call it the Chair of Cheer because, in the long run, wise discipline is going to make my son a better and happier person and we all know it will make Mama a happier person!
The Chair of Cheer (please pay no attention to the disgusting baseboards ;))
Job 5:17 Happy is the man whom the Lord corrects.