Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Last night I caught an episode of Super Nanny. Now I haven't seen the show in about a year. Super Nanny, Jo Frost, once again was going to impart her every ready wisdom to a parent who was struggling with out-of-control kids. Right on cue, Super Nanny stepped in and sent the misbehaving child to.....the Thinking Pond? Wait one minute here--what happened to the NAUGHTY CHAIR????????????
I couldn't believe it! Even Super Nanny has fallen to political-correctness. Now, I know what you may be thinking and I have had this conversation with friends. Disciplining should be done in such a way as to keep the child's self-esteem intact. I agree. It was called Time Out when my child was younger. I will admit that I used The Naughty Chair with one little guy who was entrusted to my care and it worked wonderfully well with him. Plus, I got to walk around saying "nowtee chahh" in my very, very bad English accent which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The little guy I was referring to was the son of a single mom that I was helping out with child care once a week. I will call him Joseph. He was 4 and I thought him incredibly adorable. He could read at a 3rd or 4th grade level and hadn't even started Kindergarten. I am sure he was smarter than most people. He did however, severely lack in the social skills. He caused havoc wherever he went. I instituted The Naughty Chair with Joseph and it didn't take long at all for him to change from defiant, angry, and frustrated to happy, interactive, and responsible. Sadly, my circumstances changed and I was no longer available to watch him and his sibling. The last I heard, he was suspended from Kindergarten for kicking his teacher and principal. I miss Joseph. Alot.
My point is this. I don't think sending Joseph to The Naughty Chair affected his self-image. I think it helped him. I asked my teenager what she thought about the switch from the The Naughty Chair to The Thinking Pond and her observation was that she thought it might make it harder for the kids to identify behaviors as wrong. I argued, "But the kids are told to think about what they did and why they are there." She countered that it wasn't clearly delinated that the behavior was wrong or bad.
God is not afraid to tell us behavior is wrong or bad. He calls it sin. He also tells us that this wrong or bad behavior can lead to eternal destruction and death. Now, that's pretty straight-forward-right to the point. He also tells us that He disciplines those He loves because He loves. He knows more fully than we can even imagine, the cost of wrong behavior to ourselves, and to others, and to Him. He earned the right to talk to us about this and tell us "like it is" because besides being Almighty God, He was also our sacrificial Lamb.
Loving and direct? Loving directness? Like the old chicken or the egg question...which comes first...self-esteem or righteousness? Or, self-esteem through His righteousness? I need to ponder these things....I think I will go sit in The Thinking Pond!
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.--Proverbs 3:7-8

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