One of the suggestions Lisa Welchel gave on Saturday was to have the offending child "meet me in the bathroom". This has a two fold effect:
1. The punishment begins immediately.
2. It gives both the child and Mom a chance to cool off. Instead of reacting in anger, Mom has a chance to cool down and plan what she is going to say. (Also, Mom can finish what she is doing....i.e. pull dinner out of the oven!)
I tried this first on Sunday night. Chewie (8) was arguing with Daddy. This is a big issue lately. I walk in and told Chewie, "we are going to do something different. Meet me in the bathroom." It took a few moments for him to get it. I told him to turn on the light and shut the door. About 2 minutes later, he opened the door to make sure I hadn't forgotten him :)
I looked up a verse that Lisa had quoted:
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Philippinas 2:14-15.
When I entered the bathroom, I asked Chewie if he knew why he was in here (I argued). Good start! He confessed. (The first step to forgiveness!) I read the verse, explaining as I went. We talked about how when he argued his star didn't shine as bright. I knew he "got it" when, later, I was able to ask "Is your light shining?" and he immediately stopped arguing.
I didn't yell. I didn't cajole. I just talked---and he listened. I'm excied to see how this plays out.