HOPE from the NAUGHTY SEAT part 1

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Can any of you who are parents relate to this situation?  Last Saturday was one of the most difficult days for me as a dad.  My four- year-old was stubborn and testing me beyond my limits.  Everything I asked or told him to do, the little stinker did the opposite.  So I said, "Look Benjamin, I want to have a good day with you.  I don’t want to have a bad day with you.  Please listen to my instructions.  They are for your own good."

I didn’t want him to get hurt or to hurt his sister or to break something.  I wanted him to have fun.  But he kept causing angst for everybody.  So, I said, “Look Benjamin, if you do that again you are going in the naughty seat."

Well, it wasn’t long before he was in the naughty seat… and soon thereafter he earned exile to his room.  He stormed off, angry and jumped on his bed and pulled the covers over his head… not wanting to see anyone nor to have anyone see him anymore.  He chose darkness and disruption of joy rather than to have a good connection with his dad.  It pained him so much.  It pained me so much.  He was miserable, and I felt his misery in my heart.

After some time went by, and I could hear his muffled crying from his face smashed up against his pillow, I went into his room.  I could have gone in there with weapons or blistering power, but instead I chose to come into his world in humility.  I walked in gently, calmly and kneeled down to his level.  I sat on the floor so that my eyes were at his.  And I spoke softly, confidently and offered my child the restoration of love.

        At first, Benji didn’t want to listen.  It was too hard for him to swallow his pride and accept my offer of love.  “No, daddy, he said, go away,” and he kind of swung at me.  I could have gotten mad and wiped him off the face of the earth at that moment…  But instead, I tried desperately to reach him.  I sat there for a while silently, and then spoke softly in love to him again. 

        Finally, something dawned on Benji’s heart.  He turned from his rejection of me, and looked up through his tears and anguish.  He said, “I sorry daddy.” 

        I welled up and said, “It’s going to be alright, Ben.  I am here with you.  I love you.”  I stretched out my arms to receive him.  Well Benji practically jumped out of his bed and into the loving embrace of his dad.  What a moment of HOPE.  It was something we could hold onto.  HOPE.  Light in the darkness flooding into our souls.

(more tomorrow…)

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