I miss the timeout chair

Posted on October 25th, 2011

There are certain things I miss about Junior being young. Oh, some of them are obvious. I miss the smell of a freshly washed baby. I miss the silky cheek he used to let me touch. I miss the way he’d back up to the couch and plop down on my lap to watch cartoons.

But mostly I miss the timeout chair.

Once your child is a teenager, the timeout chair ceases to lose its effectiveness. Heck, most disciplinary tactics lose their effectiveness once your kid is a teen. Oh sure, I can take stuff away, but the timeout chair – oh, it was thing of genius.

Life was simpler with a timeout chair. Junior didn’t do his homework? Into the timeout chair. He just sat there for a bit and then did his homework.  Junior sassed me or Harry? Into the timeout chair. Junior flushed his toys down the toilet? Into the timeout chair.

Seriously. The timeout chair is the single greatest invention for motherhood since SpongeBob SquarePants started airing Saturday mornings, enabling us to sleep in a bit. I miss the timeout chair.

No matter what happened or how serious the offence was, the timeout chair was the perfect punishment. Oh, sure, at first Junior viewed it as play time. He’d sit in the chair, play with his toes and generally amuse himself until the longest two minutes of his life were up (he spent one minute sitting there for every year in age).

And as he got older, the time he spent got longer and suddenly the timeout chair was a torture device. He’d throw himself on the mercy of the mommy court so he wouldn’t have to spend five whole minutes in the chair.  And seriously, at one point in time I looked at the chair and realized my son had worn a hole in the seat. Yeah, he has a naughty side to him.

And it even got to the point where I didn’t have to mention the timeout chair. I’d just walk by it when Junior was doing something horrible and I’d touch the chair – which was really a chair in our never-used dining room. And pretty much he’d instantly straighten up. I’m not kidding when I say that to Junior the timeout chair was a thing of torture. Sitting still is not something Junior has ever done well.

But today, there is no timeout chair. The truth is it’s difficult to convince a teenager who is taller than you that he should sit in a chair for fifteen minutes and contemplate his crimes.  Heck, it’s difficult to convince a teenager of anything these days what with the whole puberty thing and the “I’m smarter than you” thing going on.

On the other hand, he does have a phone. And apparently he can’t live without it. Turns out Junior’s phone is the teenage equivalent of the timeout chair.

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5 Responses to “I miss the timeout chair”

  1. OneMommy Says:

    Love the last line!
    We have a time out corner… The 4 year old HATES to be put in it. I think the 2 1/2 year old needs more time there… ha ha… before he gets too old for it. Sigh.

  2. Laurie Says:

    Hi OneMommy! Don’t worry. Someday they will have phones :)

    I was talking to Harry last night about this and he said, “don’t you remember Thanksgiving?” Our timeout chair was a chair in the dining room. And the first time we had Thanksgiving =, Junior freaked out when Harry sat in the “timeout chair” to eat dinner with a bunch of friends and family.

    Timeout chairs have a special power :)

  3. Jennifer Says:

    I was starting to lose hope as my pre-teen son gets older. As I was reading along on this article I was starting to think “what am I gonna do!?!?!” – then you brought up the phone. Great idea! Thanks!

  4. Liz Says:

    Hey guys do not get to excited about taking away the phone. I did that a couple of times with my kids. Turned out it ended up driving my crazy because I could not call them when they were out. And if you only take it away when they are in the house they just jump on the computer. Now they do hate it the first couple of times but then of course they are teenagers and they immediately know how to push our buttons.

  5. Laurie Says:

    Hi Jennifer! Hi Liz!

    @Jennifer, yeah, but Liz brings up some good points. And I realized that last week, despite taking away his phone, I gave it back when he went to school! So, I’m moving on to taking away Junior’s ps3. I did it yesterday and it seems to work well. That is the main way he and his friends socialize during the week – they play after dinner online together. So it’s kind of like grounding him. Um, yes, and we’re having some issues in the last two weeks. Somebody knows how to annoy the crud out of mom and is using his powers for evil :)

    @Liz, I never thought about that. It’s funny how dependent I’ve become on being able to get a hold of Junior no matter what. And yes, yes, they do know how to push our buttons. I just wish I didn’t have so many dang buttons to push :)

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