This is the ninth post in a series written by Frieda, my mother. These are her memories of Sara her first rambunctious child and their adventures on the mission field. Click this link to start at the beginning.
Some of our friends who had calm children thought Sara just lacked parental discipline. This was not the case, though I’m not saying we did everything right.
She evidently had a high pain threshold (she constantly had bumps and scrapes and bruises, but they didn’t bother her enough to deter her from jumping off things, for instance). Spankings didn’t seem to make much of an impression. We realized this when she was still a toddler in Costa Rica. If we would get too busy studying and she couldn’t get our attention some other way, she would purposefully push one of the dining room chairs across the floor, even though she knew she would be spanked. Pushing the chairs was strictly forbidden as it would make an unbearably loud, nerve-wracking noise like fingernails on a blackboard, only much louder.
Hal discovered that what worked better than spanking was to make Sara sit on a chair. He would set a timer, and she had to stay on the chair until it rang. Three minutes would seem interminable to her, and he would make the time longer as she got older.