Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I’m the Bad Guy

Every family has one. The designated ‘No’ person, the main disciplinarian. Which in my case…would be me.

It comes easy when whatever the kids want is dangerous or completely ridiculous, but there are times when I don’t want to be the one who says no, or the one who grounds them over grades or takes away the PlayStation 3. 
I want to let them stay up late and eat ice cream for dinner, or be the one who lets them have a hooky day to see the latest Harry Potter movie.

It’s a balance. Just like everything is really. But what makes this subject interesting are the unique and creative ways people have of disciplining their children.  I have heard everything from timeouts to wearing a 'whiner cap' to scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush to cutting the lawn with fingernail clippers (that's for teens).  I like the idea of not so much punishment as teaching them every choice has a consequence.

What is the most creative punishment you have ever enforced on your child?  And if you don't have kids...what was the most creative punishment given to you???

I wish I had a great example to share from my own childhood but I don't.

I was never technically caught. 


  1. Creative punishment? You mean I can be creative???! OK, no I'm not really the creative type. ;) I am taking my teen son to church tonight and I offered to hold his hand and give him a big fat kiss on the cheek but he refused. Now why would that be?

  2. My son would hit or scratch himself. The rule was that if he hurt himself, he had to take care of something smaller and weaker than he was for a week. (In our case, the cat.)

    I didn't just leave it at that, of course. I talked about how he would never hurt the cat like that, so he shouldn't hurt himself like that.

    It wasn't a magical cure, but it helped. (We always said we don't do punishment, we do discipline. Punishment only says, "this is wrong". Discipline teaches you the right thing instead. Hopefully. If done correctly. I'll let you know how it worked when I'm done.)

  3. Snort. Your last line is priceless (and I believe every word!)

    When my brother and I got in trouble, my dad used to make us stand with our backs against the wall, knees bent. Which is really hard to do for longer than like, 5 minutes. Later, in tennis camp, that was part of our training -- and guess who could stand like that longer than anybody?

  4. Creative punishments I reserve for my husband. Here's one: We made a deal. I cook, he cleans up. After a couple nights of him leaving the casserole dish or a pot/pan unwashed on the stove (evidently, 'cleaning up' meant just the dishes we ate on, which I usually cleaned my own anyway) I decided to put an end to the old 'Oh, I forgot that' argument. I shoved a dirty casserole dish in his pillowcase.
    Problem solved.

  5. Okay, I just can't imagine you being the mean one! =)


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.