I have two daughters; one is 6 and one is 8. The 6 year old, for the most part, is very good. She’s a pleaser, she only wants Mommy and Daddy to be proud of her:
The 8 year old though, she doesn’t really care what we think:
She cares about what she can get away with and lately she’s been exhibiting certain behaviors that are not acceptable so down, down, down she goes.
Punishment is no fun for anyone, but kids need to know: If they do things that aren’t OK, they are gonna have to pay.
I don’t remember getting punished when I was their age so my frame of reference is thin. I do know that when I was in high school, my mom’s go-to punishments were taking away my phone or not letting me go out. (She even grounded me from Homecoming once; I’m still not over it.) But my kids are 6 and 8. They don’t have phones yet and they think Homecoming is a movie.
So what am I left with?
TV is always a solid punishment. “You’re in trouble! No TV, go read!”
But, come on…you know they’re not reading. Sure, they stomp into their rooms and grab a book, but they don’t read it. They sulk, they cry and they think about how much mommy sucks.
I’m over it, so I have been mixing it up, and out of everything I have tried, these are the 5 punishments I find work best —and they can be used in conjunction with each other.
1. The “NO” Punishment
The “NO Punishment” is basically saying “NO” to everything your kid wants, all day, every day for as long as you want.
Mommy? Can I have a new Ever After High doll?—NO.
Mommy? Can I have a play date after school?—I think NO.
Mommy? Can I have dessert? —Uh….NO.
Mommy? Can I…? —NO NOPE NOPETY NOPE!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!
“NO” will break any child after awhile. Plus it’s easy and loads of fun. #StayStrong #WhoCaresIfTheyHateYou
2. The Make-Stuff-Up Punishment
This is when you, the parent, make up a punishment about something AWESOME the kid was GOING to get, but now, since the kid is in trouble, she will no longer get.
“Oh, that’s really too bad that you just lied because I was going to take you shopping for a new dress and probably shoes and definitely ice cream, but now I’m not. ARE YOU SORRY NOW? I THINK YOU ARE!!!”
If you have an older kid, or a boy, and you want to employ this punishment, just substitute the new dress and shoes with Sonic Burger, Shake Shack or In-and-Out Burger (depending on where you live).
3. The Sibling’s Choice Punishment
This one works best with siblings:
Sibling’s Choice is simply telling the kid who’s in trouble that they are still allowed certain privileges, like TV, but their sibling gets to pick everything that they watch. EVERYTHING. The troublemaker has ZERO say, so if the sibling who isn’t in trouble picks something they both enjoy like Liv and Maddie, that’s a win for the kid in trouble—but if the sibling is in the mood to kick back and watch a little My Little Pony and the troublemaker doesn’t like it, TOO BAD, so sad!
4. The Favoritism Punishment
This one is as bad as it sounds. It’s a mind f**k and although it works with kids of all ages, it’s another one that works best with siblings:
The Favoritism Punishment is flat-out favoritism. (I’m aware that it’s frowned upon to favor one child over another, but it’s temporary. Desperate times, yo!)
All you do is make a point (very loudly) to positively reinforce the kid who DIDN’T piss you off while silently reminding the one who did that you haven’t forgotten her crime.
“OK, guys! You can BOTH have a piece of candy BUT (directed towards the good kid) YOU get two (or three) extra pieces because you have been GREAT about NOT spending an extra 25.00 of your school lunch account on Doritos and Pop Tarts INSTEAD of eating the awesome food I SEND YOU! Good job NOT doing that!!! Enjoy your extra candy! Don’t forget to brush!”
And then you just look at the other kid like “Sorry. Hope your Doritos memories are good ones. Next time eat the banana I sent you first!” BOOM.
5. The Outfit Punishment
Hands down–my fave–because this one gets my kids where it really hurts. It’s their Achilles’ heel.
Give the sibling who isn’t in trouble free reign in the troublemaker’s closet to pick anything they want for their sibling to wear. ANYTHING THEY WANT. No Exceptions. No Protests. Whatever they pick, the other one has to wear. Polka dot stretch pants, pink flats, a bird skirt and a beaded t-shirt? Sounds good to me!
Don’t let the smile fool you. She was NOT happy with the outfit. In no way is that something she would have picked. Sorry, sister! Have a good day at school!
No sibling available to pick the outfit? No problem. YOU pick! Make her wear anything you want! You know that plaid button down top that you love and she hates? Now’s your chance! You already took the tags off so you might as well get some use out of it…and she hates it? JACKPOT!!
If you have any creative punishments you’d like to share, I would like NOTHING MORE than to add them to my list. Happy Punishing!
Thank you for being here!!
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