What Punishment Should Fit my KID??

For years, my parents have talked about how they punished my brother and me differently.

When my brother would get in trouble or need a little extra motivation, the punishment was that he would have his bike taken away. This was like taking his freedom away. It was devastating for him. And it worked.

For me, taking away my bike would have been like taking away Brussel sprouts.Let the Punishment

My punishment was some kind of seclusion or loss of social event. I would lose phone privileges or the ability to attend an outing that I desperately wanted to participate in. And that worked for me.

So, now as a parent, I have always kept that in mind and tried to find the punishment that would fit each of my kids.

Up until last week, I hadn’t really found anything specific for any of them. They are still young, so it’s usually a time-out or loss of dessert and that seems to do the trick. However, last week I received two negative babysitter reports for my oldest daughter – in the same week!

After the first report, I talked to her and threatened some kind of generic punishment. She nodded and said “Yes Mommy” and “Sorry Mommy” and all the right things. And then the very next night was the same terror at bedtime she had previously been.

That’s when I started to wrack my brain to come up with the punishment that would work for her. Sure, I felt a little sadist and mean sitting around thinking of the perfect way to inflict the greatest emotional distress upon my own child – but the end justifies the means, right???

And, I came up with something so brilliant!! It was one of those parenting moments when you want to high-five yourself because you just know that you are just killing this parenting thing at that one specific moment!

My oldest is unbelievable picky about the clothes that she will put on her body. She wears a uniform to school, but there is still some flexibility within the uniform policy – not for her! She wears the exact same thing to school every single day! And asking her to deviate, even slightly, from this self-inflicted uniform brings on a complete meltdown.

Really I can’t complain because it keeps my life pretty simple. It also lends itself to offering up the perfect punishment.

After bad babysitter report #2, I told her that if it happened again, she would have to wear a different and very specific outfit to school. It is within the uniform guidelines but made up of articles of clothing that she abhors!

There was panic in her eyes as I explained this consequence to her, and in that moment, I knew I had her! (Muahahahaha!!!!!)

Now, this outfit would not be embarrassing for her to wear to school. I don’t want to use humiliation as a consequence – but I will definitely make her a little uncomfortable for a day to remind her of the importance of listening and behaving properly.

I haven’t found that perfect punishment for my other kids, and I am sure that it will change as they grow and change – but for now, my oldest will always be the best behaved when there is a babysitter at our house, I can guarantee you that!

Cheers – Emily
Check out more of my writing on my personal blog www.pleasesendmorewine.com or on Facebook: Please Send More Wine. Instagram :@pleasesendmorewine Twitter: @plssendmorewine or find me on Pinterest.

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