11 Totally Creative Ways Moms Made Sure the Punishment Fit the Crime

Wendy Robinson | Mar 31, 2016 Big Kid
11 Totally Creative Ways Moms Made Sure the Punishment Fit the Crime

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There is no denying this basic fact of life: If you have children, you will someday have to figure out how to punish them. Whether the offense is big or small, you always want to make sure the punishment fits the crime.

We've all probably given our fair share of time-outs and groundings, but some moms weren't afraid to get a little creative when it comes to their little stinkers.

Read on for some truly creative punishments that kids are unlikely to forget anytime soon!


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  • The Slammer


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    "One of our house rules is 'no door slamming,' and my surly preteen has had her bedroom door removed several times for excessive breaking of this rule. She currently doesn't have a doorknob. She'll earn that back after a few days of good behavior." -- Alyse B., Thousand Oaks, California

  • Shower Time


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    "I have two sons, ages 9 and 11, and they were being absolute pigs in the bathroom. Never flushing the toilet, leaving wet towels on the floor, leaving the shower curtain open so that the floor was always wet, never rinsing the sink, and leaving toothpaste blobs everywhere.

    I finally snapped and banned them from the bathroom for a week. They could use the toilet, but all other functions, including showers and teeth brushing, took place outside. For showers, my sons would have to put swim trunks on and my husband would spray them off with a garden hose. Teeth were brushed using the hose too. They thought it was fun at first, but at the end of the week, they were ready to clean up their acts." -- Louise V., Tucson, Arizona

  • Sister's Keeper


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    "My son was supposed to be watching his little sister while I was getting some work done in the house. I told him I'd pay him a few bucks an hour if he played with her and kept her entertained.

    I was cleaning the windows and saw that he was totally ignoring her and that she was playing alone in the backyard. I told him he needed to get on it if he wanted to get paid. A few minutes later, he was back to ignoring her and she was back in the yard by herself again.

    I went out into the yard and told him he was not getting paid unless he stuck by his sister's side -- and that I would help him do that. I tied their legs together! She thought it was hilariously fun and he was annoyed at first but after 30 minutes they were having so much fun." -- Darlene S., Dallas, Texas

  • The Slammer, Part 2


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    "Our rule is that if you slam a door, you have to go back to that same door and close it gently 10 times. It really takes the steam out of an angry 5-year-old." -- Carrie M., Lincoln, Nebraska

    More from The Stir: I Need Creative Punishment Ideas for My Lying Kid

  • Bathroom Words


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    "If you use bathroom words like 'poop,' 'butt,' and 'pee' at the dinner table, you get assigned to cleaning the bathroom instead of dessert." -- Michelle J., Orlando, Florida

  • The Know-It-All


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    "My son has a SUPER annoying know-it-all streak going. Sometimes I'll say something factual and he'll respond, 'well, ACTUALLY...' and then turn into a mansplainer.

    I don't mind his disagreeing with me, but sometimes he gets disrespectful about it. When that happens, he gets assigned to write a five-page paper about whatever he thinks he knows more about. Sometimes it helps him to realize that he is actually wrong, and sometimes it just keeps him quiet for an hour or two. Either way -- I win!" -- Penny L., Spokane, Washington

  • Bad Word Chores


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    "You say a bad word, you get assigned to sh*t duty, literally! Bad words means dog-poop cleanup for a week." -- Blythe S., Casa Grande, Arizona

    More from The Stir: Coolest Way to Get Rid of Dog Poop

  • The Oppressed


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    "When my daughter posted a lengthy social media rant about how 'oppressed' she was by my 'horrible dictator' ways, I both grounded her from her phone for a week and made her read a book about actual oppression, so she'd realize just how lucky she has it." -- Kari R., Glendale, Arizona

  • The Thief


    Image via iStock.com/ Cathy Yeulet

    "My son is obsessed with money, and we realized he was starting to steal the change out of my husband's pants every night. We busted him and had a long conversation about right and wrong. As a consequence, he had to choose a charity and donate his piggy bank so he could remember that people are more important than money." -- Grace T., Hamilton, Ontario

  • Just Share


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    "Sometimes it feels like I am constantly breaking up fights over the various electronic devices in our house. Last week the kids were fighting over the tablet -- AGAIN --- and I snapped and told them that I was going to sell it to another family who had kids who could share. I even got one of my friends to come over and pretend to be the buyer. They begged me to reconsider and I pretended to give in. One week later and we are still fight free." -- Helen W., Roseville, Minnesota

  • The Biter


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    "My 4-year-old has started biting her siblings when she gets mad. I've tried everything to get her to stop, and my latest attempt is to make her put a pacifier in her mouth if she bites or tries to bite. She hates it because she hates anything 'babyish.' So now I say that only babies bite, and that seems to be working so far." -- Rynne E., Des Moines, Iowa

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