Purposeful Punishments

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I found several really unique ideas for disciplining on the blog http://www.imom.com/21-creative-consequences/#.VYmt6mCpqLs   Most of these ideas are verbatim from that website.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. If time-outs don’t work, try a “time-in.” This can be accomplished by sending your child to a designated spot where he must complete a task that has a definite beginning and end. This could be putting together a small puzzle, stringing 50 beads on a piece of yarn, or tracing the alphabet. A time-in diverts his energies and encourages him to focus on something positive.

2. Timers set definite boundaries. For example, with a timer, you can say, “I’m setting the timer. I want your room cleaned (or your shoes on, or the dishes unloaded) in 15 minutes. If you haven’t finished by then, your correction is….” This method not only spurs on easily distracted children, but it also leaves little room for arguing about a job that isn’t finished and whether the correction is warranted.

3. Make a homemade “Correction” can and fill it with tickets or slips of paper with various consequences written on them. Instead of giving your child a time-out, send her to the can for a slip. A few ideas might include no TV or computer for a night, early bedtime, or an extra chore.  You can also make a “Job Jar” (although I don’t personally choose to do this, because I don’t want my kids to build negative feelings about chores or housework).

4. If you have dawdlers, try this: Whoever is last to the table at dinnertime becomes the server. But there’s a catch. Even if you’re first, your hands must be clean, or you’ll end up serving the food, pouring the drinks, and fetching the condiments (after washing your hands, of course!)

5. You’ve heard the reprimand “Hold your tongue!” Make your child do it-literally. Have her stick out her tongue and hold it between two fingers. This is an especially effective correction for public outbursts.

6. Next time your child “forgets” to put something away, like video games or sports equipment, put it away for him. When he asks where it is, tell him that he’ll just have to look for it. Believe me; he will learn that it’s a lot more trouble to find something that Mom has hidden than it is to put it away in the first place.  (My husband really enjoys doing this one).

7. If your little one gets too hyper, come up with a code word to remind him to stop the action without embarrassing him. Whenever Tucker started getting too rowdy in a group, I would yell, “Hey, Batman.” He knew that he needed to calm down before I had to take more drastic measures.  (I think using code words is a fantastic idea.  It helps maintain our philosophy of “praise in public, punish in private” while in the midst of a lot of people and commotion.)

8. If your child likes to stomp off to his room or stomp around in anger, send him outside to the driveway and tell him to stomp his feet for one minute. He’ll be ready to quit after about 15 seconds, but make him stomp even harder.  If he is crying and screaming, send him to his room and make it mandatory that he scream for ten minutes  (Wait a minute… mom is telling me to stomp?!  That’s not what I wanted…)

9. Another way to handle temper tantrums is to simply say, “That is too disruptive for this house. You may continue your fit in the backyard. When you’re finished, you are welcome to come back inside.” When there isn’t an audience, the thrill of throwing a temper tantrum is gone.  (A lady I nannied for would put the tantrum-throwing tot outside and tell him that, like a dog, he must stay outside when he is being loud and obnoxious.  It worked!)

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