People Describe The Most Creative Punishment Their Parents Ever Gave Them
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

In days of yore, parents took what would be considered extreme methods of disciplinary action on misbehaving children.

One example is washing out the mouth with soap for children using profanity, lying, or even biting. Such a method of punishment however would be considered borderline abusive today.

But regardless of the times, not all forms of punishment are of the painful or discomforting variety.

Curious to hear about what strangers online experienced growing up, Redditor Tatey180pro1 asked:

"What's the most creative punishment your parents gave to you?"

Some punishments led to a learning opportunity.

Opening And Closing Doors

"If I slammed a door really hard when I was mad, my mom and grandparents would make me practice closing it nicely. I'd have to reopen and then close it gently about 50 times, counting each one out loud. If I closed it too hard I'd have to start over. At one point I learned to get my anger out by just slamming the door over and over and counting 'ONE, ONE, ONE, ONE!' Until I wasn't mad enough to keep slamming the door. They didn't utilize it as much when I started doing that. Lmao"


Teachable Moment

"My parents always made us repair things we broke."

"One day my sister and I were rough housing and we accidentally made a hole on the wall. So my dad drove us to Home Depot and told us that we both had to figure out on our own how to fix the hole."

"We had to to talk to the employees on our own, ask our own questions, gather repair items, select paint color, and bought a home repair magazine on own. We then had to fix the hole on our own. We messed up a lot, it looked wonky and we picked the wrong paint color. We learned the value of taking care of our things, we realized how hard it was to fix things and we learned new skills."

"All this without yelling, punishment or a lecture."


Taking Bad Aim

"i once misfired a nerf gun in front of my dad and he had me go through a manual on gun safety."


"Winning The Bid"

"One time I broke a couch while rough housing with friends."

"My punishment was having be responsible for getting it repaired- I had to provide 3 quotes from different repair shops, and include a pros and cons list to consider alongside the price, such as which company would pick the couch up and which one required it to be delivered, and then I had to cover the costs myself. My parents had some odd jobs around the house that they had been planning on paying some one to do, like doing repair work around the house or painting all the exterior doors, window frames, shed and garage, so they gave me an opportunity to put a bid in on them, which required me to make a budget for supplies, provide a time estimate, and to make a pitch presentation."

"I ended up 'winning the bid' for the painting job by undercutting the companies I knew they had already gotten quotes from. My bid was $150 below the next lowest quote they received, and $100 above the quoted cost for the repair to the couch, and included enough to pay a couple friends to help me. If the couch repair came in on budget I would also pocket a small amount, but not quite as much as I was paying my buddies."

"In the end, the couch repair ended up much below the quoted amount- it was a leather reclining couch and the original quote included replacing the reclining mechanism but in the end they were able to repair the damaged mechanism and only had to replace a single panel of leather. I was able double the rate I was paying my buddies and pay myself the same amount."


Productive Punishment

"I was in third grade, got in trouble at school and was suspended for three days. In the past my mom would've just spanked me, put me on punishment at home, i e., no tv, extra chores, etc. But since spankings didn't really work for me she got creative and decided to have me come to work with her all three days of my suspension (she worked at a community center). While at work with her, I had to work on some math and reading workbooks, handwrite an apology letter to my teacher for being bad, which she would proof read, edit and make me rewrite correctly, and worse of all I had to practice my piano lessons in the staff lounge as her coworkers were coming in and out throughout the day getting coffee or eating lunch. It was pure torture."


Making a game out of something may not always be interpreted as punishment...or sometimes, it still is.

A Worthy Distraction

"I can honestly say my parents didn't give me any creative punishments."

"But… I have a boy and a girl (now young adults) when they were little they were best friends, they also shared a bedroom and got along great. But, when they would fight and it got ugly I would send them both to their room for one hour and told them they couldn't come out until they came up with a really good secret handshake."

"They would forget that they were mad at each other and start immediately working on a handshake, I would hear them laughing their heads off while they were doing it. They would come out an hour later show me this super long fun handshake, synchronized to the minute, I would congratulate them for their hard work and then they would go back to playing. It still brings a smile to my face :-)"

"My mom pointed out to me that this wasn't really punishment, I told her I wasn't trying to punish them I just wanted them to stop fighting. And it worked every time."


Leaving It To Fate

"My mom created the wheel of punishment. When I would be naughty I would have to spin the repurposed board game spinner and whatever punishment it landed was the punishment I had to do."


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Watching Paint Dry

"I've been dying to tell this story. It wasn't me but my best friend and her brother, when they were younger, would not stop fighting. Their parents tried everything. Taking their toys, early bedtime, grounding, can't see friends, etc. But they wouldn't stop. So one day their dad had the bright idea of putting them in the garage, sitting next to each other, while holding hands....while watching paint dry on a canvas. And everytime they said something rude to each other, he poured a little more paint over the canvas. They were there for 4 hours. But they stopped fighting so....success?"


The Instant Silencer

"My father once gently slapped me with a loaf of ham, that was so unexpected that I just shutted up"


The methods these parents employed were not physically painful experiences but they sure drove their point home.

Impractical Tools

"Making 7 kids shovel snow using pots and pans because we lost the snow shovels building snow forts."


Underage Drinking

"After a late night out of underage heavy drinking, my father got me up at 5 AM. Decided it was a good time for us to clean the garage - thoroughly. I did most of the work for 3 hours. Then he took me to breakfast and discussed the error of my ways, promising more 5 AM chores any time it happened again. It didn't happen again."


Contentious Siblings

"My dad once grounded both my sister and I. We were blaming each other when he decided to separate us. He came into my room and sat down on the bed before taking a deep breath and explaining that he knew my sister was the one to blame. He asked me how long I think he should ground her for."

"I said a couple of days."

"He then went to her room and told her the same thing. It was all my fault and he knew it. Asked her how long he should ground me for, and she said a month."

"So she got grounded for a month and I got grounded for a couple of days, because that's what punishment we each thought was appropriate. She stopped being spiteful after that."


When Dad's Hold The Power

"When I thought I was big and tough, after getting into an argument with my father, I told him that I didn't need him anymore. He simply goes downstairs and shuts off the power to my room. After hours of being stubborn and hot headed (mind you, it was the middle of summer and I lived in the attic...) I finally caved. I've never said anything like that to him ever again."


The Value Of Having A Home

"Not for me but for my younger brother."

"Got suspended from school. Can't remember the exact reason but it led to a huge argument between him and my mum. He ended up shouting at her about how much he hated her and hating living here and that 'even jail would be better than this!'"

"So my parents took out every piece of furniture and every item from his room aside from his bed. He had to sit in there for five days, with nothing to entertain himself with. Was allowed out four times a day to use the toilet. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner was decided by mum and put outside his door."

"He apologised quickly but mum stuck to her decision. After the five days, he never complained about living here ever again."


Forced Truce

"When my brother and I would fight, my Mom would make us sit on the couch and hold hands for a long time."


I can honestly say as an adult, I was a pain in their backside. There comes a point where warnings are not enough. That being said, I don't begrudge my parents for their punishment methods.

It's certainly an interesting topic. Most of my friends who have endured many forms of traditional punishment as kids do not employ similar methods for their children.

They are more protective of them and only issue stern warnings, but the kids remain uncooperative and unruly.

It makes me wonder what other parents' limitations are before taking a hand to a child to say, "enough."