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Proportional Response

What is the appropriate punishment for something as trivial and as infuriating as a child never ever ever ever ever shutting their shirt drawer?

What is the right way to deal with a child that puts his shirt on backwards every single day? How do you handle a daughter that does her homework every week and then doesn’t turn it in? What is a fair and proportional response when your son wakes up freaking out because his project (a project he never told you anything about) is due today? What about for calling his sibling a “big sack of crap”?

Being even handed is hard. Lying is a far worse crime than leaving a drawer open, yet I understand why you would tell your mom that you didn’t have any math homework so that you can go outside and play with your friends. What I don’t understand is why my daughter won’t close her drawers. After seven years I want to bash my head against the wall every time I walk into her room and see the open dresser.

We recently had a situation where my husband caught my daughter throwing away an entire chicken patty that she had pretended to have eaten at dinner.

Yes, that really happened.

Her punishment involved grocery shopping, meal planning and helping prepare every meal for three days so that she could see how much work and time and money goes into feeding them. We hoped that this would give her better perspective on why we were so angry about what she had done. It was a good and fair and appropriate consequence, but it took us almost three days to come up with something that good.

She was also grounded for the lying aspect. I am hellbent on raising honest children. Liars are the worst. Dante put them way down in the 8th circle of hell for a reason.

My real question is this: how do you come up with good, fair punishments when your kids misbehave?

 

 

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Read more from me on Sarah and the Goon Squad and Draft Day Suit
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More of me on That’s Right. You Heard Me:
The Jig is Up
Sure Breast is Best, but Take it Easy
What Do You Do With the Baby Teeth?

 

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