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Crime and Punishment: Unusual Ways to Make Them Pay

Remember the dad who, after learning his son was doing drugs, punished him by forcing him to wear a large sign reading “I abused & sold drugs” while standing in front of his middle school?  Or the parents of a 14-year-old boy who made their son wear a sign declaring himself a shoplifter and a follower after he stole headphones from a department store despite having the money to pay for them?

I’ve always wondered how that worked out for them.  Do kids really learn a valuable lesson from this type of punishment?  Or does such public humiliation just make them angry and even more rebellious?   There’s a dad in Texas who is about to find out.

After his 16-year-old daughter broke curfew, Robert Rausch placed an ad in his community newspaper.  The ad offered 30 hours of free babysitting courtesy of his wayward daughter along with an explanation of what she did to deserve the punishment.

Rausch says he came up with this idea as a way to teach his daughter a lesson and help others at the same time.  Considering the fact that the community paper in which the ad was placed serves a wealthy area where business leaders and professional athletes live, I think her potential clients can afford to shell out the money for a babysitter who isn’t watching their kids because she’s being forced to.

But the real question here is:  Will it teach her a lesson?  She says yes, and that she’s already decided she will no longer be violating curfew or throwing late-night parties.  But of course, that’s what she would say.  What do you say?  Have you ever used public humiliation to punish your child?  How did that work out for you?

Image: Rhymes/Flickr

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