Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
Punish them with the rod
and save them from death. Proverbs 23:13-14
Believe it or not, children thrive on discipline and structure. Even when they act like they don’t like it, children feel security in having boundaries. Yes, they test them, but it’s our job to provide them.
I got my share of spankings as a child, but the punishments that really stuck with me were the more “creative” ones. When I was a teenager, I slammed my bedroom door in anger. It got taken off the hinges for a week. Or maybe even a weekend. I just know it seemed like forever when my loss of privacy was involved. I never slammed my bedroom door (well, when I lived under my parents’ roof) again. Another time, my brother and I wasted a container of dental floss by stringing it all over the bedroom in true Haley Mills style (think the camping scene in the Parent Trap movie). We had to buy a replacement container with our own money… which in those days we did not have a lot of, and it was a big deal!
I try to do the same thing when it comes to disciplining my own children. Yes, they do get an occasional spanking, but we try our best to have the punishment fit the crime, so to speak. One thing that worked well for us when our kids were younger was “Sassy Spray”. A little balsamic vinegar in a spray bottle works wonders for things like talking back or sassy talk. Just the threat of reaching for the vinegar would snap my youngest back into the land of the obedient.
I love the idea that has been floating around Pinterest of putting any left-out toys in a box and having the child “earn” them back by doing various chores.
What about you? What creative ways have you found to discipline?