Every house has rules that kids must obey. But, kids being kids, the rules will sooner or later be broken. It is a matter of when not if. And that means time for punishment. While punishment is meant to teach your kids about rules and discipline, it needs not be dull or harsh. There are some things known as creative punishments for kids.
Creative Punishments for Kids
Creative punishment is a unique concept. While it agrees that rules of parenting and discipline need to be taught to kids, it doesn’t need to be dull or harsh.
That’s right. Punishing a kid can be done without hitting them while, at the same time, teaching them a lesson or two. Here we have 15 creative punishments for kids that you can try.
1. Time-in Instead of Time-out
The first one is time-in. What is time-in? Let’s talk about time-out first. Time-out is a common punishment given by parents to kids.
When a kid misbehaves, they will then put away from fun things and don’t get any attention during the time-out. Time-out is boring, something which kids don’t like.
Related Article: Applying House Rules for Kids
Time-in is the exact opposite of time-out. Rather than sending your kid to their time-out corner and leaving them alone to spend their time in boredom, you give them a task they must complete. They can only leave their time-out corner when the task is complete.
What kind of task should be given? That’s up to you. It could be anything that is both interesting and appropriate to the kid’s age.
For example, the task can be painting a picture, tracing alphabets, making a bead bracelet, learning a poem, and so on. Instead of boring your kids, you give them an engaging thing to do and the opportunity to be creative.
2. More Sleep, Less Play
The next kid punishments ideas are to make your juvenile have more time to sleep. They like playing and dislike sleeping. Playing is all that they want. One of the creative punishments for kids you can try if your kid misbehaves is to cut their playing time and add their sleeping time.
Let’s say that your kid is misbehaving. Their punishment is that they have to go to sleep 15 minutes earlier than usual.
With these ways to discipline a child, your child would realize that if they misbehave, their leisure time will be reduced.
The more they misbehave, the earlier they will sleep. Once they realize the consequence of their misbehavior, their kids will learn to behave more appropriately.
How long should the playing time be cut? There is no definite rule but a good way to measure is by correlating it with the misbehavior. The severe the misbehavior, the longer the playing time is cut.
Read Also: Old-Fashioned Discipline Methods
You can also use the other way around: rewarding good behavior. For each behavior, they will have more playing time. One thing to note: make sure that your kid gets enough sleep.
3. For the Door Slammer
There are kids who like to slam the door when they are angry. Is your kid like this? If the answer is yes, try to punish them in a creative way.
Rather than getting angry at them for the door slamming, punish them by ordering them to open and close the door calmly and completely many times. Your kid will learn that slamming the door is not okay.
Every parent uses their own Parenting style, starting from authoritative to the freedom style. But, exercise is certainly one of the most constructive and creative punishments for kids. It is healthy, too.
This creative punishment is especially effective if your kid doesn’t like exercising. It, after all, teaches them that their misbehavior comes with consequences that they don’t like.
For example, if they misbehave in public, punish them by doing 10 pushups. Leaving dirty dishes in the wrong place after being reminded a few times?
Ask your kid to skip a rope. And so on. Keep in mind not to overdo this, however. Too much will tire out your kids. Know your kid’s limit.
5. Doing Chores
If your kid misbehaves, punish them by taking their privilege (like watching TV, playing with their friends, etc.) away from them.
Give the privilege back once they have done enough good behavior like doing chores around the house. This one is among the most productive and creative punishments for kids.
Doing chores is boring and kids don’t like doing boring things. For this creative punishment, you can make a chart with points.
If your kid behaves well, they earn points. The more good behavior they do, the more points they have. If they earn enough points, they will get the privilege to play again.
Doing chores is a way that your kid can earn points. For example,
- doing dishes earns them 40 points
- watering plants earns them 20
- vacuuming carpet ears them 10 points
- cleaning the TV case earns them 30 points
And so on. Once they reach the threshold that you set (like 150 points or 200 points, for example), they can earn their privilege back. Motivate your child to get points as many as possible.
This one is a bit different from the other creative punishments for kids. It is particularly for kids who perform poorly at school or have trouble with their school work.
Explain to your kid that until their grades improved, they will spend extra time practicing and learning the subject they have a problem with. And that may mean their playtime will be reduced.
When you use this punishment, don’t leave your kid alone. Help them learn the subject. Print out worksheets.
If necessary, get extra worksheets from your kid’s teacher or take swimming lessons. This punishment is creative and constructive, much better than scolding your kid for their poor academic performance.
If you want to apply a useful punishment, then consider that it is a very good thing to force your child to enjoy studying.
One of the things that many children are interested in is studying astronomy from an early age.
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Is your kid taking too much time finishing a simple chore? Perhaps they are slow-eater? In that case, you can use set a timer.
Similar to other creative punishments for toddlers, this involves cutting their playing time. Here’s the gist: the longer time they take to finish a simple chore, the shorter their playing time will be.
If you do this regularly, your kid will learn to finish the task or eat faster than they used to be. Eventually, this will become a regular for them. Do set a reasonable time for them to finish the task, however.
Kids tend to throw fits when they are angry. If your kid throw fits, punish them by telling them to go to their room, and continue their fit.
They are not allowed to come out of the room and have to throw fit or cry for 10 minutes. This will cool them off and make them learn that throwing fits are not okay.
9. Tidy Up
Kids like to play with their toys. What they don’t like or often forgot is to tidy up their toys. The next on our list of creative punishments for kids is to hide the clutter of toys your kid left behind. Clean up the clutter and hide the toys.
Your kid will then ask where their toys are. Tell them to look for their toys themselves. Each time they forgot to tidy up their toys, the toys disappear.
Your kid will understand this lesson quickly. You can do the same with other things like clothes, shoes, video games, and other stuff.
10. Role Exchange
As a game, role exchange is fun. As punishment, not so much. To use role exchange as a punishment, tell your kid to do the tasks that you usually do when they misbehave.
For example, laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, and so on. Yes, any tasks that your kid will find boring.
Basically, you become the child and your kid becomes the grown-up. Before using role exchange as a punishment, do some ground and rules for it. Tell your kid what is expected of them and why if they are to behave like an adult.
11. Hold that Tongue
The next in our types of punishment for a child is to hold the tongue. Not figuratively, however. Literally. This punishment is when your kid is rude or says a bad word.
When they do so, tell them to hold their tongue between two fingers. Let them hold their tongue for several minutes. You can also use this creative punishment for public outbursts.
12. No-fight Zones
If you have kids that often squabble and fight, create no-fight zones. In these zones, fighting is not allowed.
Designate several areas in the house and place stickers or pictures of your kids’ favorite characters. The rule is that they cannot fight in front of these pictures.
This should teach them to get along better, not fight as often and bond together. If, however, the rule is broken, you need to punish the one that breaks it.
The creative punishments for kids can be doing the chores that their sibling does for a day, hugging their sibling for a few minutes, and so on.
13. Warning Code
Using a warning code is another example of creative punishments for kids. Create a warning code with your kid that you can tell them in public.
This warning code serves as a reminder that if your kid keeps doing what they do, they might be punished once they are home.
The warning code is between the two of you. So in case, your kid is misbehaving, you can say the warning code. The warning code will not embarrass them while still reminding them that they should stop doing what they are doing. You ca
14. Serving Dinner
There are kids who can be chaotic when they eat. Some don’t go to the dinner table on time even after being called and reminded repeatedly.
When your kid misbehaves during mealtime, ask them to serve dinner. This way, they will learn the value of food while at the same time, learning a valuable life lesson.
Just like other punishments for kids on the list have shown, correcting the behavior of kids need not be harsh.
If anything, it can be productive and constructive. This one is one of the examples of such punishments. Make sure that your kid washes their hands before serving dinner and that the food is not too hot to avoid accidents.
15. Take the Pet Out
The last in our creative punishments for kids list is taking the pet out. If your kid misbehaves in the house, punish them by asking them to take the pet for a stroll outside.
This will give them time off and time to cool off if they misbehave by throwing tantrums. If you don’t have a pet, ask them to run around the garden or yard a few times.
Before Punishing Your Kids
Before you hand out creative punishments for kids, you should start with obedience. You need to explain to your kids why and how you have authority over them, the importance of obedience, disobedience and its consequences, and what is expected of them.
If your kids are no older than 5, the above can wait. If older, it is time to explain and make them understand the above before you hand out punishment for misbehavior.
The point here is to make your kids understand that actions have consequences and misbehavior will be punished.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the best ways to help your child learn discipline and move on from misbehavior as they grow with the following steps:
1. Tell and set examples
Children are the best copy machine. They simply copy what their parents are doing. Most of the time, children are easily molded at a young age. This is why it is important to tell them how you want your kid to behave, and set examples from the get-go.
Only telling them what to do is guaranteed not going to work if you don’t act by words.
Tell your kid to develop the right and positive behaviors, and model those behaviors that you would like to see in your children growing up.
2. Set boundaries
From the start, you need to set boundaries of what is OK and not. If you have children of different ages with quite a gap, you need to adjust every rule to each one of them.
Make sure you explain these rules in a way they can understand. Your kid may ask why his rule is different from his brother’s, and you have to get creative to make your child understand that rules are different between ages.
3. Connect consequences of their behavior
Some parents prefer to give direct punishment as a means to discipline their kids. Other parents give creative punishment for their kids as a way to teach responsibility.
Although the latter group seems to be more sensible, you need to make your children understand that the punishment they are getting is a consequence of their behavior.
Otherwise, your kid will always see punishment as a punishment, doesn’t matter if you label it as ‘creative’.
Calmly explain that they will get a consequence if they don’t behave and that the punishments are a form of consequence for their own behavior. If there is somebody to blame for their punishment, it should be the children themselves and none other.
Remember that consequences work both ways. If your kids are showing positive behavior, give them rewards as a means to establish positive reinforcement.
You don’t need to be in a hurry to deliver the creative punishment for kids. You may want to dig deeper and understand the reason why your kid is behaving negatively.
Allow your kids to give explanations in their way and let them finish before you give out the consequences. When done correctly, you open more ways to understand your ways and talk about what causes their misbehavior. If needed, you can adjust the rules and make some exceptions.
5. Give your attention
The fact that you are giving punishment for their misdemeanors is a sign that you want them to be the best version of themselves by shaping positive behaviors. However, kids do not see punishment as a form of love or affection from parents.
That is why you need to explain why you punish them and show them lots of love, affection, and care. Attention is the most powerful tool you possess as parents to discipline your kids.
Create Simple Rules
Another thing you should know and do is to make simple rules. Household rules should be simple and few in numbers. The rules should also be clear as well.
Complex rules will make it difficult for your kids to understand, let alone remember. Too vague rules give room for loopholes. You don’t want either. Be simple, be clear, and don’t make too many rules.
Good Household Rules
It is through household rules that kids learn what behavior is okay and what is not. Good household rules help kids to behave in a positive way. Good household rules
- Tell kids what to do instead of what not to do (instead of “Don’t be messy”, the rule should be “Put your clothes away”)
- Are easy to understand (when you are inside the house, use a quiet voice)
- Say what behavior is expected clearly (when we ask for something, say “Please”)
These are creative punishments for kids you can try. Although parents are responsible for teaching rules and discipline their kids must follow, harsh punishment is not necessary to do the job. Using creative punishment is a better approach. It teaches them that actions have consequences and misbehavior results in punishment without being dull or harsh about it.