Monday, February 8, 2010

A Sign of Punishment

Lesley Breen Withrow Illustration

A few years ago, a local mom was both blasted and hailed at the same time, for her unique punishment technique. Her teenage son refused to do his homework, so she sent him out to stand on the street corner with a sign that said something along the lines of "I didn't do my homework so I'm being punished by holding this sign." The local media interviewed her and her son and laughed about the whole scenario. Other parents thought it was too humiliating. Personally, I think it was genius.

Oh yes, I'm THAT type of mom. For us, timeouts and revoked toys generally do the trick around here, but this morning, Peri refused to get dressed for school. For a good half hour I repeatedly told her she needed to get ready and for the entire half hour she just stood around in her underwear and dawdled. Eventually I'd had enough and told her I was going to pick out her clothes if she wouldn't. She hates it when I do this and usually throws a stink when I make her wear clothing I picked out.

This is one of those moments where you can't use timeout unless you want to spend the morning with your child instead of sending them to school. And personally, I LOVE school and the couple hour break it provides. So timeout was not an option.

As usual, Peri threw a fit when I tried to dress her in the outfit I picked out. We had about five minutes before we had to leave so I ended up throwing up my hands and said, "Fine, you're wearing jammies today." So I put her pajamas back on and made her get shoes and socks. She was not happy wearing the jammies and sulked all the way to the car. And since I didn't want anyone to think her wardrobe was a personal choice, I made a sign. Oh yes, I did. Peri wore a sign to school today and when she walked in, both of her teachers just laughed. Fortunately, Peri was in better spirits by then and wanted to show everyone her new ladybug shoes, so no emotional damage done to her ego.

And hopefully, come Wednesday, we don't have to do the getting dressed tango because I could get used to these punishment signs. Don't mess with mom, she's full of "fun" ideas. :oP

Her sign says "I refused to get dressed, so I'm stuck wearing jammies."


  1. Personally I think it's genius! Let us know how it works out :)

  2. Love it! I might have to try this technique with my kids.

  3. HA! That is so incredibly awesome. In our case, Amelia would be more than happy to go the whole day in her pajamas. Some days, making her get dressed is the punishment :)

  4. I gave her the option to get dressed after we got home (she has an afternoon school she attends) and she was more than happy to FINALLY put some clothes on.

  5. I had problems with my Eric and getting dressed for church. My solution was to give him a timer. If he got ready by the time the timer went off, then nothing happened. But if he still wouldn't then I set the timer to keep track of how long it took him to get dressed. He had to sit in time out for that amount of time. I had to start this about an hour before we had to be to church so there was plenty of time for the timeout, but it worked. Now I just have to threaten the timer and he gets dressed :)

  6. Okay! That is freaking hilarious!

  7. hahaha, that is the greatest thing that I've ever seen!


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