18 Creative Punishment Ideas for Kids
If you have growing children who are naughty and make you run around the house for several impossible things, it’s time you put your foot down and be a little strict with them before they become spoiled. And this means that sometimes, you will have to punish them if they misbehave, but by punishment, we do not mean that you beat them. Spanking and yelling can have negative consequences. It could cause behavioural and psychological problems in kids and, in the long run, it can result in low self-esteem, aggression, and stress-related issues.
As parents, while punishing kids, we often forget that punishment is not supposed to make your kids afraid of you; the only aim of punishing your child is to teach the kids the importance of good behaviour. So, here are a few creative punishments for kids with which you can punish your child but for his own good.
Video: 10 Creative Punishment Ideas for Your Kids
Is Punishment Good for a Child?
A harsh punishment is never recommended as punishments may restrict a child’s negative or unwanted behaviour for the short term but will also negatively impact the child. So, instead of physical or verbal punishments, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest using disciplinary methods to teach them what is right or wrong.
Things To Remember Before Punishing Your Kids
Before punishing your child, you must start by discussing the crucial matters with them. Make them understand in a manner which is polite and understandable by them. Explain to them why it is important to obey the instructions and what could be the consequences of disobedience.
Also, before handing out the punishment, make them understand what and why they are getting it, so they understand that actions have consequences and misbehaviour will be punished. You can follow these ways by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to teach your little one discipline and good values:
1. Set Examples for Them
Children are the best copycats. They do and follow what they see you doing. So, if you want them to behave the best version of themselves, you must act right in front of them as they grow, too.
Suppose you tell them to throw garbage in the dustbin, and you throw a chips wrapper on the floor, they will just do what you do and not what you told them to do.
2. Be More Understanding
Give your child a chance to explain themselves as to why they did what they did. Listen to them with an open mind. Since they are too young and still figuring out their emotions like anger and jealousy, be more empathetic and understanding towards them and then analyse their negative behaviour that prompted the punishment.
Once you understand their side of reason, you can adjust the rules and punishments if needed.
3. Set Boundaries
Right from the start, when your child begins understanding things, let them know the general rules of the house and what is OK and not. By setting boundaries, you will ensure discipline in the child.
4. Make Them Understand Behaviour and Consequence
Punishing children without letting them know what they are being punished for is not going to be effective. Hence, when you punish them, devise creative ways to help them connect the punishment with their misbehaviour and learn the responsibility for their actions.
5. Show Them Your Love and Affection
Children do not understand that the punishments their parents are giving them are for their own well-being. They separate love and affection from punishment and see it in a non-inspiring way.
The best thing you can do is make them understand why they are getting a certain punishment. When punishment is over, show your love and affection towards them, so they don’t separate from you emotionally.
18 Creative Ways to Punish a Child
If you are wondering how to punish a child without losing your temper, we have come up with the top 18 punishments for kids. The creative punishments for kids in this list of punishments for kids are not harsh and ensure that kids learn the importance of following the rules. We hope you find these punishment ideas creative and not suppressing.
Most parents would give their kids time-outs for bad behaviour, wherein the kids sit silently in a corner. However, sometimes sitting idle may not work well with children, as kids are often active. In such cases, parents can try ‘time-ins’ wherein you send your child to the naughty corner, where instead of sitting and doing nothing, the child gets an age-appropriate task. These tasks could include memorising a poem, writing letters of the alphabet, colouring a picture, or solving math problems. This will serve the purpose of the punishment while also giving the child something useful to do.
This is a punishment that might be a tad undesirable for your child especially if he doesn’t like exercising, but it surely will teach the child the consequences of bad behaviour. For example, if the child leaves dirty dishes on the table after being told not to several times, you can make them do 10 squats or sit-ups. If their behaviour is bad in social gatherings or at other public places, you could ask them to skip a rope. Eventually, they will learn to exercise, which will be good for them in the future. However, do not overdo this as it could cause muscle fatigue in your child.
3. Make them do Chores
Make a list of 25 to 30 chores such as watering the plants, dusting shelves, drying the dishes, etc. Assign points to each task. For example, watering plants could be 20 points, doing dishes could be 40 points. If your child is becoming a spoilt brat, and his bad behaviour is getting out of your control, tell him that he needs to earn points (and his freedom) by completing his punishment. For example, if he gets into a fight with friends, he has to earn 150 points before he gets to play with his friends again. This way, you discipline him, and he will get better at the household chores to earn his privilege back.
If your child takes too long to finish a task, like completing homework or cleaning his room, set a timer. Tell the child that if the timer rings before they are finished, they will lose some privilege like permission to watch cartoons for two days or going out to play with friends for a day. This will encourage the child to complete the task on time, and gradually, it will become a regular habit.
This is particularly for children who have trouble with schoolwork or have been performing poorly in school tests. Make sure you help them get lots of extra practice at home. Print out worksheets and make your children work on those. You can explain your child that until the grades go up, they need to put in extra time practising that subject even if it means less playtime per day. This will help them learn the subject, and they will be glad that you are helping them instead of scolding them.
6. Punishment Jar
Discuss with your child and come up with a list of creative punishments. Next, write down these punishments on pieces of paper and put them in a jar. The next time your child behaves in an ill manner, ask him to pick a chit from the punishment jar and do whatever is written on it. These punishments should help children learn something new or utilise their time better. Some examples of these easy-to-do punishments include activities, like taking out the trash, doing the dishes, folding the laundry, organising their closet or pulling out weed in the garden.
7. Cool-Off Time
If your child is throwing tantrums or has done something wrong in the house, let them cool off by taking them out for a run or sending them to walk the pet, if you have one. This will help them calm down and also give them time to think about what they have done. Once they are back, you can explain calmly what they did wrong and how they need to correct it. The cool-off time will also help the parent calm down so that they can discipline the children without losing their temper.
8. Tidy Up the Clutter
This is an effective way to make sure your child tidies up after making a mess. For example, if your child leaves toys or art supplies in his room, take those toys away and hide them. Tell your child that he will lose the privilege of using those art supplies or playing with his toys until he cleans up after himself.
9. No-Fight Areas
No-fight areas are actually for those parents who have a problem with their kids constantly squabbling. Designate certain areas of the house as no-fight zones. Let them stick their favourite posters or cartoons in those areas and tell them that the rule is that they cannot quarrel in front of those images. This will reduce the number of fights and help them find a way to get along better. If they break this rule, set punishments for them. Here are some examples for punishing the children – hug their sibling for 5 minutes, or do their sibling’s chores for 2 days. This will help them bond better, and you won’t have a headache because of those constant fights.
10. Early Bedtime
This works well for both little and older children. Kids love playing and hate sleeping. So, if they misbehave, tell them that their playtime will cut down, and they will have to go to bed early. The days that they behave well give them extra playtime.
11. Role Reversal
You must be aware of the role-reversal game played for fun, but when making this work as a punishment, you will make your child do one of your chores that he finds boring, like cleaning, laundry, mopping, vacuuming etc. and you will act as the child. Some ground and time-off rules can be set in advance so that kids don’t go all out when the roles are reversed. They should know what is expected out of them if they are to enact a grown-up.
12. Marbles in a Bottle
You could keep a glass bottle or a jar of a preferred size with a mouth wide enough to drop marbles. Using a permanent marker and a measuring scale, make a mark after every 2 to 3 inches. At each mark, there will be a privilege the child will lose. Now, depending on the history of bad behaviour your kid has had, you can define how many marbles need to go into the bottle every time he makes the same mistake. And, every mark he crosses, he will lose a privilege. The child will be pushed to correct his behaviour at some point to avoid meeting the mark and losing his privileges.
13. Door Slamming
Many people have this habit of breaking or banging things when they are angry. Sometimes, when children get angry and frustrated, they slam the door with good force. If your little one has this habit, then what we are going to tell you is one of the funny punishments for door slamming.
When they slam the door, as a punishment, you can instruct them to open and close the door completely in a calm and polite manner. You can ask them to do this 10 or 20 times.
14. Hold the Tongue
Holding the tongue is a creative punishment for kindergarteners as well as other children. When your child abuses, bad mouthes, or is plain rude, tell them to hold their tongue between two fingers for several minutes.
15. Warning Code
Warning code is one of the most subtle techniques to tone down a child’s misbehaviours and works perfectly well in public spaces and gatherings when you don’t want to scold your child. You and your child can decide on a warning code, like a word or a number, between yourself. So, when your child misbehaves, you can say the warning code and save your little one the trouble of embarrassment in front of people.
16. Dinner Serving
Children often fuss at dinner and don’t come to the dinner table on time, even after being repeatedly called. In such case, when they come to the table, you can ask them to serve dinner to everybody present at the table as a punishment. This way, they will understand the person’s efforts to make dinner and the value of time.
17. Withdraw Privileges
This type of punishment works well for children of all ages. A privilege can be anything from a play date or toy to watching their favourite TV show. In short, it’s about taking away something they love or value to make them realise the consequences of bad behaviour.
18. Funny Punishments
Funny punishments are light and work well by changing a negative attitude to a positive one by making them do funny activities. You can ask them to dance funny to a song until they are tired or make a painting. You can also write funny punishments in paper chits, and when a child misbehaves, you can ask them to pick one chit and act accordingly.
Children need to be disciplined in a way that is not too harsh, encourages them to correct their behaviour and listen to their parents. Punishments should not be humiliating for children; instead, they should teach kids to make better use of their time and learn something new, while learning the value of good behaviour. So, try these tips for innovative punishments in this article and see if they help to improve the behaviour of your child.
1. What Type of Punishment Is Best for a Child?
Any harsh physical or verbal punishment is not recommended. However, good punishments for kids that are inclined towards teaching patience and non-attachment to things, like delayed privileges or not allowing them to play with their favourite items, might turn out to be effective. The end goal is to realise the consequences of their actions by helping them gain control over their actions.
2. What Happens When You Punish Your Child?
Cruel and harsh punishments like slapping, hitting, or spanking may disturb a child’s physical as well as mental well-being. Since these punishments are hard, a child may think well before doing anything as the consequences may be hurtful for them, in turn curbing their confidence and creativity. These types of punishments may also include aggression and intolerance to disciplinary actions in children when they frequently get used to harsh penalties. Plus, parent-child bonding also suffers as children start fearing the adults.