Kids need to learn what’s right and wrong. Many children receive traditional forms of discipline, such as being grounded, having their toys taken away, or being given a time-out.
Strangely Unique Punishments Kids Received
But many will be surprised to learn some parents’ creative methods for imparting life-long lessons on good behavior. Learn about a few of the weirdest punishments these online users received as kids.
Copy The Encyclopedia
The parents of one particular online user had a creative way of inculcating discipline in their children; they would make their older brother and sister pick an Encyclopedia, randomly select a page and begin copying everything written on the page until instructed to stop.
Cut The Grass
One online user recalls the punishment they faced at a Catholic school where a nun made them go outside to cut the grass with a pair of scissors. They claimed it bruised their thumbs for several days.
“In elementary school, we had this one really strict teacher that would make us T-pose in the back of the room if we were being disruptive,” one person said. “Every one of us scoffed at the idea until about a minute in, and your arms were killing you. Very effective punishment.”
Seemingly silly at first, the arms quickly tire when left in this position, making it a painful lesson for the students.
Drink a Spoonful of Whiskey
As a child, whenever this user visited their grandparents and fell ill with any ailment, they were given a tablespoon of whiskey to drink. It would make them vomit every single time.
Regardless of the medical problem, they were given whiskey. Heck, they could fall out of a tree and still be given a spoon of this poison.
Drink a Spoonful of Whiskey
“I think I was punished for being weak,” the person said. “There was no winning. If Grandma or Grandpa suspected that I wasn’t feeling 100%, they’d straight out ask me what was wrong, and I had to say something or risk worse punishments.”
Put Their Things on The Lawn
One teenager’s mother had an interesting way of punishing her son for not cleaning his room; she would empty the contents of his room onto the front lawn, awaiting his return home from school.
Grounded From Going To The Bedroom
Whenever a child was being punished in this household, they were not allowed to go to their bedroom. This was a bad punishment because “you don’t realize how much is in your room until you aren’t allowed to go in it.”
Memorize Lines From Shakespeare
One Redditor’s father had a flair for the theatrical. “My sisters and I would have to memorize passages from Shakespeare together,” the user wrote, adding that the siblings would later have to recite the text when their dad returned. “One wrong word, and he’d leave us for a while. Probably the worst part is it made me hate Shakespeare.”
Research Paper About a Political Scandal
As a sixth-grader, one commenter once snuck out late at night and adventured to a nearby convenience store with their best friend. The punishment? A 20-page research paper on the Watergate political scandal.
“I have no idea why [my dad] chose the topic, but the knowledge has come in handy many times in my life,” they reflected. “This was back in the days before the internet, too. I had to go to the f—ing library.”
Create Charts in Excel
Fellow Redditors shared similar anecdotes of completing punishments as kids that became unexpectedly useful adult skills: “My dad used to make me plot charts in Excel as a punishment. That came in handy many times in my life too.”
Kneel Facing a Wall and Pull Ears
One user explained how their parents preferred non-violent corporal punishment: “I had to kneel facing a wall while pulling my ears—and if my ears weren’t red enough when they came to check on me, then I had to stay there even longer.”
In response, another Redditor recalled being made to kneel in corners as a kid. “My mom went to a neighbor’s house and forgot I was there. I fell asleep,” they wrote. “I now can fall asleep in weird, uncomfortable places. It’s like my sh***y superpower.”
Wait Longer Than Everybody Else
Family vacations always have their hiccups, but this parent seized the opportunity to teach a tough lesson about waiting without protest.
“My dad made us all go to the back of a 45-minute line at the theme park because I was being impatient and bratty,” this user revealed. “[He] would do similar things, if anyone complained about dinner or how long it took to cook, they would eat after everyone else.”
Paying for The Livestreaming Event But Not Allowing Them To Watch
As a long-time Hulk Hogan fan, this Redditor shared the cruel and unusual punishment his father planned for their younger self. After some bad behavior, the dad purchased the WrestleMania Pay-Per-View.
“[My dad] watched the whole d**n thing and didn’t let me move or ever see the screen. It was just effing brutal,” they remembered and proceeded to defend his parent against criticism in the comments, “Calm down. Dad gave me a chance to be better. I didn’t listen. I had this sh** coming.”
“‘MCDONALD’S! MCDONALD’S! MCDONALD’S!’ ‘One black coffee, please,’” reads the most up-voted reply, in reference to comedian John Mulaney’s viral anecdote of going through the fast food drive-through as a child.
Given a Dog Collar and Leash
What is the most effective way to stop a child from serial biting? These users provided two very effective, albeit outlandish, methods that their parents used to end the habit.
When one user was five-years-old, they bit their older sister directly on the stomach, leaving a serious bite mark. “Mom grabbed a dog collar and leash, then tied me to a doorknob for several hours. ‘If you act like a dog, you get treated like a dog,’ [she said],” the Redditor wrote.
Biting Their Children
As a toddler, one user, too, had been a serial biter, but their parents had found an alternative solution. “My mom finally got desperate and bit me. I didn’t bite [my brother] anymore. I think that was a better approach.”
Making Them Laugh Instead
Laughter can sometimes be the best medicine for a fussy kid, as one user proved with their childhood memory. “When I was four, my mother was fed up with my stubborn refusal to eat my sandwich at lunch one day,” they recollected.
Frustrated, the young mom then grabbed the meal, separated the bread slices, and stuck one to each side of the child’s face. “There was a moment of complete silence as I stopped whining and evaluated what she’d done. After that, we were both too collapsed with laughter to be mad at each other.”
“What are you? An idiot sandwich,” replied one commenter, referencing chef Gordon Ramsay’s viral meme.
Read More: The Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated
Teachers have seen it all. So we asked them: what was the worst thing they had ever confiscated from a student?
Their answers would be enough to put you off the teaching career for life.
Read More: She Didn’t Want Her Son To Sleep At His Girlfriend’s Because “Something Felt Very Off”— And She Was Right
To a child, parents’ rules and restrictions may seem arbitrary and controlling. While the occasional rule might be strict, hindsight usually reveals that—more often than not—a parent’s intuition was right.
Read More: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was
When Mom’s away, Dad and son will play.
Read More: Teaching or Chatting?
Did you know that up to 45% of all Americans have a side gig? Do you?
We found probably one of the most enjoyable, rewarding ways to earn money by teaching (chatting) with those who want to learn English online. Log in any time you want, 24/7, and get paid weekly for the hours you put in.
Read More: The Time I Ruined My High School Teacher’s Career and Got Her Fired in the Greatest Way Possible
A story about a high school student who was mistreated by his teacher and got her fired.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.