This Dad Created His Own Way to Punish His Son For Stealing

posted: 05/11/17
by: MIkayla Baiocchi
Dad punishes son

This dad might have made up this punishment as he went along, but it seemed to do the trick.

On Reddit, one dad wrote a post titled "Parenting, just making it up as we go. Theft edition..." to share what he did when his 5-year-old son confessed to stealing a pack of gum from a store. He gave him a "bite size version of a real life consequence."

The father found out about the theft after his son offered him a piece of gum from the pack he stole when his father's back was turned. The father lauded his child for telling him the truth, but knew some form of punishment was required.

"I want him to understand real world consequences off theft," the father wrote about what he decided to do next, "but not through just being grounded or taking something away."

Instead, he created a system that mimics when an adult must pay off his or her debt. He found out the price of the gum, added on a .50 cent "fine" and then said his son must complete "odd jobs" to pay off his "debt." On top of this, he would be barred from any privileges like watching TV, using a tablet or playing outside until he paid it off.

The 5-year-old worked up to $1.50 and then his father told him "community service" would cover the next dollar. At the time the father wrote the post, his son was busy fulfilling that service by cleaning up his room and his brother's toys.

"So there you have it," the father wrote. "Child size versions of real life consequences. I'd rather he learn them now than steal as a teenager and face hefty fines, community service, or even jail time."

Thankfully, what he heard from the room his son was cleaning in illustrates how this punishment tactic probably worked.

"Ugh! I'm never going to steal again!"