For some kids, just a disappointed expression or word from a parent is enough to send them into apologetic sobs. On the other hand, normal punishments like getting grounded or having things taken away just don’t seem to have an effect on other kids, so parents have to get creative. From brilliant schemes to chilling scare tactics to epic battles of revenge, these Redditors share the best (or worst) punishments they’ve ever received.
1. No More Monkeys Jumping on the…Shower?
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I had been taking my own showers for about a year. One night after bathing, I found out I could reach the shower curtain rod and that it made a great monkey bar. So I started swinging on it and I had no idea that it was not mounted into the wall and was only held on by its own pressure (it was spring-loaded, you know what I mean).
So all of a sudden, this thing obviously came tumbling down as I was swinging on it. My already suspicious mother heard the crash and came up to see what was wrong. She found me lying on the floor, naked, with nothing but a wet curtain over me, and the shower rod in the tub. She knew exactly what was happening and if I wasn’t under the curtain, I would have seen the light bulb go off in her head right before she said, “Fix it, finish toweling off and then go see your father.”
I was terrified. I went down to the basement where my dad was working on his mountain bike and he said, “Now, Nicholas, I’m not mad, but I just want to tell you a story.” A wave of confused relief came over me. I had no idea what was going on—but I was about to find out. Here’s the story he told:
“There was a monkey who loved to swing in a big tree in the jungle. It was a beautiful tree. However, there was problem! The tree was also the favorite resting place of a ferocious lion. One day, the lion got angry with the monkey because he began to make too much noise. The lion scared the monkey out of the tree and said never to come back with a big loud ROAR!”
“The monkey did not learn, however, and he came back the next day. The lion was dumbfounded but impressed by the monkey’s bravery, so instead of killing him, he gave him an option. He asked the monkey, ‘Okay, I gave you a warning, but I have to respect your courage. I can either bite your tail off or your head off.'”
“After thinking about it, the monkey replied, ‘Definitely bite my head off!’ The lion was confused and said, ‘Okay, but I have to ask, why? You could live a normal life without a tail.’ And the monkey said, ‘Yeah but if you bite off my tail, I’ll look like that ugly human child Nicholas.'”
2. Choices, Choices
My sister used to hate spaghetti so she would only eat enough to please my parents, and she would hold up her bowl to show my parents how much she had eaten, and to seek their approval. One time, my Mom was in the middle of telling a story and was ignoring my sister’s question. She kept holding the bowl up higher and higher until, eventually, it fell on her head.
My Dad brought her up to the bathroom to wash her off. She must have been too confident that she wasn’t exactly being punished, so she began sticking her tongue out at my Dad. My Dad told her to stop, and when she didn’t, he waited for her to do it again and rubbed the soap on her tongue. She didn’t know what to do, because she didn’t want to put her tongue back in her mouth.
3. Stomp Stopping
My sister had a habit of stomping up the stairs, and my Mom was sick of it. To get her to stop, she made my sister stomp up and down the stairs until she couldn’t walk anymore. Her legs were so sore that she could hardly move the next day. She doesn’t stomp up the stairs anymore.
4. Dishwashing Blues
I was always terrible at doing chores, especially the dishes. One day, my Mom went out and bought one of everything, all in blue (one blue plate, one blue fork…and so on), and then told me that I was only allowed to use the blue dishes, and no one else would wash them. There were nights I would be sitting at the table eating spaghetti out of a mug with just a knife.
To this day, I’m not sure who really won that one.
5. Long-Term Planning
My father would threaten to cancel our life insurance when we were 5 or 6. We didn’t know what that was, but we knew we needed it.
6. Sweet Revenge
The first time I lied to my Mom, I was just a kid and it was over something really little and stupid. She didn’t say anything about it, so I assumed I’d gotten away with it. The next morning, she got me up early and said, “Hey, I know this REALLY great ice cream place, get up and we’ll go get some!” I LOVED ice cream, so I got up and got all excited and was ready in a flash.
My Mom kept telling me how amazing this ice cream was, that it was the best she’d ever tasted. I raced to the car all excited, and as she was driving, she continued saying how amazing it was. I was so fully prepared for this mind-blowing ice cream that I didn’t even notice she’d been driving in circles, around my neighborhood, for a good 10-15 minutes. When she pulled back into our driveway I was very confused.
“Where’s the Ice cream?” I asked. She just said “I lied. Doesn’t feel too good, does it?”
7. Candid Camera
My dad told me that he had cameras in the basement in case we did anything bad down there. I believed him so well that I was scared to look for the cameras because then he would see me….looking for the cameras.
8. Perspective is Everything
When I was six, the child psychologist said that I needed “boundaries” and suggested that my parents punish me by making me stand on a kitchen towel in the middle of the room. It was like standing in the corner, but I could see all the things I couldn’t participate in, therefore making it more effective. Well, it worked at first…until my two-year-old sister decided that it looked like fun.
She got a towel of her own, carefully laid it out next to mine, and stood next to me. Punishments are less effective when the parents can’t help but laugh.
9. Colorful Apologies
I was visiting my family in Taiwan one summer, and my younger cousin was horsing around, being a normal hyperactive eight-year-old despite my uncle (his father) telling him to calm down. He then happened to knock over a container of colorful beads, spilling them all over the floor. Instead of scolding him, my uncle lightly reprimanded my cousin, and, with the faintest hint of a smile, made him pick each bead up, apologize to it individually, and replace it in the bin.
10. Russian Roulette
My mom would threaten to sell me to the Russians if I misbehaved. I didn’t even know what Russians were, but I was terrified of them.
11. Trash Talker
My mom told me that the garbage truck would come to collect me. For years, I hid whenever I saw that truck. And, of course, I warned all my friends about the nefarious thing. I would love to have seen that driver’s face when he saw a bunch of kids screaming and running away every time he drove down the street.
12. Used Kid Lot
I grew up with the threat of being dropped off at the “used kid lot” in Arleta hanging over my head. Thinking back, this threat was only thrown out when we were in the car, for maximum effectiveness.
My brother told me the gremlin that rides on the bottom of the car would eat me if I fell asleep.
14. Pajama Party
When I was in high school, I got caught skipping classes. For the next week, my Dad, who had retired the year before, went to school with me. He drove me to school and then attended every class with me. He also ate lunch with my friends and me. Oh, of course, I’ve forgotten to mention the worst part! He wore his pajamas the entire time! He didn’t shave all week, either.
By the time Friday rolled around, he looked like a crazy homeless person. I never skipped class again.
I was an absolute bookworm when I was a kid. Being sent to my room for punishment did nothing, as I’d spend most of my day curled up in there reading anyway. So, my parents changed tactics: they padlocked my bookshelf and forced me to go outside.
16. Plastic Wrap Punishment
I have no recollection of what I did to deserve this punishment, but it must have been good. My BMX bike was my life, my favorite thing in the world. Anytime I screwed up, I’d get my bike taken away. It started out with it being locked to the railing on our porch—but I would borrow Dad’s tools and cut the chains. So my Dad started taking it apart, and if I wanted to ride it, I had to put it back together. Dad saw it as a teaching tool.
Once I got skilled enough to put it completely back together, Dad started just throwing it in the trunk of his car and taking it to work. My Dad worked at a large display case/furniture manufacturer, and they had a few pallet wrapping machines. Whenever I was due to get it back, he’d bring it home wrapped in plastic. Lots and lots of plastic.
Usually, you couldn’t even tell it was a bike.
17. Guilty, Your Honor
My Dad desperately wanted me to be an attorney, so starting at something like six, he would occasionally give me a set of options when I got caught doing something wrong. The first option was to attempt to “plea bargain.” I would have to accept responsibility, but describe why I thought leniency should be applied.
The second option was to plead my case. He would give me a set amount of time to try to find a loophole or prepare an argument, find witnesses, do whatever I could to show why I should not be punished at all, and then present my case to him. The only problem with this route was that I would be punished more severely if I “wasted his time.”
18. The Goldilocks Punishment
When I was probably six, I was being a little brat, all day. When taking away privileges and a quick spanking didn’t work to put down my defiance, my Mom started packing a bunch of my toys into a suitcase. When I asked what she was doing, she told me that if I couldn’t behave I’d have to go live with the bears. This may have sounded awesome to some kids—but not to me.
I lived in Alaska where grizzly bears were around occasionally, and they are terrifying. She then bundled me up, handed me the suitcase and a couple of snacks and juice boxes, led me out to the porch, and told me to start walking. She then turned her back and went inside—I was absolutely horrified. Still though, I was still defiant. I just knew she was going to change her mind and apologize for being horrible to me.
I must have spent an hour walking back and forth past the house, figuring she’d regret it. I thought she’d see me just casually walking by and be so thankful that I just happened to be by the house after such a long time that she would run out and forgive me. Needless to say, eventually I ran back sobbing and begging to be let back in, which she graciously allowed—having watched me from the house the entire time, probably chuckling.
19. Enjoy It While You’re Young
I got caught skipping school when I was 14. My Dad told me that he was taking me out of school the next week. Every day that week, he dropped me off at a local business, and told the owners (who he knew), “Here’s your free helper! He doesn’t want to go to school, so he gets to work!” They would work me, doing the worst jobs ever, for eight hard hours every day.
One week of that, and I was begging to go back to school.
20. Logical Punishment
I had to write reports based on whatever I did wrong. Once I got caught in a lie, so I had to write a report about five famous liars. Once I refused to take a bath, so I had to write a report about germs. And this was before the Internet. We had a set of encyclopedias, and that was it. It was surprisingly effective.
21. Hoisted By Their Own Petard
Two of my boys share a room, and they seem to think that because they are on the third floor, we can’t hear them goofing off when they are supposed to be sleeping. After one of my sons broke his bed by doing flips off of the top bunk, I had them write an essay about why getting enough sleep is important, as well as why listening the first time we tell them to stop is important.
When I read the essay, I was amused to discover that they had inadvertently told on themselves. Apparently they were up to a lot of other shenanigans I didn’t even know about, and they were confessing and swearing to change that behavior too.
22. Be Good or Be Good At It
When I was a kid, my sister got detention for shooting rubber bands at kids in the lunchroom. When the principal called my Mom, she instinctively asked, “Well did she hit anybody?” to which the principal quickly replied that it was not relevant. Later on that night, however, my Dad set up a target in the kitchen, on the fridge, and my sister’s punishment was that she had to spend an hour a night shooting rubber bands at that target.
He explained to her that if she was going to get in trouble for something, she had better at least be good at it.
23. Brain Damage
I picked my nose as a kid. Mom told me that my snot was actually my brain cells, and that I was slowly destroying my brain. I was terrified.
24. Doughnut Torture
When I was six, my Mom bought doughnuts. I wanted one and so did my older brother, but me being the little troublemaker that I was, I opened the box and licked down the whole row of them. I had to eat doughnuts for every meal until all of them were gone as punishment. Sounds awesome, but it takes a six-year-old a long time to eat 20 doughnuts.
25. Dead Flowers and Rocks
One Christmas Eve, I played sick while the family went to Midnight Mass. As soon as they left, I unwrapped all my presents and wrapped them back up very carefully. My mom didn’t say a word when she came home and looked at the tree. The next morning, my favorite gift was nowhere to be seen, and my sister got a bunch of my clothes. I couldn’t say anything, because then I would have to reveal my crime.
The next year (having decided I would just be more careful), I started unwrapping again each time a new gift was under the tree. They contained dead flowers and rocks taped to the box. Again, I couldn’t even say anything. Mom told me years later she always knew when I was at it, as I would stomp around the house and glare at everyone all day.
26. He Knows
I found out my son was unwrapping his Christmas gifts and re-wrapping them one year because he would come home from school a half-hour before Mom got home from work. She was all stressed, but I had the perfect punishment. I just unwrapped a fun gift and added a note from Santa that said, “Mike, I saw you unwrapping gifts from your parents last night. Keep it up and you won’t be getting any gifts from ME this year. –Santa.”
Since he was a firm believer…this worked well.
27. Be Careful What You Wish For
When I was a little brat, I used to threaten running away whenever my parents tried to punish me. One day, after one of my hissy fits/threats, I stomped into my bedroom to find my Dad taking clothes from my dresser and putting them in a suitcase. The last thing he tucked in was my stuffed alligator (who I called dinosaur) that I’ve had since I was born.
As he looked at me staring at him, he smiled and said, “You’re definitely gonna want him!” I was standing there, wide eyes, jaw to the floor, astounded and confused. When I asked him what he was, doing he told me that he was packing my bags for me. He figured it would take me a while and, because I wanted to run away now, he figured he would go ahead and help me out a bit.
He handed me my bag and proceeded to escort me to the back door. Just before he closed the door, he encouraged me to pick some of the pears and berries that grow in our yard so that I would have some food to sustain me as I lived on my own. Then he said, “It’s a really big step you’re taking, deciding to live on your own. Good luck. I love you.” He closed the door and I heard the click signifying that he had locked it.
So there I am, 6 or 7 years old, with a suitcase, dinosaur and fruit, completely clueless. Of course I started off stubborn, so I picked a pear or two and made my way to the gate where I proceeded to walk down the street of our busy neighborhood. I imagine about 20 neighbors passed, unable to process what they saw.
I walked for about 20 minutes before I noticed this strange car was sneakily following me. I began to get scared out of my mind and I darted to the nearest tree and hid as much as I could. It was getting pretty dark outside and I was terrified. I started to cry insanely as a shadowy figure approached me. At this point I was yelling and screaming absolute nonsense, regretting my decision to ever leave home, shouting apologies to the air.
Finally, the figure stepped a little closer and I realized it was my Dad. I was too spooked and it was too dark for me to tell that it was him following me all along to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid and that I stayed safe. I cried so much when I figured out it was him, and I begged him to let me move back in and told him I was so sorry for ever moving out.
He smiled, wrapped me in a much-needed hug and kissed me on the forehead. Once my tears dried and I was calm, he told me that I was more than welcome to move back in, but that he had already rented my room out to a student. He said that I could sleep on the couch until we figured something out. I was just ready to be back home so I agreed, unable to be at all upset at the idea of actually having a roof over my head.
Needless to say, I never threatened to run away again. Oh, and for clarity’s sake: my dad didn’t actually rent out my room, he’s just a trollermeister meistertroll.
28. Foul Words and Sweet Punishment
My mom once found a journal of mine that had very mean things written in it about her (I was an angsty and sad teen). One day, in the relatively distant future, she found this journal (don’t ask me how). So, on that same day, out of the blue, she picked me up straight from school and offered to buy me frozen yogurt. I happily obliged.
We got cookies & cream, sat down, smiled, and after a few moments of good feels and satisfied taste buds, she told me she had found my journal. Just like that. I knew exactly what journal she meant (I’ve only ever had one). All she had to say was, “I found your journal,” and I was in tears within thirty seconds. She reminded me of what I wrote and asked me questions such as, “Why?” and “How?” She was angry for sure, but I’m sure she was also sad about it.
This savage punishment inadvertently made me feel way worse without taking anything away from me. Even though it wasn’t a straight-forward punishment, having to confront her about this horrific journal, filled with thoughts that lots of stupid teens think up, with a mouth full of delicious cookies & cream frozen yogurt, felt worse than anything else.
29. Grandpa’s Catch 22
I stole some of my Grandfather’s whiskey when I was eight, and then topped it off with water so he wouldn’t notice. Yeah right. The only Christmas present I got that year was a Junior Detective fingerprint kit—and he made me dust the bottle for fingerprints while he was laughing his head off. Busted.
My brother and I fought a lot. After one bad fight (which we were both probably equally responsible for), my Dad was trying to find out what went down, but we both insisted that the other one provoked us while we were busy promoting world peace. My Dad told us to write down what happened, but we had to do it together and were not allowed to do anything else until we presented him with a story we both could agree on.
My brother and I decided to make a cartoon and we ended up having a blast for the rest of the evening.
31. Public Shaming
One time, my brother and I were fighting on a long car drive from western Kentucky to New Mexico. Somewhere around the middle of nowhere, we started to fight, and it was some seriously nonsensical stuff like, “Stop looking out my window!” This was precisely when we were forced to exit the car and walk—hand in hand—slowly down the side of the road in front of our family vehicle until we had “made up.”
I just imagine my parents dying with laughter at that scene…
32. Cootie Contamination
My Mom used to make me and my little brother hold hands during time out on the back porch as punishment. We are just 18 months apart and fought constantly. And his hands had cooties.
33. Circle of Life
I got sent to my room one evening and told to stay there. This wasn’t a big deal to me because I had a TV and all my books in there, and I figured I’d just read until my time was served. Unfortunately I failed to account for Troll Dad. Just as I was curling up in my bed to start a new chapter, all of the lights in my room went out and it was pitch dark.
While I had been getting out my copy of Ender’s Game and arranging my pillows, my father had secretly been making his way to the circuit breaker in the basement for the purpose of cutting off power to my room. I passed the rest of that evening in darkness and silence, plotting my revenge. Eventually, (the next day after school), power was restored, and by that time, I had developed a plan to steal and hide all of my father’s pants, one pair at a time over the course of a couple of weeks.
When these actions were discovered, I was punished yet again, and I plotted yet again, and the circle of life continued on like this until I moved away.
I got a bad grade in fifth grade. My Dad told me if he saw another grade that low from me again, he’d take my Nintendo out in the back yard and run it over with his car. I never showed him a report card again.
35. Terror Treatment
When my sister was about 7 or 8, she would quite often roam around our neighborhood during summer just to play with all the other kids. My Mom always told her to be back at a certain time, but usually she showed up late. Well, for failing to be back on time one day, she got grounded for a week. On the last day of her punishment, she saw a neighbor walking her dog and begged to be allowed to join her, just for 15 minutes.
My Mom, being soft, let her go along. 20 minutes later, they came back, and Sis asked for permission to walk with the neighbor and dog to the neighbor’s house. No big deal, that’s a 50m walk. She should have been back in two minutes. Two hours later, she still wasn’t back. The street we are talking about was a small blind alley; you couldn’t get out unless you walked past our backyard.
My Mom could actually hear my sister playing the whole time with the dog and the neighbor’s daughter in their yard. By 9:30 pm, she decided to teach my sister a lesson, and it was truly amazing. She turned off every single light in the house. Locked all the doors. And then she waited. Around 9:45, my sister finally came back to find the whole house dark and locked. And then she freaked.
She started banging on the side door, made out of solid wood, screaming in panic that she didn’t want to be locked out. My Mom was inside, dying of silent laughter. Then my sister started banging on the other door leading to the garden, but this one was actually made out of glass. She banged on the glass door so violently that my Mom was worried she might break it, still kicking and screaming.
Mom then walked out of the wooden door, all silent, approached my sister from behind and just said: BOO. My sister was, to this day, never ever late again. She is 16 now.
36. Flying Falsities
In my ex-wife’s family, if something got stolen or broken and no one would confess, she’d pile all seven kids in the car and tell them she was going to go drive over a bridge with the windows down, and that the guilty party would automatically fly out of the car and off the bridge. Hysteria would ensue. She never made it to a bridge; somebody would always confess.
37. Defiant Dunce
I was in fifth grade, and for some reason, it was really warm outside even though it was in the dead of winter. I asked my Mom if I could wear shorts to school, and, as any sensible parent would, she told me no. Did that stop me? NOPE. I put on a pair of shorts under my jeans and headed on down to the bus stop. Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen someone wear a pair of shorts under a pair of jeans, but it’s noticeable.
My Mom clearly wasn’t a fool, so when I got home from school—feeling super clever, let me tell you—she was just waiting for me in the yard, neon poster board in hand. On a bright pink piece of poster, she had written, “I lied and defied my parents. Oh, what a dunce am I!” The other lime green poster was wrapped up into a cone-like a dunce cap.
She made me sit on a stool in my front yard, wearing the cap and holding the poster, for an hour, right when everyone was getting off work. Cars honked, people yelled, and Mom, watching the whole thing from the comfort of our front porch, laughed her head off. I’m a girl, so this was…this was mortifying. Especially when all the cute neighborhood boys rolled by.
38. An Eye For An Eye
When I was about ten, my mom saw me scare a flock of birds on our lawn. She made me watch Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds as punishment.
39. Settle Down, Beavis
My mom caught me watching Beavis and Butthead when I was eight. I was not allowed to watch the season finale of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as punishment.
40. Mom’s Magic
My sister and I were always fighting when we were younger. My Mom’s methods of punishment were pretty regular but once in a while, she got creative. One day after my sister and I had been fighting all weekend, she said she was tired of us fighting like dogs. If we wanted to act like animals then she would make us. She made us go to the backyard and bark until sunset.
Another time, after my sister and I watched some movie about two brothers who did some sort of magic spell to make their mother disappear, so we tried it too. My Mom saw us doing it, and hid in her friend’s house all day. Her friend, who was at our house, said that she had been talking to my Mom when my Mom had simply vanished.
Needless to say, we never cast any spells on my Mom again.
41. TV Casualty
This happened in California. I had a BB gun leaning on the wall near me, and I refused to do the dishes when I was 15-ish. Next thing I knew, the BB gun was pumped a few times behind my head and my TV screen got shot three times.
I did the dishes.
42. Kid Labeling
Back when I was 11 years old, my brothers and I switched classes to confuse our teachers, due to the fact that we are identical triplets. We had done this a couple of times without being caught, until one day, one of our “friends” told on us. When the principal called our father (a strict Asian parent), he decided on a suitable punishment.
Our punishment was to get a haircut (of his choice) to look less identical. To top it off, he shaved the letters “A”, “B”, and “C” onto the backs of our heads. This was his way to make sure the instructors would be able to tell us apart.
43. Epic Punishment
I loved playing my N64, so much so that I would usually give my parents lip when they told me it was time to be done. I was an absolute brat about it, and this went on for a good while, with groundings and any other form of punishment you can imagine stemming from this. One day in particular, I had made them late for a party because I wouldn’t stop playing, and I could tell my dad was really angry. Surprisingly though, he didn’t do anything that night as punishment. I thought I got off scot-free—oh god, how wrong I was…
The next morning, I woke up and went downstairs to play some Goldeneye (it was the weekend) and my N64, all my games, and all my controllers were packed into a box. My dad walked into the TV room from his workroom and had his hunting rifle in its case slung over his shoulder. All he said was “grab the box” and we got into his truck. I suddenly realized where we were going, as the route we drove to the gun range was always the same. Panic was setting in, but I figured he was bluffing, so I kept my cool.
We got to the range and he set up his rifle. Then he looked at me and said, “Grab Superman.” Whatever, I thought, that game sucked anyway. He told me to go set it up downrange and then had me sit down, take aim, and fire. At that point, I was thinking holy cow, what kind of punishment is this? This is AWESOME!
This went on with two or three games that my Dad knew I didn’t really play, when suddenly he said, “Grab Starfox.” Oh god, no way. My Dad knew I loved playing Starfox. I may have beaten it a while ago and not get to it as much anymore, but that game is awesome. I looked at him pleadingly, but he was totally stone-faced. I tried to reason with myself that there was no way he would do this, so I set up the game downrange and came back. I looked at him again—no reaction. So I grabbed the rifle again and decided to purposefully miss. “Oops,” I said as I worked the bolt action. “Try again,” my dad said.
Now, I might mention at this point that this was a .270 caliber rifle, which isn’t anything amazing, but at age 10 (or so), that gun kicked badly. My body literally got knocked back a little on the seat every time I pulled the trigger, and my shoulder got sore quickly from shooting this gun. Anyways, I missed two more shots purposely before my Dad leaned down and whispered in my ear, “I have 200 rounds with me today.”
Finally, unable to keep pretending to miss, I got up my courage and blew Starfox 64 into oblivion. A little piece of me died. We continued on this path for quite a while, and yes, the truly great games started to come up on the list. Next was Mario Kart, followed thereafter by Mario 64, Super Smash Brothers, Goldeneye and finally…Ocarina of Time.
I don’t have to explain to you the significance of this, do I? How about this, I HAD THE GOLD CARTRIDGE OCARINA OF TIME. My Dad handed it to me, and I felt like I was going to pass out. Now, I had stayed pretty stalwart to that point. It hurt to shoot those awesome games I loved, but I just figured my parents would buy them all back for me.
But this had just gotten real. There was no buying a new gold cartridge Ocarina of Time. The walk downrange and back felt like I was walking to the gallows. I got back and finally caved. I started begging my Dad not to do this, crying that I was so sorry and that it would never happen again, blah blah blah.
He just looked at me and said, “I don’t think you’re sorry yet Trident00, but you’re about to be.” He then motioned at the rifle and I took a seat at the bench. I was pulling up the rifle and tears just started pouring out of my eyes. I was literally sobbing like a baby as I was aiming, I wanted to miss the shot but at this point, my arm was so sore, it felt like it was going to fall off.
I couldn’t take much more of it. I tried once more to plead with my Dad, but he just pointed at the game and said nothing. Ok then…I took aim and squeezed off the trigger while trying to keep aim while my body was still shaking from crying so hard and then suddenly…click. Nothing happened. I sat in amazement for a second.
Did God just save my beautiful game? What was going on? I looked over at my Dad as he took the gun from me and worked the bolt action, and suddenly I realized that he had emptied the gun while I was walking the game downrange. He looked me in the eyes and said, “The next time you decide to disobey your mother or I, I want you to remember that this gun could have been loaded.”
Needless to say, my parents never had to ask me twice to put down the controller ever again.
44. Sticky Situation
My Mom convinced my brother and I that the black gum spots in parking lots were actually children who ran loose from their parents and got squished. I always felt bad for those little guys.
45. Putrid Punishment
Our house had several orange trees in the backyard, and my two dogs had learned how to climb them and pick oranges off to eat them. They would peel them enough for their snouts to fit, and then leave them in the yard to rot. Whenever I acted out, my parents handed me a bag and told me to pick them up.
Now, learned that there are several degrees of decay, rot, and maggotry. Every stage was present in every bag I picked up, with my bare hands. I had to completely fill my bag before I could come inside and wash my hands. Needless to say, I have developed a long-standing hatred for any moldy food. But, the punishment worked. I hardly talked back to my parents in later years, mostly because I could not stand to pick up any more oranges.
46. Recipe For Motion Sickness
When one of us misbehaved at dinner, my mother would force that child to eat the rest of his or her meal in the laundry room, in the dark, on top of a running washing machine.
47. Make Your Bed Before You Lie In It
When I was little, if I didn’t make my bed, my Dad would pull all the sheets off my bed, tie a big overhand knot in each blanket, and tighten them down with all his weight. It only took him a few minutes to do it, but it would take my little kid hands an hour to undo the knots. Or I could sleep without sheets.
I’m 31 now, and I make my bed every single day.
48. Red Eyes In the Forest
When my friend was about six years old, she was being driven home at dusk in the car with her parents and her sister, who is three years older than her. This was in the north of Scotland where there are a lot of fields and forests. Usual sisterly bickering was going on in the car, and they were both repeatedly told to be quiet.
When they didn’t comply, their Dad pulled the car over to the side of the road and told them that because they wouldn’t shut up, they’d be walking home, by themselves. Being quite headstrong characters, they both yelled, “FINE!” They were taken out of the car and lifted over the fence into a field that was bordered by a forest.
Their Dad said, “Walk straight through the field, and straight through the forest and you’ll be at the house.” Huffing, they both started stomping across the field. Then, they heard their Mum’s voice shouting in fear: “Malcolm… Malcolm! Oh my god! What IS that?” Both girls started to falter in their stride and glanced backward. “Malcolm! The eyes! Red eyes in the forest!”
Then their dad started to shout, “RUN! GIRLS RUN! QUICKLY, GET BACK HERE!” So both of them started running full pelt back to the car in total fear. They got to the fence. Laura was lifted over no problem. “Quick, get into the car!” She was bundled into the back, and at this point, both parents were acting like they were in a total panic, and their Mum was still shrieking in fear.
Then their Dad went to lift Hannah over the fence and told her, “Hannah, I can’t lift you! You’re too heavy!” And he began to leave her to get himself back in the car. She of course was wailing at this point, so her Dad finally lifted her over, and put her in the back. They drove off. There was total silence from both kids for the rest of the journey home.
49. Me, 2.0
My father would tell me that he built me from spare parts in the basement, and that his earlier, failed attempts lived in the attic. He said that if I misbehaved, he could easily send me up there to live with them, and just build a new me. The imagery was utterly horrifying. It also kept me from exploring in the parts of the house he didn’t want me in.
50. Stupidhead is Not So Stupid
I witnessed some great creative punishment while was standing in line at a major supermarket. In front of me was a woman and a small girl (about 4), and in front of them was a young mother, with a small boy (about 3). The little boy asked his mother for a candy bar, and was told “No.” The little boy then asked for a candy bar again, and he was told “No” again.
So at this point, he decided to have a temper tantrum. He threw himself on the ground, cried, screamed, called his mother a “stupidhead,” amongst all of the classic tantrum behavior. So, his mother then whispered to the mother standing behind her and they smiled, all while this little boy was hysterical about being denied a candy bar. I was confused—but then their devious plan was set into motion.
His mother then took a candy bar from the shelf and put it in her cart. The boy was happy upon witnessing this, and his tantrum stopped. The mother and son went through the checkout and paid. The mother then turned around and handed the candy bar to the little girl behind her in line. She looked directly at her son and said, “Children who behave are rewarded, and children who throw tantrums and embarrass their mothers get nothing.”
She turned around on her heel and walked away from the boy, who was left silent with his jaw gaping. A bunch of us broke out in applause. It was brilliant.