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Punishment by Ebay

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Parents are using the Internet for punishment and profit.


A Canadian man wanted to punish his son bigtime. So, he decided to not give him his Christmas present, the hard-to-get Guitar Hero III. Instead, the enterprising father put it up for sale on Ebay with a post explaining why:

“I came home from work early and what do I find? My innocent little boy smoking pot in the back yard."

It worked. Someone plunked down almost $10,000 for the coveted video game. Quite a lot, considering Guitar Hero III retails for only $90. That makes an eBay sale a much better discipline tactic than a tired old grounding— because, then what do you get? Just a disgruntled teenage in your house 24/7.

With Ebay you can publicly humiliate your child AND turn a nice profit. Recently, a woman put her son’s entire collection of Pokemon cards up for sale with a lengthy explanation of his crime. (He tried to sneak a pack into her shopping cart) She inadvertently won an avid following for her shrewd parenting and has since started her own high-traffic blog.

Want your piece of the pie?

Here are other ways you can harness the power of the World Wide Web and discipline your child at the same time. Who knows, you might win a Webby Award!

  • The Grounded Cam: 24-hour footage of a pissed off teen doing nothing.

  • Create a super-personalized Web site: Start a site every time you're disappointed in your child, complete with pictures and blog. Sell ads targeted to tweens.

    Here are some that aren't already taken:

  • Clean Your Room: The Movie: Create a
    documentary of their living quarters and put it up on YouTube. File it
    under “National Disasters.” Promise to take it down when your kid
    cleans the room to your satifaciton. Be prepared for the video to be up
    on YouTube for a looooong time. Cross your fingers, it might go viral!

next: Moms Are Talking About...
34 comments so far | Post a comment now
MommaIto December 17, 2007, 10:17 PM

I really don’t think this is a good idea. Sure, you may discipline your child, and get some money, but in the end, all you’re going to be doing is breeding mistrust, and ultimately, hate.
Kids, especially teenagers, take great stock in their belongings, whether they have just a few or practically a store-full. Selling THEIR things makes them feel like you are stealing from them, which is something no parent should ever do. Believe me, I tried it one time with my 13-year-old daughter. I had told her that she was spending too much time with her videogames, and that she needed to spend more time on her homework and less time with a Gameboy in her face. When she didn’t comply for a few days, I took some of her games and sold them to the local game store. The result was that she didn’t speak to me for almost a month. When she finally DID open up, it was only the beginning of an enormous fight, where I found out that she felt I had stolen from her. After all, she had bought most of those games herself. She didn’t think that she could trust me, since if she did anything that got her in trouble, it was obviously going to lead to me taking more of her things and selling them.

I hadn’t thought about it that way. The fact that she didn’t trust me, and saw me as a thief, severely hurt me. My daughter had, until then, seen me as a friend she could trust, and now I had broken that trust, turning myself, in her eyes, to an overbearing parent.

Eventually, she earned enough money to buy her games back, but now, even though our relationship is back to the way it was before, she hides her most personal and precious things from me. I’m still working on gaining her full trust back.

I agree that disciplining a child, regardless of their age, will, more often than not, make the parents out to be the ‘bad guy’. But some things are just carrying it too far. Selling their stuff, massively public humiliation; both of these incidents seem far too over the top.

Now, if I need to discipline my daughter for something, I take away her games…but only for an amount of time that is in relation to how bad her actions were. I’ve never had to take them away for more than a week. I am NEVER going to sell her things again, unless she asks me to. I don’t want my daughter to breed hateful memories of me; I’d rather her breed memories that she can fall back on when she herself is a parent, and needs to discipline her own child in a manner that she KNOWS won’t make her ‘evil’ in her childrens’ eyes.

Pam December 17, 2007, 11:11 PM

Re: MommaIto

Sorry Momma but the Pa didn’t sell an iota of the teenybopper’s stuff. It was a gift for Christmas that had not yet been given…so that makes said item Pa’s property. Anyways, the reason why teenagers - some, not all - are royal disobedient arses these days is because of weak knee’d parents.

My Dad was strict, strict, strict…but I survived and guess what…I am grateful. Don’t drink, don’t do drugs, university educated, debt-free, and pretty much together (hey we’re all a tad loony now and then!).

Really, if this was 20 years ago, this discussion wouldn’t even be happening. Go Canuck Pappy Go!

Cheerio - Paula

zrbs December 17, 2007, 11:17 PM

I think there is a difference between selling something that did not belong to them ie: christmas present not yet given and selling something that your child bought with their own money and already own. I think the guitar hero is brilliant. It did not belong to the kid yet and doing drugs is a pretty serious offense. trying to add pokemon cards to the shopping cart resulting in sell of a childs belongs is to severe and can damage the relationship. Mommaito I agree with your perspective for the situation with you and your daughter. You have made a healthy choice for both of you :)
I do like the creativity of the guitar one, parents need to stop yelling, making false threats and grounding and get to a better way to get through to the kids :)

scatteredmom December 19, 2007, 1:07 PM

I don’t believe that a Christmas gift that has not yet been given to a child actually “belongs” to the child. Parent has bought it, it is in the parent’s possession, and so I believe that it belongs to the parent. They can choose whether to give the item to the child or not.

I wouldn’t have given my child the coveted gift either…although I’m not sure I would have sold it on E-bay.

Cindy December 23, 2007, 1:05 AM

I don’t think this is a good idea! First, all kids experiment with smoking and drinking due to ignorance and peer pressure. All that kid is going to do now is lash out at his dad because of the humiliation and deprivation of the gift he really wanted. It’s better to sit down with your child and talk about the pros and cons of the kid’s actions.

Cindy December 23, 2007, 1:08 AM

I don’t think this is a good idea! First, all kids experiment with smoking and drinking due to ignorance and peer pressure. All that kid is going to do now is lash out at his dad because of the humiliation and deprivation (of the gift he really wanted). It’s better to sit down with your child and talk about the pros and cons of their actions rather than breed contempt.

Dinky February 28, 2008, 6:44 PM

I think this is BRILLIANT and utterly HILARIOUS

Anonymous April 29, 2008, 4:38 AM

okay…. I’m sorry but I think if your child does something wrong you have every right to take away/sell/do whatever you want with their items! They are not adults and you are not supposed to be their friend. We’re parents for a reason folks, and I personally don’t think its to be their friends. I’m here to teach my kids to be strong adults - then and only then will I be their friend. Plus - unless the child has a job the money they use to buy the item usually comes from you anyway.

J.L February 27, 2009, 2:52 PM

well, im sorry I had a lot worse done to me for a lot little actions. and yes, your child should mistrust you momma cuz you sold her stuff, but your parents arent your friend, and the later it takes her to learn that the more devastating to both of you.

Blah August 11, 2009, 5:58 PM

Yeah embarrass your child…THAT’S a good idea. Oh wait…no it’s not. Why anyone would ever want to humiliate their child is beyond me. I’m all for punishment, but you don’t do thinks that embarrass your children. Some things people never recover from. Look at all these horrible parents who think these things are a good idea. You should all slit your throats so your children can be spared from the embarrassment you think is a good idea to cause them. You don’t deserve kids.

annoymous August 11, 2009, 7:31 PM

whats wrong with smoking a little pot? you guys need to chill out and smoke some weed too, by the sound of it. its really sad that you punished your child in this way, instead of explaining to him why you don’t want him to smoke pot. this article is bs.

Fashion Merchandising October 12, 2010, 2:10 PM

Keep your posts coming, the fashion sector needs a lot more articles like these.

Cure Hemorrhoids November 27, 2010, 7:44 PM

I really like your info. Very helpful, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

marbella real estate December 10, 2010, 4:54 AM

Nice info. Nice piece of info, very informative and easy to understand.

Merchant December 22, 2010, 10:50 AM

I am a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technologies in New York and am now currently operating on the discussion board to carry all marketplace experts along.

Yang Guttenberg January 7, 2011, 1:25 PM

Very useful info. Thanks so much, very informative and easy to understand.

Jeane Mccleaf January 19, 2011, 1:12 AM

Nice reading. Great post, very informative and easy to understand.

Maxima Antonopoulos January 20, 2011, 5:37 PM

Lovely post, thanks for having the initiave to come up with it

Jesus Bierut January 21, 2011, 11:28 AM

I don’t agree with it, many thanks for taking the time to put your ideas down

Opal Delorey January 21, 2011, 9:30 PM

i’m not precisely certain getting said sounds correct

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