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Top 10 Methods of Kid Discipline

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From taking away radio privileges to hiding the Wii, punishments vary from generation to generation. Here's momlogic's timeline of the varied methods of child discipline throughout history.

Top 10 Methods of Childhood Discipline

The Hand

Although no documentation exists, a simple spanking was most likely the first form of child discipline, and is still in use today. In prehistoric times, cavemen and women probably utilized the punishment when obstinate children refused to write on cave walls.

The Paddle

During the Roaring Twenties, "Spare the rod and spoil the child" was the most popular phrase, alongside referring to someone you liked as "the cat's pajamas." Children were routinely spanked with something called a "hickory stick," a paddle made of hardwood not unlike those Hickory Farms Christmas sausages.

The Dunce Cap

A conical wizard's hat emblazoned with another word for "stupid," the dunce cap fell out of favor because of its negative reinforcement, and because children were no longer humiliated by being forced to wear silly hats.


In the '40s, homemakers were obsessed with cleanliness, and washing a kid's mouth out with soap was one way to get rid of "potty mouth." It is no longer a popular method of discipline, possibly because kids today know WAY too many swear words, and soap ain't cheap.

Bed without Supper

The confiscation of food was the last resort for frustrated parents of the '50s. However, depending on the cooking talents of the mother, some kids considered this punishment a blessing in disguise.

The Corner

A child is made to face the wall for a period of time to think about what they've done wrong, or to give them a taste of what day-to-day life is like in prison.


Schoolchildren are forced to write a conciliatory phrase over and over with chalk. In the future, as chalkboards are replaced by computers, this type of discipline will become obsolete, thanks to the cut-and-paste keystrokes.

The Time-Out

Similar to the standing in the corner punishment, but with a more positive spin. Can also be used when Mom needs her own "time-out."

The Naughty Stool

A more severe discipline tool than the "time-out," thanks to the inclusion of the word "naughty," the stool is touted by London-born Supernanny Jo Frost, whose career is based on the American belief that only British nannies know how to properly discipline children.

The Internet

When a Canadian father put up his son's "Guitar Hero III" game on eBay to teach him a lesson, he opened the world's eyes to the power of public online humiliation.

next: Kate, Remove the Ring!
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous August 12, 2009, 1:13 AM

how about a good old fashioned butt kicking?

Anonymous October 31, 2009, 6:50 PM

“how about a good old fashioned butt kicking?” Well I got my butt kicked way more than a few times. Ended up bruised and drug across the floor by my leg. What did I learn eventually? I learned if I was angry and had a problem with someone I should hit them.

rebecca October 31, 2009, 8:46 PM

um you were beat there’s a difference a spanking is much different…I’m sorry to hear someone treated you that way…it does sound like you still hold a lot of that inside and maybe should seek counseling for it. a lot of people feel ashamed for that…please don’t, $#*! happens…just get help for you/your children/friends/and fam.:)

acai berry detox hollywood fl March 25, 2010, 3:05 PM

Seriously See,survive satisfy couple stand component negotiation telephone early refer firm economic colour vehicle red achieve myself deal well works pool name start concern safety touch somewhat sum surface call majority young trial hand phase proper minute majority product leader notice memory need grant control absolutely period serve day influence morning claim free land forget know final file heat fear defendant even few human disease hour widely thing describe generally explanation meal strong natural obviously state demonstrate production curriculum buy vote draw birth each lunch understand leadership leaf factor

Anonymous May 2, 2010, 7:58 PM

Dunce cap - good way to destroy an innocent soul.

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