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To Punish Daughter, Dad Takes Out 'Free Babysitting' Ad

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Disciplining children is without a doubt the most challenging part of being a parent. What are your options, really, when you have a teenager? Grounding? Taking away their TV, cell phone and/or computer? Those tactics don't always work to really make a point.

Well, one Texas dad decided to get creative when he wanted to punish his teenage daughter for violating her curfew. According to the Star Telegram, the father of 16-year-old Kirstin Rausch took out an ad in the local paper, offering his daughter's services as a "free babysitter."


"We wanted her to make it up with community service," said Kirstin's stepmother. "My husband got the idea from a situation he encountered at work that people like free labor."

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: Jenner and Fishburne Redefining 'Success' in Entertainment
75 comments so far | Post a comment now
Wendi August 22, 2010, 7:33 PM

Good for him! I love hearing that a parent is making the kid take responsibility for what they have done.

Milagros Wilbon August 23, 2010, 6:38 AM

luv reading a post that makes people think

nutmac August 23, 2010, 5:16 PM

I am not sure if I would let a disgruntled teenager to babysit my child, but good for them.

really August 24, 2010, 4:44 AM

I sure hope they don’t let her babysit for strangers…and she should know what type of kids she is getting also. While it may be creative, it might not be a totally safe idea.

Charmaine Hayes August 24, 2010, 5:11 AM

Good punichment, just hope the daughter dosen’t have an attitude with the children that she watches!!

ami August 24, 2010, 6:39 AM

Interesting, but not very practical,I would not let my child babysit for strangers. I’d think that there would be another way for her to do some type of community service.

Vera  August 24, 2010, 6:41 AM

Not to sure this is a good idea unless the father is there with the teenager. Would you trust your kids to a resentful teenager? Don’t think I would.

stinkybrat41 August 24, 2010, 7:16 AM

hiring her out to friends & family may’ve been the way to go- but to use a very public forum as the newspaper … i don;t know if such a great thing was done. It may have negitive results or acheive just the opposite. Hope you don’t end up regretting doing what you “thought” was a good idea-there are monsters out there that disguise themselves as anything they want to- even law abiding civilised “normal” people so that they can deceive and destroy so cautious should be used.

Taunia August 24, 2010, 7:48 AM

Creative? I don’t think so. Nothing like publicizing your child to potential crazy people, abuse, or stalking. Posting a pic of your 16 yr old daughter for “free” ? I think this just might be the most irresponsible thing I’ve ever heard of.


sandy August 24, 2010, 8:21 AM

I am for creative discipline but how safe is a picture of a 16 year old “free” babysitter in the newspaper? If I were the father I would not want my daughter babysitting for anyone I did not know AND trust. As a young teen I babysat for strangers & had some pretty close calls with dads who had more than having the kids taken care of on their minds. It’s much less safe today. There are too many evil men out there. Be careful with your children!

kathy bodelson August 25, 2010, 3:05 PM

well, all those 10 old ways that seem to work better for children under 10 years. For a teenager, and one for today’s times, having access to the Internet, and all the information that is just 2 clicks away. The ad is quite clever. I’m on my last of three teenager’s and also single mom, and all of them went through this period where they thought they were better people than myself and became very opinionated and dwell on the negativity of almost everything and became very high maintenance,best thing is to go get some counselling to pick up some better tools to defuse and be able to discipline and stay consistent, sometimes us mom’s tend to give in to soon, taking things away from them like cell phone or video games, Internet, and the car keys, nine times out of ten as long as you stay consistent with discipline, it helps give them structure , for the day they move out. Ha! Ha! Good luck, & God Bless from kathy Bodelson, Oceanside, California

Jane August 25, 2010, 9:17 PM

The photo- stupid. the resentment factor involved-not good at all. The idea of community service has some merit. A meaningful serious discussion about the actions is the most effective. Talk to your kids in the proper atmosphere. Point out future consequences if certain behavior continues. This article does not even say what the punishment is for.

quesadilla September 21, 2010, 9:25 PM

Why would a man endanger his daughter (or son, for that matter) by putting her photo in the newspaper? How very irresponsible! I knew a woman whose underage driver’s license, that she’d accidentally lost at a club, wound up in the hands of a cop after being seized at a pedophile’s house! That’s just what a pedophile needs to ruin your teenager’s life — her photo in the paper, offering something for “free.” Brilliant. What a genius. Jerk.

Berenice October 12, 2010, 2:48 PM

I had forgotten some of these punishments, The Paddle, The Dunce hat, No Supper. Those are classic, I even remember doing the Chalkboard once, and then it was translated to the notebook. Nowadays I rather punish them by telling them to Buy Viagra Online adn post the results in my Facebook.

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