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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.