Let the punishment fit the crime

I have always been big on letting the punishment fit the crime. Even when my daughter was 2 1/2 years old, if she acted too babyish I responded by treating her like a baby.

If she whined instead of using her words, I would hold her in my lap. After all, her toddler toys would be much too dangerous for a sweet little baby. She enjoyed the extra attention until she saw a family pet walk by or until dinner time came and I popped open a jar of baby food.

Unconventional, maybe. But it worked. And I would always let her be my big girl again after 2 or 3 minutes of proving to me that she really can do big girl things like speak or help clean up her own mess.

My daughter’s most recent offense has been her habit of stuffing dirty socks in the couch. … Oh how I loved creating a punishment for this offense! (Does enjoyment of disciplining my child make me mentally unwell?)

The way I see it, the worst thing about socks stuffed in the couch cushion is when an unsuspecting victim, while looking for the remote control or something that fell out of their pocket, gets a hand full of dirty socks! After multiple warnings and “I forgot”s, I told my daughter that her punishment would be to hand wash a grownup’s socks.

She thought she was smart. After being told that she would have to hand wash a grownup’s socks, she did not stuff her socks in the couch again until we did laundry, ensuring that there were no dirty socks (other than what she had just taken off) in the house. .. I think my significant other got a little too into things. He suggested that we go for a late night hike. When we returned home, he handed her 2 freshly smellified socks.

It was funny. My little 8 year old couldn’t believe that she had to touch boy socks! She got her revenge though. She washed them in girly strawberry scented shampoo.

I have been eagerly awaiting the next time she stuffs some dirty socks in the couch! I want my feet to smell like strawberries too 🙂 But for some reason, over a week has gone by and she just keeps putting her socks up in the hamper.