Disciplining children in a way that will make them reflect on their behavior without taking it too far is definitely a difficult line to walk. Some parents have apparently had to get rather creative to get the point across.
Reddit user u/stuartwolf asked:
"What's the strangest punishment your parents ever gave you?"
Forced to smell dog breath. Because "If we have to deal with the filth from your mouth, then you have to deal with the filth from its mouth." I got this on numerous occasions.
It sounds silly at first, but it was anything but at the time. I begged them to give me anything but that.
I was deathly afraid of my basement, and the threat for not adhering to lights-out time was being forced to sleep in the basement for the night.
Anyway, I forget what I was doing but I was up to no good one night, probably reading comic books with a flashlight or something. I got sent to sleep in the basement and was pretty much up all night being super scared.
It was threatened a lot but I think it only actually happened once.
My mom always told me I would end up in prison.
As punishment, she would make me sit in time out under an office desk with a slat back chair turned upside down on top so the back covered the opening like bars.
Come dinner time she fed me hard rolls and water because "That's what they serve in prison."
I found out years later, while not good food, prison food is much better than hard rolls and water.
Dad made me splice together his old 8mm vacation films into a Vine style highlight reel after I hurt his feelings by refusing to see Chef with him.
My parents routinely took away my library card when I did something worth punishing.
So I memorized it.
When they caught on they refused to go to the library with me for the duration of my punishment.
So I started volunteering at the library once a week so they had to take me.
When I was 10, mom would take my NES games for a week.
When I was 13, mom would take my SNES games for a week.
When I was 16, mom would take my BLANK FLOPPY DISCS for a week.
I didn't explain the mistake to her until I moved out.
If I cursed, my mom would make me go into the bathroom and say every curse I knew while looking in the mirror so "I could see how ugly I made myself look while cursing".
Well, I learned that if I wanted to curse with impunity all I had to do was say "Ass" and get sent to the bathroom where I could say any curse I could think of, punishment free, for as long as I wanted. lol
If I misbehaved in a car, my mom would lower the window and say that a bird would fly in if I'd continue to misbehave...
Bow and ArrowGiphy
For some reason my parents allowed my brother and I to have a very basic bow and arrow which we were allowed to shoot at a cardboard box in the backyard. I, being very young and very dumb, crawled into the box while my brother was firing. Parents were not pleased and to demonstrate how dangerous what I had done was, they made me lay on the couch for the whole day and pretend I was in a hospital bed.