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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Parents using a "gag" gift to teach an unruly kid a lesson good, bad, or neither?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) December 24th, 2010

What would you think of parents who will give a kid (11yr) a “gag” Christmas gift as a lesson that being a spoiled brat-like snot the whole year has consequences? If while all his brothers and sister get toys he gets a year supply of dental floss, classics books, a belt etc, if he thought that was all he was going to get the toys hidden away in the attic not to see the light until Boxing Day would that hammer home the point to behave and be respectful or fan the flames more?

Disclaimer: No it ain’t me either.

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20 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t like that idea.

marinelife's avatar

Well, it seems that this lesson could be better enforced during the year when the infractions occur by taking away his coin of the realm (whatever he values: phone privileges, computer time, etc.).

That said, it might shock him into better behavior.

ucme's avatar

Gagging seems a little extreme, I much prefer the “pool ball in a sock treatment”...more shock value see! ;¬}

Fred931's avatar

I have a 12-year-old bro. I know him; he would probably just gripe about it for a few days and hate you for awhile. He wouldn’t do anything except throw a tantrum in his room.

Still, that is evil.

zenvelo's avatar

halfway decent parenting would be teaching this lesson all year, and not waiting until Christmas. This kind of “teaching” is probably why the kid acts up in the first place. He’s learning it is okay to be mean to people.

I’d wager this kids has been “disciplined” this way a lot, where he loses something but then gets it after he has supposedly learned his lesson. He’s not learning anything except how to be a jerk.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t like it.

I have a question. Will the child be perceiving the gift from the parents or from santa?

diavolobella's avatar

I agree with those who say that the punishment should have been doled out as the infractions occurred. I also hate the idea that classic books would be given as a punishment. I’d love to get classic books myself.

Kayak8's avatar

I think coal is the classic way to handle this. As one from a coal producing state, let me know if you (or your friend) needs a shipment! And this solution is more environmentally friendly than actually burning the coal. It is a win-win!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Uhm… the punishment gifts are awfully familiar to ones I and a lot of kids I grew up looked forward to. Different times, I guess.

Trillian's avatar

Lazy, ineffective. Parents teach a child how to behave and re-enforce that behaviour, If the kid is a brat, it has learned that behaviuor and it has been rewarded countless ways.

Kardamom's avatar

By this time, the parents have already screwed up. They should have been giving out appropriate punishements (with-holding TV, phone, videogame, time with friends privleges) and then told this child exactly what they expected from him or he would get more of the same types of punishments. If the kid really has a problem, and doesn’t learn from the punishments, then he may need some kind of therapy or medical treatment. He may have some other type of problem then just simply being spirited and naughty.

But in this case, it sounds like the parents just screwed up and let this kid get away with things for too long. No wonder he’s a big pain in the nards. They need to fix this now, but not with gag gifts for Xmas. They need to sit him down, the day after Xmas and explain to him how things are going to change.

downtide's avatar

No. What a way to ruin Christmas day for the rest of the family too, having to put up with the tantrums. Which will be (rightfully) worse when he finds out he was duped. I think this would likely make his behavious even worse.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@marinelife @zenvelo @ Kardamom Well, it seems that this lesson could be better enforced during the year when the infractions occur by taking away his coin of the realm (whatever he values: phone privileges, computer time, etc.). If the only ”coin of the realm” ended with TV and being grounded; no computer, no Xbox, etc, no cell phone, and what have you, how does on get through?

@JLeslie Will the child be perceiving the gift from the parents or from santa [sic]? Nope, no belief in Santa here.

@diavolobella I also hate the idea that classic books would be given as a punishment. It only works on one who hates to read. To one who loves to read it has no sting, like giving a salad to a vegetarian, a salad would only sting if the person was into candy and pastries.

@Trillian Parents teach a child how to behave and re-enforce that behaviour [sic], If the kid is a brat, it has learned that behaviuor [sic] and it has been rewarded countless ways. Interesting assumption. Am I to take it as far as to say those parents who have children who deal drugs, go get wasted underage at open parties, bully other kids, etc they learned that Boorish behavior from their parents, or at least the parents knew how they acted and did little to spot it? That would put a lot of onus on the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, guess their parents had to be gun toting mass murderers? Maybe parents can be more effective if one parent acutally stayed home with the children?

When you get to the end of your rope, I guess desperate parents sometimes take desperate measures.

Trillian's avatar

I should have realized that you were not looking to just find out what peple thought, you wanted to start arguments. Fuck off. I’m out.

Kardamom's avatar

I have to agree. Not sure what the point of this question was. Using @Hypocrisy_Central ‘s logic, no matter what parents do, no matter whether or not the parents do a good job or a bad job, a shitty kid is a shitty kid and there’s no getting around it.

Unless the kid has a mental illness, naughty, unruly children are usually the fault of the parents not doing a good job. Either by not knowing what to do in the first place, or by being too lazy or busy to bother to do the correct thing, or by being terrible role models or by just not paying enough attention.

I’m going back to the party mansion.

Supacase's avatar

Why ruin the holiday for everyone? If the kid has been getting away with enough things to allow him to turn into a brat, let him have one more day. Institute behavior boot camp on December 26. Rules, consequences, no wiggle room. It dedication and willingness as a parent to weather the storms (and there will be some big ones) but next Christmas should be considerably more pleasant.

janbb's avatar

Sounds passive-aggressive to me.

zenvelo's avatar

the gag present thing is a problem, and just reinforces the bad behavior. Tell the kids at Thanksgiving he is not getting all the big presents he wants because of his behavior. and then follow through! but give him presents he needs- clothes, books, shoes, a coat or jacket on Christmas. Your statement about all the stuff that hasn’t worked- if what hasn;t worked is in line with giving him gag gifts, it is little wonder the kid is messed up.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Kardamom a shitty kid is a shitty kid and there’s no getting around it. Exactly, so, how can the parents get blamed? If you are not rich enough to have all the ”trinkets” to use as a carrot against the stick at some point you have to use a nuclear option. If you don’t have the goodies to hold back what really can parents do these days? They can’t take a totally terrible little snot and haul him in back of the garage or down to the basement and lay some belt leather on him, people will have a cow. If you just ignore it expecting him to get bored of his actions when no one cares to react any more is lazy ineffective parenting what more is a parent to do?

Supacase If the kid has been getting away with enough things to allow him to turn into a brat, let him have one more day. I would say more like waiting out or circumventing all prior punishments more than getting away with it. But would he not felt he had gotten away with it or gotten better than his siblings who behaved if he receives just as much and what he wanted as they? I can guess he feels they are suckers because he did what he pleased and got Christmas as he pleased it is not that he won’t get Christmas after he has a day to reflect on how his actions caused him not to have the gifts he thought on Christmas morning like his siblings it might in the very small chance open his eyes to something, then next Christmas should be considerably more pleasant..

Myself I would do it differently but if you get to the end of the rope I guess you get creative.

Fred931's avatar

[Optimistic Flutherer Says] Please stop fighting if you’re just fighting to fight. I have nothing against debates, but I feel sad when I read this discussion at this point. Too much rawr. Stop it.

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