General Question

marietang's avatar

Creative punishment for teen who spent irresponsibly on designer shoes?

Asked by marietang (18points) October 22nd, 2011

This summer my 17yo daughter went backpacking through Europe with her older sister and we made a credit card she could use during the trip for normal expenses and any emergencies. Afterwards we decided to let her keep the card as she does rock climbing and sometimes travels with her hiking club to remote locations on weekends and we thought it would be safer to have the card with her when away.

But this morning when she was at school I went into her closet to clean as our cleaning lady was sick and found this pair of fancy looking 5½ inch heels which after looking through her credit card statement turned out to be actual Jimmy Choo’s which she bought online from Sacks Fifth Avenue for the low price of $750!!

So once she got home from school today I made her cut her credit card to little pieces herself, took the keys of the brand new VW Bettle we bought her on her birthday, took her cell phone away and had her stand in the heels on one foot with her nose on the wall in the living room for the rest of the day – allowed to change the foot she had to hold up every half hour.

Now I’ve sent her to bed but I need some creative ideas about how to punish her further for this absolutely irresponsible behaviour which will not be tolerated in my house. We already promised her that she’ll spend the entire saturday and sunday wearing the heels and on one foot with her nose on the wall but in the longer run i’m kind of running out of ideas what to do.

Some ppl already replied saying standing on one foot in the heels is too much. I disagree. Maybe in the US it would be considered abuse or something but with all do respect, in that country schools now have metal detectors at the entrance to avoid kids bringing guns to school. We are from the US but live in Asia and here the mindset is a bit different. So I find standing on one foot uncomfortable no doubt but to make this something to remember and avoid in the future I need it to be uncomfortable otherwise it would not be a punishment would it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

78 Answers

whitetigress's avatar

Wow this is very extreme. Teach your kids about positivity, not negative reinforcement. That might be creative. Just have her work for her own stuff, physical punishment isn’t too much of a good idea from my families experience. It teaches torcher is the way to have control. Plus I love this Mongolian proverb. Do Not Scorn A Weak Cub, He May Become The Brutal Tiger.

jrpowell's avatar

“had her stand in the heels on one foot with her nose on the wall in the living room for the rest of the day – allowed to change the foot she had to hold up every half hour.”

Sleep with one eye open.

iphigeneia's avatar

What did you do with the shoes? I would confiscate them until she earned them.

whitetigress's avatar

Should’ve taught her how to do a return with a credit card. Maybe taking her down to the store while you watched her would intimidate her enough and send a clear message that you don’t mess around with credit cards.

marietang's avatar

@iphigeneia for now she had to wear them while standing on one foot but we will confiscate them for sure. She won’t be wearing those again to any party and she won’t be going to a party very soon that’s for sure.

marietang's avatar

@whitetigress what exactly in all this you would qualify as ‘very extreme’?

whitetigress's avatar

had her stand in the heels on one foot with her nose on the wall in the living room for the rest of the day – allowed to change the foot she had to hold up every half hour.

why not just explain to her the wrong doings as opposed to physical punishment, its much more effective.

Aethelflaed's avatar

If you are looking to keep your punishments in line with Asian culture, why are you asking a site that caters almost exclusively to Westerners?

Bellatrix's avatar

Wow! Sounds like you have given her multiple punishments already. I think she has suffered enough. No car, no phone, no shoes, no credit card. Standing in the corner in her shoes!! She sounds like she is grounded too. I think the punishment should fit the crime. So sure, take away the shoes and make her earn the money they will cost. The rest seems to be overkill to me.

Did you spell out what the CC was for? She might have thought it was okay for her to spend the money on what she wanted. To her those shoes might have seemed very important.

I think you will have got your message across. I would now calm down and speak to her about responsible spending.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well if you don’t think what you’ve done is enough already then you could throw acid on her face or hack off a hand or something. Also I once treated a girl from an asian family whose father had made her drink bleach – maybe that is a culturally apropriate punishment.

marietang's avatar

@whitetigress we did try explaining her and talking to her nicely but it’s the third time she’s been in trouble in the past month so obviously the talking nicely part is not working

marietang's avatar

@Bellatrix she’s not dumb, she has always been in the top 5% of her class so she knows perfectly well that a $750 pair of shoes does not qualify as an emergency. Regarding taking a break and calming down, with that I agree, but wouldn’t it be wrong to not follow up on what I’ve said about punishing her during the weekend? I think that as a parent if you threaten and don’t actually do what you said you will do kids will never have any respect for you anymore.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@marietang Or, your kid will have more respect for you, because you’ve shown that you’re trying to be a rational human being who doesn’t let her emotions rule her and dictate her, that you’re willing to admit that you aren’t always right, and that you possess some amount of humility.

whitetigress's avatar

Well I do agree with you the amount of money spent on some heels as a 17 year old seems rather exotic and doesn’t call for an emergency. A creative way of punishing her would be to get her to find a job. I mean, if she can wear big girl high heels, surely she can work for them.

marietang's avatar

@whitetigress she already has a job working in one of our company’s stores (we own a chain of outdoor equipment stores and as I say she does competition rock climbing and adventure racing so she actually loves to work in the store). so i can’t punish her by having her find a job and i don’t want her to switch the job to something which sucks because I love that she does something she really loves. so the way i see it having her sucking it up and taking the punishment i gave her even if painful will allow her to keep doing what she likes but still remember that what she did was wrong. at the same time i need this to be unpleasant enough to really sink in which is why i thought of the standing on one foot in the shoes punishment…which frankly is not even that bad, i mean when i was young i used to work in the perfume section of a supermarket and had to stand in heels the whole day.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think sometimes we have to be explicit with our kids. They do silly things. I doubt she will repeat this error and I agree with @Aethelflaed, showing you can be rational and fair is just as important as being consistent. Sure we have to stand by the punishments we mete out but that’s why it is better to take time to calm down before we decide on a response to poor behaviour. I do understand in the heat of the moment it is easy to go too far. I have done the same, “you are grounded for life!!” has been known to pass my lips. I think your daughter will respect you more if you admit you were upset and very cross and now you have calmed down, her punishment will be… and then pick something relevant. Truly, I think making her earn that $750 back would be the way to go. I wouldn’t give her the credit card back either. She needs to earn your trust again.

marietang's avatar

@Aethelflaed at her age i had to work to help my single mom who was trying to raise me and my 4 brothers. We provide for her everything a kid can dream of. So I think she should have all the respect for me without me having to show any sort of humility towards her!

Ayesha's avatar

I’m 17, I think I would’ve definitely done the same thing. I mean who can resist a pair of Jimmy Choos!!! I mean c’mon!
I did it a while back, spent a big amount on a pair of Charles and Keith. My parents kept my allowence I was to get for the next three months and took the money that I still had saved up.
Sucked big time.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@marietang Respect is earned, always. You aren’t showing humility to her, but to all humanity, that you are a fallible human being. And a self-righteous attitude and a demand of respect just because has a tendency to not get respect, but rather fear. And no, you don’t provide her with everything she could dream of, you provide her with material goods but not a stable or safe home.

marietang's avatar

@Aethelflaed we do provide a stable and safe home, my husband and i love each other and never fight, so it’s stable and safe as long as she doesn’t step out of line. but it’s not a democracy either, she is our daughter and has to do what we say period as long as she leaves under our roof and wear the clothes we buy and eats the food we provide

Aethelflaed's avatar

@marietang Ok, that thing where you openly admitted that many will think your punishments are abusive? That’s kinda what I mean by a not safe environment. A safe and stable environment is not just the parents being happy and together, it’s the parents being loving, caring, dependable people who will treat the child with respect and understanding. While spending all this money on shoes is not your daughter’s best moment, I shudder to think at how you will punish her if she tried heroin.

whitetigress's avatar

It’s going to be hard to get people to answer your question because of your actions. Next time just ask the question with less detail on the bottom. Because now were focusing on how you punished her and can no longer focus on some creative ways to get the discipline across. I’m sure your intentions are the make your daughter a stronger and dignified person, I don’t doubt that at all.

marietang's avatar

@Aethelflaed i have two other older kids and neither them nor Marie have even as little as held a lit cigarette in their hands in their entire life let alone any sort of drugs. I dare believe that this is the case exactly because of the punishments that we give which make them know their place. On the other hand, i know many liberal families which treat their children like adults, with respects, blah blah, and yes in some of those families i did hear about things like drugs and other much nastier problems that would make the jimmy choos a non-issue. so i’d rather keep the jimmy choo’s a big issue which warrants severe punishment in our house than have to deal with those kind of issues.

Also, we do punish for bad grades, and i think it has to do with all our 3 kids having been always at the top of their class.

marietang's avatar

@Bellatrix (and all): what kind of alternative punishment would you suggest for this weekend instead of the standing on one foot? It’s already mid-day here and Marie has just finished her homework so I need a suggesting soon if I am to convince her dad to commute her punishment (which won’t be easy as he is way stricter than i am). To be clear, it will still have to be some sort of uncomfortable punishment as simply asking her to pay the money back won’t fly with my husband in a million years.

marietang's avatar

@Ayesha from your answer you don’t seem to be very sorry about what you’ve done. so then was the punishment your parents gave you really effective?

iphigeneia's avatar

How did she respond to the punishments you’ve already given her? If you focus on ways to punish her wrongdoings, you risk making her more antagonistic towards you. Since you’ve already taken away the means for her to do the same thing again, I’m not certain more punishment is going to get your message across.

Maybe in future situations you could look into setting her up with some community-service-type activity to help her appreciate how fortunate she is, and encourage her community spirit. It sounds like it’s a bit too late for that now, so you could maybe make her write an essay on what she did, how she betrayed your trust, why appearances and fashion are unimportant, etc, then make her read it out to you. Then, if you think it was good and honest, take her out for some ice cream and a quality family discussion.

marietang's avatar


“Since you’ve already taken away the means for her to do the same thing again, I’m not certain more punishment is going to get your message across.”

Realistically speaking even though we destroyed the credit card we’ll have to give her a new one as she travels a lot sometimes quite far away for her hiking and I won’t feel comfortable for her not to have one. So probably she won’t have one for a month or so but will get one eventually.

“How did she respond to the punishments you’ve already given her?”
She clearly did not enjoy it but to her credit she did not try to protest in any way so i think she acknowledges her mistake.

” maybe make her write an essay on what she did, how she betrayed your trust, why appearances and fashion are unimportant, etc, then make her read it out to you”

this is a useful suggestion and we may actually have her do that before bedtime this evening (my husband still wants her to finish the standing punishment first).

Boogabooga1's avatar

You should take the blame. Sounds like she is extremely spoiled.
New beetle, Euro trips; servants; regular rock climbing mountaineering weekends..etc.

Reap what you sow.

Luiveton's avatar

Jeez. All that for a pair of shoes?
Here’s a harsh idea: Kill her. It’ll make your life better.
Seriously calm down, I’m sure when you were her age you did something similar. But standing on one foot is just cruel and abusive. You punished her enough.

JLeslie's avatar

Had you told her up front specifically what the credit card was for? Are you angry with her bad judgement of spending so much, or that she went against your instructions regarding how she is allowed to use the card? Had the bill not come yet? And that is why you weren’t already tipped off about the money she spent? Think about it; how could she truly hide them in the end, don’t you get the bills?

I think you have punished her quite enough. What I would worry about is if she understands why it isn’t ok to spend so much on shoes. Unless of course your own closet is full for $700 shoes? Then the lesson is more difficult to teach, but still can be assuming she doesn’t personally have the money to afford the shoes and maybe she just did it out of peer pressure. Anyway, it is an opportunity to teach her about saving and finances, and you can put her on an allowance where she needs to budget her money, so she learns.

JLeslie's avatar

How about her next punishment be write out her weekly budget based on the money you will give her, and it must include some savings. You can have her do it standing in her shoes if you need there to be some sort of physical part involved.

Once she saves $700 she will get an allowance increase.

marietang's avatar

@JLeslie I am angry with her bad judgement of spending so much AND that she went against my instructions regarding how she is allowed to use the card.
The bill did arrive but there were already several quite expensive hiking related items that she was allowed to purchase (there were items for the whole family so the amount was quite high) so i did not notice the $750 on shoes. That’s what the problem really is, that she tried to hide the shoes among the other items on the credit card thinking we won’t notice. Plus I would normally not allow her to wear heels that high at her age. I don’t think it’s appropriate (at that age or at any age for that matter).

JLeslie's avatar

@marietang Well, I have to agree these 4–5 inch heels really piss me off! And, I was a big time high heel wearer from back in the day, but the current fashion is ridiculous.

I still think she needs a better understanding of finances, she will be an adult soon, if she doesn’t get herself straight she will wind up in debt fast. If she is careful with her own money, but spends yours without care, I see that as a lack of respect for other people’s money, and that to me is a big problem. There are people all around me like that. Try not to take it personally, and really think about the lesson you want her learn internally, to be a better person, not just to suffer consequences of bad behavior. She needs to know why, to have a consience about her disobedience. All to often I see people who grew up with physical punishment focus on getting away with things. It’s like if they are not caught then they have no consequence but, people who understand why an act is irresponsible or hurtful to others and themselves in the end are punished whether caught or not, because they have a hard time living with themselves, so they avoid the bad act to begin with.

Does she feel bad? Apologetic? Crying? That is what I would worry about.

Boogabooga1's avatar

@marietang . Other answers seem to presume that you are of Far Eastern origin but I failed to find the part where you declared your abodement, I instinctively presume that you are a child of Zion?

JLeslie's avatar

@Boogabooga1 She says they are American living in Asia. I don’t think she said which country.

marietang's avatar

@Boogabooga1 i am originally from Hong Kong and of Chinese origin. I moved to the US with my parents when I was young and then moved back to hong kong when i got married. since then we lived in several countries in Asia due to our business.

JLeslie's avatar

@marietang Oh, so you are American, but still Asian descent, so some of that cultural stuff is not just about where you live now, but also family background.

Boogabooga1's avatar

I have two adopted cousins from Hong Kong. (of Chinese descent) I kind of understand how your generation values superficial progress over maternal/paternal duties. It is an argument I will not win but I stand by my point that you have materially enrichened your daughter to a point where she may becoming morally poor.

marietang's avatar

@JLeslie glad we agree on the heels being inappropriate. Some of the cultural stuff is indeed family background.

“Does she feel bad? Apologetic? Crying? That is what I would worry about.”
She is quite tough and I think it’s been many years since I’ve seen her cry. So no she’s not crying. For now I couldn’t really talk to her a lot or give her the opportunity to apologise since my husband is still quite mad and has been watching her like a hawk in the living room to make sure she doesn’t take her nose of the wall or put her foot down (he is a bit exaggerating with it I agree, but he’s a tough guy who built a company starting from nothing so the way he sees it being tough on her prepares her to be succesful in life). Once everybody calmes down I’m sure we’ll talk about it a lot and that she will apologize.

Seek's avatar

I’m with @Boogabooga1 on this.

A new car for her birthday, traipsing all about the world with carte blance on a credit card…

Honestly, you’re the one that’s taught her $750 is a drop in the Mommy’s Money bucket.

phaedryx's avatar

Hmm, thinking what I would do:

1. Take away the shoes; she can’t have them back. She shouldn’t be allowed to keep what she obtained irresponsibly. Return them if possible.
2. Take away the credit card. She used the credit card irresponsibly.
3. No more activities that would require a credit card. She can’t travel or go to competitions, etc.
4. She was irresponsible with your money. If/when she gets another credit card it will be her responsibility to pay it off with her own money (from her job). Maybe even go over each credit card statement with her.
5. She has to prove that you can trust her before you give her any of these privileges again.

marietang's avatar

@phaedryx I would never stop her from travelling, going to competitions or using the internet as I feel travelling opens your mind and eliminates preconceived ideas like nothing else can, the internet is knowledge and that’s hugely powerful, and doing outdoors activities steels your body and without a healthy strong body you will always be at a disadvantage in life.

I personally don’t understand why in the west keeping a child grounded and waisting his time in his room for several months or weeks with no internet, no phone, no outdoor activities, no connection to the outside world except going to school is considered perfectly ok but if you pull a bit their ear or hair everybody jumps up shouting abuse. Frankly, I find it a lot more logical that my daughter spends one weekend in an uncomfortable position which does hurt and she will remember for a long time but then can get on with her normal life rather than spending months stuck in her room and isolated from the world.

About the shoes, for sure she won’t be wearing them anywhere fun, but we were talking with my husband of making her wear them at all times around the house for the next two weeks or so if she loves them so much…

mangeons's avatar

I’d say you definitely already punished her enough. You’ve taken away her car, cell phone, credit card, and are causing her physical pain. At this point, any other punishment would be overkill and would most likely make her resent you. Excessive punishment isn’t going to do a thing if she doesn’t understand why what she did is wrong, and if you’re not going to be even a bit understanding about it. If this is the punishment for just buying some shoes, I’d hate to think of what you’d do if she did something worse.

marietang's avatar

@mangeons i wouldn’t overstate the physical pain part. It’s not like I’m beating her, I’m simply asking her to stand in high heels. That’s something that many women inflict on themselves everyday without anyone having to force them…don’t you agree?

Blueroses's avatar

I understand the parental desire to provide a child with all the necessities and privileges you may not have had yourself, but it sounds like your daughter has absolutely no appreciation of what money is hers from what is yours, nor what that sort of luxury spending means. She’s a teenager and teens are all about instant gratification, not having the life experience to live with consequences or having had to sacrifice to get something they want.

You contributed to this attitude if you didn’t even notice the charges among the purchases she was “allowed” to make. It’s time to take some ownership for that and teach your child moral and fiscal responsibility.

The punishments you mention so far are certainly painful and inconvenient for her but do they do anything but reinforce resentment? Do they address the underlying issue or make her appreciate the things that she is taking for granted?

I would deduct the cost of the shoes from her paycheck and have her take that money to a charity that works with disadvantaged families. Have the director of the program explain to her how much her donation will help with necessities for someone in need. Perhaps if she sees that someone can have groceries and a month of heat and electricity for what she spent on one uncomfortable pair of shoes, she’ll develop a sense of compassion and appreciation for what you provide for her. You might even require her to donate some of her earnings every month and volunteer the time she isn’t spending on her own activities to work directly with people who don’t have what she has.

*Edit. Additionally, I would allow her to keep the shoes. Not to wear, but to display in a prominent place in her room as a visual daily reminder of her privileges.

mangeons's avatar

@marietang Yeah, but forcing her to stand on one foot (when standing in them with both feet hurts enough) with her nose to the wall for what sounds like hours at a time is way overdoing it, especially along with the other punishments as well. If you’re punishing this harshly for buying shoes (when from the sounds of it she’s already pretty spoiled, so maybe she expected this to be alright) what would you do if she got arrested, or did drugs?

I agree with what @Blueroses said as well, it sounds as if you’ve taught her no financial responsibility in the first place, so how was she to know that you would be so angry about her buying some designer shoes? Take responsibility for your part in this problem too, don’t blame it all on her.

I also agree with those saying that you should get her into some community work. It is a non painful way for her to see that there are many that are less fortunate than her, and get her to see the value that money has. It would be an enriching experience that would allow her to see a different side of the world, and would teach her why it is wrong to spend like that, rather than just punishing her for doing it.

Buttonstc's avatar

What I’m about to suggest most likely won’t satisfy your husband’s need for more severity or your need for “right now, preferably by the end of the day” but I’m going to give it a try anyhow.

While we all understand the fact that there are people worse off than we, most of the time that understanding is more of an abstract concept.

Your daughter is a child of considerable financial privilege (due in part to you and your husband’s hard work) but it’s obvious that she is too young to realize that fully.

There are any number of charities involved in providing shoes for children in MUCH worse circumstances than hers.

Some of them encourage kids to host a shoe drive to collect used shoes in their own locale to help meet this need.

A simple Internet search can turn up lots of these organizations serving children all over the world. Do a little research and choose one which you deem appropriate and assign your daughter to become involved and donate her time and efforts for at least one year. She must be prepared with regular monthly written progress reports to her parents upon what she has done or face more restriction of her privileges.

She needs to get some kind of real-life perspective of the frivolity of paying that much for one pair of shoes simply because of the brand name.

She will certainly remember the pain of being forced to stand in them but will she internalize that lesson simply because of the pain? People generally want to avoid memories that are ONLY painful.

How about adding an experience she might also be able to feel good about herself for.

The smile on the face of a child living in abject poverty (through no fault of their own) receiving a pair of shoes that her efforts helped to procure might bring the point home to her in a lasting way.

Teenagers are impulsive by nature. It comes with the territory since the part of the brain (frontal cortex) responsible for impulse control is not finished growing till mid twenties.

Wouldn’t you prefer for her learning about WHY all impulses can’t be indulged to be based upon reasoning and experience rather than ONLY FEAR ?

Obviously by now she knows that she goofed up big time. But wouldn’t you rather that she internalizes the lesson rather than merely learn not to get caught next time ?

Your daughter has wealth and privilege that would be unimaginable to many other girls her age. Maybe it’s time she began to see that in a real world way rather than just an abstract concept.

She obviously doesn’t appreciate it fully. Maybe becoming involved with efforts to help kids FAR less fortunate than she will give her a true appreciation of how truly fortunate she is.

And who knows? She may even find it inspiring enough to continue long after her required year is finished. Just a thought.

(I seriously doubt that further Draconian punishment measures harsher than what has already been done have any potential for learning more even tho appealing to your husband greatly. Perhaps you can be a voice os reason here. Or maybe not. It’s your choice )

marietang's avatar

@mangeons she did not expect this to be allright she did it because she thought I won’t notice and yesterday when she got caught she realized immediately she is in big trouble.
About standing on one foot, I think that if we simply asked her to stand on both feet in the shoes that wouldn’t really be a punishment since as mentioned before so many millions of women do that everyday on their own will. so we had to add an element that would make it a punishment and the best we could think of was asking her to do it on one foot, which again she is allowed to change every 30 mins (quite reasonable I think) plus she gets periodic breaks for going to the restroom as well as for breakfast, lunch and dinner so it’s not like she cannot move out of there at all from morning till evening.

About what we would do if she woud get arrested or doing drugs, my view is that our harsher punishment methods gave us a 17yo daughter who is in the top 5% in her class and whose biggest crime this year is buying these shoes and it’s exactly because of these methods that we don’t have to worry about those kind of more serious things.

mangeons's avatar

@marietang Using that kind of punishment won’t make her realize why what she did was wrong though. As someone said above, many people who are punished like that are more focused on not getting caught than not doing something because it’s wrong. You haven’t instilled the values or the financial responsibility in her for her to realize that it’s wrong, she just knows if she doesn’t get caught then she won’t b.e punished. You don’t know that she’s never smoked or done other drugs, or drank alcohol, etc. Maybe you just didn’t catch her, and she did it because she knew she wouldn’t get caught, so there was nothing wrong about it. If you used punishments like others suggested or even just sat her down and explained to her why it was wrong, it might actually be more effective than the punishments that you are using.

marietang's avatar

@Blueroses, @Buttonstc, @mangeons the entire family has been involved with several local charities for a long time, she has and is doing volunteer work and while she does have lots of material things we have also brought her up to be respectful and aware of her privilege. So I don’t really see how volunteering can help since she’s already doing that. In fact, our company is actually funding two local shelters for homeless people and for orphans.

Also, as is probably already clear, her father is very strict and if she acts bratty or as a spoiled kid even for a split second she’ll get smacked that very moment (and she has, including with her boyfriend present). So I don’t think she is as spoiled as you think and most people who meet her always congratulate us on how well behaved and polite she is.

I’m 100% sure she doesn’t smoke or do drugs as she’s very athletic, says very proudly that she never even tried to smoke, not even one smoke out of curiosity and always talks really bad about people who smoke (noone in our family smokes and none of her friends seem to).

mangeons's avatar

@marietang She gets smacked? I think you need to focus less on the physical punishment and more on other types, whether it’s writing an essay, doing a menial/tedious chore for days, grounding, etc. You say this is not the first time she has been in trouble in just this month, so obviously your current methods aren’t working. Physical punishment is only going to make her afraid of you/your husband and possibly resent you.

marietang's avatar

@mangeons not the first time in trouble this month, but the other two times were related to grades (we punish for grades lower than 90% as we know she has the intellectual capacity to do better). The two times i’m talking about were scores of 88% and 82% respectively. In the meantime she retook the tests, the grades improved and she is currently 3rd in her class. So one can say that we punish for very small things, the way i see it is that because we punish we only have to worry about small things. Her GPA last year was 96% btw

Buttonstc's avatar

Your child. Your choice. It was just a suggestion. Do with it (or not) as you please.

I think what threw most of us off track is that you asked for suggestions for ways to punish her more.

You failed to specify that you only wanted measures even harsher and preferably more physical and Draconian.

Perhaps I should have realized that at the onset and saved a little energy and typing time. Sorry.

mangeons's avatar

Well, I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. If you want to continue making your daughter unhappy and putting her in physical pain for every little mistake she makes instead of actually teaching her a lesson, then that’s on you I guess.

marietang's avatar

@Buttonstc I’m open to suggestions and I think you gave a very constructive one, but I was just saying that the charity solution which has been recommended by most we are already doing for many years and therefore that’s not something we can implement now.

Buttonstc's avatar

Your child. Your choice.

marietang's avatar

@mangeons fair enough, there are probably cultural differences in the way we see things. or maybe we’re just too old fashioned. but one last question and my last message on this thread: if you were an active kid full of energy who loves travelling and the outdoors, what would you prefer:

a) two days of uncomfortable punishment that will hurt and you will for sure remember for a long time but then it’s over and done with and you can get on with doing what you love.


b) 3 or 4 months of spending your time staring at the walls in your room, with no internet, no tv, no friends, not doing any of the things you enjoy but lots of motivational speeches from your parents.

Maybe it’s just me, but b) sounds way harsher and more severe than a) does it not?

mangeons's avatar

@marietang I wouldn’t ground for nearly that long for something like that either. I think you’re going way too severe on your punishments in the first place. Maybe two weeks or so with no phone, car, internet, friends, etc, and make her pay off the shoes. Sit her down and have a serious talk with her about why it was wrong and maybe make her write an apology to you explaining why she did it and why it was wrong. That’s all that’s needed to teach a child a lesson and actually instill some values in her, rather than just physically punish her whenever she makes a mistake.

But like @Buttonstc said, your child, your choice.

Coloma's avatar

I’ll take the really unpopular stance that the little apple may not have fallen far from the family tree. You say you bought her a brand new car at 16–17, and yet you are upset she succumbed to a moment of extravagance. Well…first thing that’s in order is to take a hard look at YOUR consumerism and if you, as parents, are very materialistically oriented, you can hardly blame your daughter for her descent into designer greed.

If you are in debt because of consumer greed you hardly have a leg to stand on.

She bought the shoes, she pays for them, what’s the problem?

Coloma's avatar

I’d also say that your reasoning to justify archaic and yes, ABUSIVE “punishment” is obscene!

Abuse is abuse and I find your methodology extremely delusional.

Causing physical pain and emotional humiliation is NOT discipline! Bah!

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I’m concerned that your daughter is being punished for a reason she doesn’t really understand and from the method of punishment it is apparent that you don’t respect your daughter as the almost adult that she is.

Why is it that you had to go to her closet to know about this purchase? Are you not a co-owner on this card and would you not be alarmed by a $750 emergency expense as soon as it shows up?. As a parent I would have wanted to know what that emergency was right away…. Because there was no alarm about this expense it leads me to believe that your daughter has been using the card as she pleases with no questions up until now which only reinforces the concept that she can get what she wants when she wants it. In addition, standing in the corner is a a punishment for a 5 year old mainly because there is no rationale behind it, it just sucks and frankly it isn’t going to teach her not to buy expensive shoes it will only teach her to lie to you and hide them better when she does do it in the future because you have demonstrated that you don’t have respect for her with the method of punishment you chose.

In your situation I would first try to understand why she made the purchase and why she had no concern about it to make sure that you can have conversation that will prevent this type of activity. IN addition to removing car privileges, as punishment I would have her attend a shopping addiction support group that would help her see the negative impacts that impulse and irresponsible shopping can have on her life in the future and followup by writing you a letter explaining to you why her actions were wrong and what she will do in the future to be more responsible. Depending on how severe you consider this action I may even go as far as to tell her that the shoes she purchased will take place of her Christmas or birthday gift this year.

gorillapaws's avatar

The punishment you imposed had the potential to create a Deep Vein Thrombosis which can cause a fatal Pulmonary Embolism. People’s legs are meant to move more frequently than every half-hour. Physical punishments can be more dangerous than intended. They can also encourage her to marry an abusive husband one day (because they learn to associate pain and violence with love).

marietang's avatar

@abysmalbeauty standing in the corner is indeed considered a punishment for a 5 years old in the west but that is hardly the case in for example south korea, where if you walk through the hallways of a highschool you will be surprised to see students for example kneeling on the floor with their arms above their heads for quite trivial offences. And yet Korean students have some of the best school results worldwide. So it is important to realize that the kind of punishment i gave is not so unusual in certain cultures and most of my daughter’s friends get similar treatments at home and in some cases at school as well yet are some of the most lovely respectful and polite kids i met, no tatoos, no leather jackets and ripped jeans, no such things.

But I’m clearly in minority on this forum so i will note the opinion of the majority and will end my contribution to the discussion here. Thank you to all those who have posted.

Coloma's avatar


Just because certain cultures employ harsh punishment does not make it RIGHT.
I see a lot of judgement in your postings, what is wrong with tattoos, leather jackets and ripped jeans? Every generation has their thing, and it in no way is a reflection on the totality of the person.

I think your thinking is very rigid and dogmatic.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@marietang what would you do if your boss told you to stand in the corner if you did something wrong at work? I’m guessing get a new job… Do you want your daughter to abandon you as a parent, that is the result of not treating her with respect. Remember your daughter is considered an adult next year at age 18….

phaedryx's avatar

Wow, this question sure picked up a lot of responses.

@marietang I neglected welcome you to Fluther, so: welcome.

rebbel's avatar

Wow, surprise surprise, @marietang is no longer with us.
Strange…, sometimes I read a question and think: “That member won’t stay long probably.”

Blueroses's avatar

@rebbel That’s fine. It was seeming like a rather disingenuous ploy to brag about how important and successful her family is. I wish her happiness in her material possessions. Moving on…

Coloma's avatar


Amen! I always love it when someone asks for advice then proceeds to argue and defend against EVERY valid sharing. lol

Yep, this ones going into the “stop follow” zone now. ;-)

Buttonstc's avatar


You’re holding up Korean students as an ideal.

Are you unaware that exam time in Korean schools is referred to as “suicide season”. In the last year alone, the suicide rate for Korean students has increased by 47%.

That’s not something I consider worthy of emulation. And I’m quite sure that the parents of every one of those dead students were proud to cite the superior achievements of their child and how obedient they were etc. etc. PRIOR to that kid’s suicide.

I’m not quite so sure they’d still be bragging about it at the funeral ceremony. Something tells me they’d much rather have their child back (even if slightly less accomplished but alive).

You are free to do your own research if you dare. Just input the term “Korean student suicide”. It’s not a pretty picture and not something to aspire to.

I taught in a very strict School here in USA and our students wouldn’t dream of sassing us back or not doing assignments and they all wore school uniforms. But we didn’t have to resort to the use of harsh physical methods. That’s the plain fact. There are plenty of other creative alternatives.

I made the mistake of taking your Q literally. When you asked for creative alternatives, I really thought that’s what you really wanted. Obviously not since you’ve flat out rejected EVERY single creative idea among all those proposed.

And here’s a little hint for free. There is nothing at all creative about physical punishment or torture. It’s as old as time. It was used plenty in Feudal times and continues still. Nothing at all creative.

Now, how to reach the mind and will of a person ? How to motivate them to internalize the lessons taught? That’s a different subject altogether. That takes some creativity and insight into the person.

Anyone can teach a rat to follow a maze or do a whole lot of things by judicious application of some painful shocks. Not very creative at all.

But humans are more complicated than rats.

Granted, American parents are oft times far too lax and lenient. Most of the kids when new to our school were in culture shock for a few weeks.

But we didn’t have to beat them or humiliate them to get compliance. We had plenty other alternatives to get the job done.

You’re convinced that physical pain and humiliation are the best way to get your child’s compliance because that’s all you’ve ever known.

When she’s an adult you no longer have that power over her and that’s just around the corner. If she hasn’t internalized those lessons, what happens when there’s no one looking over her shoulder?

Or what if she decides to follow the example of many Korean students.

Just some food for thought.

Buttonstc's avatar

Oh Geez.

Now I wish I’d read the last few posts before typing. But since it happened while I was typing…...

Oh well. Why am I not surprised ?

prioritymail's avatar

Standing on one foot with her nose to the wall? That sounds a little ridiculous to me. Are you trying to train her to deal with pain or teach her how to manage money?

You gave her a new car; 800 bucks really isn’t a significant amount of money relative to that. And you had no idea she had made this purchase until cleaning out her closet. It sounds like money isn’t really the issue here and you don’t keep great tabs on what your kid is up to. So what exactly is the issue? Irresponsible spending? Betrayal of trust? Something else?

Punishment isn’t about sheer exertion of power over your kid. It’s about teaching them a valuable life lesson so they can grow as a person. If the issue is irresponsible spending, I would make her pay her own bill and start her off with a debit card where you can’t damage a credit score. If she’s spending your money on shoes when it’s supposed to be emergency only, it doesn’t sound like she’s mature enough to have a credit card. I would keep the account open and maintain the credit line because when she is older, having the credit history will be beneficial. But I would not let her know about this until she’s ready and keep the card locked up in a secret drawer somewhere or something. It sounds like you want her to understand that things in life aren’t free. Stop giving her cars and stuff and give her a chance to learn the meaning of hard work. Tell her if she wants designer shoes, gas money, trips to Europe, movie tickets – anything besides room and board – she can get a job and buy it herself. That will be punishment enough considering what she’s used to.

And just because you live somewhere in Asia doesn’t mean you need to adopt their value system.

creative1's avatar

Take the shoes away until she earned the $750 to buy them back from you. She needs to learn the value of a dollar and making her work for the money will tell her how much of her time it takes to earn money and then how long it takes to earn $750 and is that much time worth it for a pair of shoes.

Buttonstc's avatar

But that would interfere too much with her mountain climbing and her trips all over Europe or whatever…....

Or so we were informed by the OP.

I just hope this kid survives her teens and gets the hell out of that house instead of deciding that suicide looks like a better alternative.

But the poster has deleted their Fluther acct. and presumably left for good.

One thing for sure: if one posts a Q on Fluthet you’ll definitely get answers in real time.

But there’s no guarantee that you’ll like any of the answers you get. That’s reality.

Blueroses's avatar

The more I think about it, the more I’m sure that this question (?) was an agenda.
Look at how successful we are and aren’t we clever to impose this discipline compared to all of you?

Ugh. Wishing I hadn’t played into it.

lillycoyote's avatar

@marietang You mention “the punishments that we give which make them know their place.” Exactly what is “their place?” That seems to me to be part of the problem. Punishments and discipline are about getting your kids back on track when they get off track, about training and guiding them to be good, decent, honest people who make good judgements, not about “putting them in their place,” I don’t think. You want her to make the right and better judgements in the future, yes, isn’t that the point? Why do you even view any of this in terms of making “them know their place?” That I find a little disturbing.

lillycoyote's avatar

Anyway, I think the standing in the shoes thing was wrong, but if she works for one of your business already maybe all the money she earns should go into an account until she pays you back for the shoes. That makes sense to me. Kids just don’t understand the value of money. She might think twice before doing that again once she realizes how much work it actually takes to earn $750.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think the standing in the shoes thing is wrong too.
I would cut off all allowances of any kind and tell her to get a job and her own credit card.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther