Disciplining your children is never easy. I’ve got two kids and my toddler has a penchant for tantrums. So giving him a time-out, or taking away his toys when he refuses to eat his food or not put on his clothes, or making him help clean up the mess he made  while he’s screaming and crying isn’t exactly my idea of a fun day.

However, I have noticed that it’s ultimately been for his benefit. He’s more respectful of other kids. He doesn’t act out when we’re at other people’s houses and when he does, usually a look from mom and dad is enough to stop him from pursuing any crumby behavior.

As human beings though, we’re impressionable. We’re going to get influenced by the people we hang out with, the movies we see, the stories we read, both the bad and the good. We just need to be lucky enough to identify when that behavior isn’t going to ultimately be healthy for us and for a lot of kids, understanding parents or other close family members and friends can help us see that.

Some children, however, might require a little extra attention to curb any bad habits they picked up and, depending on how intense their folks want to get in disciplining them, those corrective behavioral methods might be a bit unconventional.

Like when this Canadian mother decided to launch “Mommy’s Juvenile Detention Center” for her 9-year-old who wouldn’t stop, as she put it, “acting like an a**hole.”

The Newfoundland mom, Amanda Mitchell, stripped down her daughter’s room taking out all of her clothes, decor, games – pretty much anything fun.

She placed on her bed a set of clothes for the week: five pairs of underwear and socks, and a single outfit for her to wear each day.

Mitchell called the clothes “anti bullying clothing.”

So what spurred on the harsh punishment from the mom? As it turns out, her 9-year-old was not only bullying her best friend in school, but she was also cutting classes.

Mitchell posted a few photos of the stripped-down room along with a message about the drastic measures she took to ensure her daughter would stop her awful behavior.

“Welcome to Mommy’s Juvenile Detention little girl.

Harsh? Not in my opinion. If she grows up to break the law then the result is jail and that’s not what I want for my children. I think the problem with this generation is inadequate punishment. Punishment is bad, we should only use positive reinforcement and ignore all bad behavior – NOT in this house.”

The mom said that her daughter, upon seeing her room was shocked. In addition to her sparse surroundings, she was forced to rewrite the phrases, “I will not lie,” “I will be kind to everyone,” and “I am responsible for my own actions” 50 times each by hand.

The post received a bunch of mixed responses on line. All of the hullabaloo is what probably had Mitchell turn her post to private. There were many who supported the mom’s decision to discipline her daughter this way.

Others, however, believed the punishment was too harsh and even went as far to call Mitchell a “terrible parent.”

“Wow. I really feel that this is extreme … How old is your child? I feel that taking away toys, electronics etc. But making your child wear the same outfit to school for a week and stripping her entire room …overboard.”

After implementing the punishment, Mitchell noticed an immediate change in her daughter’s behavior: she responded in a positive way and seemed to see the seriousness of how her mean behavior was affecting others.

That, combined with some feedback from people online, caused Mitchell to relent on her punishment a bit. She reduced the number of lines that her daughter had to copy from 50 down to 25. Her daughter won’t be wearing the exact same outfit every day, either, but will cycle through our different anti-bullying shirts.

Mitchell’s daughter has already gotten some of her room’s amenities restored because of her positive behavior: some books, her side table, and lamp are back in her room.  So it’s more like grade four and less like cell block 4. 

Mitchell says that about 90% or so of parents who commented on her original post agreed with her behavior, with only a few people disagreeing with the way she disciplined her child.

What do you think of the punishment? Is it too harsh? Or a good way to curb crappy behavior before it gets out of hand?

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