Posted by: laughs4dads | July 26, 2010


It’s becoming harder and harder to punish kids these days. In fact, it’s almost a bizarro world, where you have to do the opposite of what our parents did.

For instance, when I was growing up, you’d get sent to your room. But today’s kids never come out of their rooms anyway. So the punishment has to be “You can’t go into your room.” But that’s really no good since, well, that’s where they sleep.

“No TV” doesn’t work, either, because that’s just a small fraction of their entertainment options. It would actually be a cruel punishment to force them to watch TV…whichever program they consider lame. Or maybe a full evening of C-Span. “Do your homework or I’ll make you watch five hours of filibustering.”

You see where I’m headed here, right? About the only way you can punish kids these days is to take them off life support. You’ve got to pull the plug.

No computer. No phone (not even land lines, if you have any). No Xbox. No Wii. No Web. No apps. No iPod, iPhone, iPad or anything else that starts with a small i.

It’s the Amish Admonishment: nothing that has a power source of any type, except maybe a lamp. You know, so they can read.

Can you imagine the poor child? Cut off from the world. Not being up-to-date on what her friends are doing every second of the day. Frantic with the worry that some viral video will become all the rage without her knowing about it. Having her avatar running around unsupervised. Virtually feeling the weight of all the e-mails and IMs building up, unable to LOL at them.

My whole family got a taste of this over the winter. It was very stormy here on the east coast, and one night the cable went out. Since we have Triple Play, that meant no phone, TV or Internet. We had to live like pioneer people, watching Blu-Ray discs in high-def with Surround Sound. But we still had our smart phones, so we could make calls and send texts and get emails. But imagine if even those were gone.


So that’s really the only recourse left to parents for punishing children: take away the electronics. Unless you want to send them to bed without their dinner, but, then, what with American children being so overweight, you shouldn’t be feeding them anyway. (More on that next time.)



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