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Selling toys on eBay as punishment: Good parenting?

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

One-size-fits-all parenting

One of the big issues parents grapple with is discipline: Are we being too strict...or not strict enough? One mom decided to sell her kids’ favorite toys on eBay as punishment. Did she go too far -- or do you think this was a good lesson for her kids?

child in timeout

Teaching a lesson

How far would you go to teach your kids a lesson? One mom was so upset that her kids destroyed her bathtub with a toy called Beyblades that she put them up for sell on eBay. The picture shows her children holding the bag of toys – one child is in tears.

Ebay picture

Her description reads:

"We are selling 8 Beyblades, 2 of them light up. As you can tell they are not happy about this! They have been using their bathtub as a "battle arena" and Beyblades + Bathtub = Destruction!!! With the metal ones they managed to scrape the enamel off the tub, take a chunk of tub out and break off the soap holder. SO if you 'win' this auction DON'T play with in a bathtub!!! We have received a quote of $500.00 to replace the tub, some tiles, and soap holder + labor of course! They had approximately $125.67 in their piggy banks that will be going to toward the cost. We will use the profit from this auction towards the balance and then it is onto other toys!"

This is an extreme example, but it did get me thinking: Should we employ a one-size-fits-all theory to discipline, or do you think different techniques and methods work for different kids? I highly doubt her children will be destroying the bathtub again anytime soon -- but is this an effective discipline technique?

It seems there are as many discipline techniques as there are kids, and each child may require a different technique to be effective. What works for one mom (selling toys on eBay) may not have quite the same effect on other kids.

What are some techniques that parents employ?

Reward charts

Many parenting experts, such as the Supernanny Jo Frost, believe that rewarding kids for good behavior is the best way to keep them on the right track. Using age appropriate charts, kids are rewarded for everything from good listening to working with siblings and having good manners. She recommends letting them have a say as to what their final reward is, which can be items ranging from money to a toy or a trip to their favorite museum.

Time out

Another parenting technique that is effective for some families is time out. The theory behind this is that the consequence for bad behavior is to be removed from that situation and placed in a set spot (such as a chair, stair step, etc.) for a certain period of time (usually one minute for each year of age) in order for them to think about the bad behavior -- and to give them a chance to cool down.

1-2-3 Magic parenting solution

Another discipline technique was created by Dr. Thomas Phelan, who wrote the 1-2-3 Magic parenting books. The theory behind this is that your child is given three chances to correct the behavior before they are placed in time out. Of course, this is a very simplified explanation of the approach and Dr. Phelan's book explains this technique in more detail.

What you said vector

This is just an example of some of the techniques parents use to discipline their children. What do you think? Do you believe that one method, such as time out, should work on all children? Or should we take temperament, personality and motivating factors into consideration?

And above all: Would you sell your kids' toys on eBay?

More on parenting and discipline

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