Is it OK to take my kid's money as punishment for cursing?
January 10, 2013 11:41 AM Subscribe
Was I wrong to take my son's money as punishment for cursing?
posted by shelayna to human relations (113 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My 11-year-old son has gotten in the habit of cursing when he's really angry. It's doesn't happen often, but every once in a while he'll let fly with a word beginning with F or S, and so on. I won't stand for this. Nothing I tried stopped it- not yelling, not punishments (no computer time that day, etc.), not rewards for not cursing. I finally decided to make him pay me every time he cursed. ($3 per curse). He has a dogwalking job and has saved a nice amount of cash, so I knew he could afford it.
He wasn't happy about the new punishment system, but it seemed to be working. He hasn't been cursing nearly as much. But then last night he got angry at his brother and used the F word. I told him to pay up, and he refused. I asked him several times for the money but he wouldn't give it to me.
So I went to his drawer where he keeps his cash, and I took $3. This was right in front of him- I wouldn't take it without his knowledge, the whole point was him feeling the loss. I don't feel all that great about going into his drawer. I'm a big believer in respecting others' belongings and privacy and I have never once gone through my kids' stuff on the sly. But I felt that this time I had no choice.
Not surprisingly, my son got very angry at me for taking his money. My husband heard the commotion, and when he heard what had happened, he also got angry at me for going into our son's drawer. This REALLY upset him to the point that after he spent several minutes insisting that I return the money, I did. I didn't want to, but the whole thing was getting out of hand and I wanted to put an end to it.
My husband told my son he was wrong for cursing and since it was late, told him to go to bed. Then he and I discussed it, and he repeated that I shouldn't have taken the money from the drawer. He's not wild about my making the kid pay his hard-earned money as punishment, but it's the fact that I took it from his drawer that really made him angry. He said if I ask anyone, they'll surely agree with him. So I'm asking here- was I wrong?