Talk to Me Tuesday: Creative Discipline – Cuddle Sac Giveaway

As most of you know by now, I’m a stay at home Mom to four oh-so-charming kids.  And as much as I love them, there are many moments when their charming sides fade and their sneaky/rebellious/I’m-gonna-bug-my-sister-till-she-cries sides surface.  I’ve never been a big fan of spanking or screaming, so I’ve had to get creative with my discipline over the years.  Just as a golfer carries around a bag full of clubs – each designed to be used in a specific circumstance – we Moms develop an arsenal of “creative” discipline techniques to help us keep our kids in line.  For today’s Talk to Me Tuesday post, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you and ask that you add a few of your own in the comments area.

  • An Eye for An Eye: Often the most successful discipline takes the least amount of effort.  When my 9 year-old daughter left the lids off the markers and ditched them on the carpet (for the third time), I grabbed one of the washable markers and wrote “I love my MOM!” in big letters on her arms and forehead – then sent her out to play with her friends.  She was mortified, of course, but I’m pretty sure the message sunk in.
  • Stairs to Nowhere: When I was little, my Dad would make us run laps around the house (one lap for each year of age).  I adapted this technique for my own house by making my kids run up and down our 15-step flight of stairs.  I love this one because it can be used for almost anything.  If they take 45 minutes to finish a 10 minute chore, 5 sets of stairs.  If they completely ignore me when I ask them to turn off the wii, 10 sets of stairs.  If they get out of a math test by telling their teacher I’m in the hospital having a baby, …well you get the idea.
  • A Different Kind of Pillow Fight: There are few things I hate more than shouting – especially whiny shouting.  When they were little, I used to force the offenders to sit across from each other and sing the BYU fight song until they could be friendly again.  Now that they’re older I don’t have as much time to be the mediator so I’ve instituted a new rule – the kids are welcome to shout at each other as loud as they can as long as they cover their faces with a pillow and shout through it.  Generally I’ve found that the muffled result causes a lot of laughter and cools down any heated tempers.

Ok, you know the drill, I shared a few of mine now it’s time for you to share yours.  Good news!  This month I have a great little commenting incentive for you.  Mariah from the Etsy shop ‘look what Mariah Made with love‘ has generously offered to give away one of her incredibly popular Onsie Cuddle Sacs to a very lucky commenter.  These adorable little newborn garments are a perfect example of form meeting function – they’re made of gorgeous materials (don’t you just love that chunky grosgrain ribbon at the bottom?) and the clever design makes those frequent newborn diaper changes a cinch.  Whether you’ve got a little of your own or just want to have a fabulous baby shower gift on hand – you’ll definitely want to give this giveaway a try.

The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday (June 21) at midnight CST.  The winner will be chosen at random, contacted by email and announced here.  There’s no catch…you can choose any fabric you like from her collection and the shipping is included.

As always, to those of you who participate, thanks in advance for passing it on.

*This giveaway is now closed.

And the winner (chosen by the iPhone app iChoose) is #16 Rachal.  Congratulations on your big win, Rachal.  I’ll be contacting you via email tonight.  Thanks to all of you for sharing your parenting wisdom.


  1. We have 3 little girls in the house, which means A LOT of crying! Lots of drama in this house! So, we have a “cry jar.” Whenever the girls cry for silly reasons, I put the “cry jar” in front of their mouth and tell them to cry into the jar. It makes them feel silly about crying and they stop!

  2. Shannon

    I’ve heard that if you hold hands and fight it doesn’t last very long, you automatically start laughing. Or lie down on the floor and try to talk it out and see what happens. If they are unwilling to hold hands you could maybe tie their hands together, or does that defeat the purpose? Cute giveaway!

  3. Terri Carr

    One of the things I tried many years ago when my children were young still works today. If a child starts complaining about a simple chore I have given them i.e. pick up the toys off the floor then I had another chore, “now pick up all the papers” and if they continue complaining I keep on adding,”no you have to clean off the counters in the bathroom” — it didn’t take them long to only have one chore added before they stopped complaining about their tasks– this still works with my teenagers!

  4. Terri Carr

    Guess I should have checked my spelling a little closer before I posted — hopefully you get the idea!

  5. Tomena

    If you don’t have stairs and they can’t run around the house outside then you could use a mini tramp. But you gotta make it sound bad ;P. muwhahaha

    Okay so I don’t feel like mine is that “creative” but we had a lot of changes in our family lately and I’ve had to develop some new attitudes. In my house we have 5 kids and one is adopted. She is four and has been here since Feb. Being that I already had a four yr. old boy ,and of course 3 other kids, life has gotten interesting. Our 4 yr. girl has a therapist and so I can’t take total credit for my discipline but I’ve been using variations of it on everyone and it really works.
    When something is done that they just need reminding for ….like putting their two cents in, climbing on the counter, or interrupting…. I have them do “A+ jumping jacks” it basically just says “hey what are you doing that you shouldn’t?” without me saying it. Then I ask them why they needed to do that. It just helps them stop and reroute their thinking. Which is basically what all the things that were listed above are doing. Usually they just stop and say okay and the issue is immediatly desolved ….but if they get immediately reprimanded with “words of trouble” than they get defiant and defensive, than we usually have trouble and someone has to go to bed. Of course this isn’t all I ever do but it’s the start.

    The other thing I use is “restitution!” especially with the big kids. I love restitution….. If you hit your brother you just may need to do his chore or chores.

    I did come up with one pretty creative thing for my adopted daughter. When she first came everything was an issue. She was used to just completly falling apart if things didn’t go her way. So I sat down and talked to her about it and we came up with a “code word”. She got to pick it and it was usually something silly like “princess fairy lips”. But we had a little seceret…. if I every felt her falling apart I would say the code word and it would remind her that I loved her and everything was going to be okay (and that if she didn’t stop now that things were going to have to get though). And she would have to say… “roger that mama”… as to say, “okay I trust you”. We made it like a little spy game. I feel like this was heavely inspiration… cause it worked. Later I used it for awhile on the Family… in FHE the kids picked the code Forever Family. If I felt like everyone was fighting in the back of the car I would say it… and they would all shout “Roger that Mom!” They all like the seceret and all wanted to make it work so everyone would calm down.

  6. I can not remember where I heard this but I can’t wait to try it. My oldest two are just now old enough to be trusted.

    When the kids fight give the each a bottle of windex and make the clean the window facing each other. I hear it ends up being a contest who could make the funniest face contest and laughter ensues.

    I love the BYU fight song and Pillow fight those are great!

  7. Witchy Wanda

    I just started the running laps idea and it works fabulously. If my kids are throwing a fit over something, I tell them to run a lap. I send them outside and make them run around the house one time, two if they need a little extra cooling off. Usually, my other child runs with the offender because he/she thinks it is fun. They usually end up racing.

    Another idea is a summer “fit” chart. Kids get to mark a smiley face for each day they don’t throw a fit. Once they reach a pre-determined number of “non-fit” days, then they get a pre-determined reward (I let my kids pick what they are working towards).

  8. Witchy Wanda

    I have also started this idea for the summer to prevent my kids from playing too much Wii or watching too much T.V. It’s not really a discipline idea but it has been working really well as far as my children doing jobs without the nagging, getting dressed and ready in the morning, etc. There has been a lot less lap running since I starting this reward system.

    For $10 my kids can buy a real toy from Target (under $10). They have become so focused on earning enough pretend money to buy their toy that they won’t even “spend” money to watch T.V., play on the computer or Wii.

  9. Heather D.

    We do the stand in the corner method for my two year old. Anytime he acts up we tell him to stand in the corner until he calms down and says he’s sorry. Overall it’s pretty effective.

  10. I learned this from my Dad. When my kids are being naughty I send them to the bathroom that way they can get a drink and go to the bathroom in there. There are no excuses to come out and no fun toys to play with. My kids hate it!

  11. Oh I LOVE it. Those are some great ideas. I love the one with the markers. That is SO something I would do. I do the lap thing too – it’s great for ADHD kids. Here’s one thing that I do. If they don’t do an assigned chore or do it poorly, the next day, they have to do that chore plus a penalty chore. When my teenaged son’s room gets too bad, I have two weapons I use – either I threaten to clean it myself (therefore invading his precious privacy) or I will lock him out of it. When my son had trouble completing his homework, I actually came to his school and “assisted” him with turning in his homework to each of his teachers.

  12. Anonymous

    We do lots of different things depending on the kid and the mood.

    Here’s my favorites:
    Nose and Toes: Nose and Toes go against a wall for a few minutes.

    Time out. (Of course)

    If mom picks it up mom keeps it. (For a week or so).

    Clean time before screen time- the whole house has to be basically tidy before anyone watches TV or computer. Enforced daily.

    How sad to be bad. (Bad behavior looses whatever privilege is handy (the best car seat- the granola bar snack- dessert- TV time- whatever they enjoy goes bye bye.)

    These ideas are not new, just useful to us. I like the running idea. I’ve used it twice since yesterday.

  13. Bonnie

    That last one was mine. (with nose and toes etc.) forgot the header.

  14. Louise

    I love all these ideas! My daughter is only 6 months old, but I’m saving up these for the future. If she’s anything like I was when I was a child, I’ll have my hands full :)

  15. Alrighty, here’s my best creative displine tip….

    When my boys (three of them) do something they know they shouldn’t they have to go pick up 10 things in the house. But if they do something else that day…15 things…then 20…then 25…you get the picture. Our house is such a MESS sometimes and this kills two birds, right?

  16. We have four little cuties too (and number 5 is on the way)! They are ages 6 and younger, so we have a lot of little silly fights around here! If they talk ugly to one another or call each other names or say “you’re mean” or “I don’t like you” (you get the idea) then we make them wear the UGLY, HANDMADE, DREADED “I love my brother or I love my sister shirt” to where ever we have to go. Sometimes the two older girls have had to wear it to school a day or two in a row. It doesn’t happen often and keeps the name calling down to a minimun! Works for us, for now at least!

  17. I love these ideas! I really like Tomena’s comments… they are some I’ve never hear of before, but everyone’s are quite helpful. I don’t have children yet, but I’m a music teacher to many. I also want to remember these for when I do have my own children.

    Thanks for you wonderful website!

  18. I love your ideas! So Clever. I have heard that if you make your kids hold hands while fighting they will stop very quickly as it really annoys them!

  19. I remember babysitting and they had this little boy who was just naughty sometimes, they would make him stick his nose in the corner and it worked!! He hated doing it so for him it really was the trick!

  20. I loved reading all these!
    If I ask my kids to do something and they complain, I make them do more work. For example, if I say “Go clean up 5 things in your room,” and they whine about it, they have to pick up 10 instead.
    My mom used to make my brother and I pay each other 50 cents every time we used a “bad” word like stupid or dumb or said something mean. It worked, and we still use it when we tease each other, “You owe me 50 cents!”

  21. Kathryn

    I find that it’s best not to be too stringint on rules. I may not fully get my way, but neither does my son get his! We’re big comprimisers; instead of one more slide before home or ten more slides before home, we comprimise with three. It keeps him pleasant and both of us happy.

  22. We have a jar full of pennies. For every item I have to pick up around the house that they don’t pick up I take out a penny. Whatever is left at the end of the month the boys get to cash in to buy what they want. So if they pick up after themselves there is more left at the end of the month for them. It works for us!

  23. I love these creative discipline ideas. I’ve got a couple of new ones. If my kids don’t make their beds, their brother can make it for them and then charge them a $1 labor charge!

    Also, we do penalty chores. If they don’t do an assigned chore, they have to do it the next day, plus an extra penalty chore.

    Works on me too. To help me take faster showers, I set a timer and have my son start the washing machine. Brrrr! I get out in a hurry!

    If I oversleep, my son makes me sing a silly song for him. We got that from Scouts, if they forget an item at a Scout meeting, they have to sing I’m a Little Teapot in front of the whole troop!

  24. Cathrine

    We typically use time-outs, and try to give clear limits to avoid time-outs in the first place. And I especially like the cry jar idea!
    However, I don’t like using cleaning/chores as discipline–I don’t want my kids to associate cleanliness or being orderly with being punished.

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  26. Suzie Murphy

    At our house, When you have been asked to clean your room (and don’t), I take a large black trash bag and bag up everything that isn’t in it’s place. I do this while the older ones are at school. They see it when they get home and cry “Not the black bag!” Oh yes…The Black Bag. The shining black monolith sits in the living room for one week. During that time, if anyone can tell me what’s in it I’ll give it back at the end of the week. Otherwise it’s off to the Goodwill! Now all I have to do is threaten to black bag the room. works like a charm!!


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