21st Century Punishments
Who Am I?
My name is Joshua Lee. I post this paragraph on each article I write so people know who I am. I'm currently a student at the University of Central Florida. I've been working in the computer industry for 6 years now, either at work or just repairing friends and families personal computers. I've built computers, saved corrupted data, managed websites, sanitized computers of viruses, helped others to improve their computer security, and many more things. I'm the guy my friends go to when they need computer help.
What Is This Article
This article has some creative punishments for your child, 21st century style. If time outs or grounding just doesn't seem to do the trick anymore, listen to a few of these. Just thinking about what I would do if my mother knew about these punishments when I was a kid scares me :)
Punishment 1: The Memory Card Wipe
This one is generally for boys, although there are some girls that it would work with. Does your child own an XBOX, XBOX 360, Playstation 2/3, Wii, or Gamecube? Then even the mention of this punishment will have the gaping open-mouthed in horror. Keep in mind that to them, this is a somewhat severe punishment, so don't use it lightly.
If you don't know, I have a picture of each of them to the right of this. See if your child owns one of them.
Some of these systems have "memory cards" which are just little inserts that record their saved games and progress. They're easy to spot and they usually say "memory card" on them. If your child likes playing video games, then they probably have many hours of work put into their saved game. They certainly won't want it to be erased.
The playstation 2 and Gamecube both have memory cards. Make sure they are insterted into the system. For all other systems just ignore this. They have those memory cards stored inside the system.
Open the disc case and take out any game inside with the eject button. Have a controller plugged in and turn the system on. For all systems a different menu appears, but it's not difficult to navigate inside. Look for either "Erase Hard Drive" or "Erase Memory Card" options within it. Within 5 minutes you'll have found it and their memory card or hard drive will be erased.
This is different than taking away their ability to use the system. That's only temporary and after the week is over its all done with. Erasing their data for their saved games, however, is a more long lasting action. It means a lot of lost "virtual work" in their game
Punishment 2:No Facebook/MySpace
This is a punishment that is more commonly used with girls, but there are many boys that it would affect too. This punishment is different that taking away their internet privleges. This is no facebook or myspace on any computer for a certain amount of time.
Hopefully, you've read my HubPage on Facebook/MySpace (linked below) and you have your childs login and password. You can check up on them to make sure they're not using it at school or at friends houses. The threat of not being able to use facebook for 2 weeks is a big one since it's getting more and more commonplace for everyone to use them.
If used in conjunction with a good old fashioned "you're grounded" punishment, this can be a severe punishment
Punishment 3: Internet Child Locks
There are many free programs you can download from the internet for this purpose. Basically, they restrict access where your child can go on the internet. This can be useful not as punishment, but as a general safety tool. If you don't have one already, I would recommend the link listed below. Many internet service providers provide them automatically, and Firefox and Internet Explorer have settings that you can change in their "Security" tab to do something similar.
However, if your child makes a serious rule infraction, you can up the child "safety" level. Restrict what they can do while on the internet. For instance, not letting them go anywhere that's not their email, or the news.
Many people will say "just ban them from using the internet entirely for a week". That is also a possible punishment. However, this punishment adds a psychological element to it. It can be very annoying when your friend emails you a link to go to about a new computer game, but you cannot go there due to these restrictions. Had they not been allowed on the internet period, they would have gone to the page the day their punishment was up.