Suitable Punishment

Updated on May 04, 2010
A.R. asks from Cleveland, MO
11 answers

My daughter is in 1st grade and rides the bus every day. Earlier in the year we had a problem with her not following the rules (staying seated, facing the front, etc.) and also issues with the bus driver, which resulted in my daughter getting suspended from riding for a week. We seemed to have rectified the problem and haven't had a problem for many months. Today she brought home another white slip from the new bus driver that was actually dated last Thursday - I'm guessing she 'fessed up only because the slips are supposed to have a parent's signature before they get back on the bus and she hadn't gotten my signature yet. Anyway Thursday was her birthday and I sent her to school with cupcakes for the class. She came home with three of them and I commented that they looked like the icing had been licked off - she assured me they weren't and that they took a fall from the countertop which knocked the frosting off. The white slip she handed me today says that she was told three times to put the cupcakes away and that they weren't allowed to eat on the bus. Evidently my daughter chose to ignore the bus driver, hence the licked clean cupcakes, and then lied to me about them when she got home! Oy. So does anyone have a suggestion for an appropriate punishment? I really feel like she needs to learn that it's unacceptable and disrespectful to ignore instructions from a person in authority as well as lie. Thanks for your input!

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answers from New York on

The way I see it she needs 3 punishments. One for eating on the bus and ignoring the bus drivers instructions. For this I would have her make a treat to give to the bus driver and it should be delivered with a heartfelt appology. Two for not giving you the slip in a timely manner.
Three for lying to you, this by far as to be the worst punishment. Take away her favorite privledges. If she has an event coming up, tell her she's grounded and will not be able to attend. It has to be something that will stick, so next time she'll think twice.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Denver on

One thing we always tried to do when running daycare was to make the child tell the story in front of all parties they had wronged and then asked them what they felt was fair punishment, while emphasizing our disappointment. If you can arrange it, I would make her tell the story in front of the bus driver and you, and if she doesn't come up with something better, then she owes the bus driver a week of cleaning up the bus after all the kids, and she owes you something you know she doesn't like to do for lying to you about the cupcakes. Really put her on the spot on the bus about the story she told you not matching and making her fess up with pointed questions. Usually the self humiliation of this process of confessing and apologizing in front of people is enough for most kids to not want to do it again most of the time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am not sure if this is a punishment or not but I would make her "write" sorry notes to both the bus driver and the teacher. for the lying. and then find some job tht she hates and make her do it. in our home punishments were always something that did two fold things. 1 made them think about what happened and why and also it was a benefit to the family. my boys usually ended up with yard work of some sort. the girls did stuff like dusting the ceiling edges for cobwebs, took garbage (a boy job lol)out etc...

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answers from New York on

I agree with Sherry. Good for you for taking her behavior seriously. Lying is a big issue and needs to be dealt with seriously, as well as her disrespecting authority. The letters of apology are a start, and I would make sure you take her personally to make sure she also apologizes in person. Accountability is very important, when she sees you will take this type of actions, hopefully she will think twice before repeating the behavior. Good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

OMG my 3rd grader was told to throw away my husbands left over birthday cake in the trash outside..When he came back inside his lips and toungue were completely black my husband ask him if he ate a piece of cake before he threw it away...Anthony said with a terrified look on his face "No I didnt I swear" Anthony I know you ate a piece of cake do not lie to me " No I swear I didnt eat a piece of cake, the box fell and it hit me on the lips" I was so mad and yet could not control my laughter He was grounded for 3 days for lying and had to do alot of extra chores...But I had a really good facebook status lol..This probably doesnt help you but I just want to let you know your not the only one

M. D

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

for me personally, i would talk with the bus driver and start making her sit in the seat directly behind the bus driver. I also think that she should have to personally write a letter apologizing to him/her for not listening.

as far as the lying and the cupcake issue? i would seriously ground her from any sweets and make her go to bed an hour early for at least a week.



answers from St. Louis on

You are not alone. All kids try to push the limits. Any time my children get in trouble for not following rules at school/bus, they are required to make an appology to the person involved. This includes a written appology. In the letter, they have to include what they did wrong and why it was wrong. I then am present when the give the appology letter to the teacher or bus driver, and my child must also verbally appologize. At this age, when we are discussing what they did wrong, I help them to understand why their actions were wrong and why it is important to follow rules (safety, etc). They must also give something up for the day like tv or outside play time.
Getting kids to not lie is SO hard. My motto is : ARM - admit to your mistake, rectify the situation, move on . . . . 1) get them to tell the truth 2) help them to undo what was done wrong 3) don't keep bringing up their mistake-very important!! So, if I think my kids are not being truthful, I remind them that we do not tolerate lies in our home and I focus on teaching them how to fix what they did wrong. By taking the focus off of the lie, they are more apt to tell the truth. After the fact if there was a lie told, we deal with that. (punishment depends on lie)
Punishment should always fit the crime and never be handed out when we are angry! Hard to do, but it is possible.
Punishments for lies might include - lie concerning use of phone = no phone priviledge, lie over hurting sibling = must do siblings chores for a certain number of days etc. For your case, my child would loose dessert priviledge for a set number of days while the rest of the family enjoyed dessert.
Good luck. I have 4 children ages 15 months to 13 years and I can tell you what you are going throughis perfectly normal. It's how you deal with it that it important.



answers from Fayetteville on

When I was kid my parents made my sister and write passages out of the bible. Granted now I am not religious at all. I would take away some of her favorite activities like outside, tv, or video games. Tell her she can sit in her room and either read, draw or play quietly in her room until dinner, then after dinner send her to bed. Do this for about a week and trust me she won't like it a bit.

Good luck



answers from Minneapolis on

When I was little, I always got in trouble for fighting with my younger sisters on the bus. Finally, my mom made me and my sisters write "I'm sorry Mr. Hanson for fighting on the bus." 100 times. It sucked! Lol. I don't think I ever got in trouble on the bus again.


answers from Dallas on

I make my 9 year old write essays when she gets in trouble for stuff like that. She HATES it! She tells me that she'd rather be grounded, lol!
Also, when I was younger, my dad made me write "sentences". I would have to write stuff like "I will not disobey my father" over and over. It sucked!



answers from Los Angeles on

A., Before any "punishment" is dished out, maybe it would be more suitable to look at the situation.
1. Does she act like this only with the driver?
2. What provokes this behaviour at that time?
3. Is it a consistent behaviour?
4. Does it happen off the bus?

A. there are a multitude of reasons for her behaviour. Before any punishment is dished out, make sure you fully understand the situation. If her behaviour is like this always, then there is of course a need to look at it very closely, but if the behaviour is only on the bus, maybe the driver needs to be looked at.

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