I use the code of hammurabi to parent my kids. For those of you that don't know what that is, its where "an eye for an eye" comes from.
I don't go to the same extreme as Hammurabi though. I wouldn't go around cutting their hands off.
Here are some examples of what I mean
If they steal something, they get something stolen from them. Meaning I will take something from them and NEVER give it back or buy them a replacement. Most likely I'll sell it, give it to the person they stole from or send it to the salvation army.
If they use bad language or talk back to an adult I have them hold their tounge until I tell them to stop. It gets uncomfortable and they can't talk (also they look silly).
If they neglect their responsibilities because they don't want to, I neglect my responsibilities. "Oops I didn't want to take you to dance practice" seems to get to my oldest and "I don't want to go to the pool" works for my youngest.
Of course this goes both ways. If they do something good, good things are returned to them.
I think it teaches empathy for other people. They don't want things to happen to them, so they don't do bad things to others. They respect others because they want to be respected as well. They know that whatever they do, or don't do to/for someone elsec an be returned to them tenfold. It also teaches them that if they good for other people, good things will happen to them. It works
I am too lazy to read and reply to all the messages so I am just going to address the FAQs right here.
1. What will happen when they try this on someone else?
Answer: They won't. They know that I am the adult and they are the children. They know it is not their place to discipline anyone else, but it is my job to discipline/reward them as I see fit. We are not equals. Did you ever try to give your friends spankings as a kid just because your parents spanked you? No (at least if you are a normal person you didn't)
2. How long do they hold their tongue for?
Answer: It varies depending on exactly what was said. 10 minutes is long enough. And yes they can breathe and swallow.
3. If it worked they wouldn't be doing those things?
Answer: It works, so they don't. When my kids came to me they were used to being on their own. So stealing, being disrespectful and shirking responsibilities were all they knew. Now, they have me, and I like order. So they respect that, and they respect others around them.
4. Does it really teach them anything but revenge?
Answer: Yes. My kids are egoists, they put themselves 1st (it comes from having to fend for themselves). By showing them how things they do feel to other people, in terms of themselves, they learn empathy. Before I started this they wouldn't care about how someone else felt when they stole something from them or called them a name. Now they know how it feels, so they don't inflict that pain to someone else.
5. What do I do if they hit someone else?
Answer: We haven't crossed this bridge. But I am not opposed to spanking so that would probably be what happens (or something equally as emotionally painful for my youngest). My kids don't hit each other, or other people. My youngest is terrified getting hit, so she doesn't hit others (because she has learned that everything that she does has an equal outcome) My oldest hasn't hit anyone. They aren't violent kids (also I think they are too old to be "hitting". That is something a 4 year old does when they don't get their way).
And yes, I do let them defend themselves if a problem persists and all avenues have been explored before it.
How old are they?
They are 8 and 10. Fully capable of understanding cause and effect.