Creative punishment pays off

It’s 1am on a Friday night, well, a Saturday morning….. I’ve been organizing my filing cabinet for hours. Throwing away what feels like parts of my life, and reminiscing on years past….

I forgot how wonderfully creative I used to get with punishment. I have essays, written by the older kids as punishment for a particular insult. I’ve really been enjoying these, as well as numerous notes and letters the kids have written me, sometimes in love, sometimes not. I will never throw these away. In fact, I’m going to share one of my favorites.

Apparently, an essay on the importance of listening to your parents, written with all the awesome passive-aggressive sarcasm a preteen can muster. A work of art, really.

“I think it is important to listen to your parents because you and your parents would get along better. Also, because you would not get in trouble often. Also because the parents are the adults and they can treat kids any way they want, which gives kids the impression that, that is why people abuse their kids. It is good to listen to your parents because they might actually give an effort to listen to you when you try to say something because you have their attention when you do something good. Also when you listen to your parents you get rewarded like a dog that did a good trick. It is also good to listen to your parents because you don’t get in trouble and you always want to keep your parents happy. It is bad not to listen to your parents because you have to write an “I’m sorry report” (like me). You will get yelled at uncontrollably (like me). and occasionally or all the time you feel like you hate your parents and you want to run away, and that your friends are better with helping you with your problems because they don’t take anything you say the wrong way and they feel sorry for you and they don’t mock you by saying “Oh, poor Rachel!” And that is why it is important to listen to your parents, all the good parts about listening, and all the bad parts about not listening.”

At the time, she was kind enough to leave room for me to write a letter grade as well as a percentage grade at the top…. I never did it, and the space has remained blank all these years later.

A+++ Rachel, it’s perfect.

I can’t wait to share your essay about the downfall of spitting in the kitchen sink…..


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