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photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com

I’m taking some time this week to hang with Team Sprad so this week were going retro and sharing the best of EpicParent.tv.

Hope you enjoy!!

  1. JAIL TIME: Several years ago I sent my son to jail.  He hit his sister and I told him when boys that hit girls, they go to jail.  I put him under the kitchen table, put a barrier around it and didn’t let him out for the rest of the night.   He has never hit her since.
  2. NIGHT TIME CHORES: My son told me 1 million times over a 5 day period that he would mow the yard.  Guess what, HE DIDN’T.  I made him mow at nighttime with a headlamp and car lights as his guide.  When your kids continue to put it off, make them do night time chores.  Your kids will learn the lesson if you make them get out of bed and take a midnight stroll to take out the trash, mow the yard or make them get out of bed to put the dishes up…you get the idea.
  3. MISS A GAME: My son is taking snowboard training from former Olympic Coaches, it is called Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.  He continually forgets his ski pass, so this past weekend I made him miss practice.  Parents, if your kids continually forget or misplace their cleats, glove, hats, mouthpiece, dance shoes.  Teach them to remember by making them skip that practice or a game…don’t bail them out or they will never learn.
  4. OLD SCHOOL SOAP TRICK: If your kids are caught lying, wash their mouth out with soap.  Old School but it still works.
  5. PAY THE PIPER: My oldest son Cole struggles with being negative.  My middle daughter, who is tough as nails, struggles with being bossy (she thinks she is the boss of the world).  My youngest son Tifton struggles with sharing.  Jodie and I put 3 jars on the counter and each time they blow it (in their area of struggle) they have to PAY THE PIPER (put a dollar in).  At the end of the week, the jar w/ the least amount of money…get it all!
  6. GIVE GRACE: I mentioned this earlier in the week.  I am mentioning it again, hoping that it sticks.  There are times when our kids really blow it and all the discipline they need is love.  Really!  IF their attitude is right, give them grace and irrationally forgive and wipe away the punishment.
  7. YOU HAVE TO CRY: If your kids are throwing fits…”Tell your child to go to her room to continue her fit. She isn’t allowed to come out and she has to keep crying for 10 minutes. Ten minutes is an awfully long time, and it’s no fun if your parents tell you to cry.”  Taken from Lisa Whelchel’s book, “Creative Correction“.
  8. COLLABORATIVE WINDOW CLEANING: I just got this one in from my friend Jennie Poppenger, btw…she is a social media & marketing expert if you need help in this area.  She said “if your kids are bickering, make them wash opposite sides of a window at the same time. They can’t help making faces at each other and pretty soon they’re laughing!”
  9. LET THEM DECIDE: I am notorious for bringing this one to the table.  I let my kids choose their own discipline.  Why?  I trust them and they typically have a pretty good idea what punishment fits.
  10. HEAD GEAR: This is the worst punishment any kid could have!

Join the conversation:  Would love to hear some of your creative discipline ideas.

Would you like to receive epicparent’s newest posts by email?  If so, click HERE or to add it to your reader click HERE.


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Author: ChrisSprad View all posts by
Chris Spradlin (AKA Sprad) is passionate about Jesus, he doesn’t drink coffee, is bald, has a chinhawk, lives in Edmond, OK., loves to fly fish and snowboard. He has been married to his smoking hot wife Jodie for 18 years and they have 3 kiddos also known as Team Sprad. Chris if the founder of EpicParent.tv and has been in ministry for 20 years. He has served as a Pastor and Team Teacher with Craig Groeschel at LifeChurch.tv and currently serves on the Executive Team and a Team Teacher at the multisite NewHopeChurch.tv. You can find Chris on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


  1. Kerri Pape January 13, 2011 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Great Ideas Chris…. I am exciting to use some of these…wait a minute is that wrong to be excited. No, really we have been hitting a road block with the 3 youngest and these will be very helpful. I own the book Creative Correction…. I need to pull that out again.
    Here is one I used last week. My second,Caleb is famous for being negative,especially with the comments he makes to his sister. Sometimes really hurtful. I made him make a list of all her great qualities and give them to her and apologize and ask for forgiveness.
    Thank for sharing…examples really help. This site has really been a blessing.

    We are wanting to take a trip,maybe ,to Steamboat. Caleb and Mady cant ski or snowboard(chemo and broken arm) so we were thinking of snowmobile or sledding… since you are from here do you have any other great ideas? Have a blessed day. Hope all is well with Jodie gone.

  2. Chris Spradlin January 13, 2011 at 7:05 am - Reply

    I am making Cole do the same for his sister! Great idea…

  3. jonathan January 13, 2011 at 7:37 am - Reply

    I’ve got an 8 year old with a problem remembering to wear his retainer. I’ve already told him that he must die if he ever loses it, but I hope he knows I’m joking.

    I make him pay me $0.50 cents every time I find it not in his mouth, and it’s become our family game. (He earns quarters for different chores throughout the week, so he always has .50cents.) The younger kids are always helping him remember in exchange for him only paying them .25cents…

    Maybe my younger kids are good business men or blackmailers?

  4. Lori January 13, 2011 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Our 9 year old daughter was being a teensy bit disrespectful, so the next day while she was off with her dad, I told her, find ways during the day that you can serve your dad. Ask him if he needed anything, if there was anything you could do for him….also find a way during the day that you could do something for me that I would normally do (something around the house). By the end of the day her dad was wondering why she kept asking “daddy, do you need anything?” and I got a little help around the house! It was kindof funny, and she learned a lot from that day.

  5. Tonya January 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I decided to use your idea of putting a kid in prison for hitting today. I put my 9 year old (almost 10) in prison after she hit her little brother more than once. She was TICKED. I put her in her room and fed her bread and water for lunch (which she didn’t eat). When I finally let her out, she locked herself in a room downstairs. I went in to her later and she had a paper in her hand. This is what it said, “Mercy triumphs over judgment!!! But he gives us more grace. That is why scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ ” Hmmm, so did it work? I haven’t had a chance to debrief with her yet.

  6. ChrisSprad
    ChrisSprad January 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Jonathan & Lori I absolutely love your ideas! It so so hard for parents to think differently about discipline, including myself. Love your ideas & plan to implement them.

  7. ChrisSprad
    ChrisSprad January 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Jonathan & Lori I absolutely love your ideas! It so so hard for parents to think differently about discipline, including myself. Love your ideas & plan to implement them soon.

  8. ChrisSprad
    ChrisSprad January 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Tonya, it sounds like you have a smart one there! I am not sure if the prison idea had an impact or not, you will surely need to debrief with her. I don’t believe that any discipline is effective once & the most important aspect is the “heart” of it. Do your kids know that you love them deeply, do they hear you tell them how much you care and love them, do they know that your goal is to protect and guard their heart? would love to chat w/ you in more detail if you would like. Feel free to email me!

  9. Kristina S January 14, 2011 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Good stuff!! We will use these!

  10. meganknox January 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Where do your kids get the money to ‘pay the piper?’ Chores? I love this idea, not sure if mine are too young. (4 & 2) I think the 2 yr wouldnt get it but the 4 would.

  11. Maureen January 15, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

    First time on your site – awesome!! I’m passionate about parenting and this is right up my alley!
    Can’t wait to try out the “Pay the Piper” thing – I might not do a dollar though – will have to think about what amount.
    In response to the last comment – yes, my boys do earn money for chores, so that’s where the money will come from. We started at age 3 with this. So 2 is probably a little two young yet – but store it away – I’ve often done that with good tricks that we weren’t quite ready for.

  12. Ren January 18, 2011 at 10:39 am - Reply

    We used the You Have To Cry one yesterday. Our 7 yr old started crying, and within seconds became fake crying. I told her she had to go to her room and cry for ten minutes. She went and layed on her bed and fake cried for a few minutes, then came strolling out. I told her to go back and cry some more because she still had 7 minutes. It was almost like time out, but with required theatrical activity :)

  13. Sharlene Goodwin March 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I love it! I am a teacher and a parent and I love these ideas-I have just created a new website to keep up with education-take a look http://www.teacherslounge.co.nz and tell me what you think. I would love to put this list on there but better be a good girl!! I will post to Facebook instead-love the midnight chores and are going to try it with my 9 year old son!!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad March 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      I will check out your site Sharlene! thanks for checking out epicparent. feel free to share this on facebook or re-run it on your site if you would like. simply let people know about epicparent if you don’t mind!

  14. Justin March 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    My eldest daughter (13) decided to light some paper on fire in her younger sisters bedroom. I punished her by getting her to write an essay on the dangers of fire. Worked a treat!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad March 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      wow!! that made me laugh hearing about the fire. she’s a brave one! love the essay idea.

  15. Sarah April 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    We are have Smile-ishment. When someone is being unusually sulky, grumpy, or generally unpleasant to live with, they must smile continuously for 20 minutes. What begins as horrible, cheese-whiz fake smiles usually erupts in real giggles and uproarious siblings. I realize we’re not supposed to punish one child in front of another, but this is *by far* our favorite family spectator event!
    Love the site! Thanks for your ministry! Praying for Team Sprad!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad April 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      I love this one! funny! I am going to use this w/ my oldest.

  16. Samantha Sluss September 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    My daughter is adopted and had a rough childhood. So normal “punishments” have no affect on her. She doesn’t care to lose tv time, have a favorite toy taken away, etc. So these ideas are wonderful compared to the route we was trying to use. (: Thank you all for getting this out on the web!!

  17. Jamie September 4, 2012 at 1:38 am - Reply

    I absolutely love these ideas… my daughter is severely ADHD, i really dont believe in going the medicinal route, so i have tried to find creative ways to punish her for her actions… I have started a list of if you do this…. this is the consequence. so she knows upfront what is coming. If it is not on the list, most likely it was pretty bad and the punishment will be worse.

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad September 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Great stuff Jamie! Thanks for joining in on the convo.

    • Gracye May 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      All things condideres, this is a first class post

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  18. Trina September 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    First time to your site, LOVE it! Janna told me about it and I’m glad she did. We have 4 boys and tell them “Banners don’t lie, if you are going to lie you can’t live here” then we make them pack a bag and go outside. Every time so far this had worked great, within 10 minutes they cry and are ready to ask forgiveness. Now they encourage their brothers… “Banners don’t lie!”

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad September 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      So glad you are enjoying EP Trina! If there is ever anything that I can do for you or your family…don’t hesitate to ask.

  19. Vine September 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Number 9 does sound the best, at the very least for me. I would personally chose to lose my shirt privileges as the punishment. If I do not receive an A+ on my test, then I will probably arrange to receive this punishment. I would also draw one embarrassing picture on myself for every point below 95%.

  20. Nicole November 12, 2012 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Turning off the bedroom lights and slamming bedroom doors…..I have taken the light bulbs away and removed bedroom doors. It seems to have worked and I got a few chuckles out of it myself.

  21. Stephanie December 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I am a new mom and so passionate about parenting. I recently started following along and am so excited to see all God does with this ministry. My son in only 18 months old but has taught me more about being Christ like and Christ’s love than I had learned in 28 years!

  22. Ann June 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I really like these ideas. I am a single parent and I just adopted my 9 & 10 year old siblings from the foster care system. If my daughter (10) misbehaves, she accepts her consequence with little or no argument. My son (9) on the other hand is a totally different story. He has looked me square in the eye and told me that he was not going to listen to me and proceeded to call me a f***ing b***h! He has curbed his language, except in the most extreme situations. And will now stay in his room up to ten minutes with lots and lots of name calling and disrespectful behavior, but only after I physically pick him up and place him in his room. My question is, how can I effectively give him consequences when he openly defies me? I have even given him choices and allowed him to pick or come up with his own consequence, but that gets nowhere because he can’t see or understand that he has done any harm and therefore thinks that he should not be given any form of discipline. How can I deal with a child that will defy any consequence given to him?

    • Tiffany July 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      I used to work at a place where we helped teens 11-19 who had been dealt a bad hand and were in foster homes. It was a residential facility. When they swore at us or were no not following directions we would ignore them. We treated swearing like a foreign language and could not understand anything with curse words. They knew the consequences for their actions so we would calmly tell them they received the consequence and ignore any yelling or negative thing they had to say. When they were interacting with us in a respectful manner engaged with them then and only then. If they want your attention, they need to know the appropriate way to get it. It was really frustrating for my clients to scream in my face and curse me out because I TOTALLY tunes them out. I’d read a book or magazine. Count the tiles on the ceiling. Anything to let them know that I’m not paying this behavior any attention. It took time, but it worked once they realized I was really serious about it.

  23. Tiffany July 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    These are all really great tips. We have four children 11, 7, 6, and 2. We love to come up with creative consequences. We’ve tried so many different approaches. Recently they’re burnt us out so that we just sit back and let the natural consequences of life discipline them. Funny they learn more from those than us. We told the 7 year old not to play with scissors. He decided to be a barber and cut his hair. We made him wear it for 2 weeks before cutting his hair. School wasn’t fun for him at first, but he learned how to deal with embarrassment. By day three he was laughing with his friends and teaching scissor safety to everyone he met. They absolutely refuse to follow any direction or re-direction. This is a good refresher. I’ll be following these posts.

  24. Jessie September 4, 2013 at 3:34 am - Reply

    I have a friend whose 15 year old son ran up a huge mobile phone bill using her phone to call his girlfriend who had moved away and left him heartbroken (first love is sweet but costly) she told him she understood that he missed his girlfriend but that the amount was outrageous and unacceptable, she stopped his pocket money for the rest of the month and warned him that this could not happen again and that if it did the consequences would be more severe. Without complaint he accepted his punishment but then did the same again the following month. She stopped his pocket money for a further month but also removed all electrical items from his room, including his lightbulb so that he could repay his debt. He was only allowed to text her twice a day, but no phone calls and with no laptop, phone, games consoles or light in his room he had to read books and hang with his parents in the living room. He never did it again and throughout the month spent some quality time with his family playing board games, watching movies and helping prepare meals, complete chores etc. I thought this was wonderful and obviously worked for them as teenagers can be difficult to discipline :)

  25. Cassi September 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I am loving all these! So many great tips! I have two boys, 6 and 3, and I know I am going to have to get creative with them as far as their trouble making goes.

    I’ve been dealing with lying a lot with my oldest. Not just silly fibbing or tall tales, but flat out lying to my face so that he doesn’t get in trouble. His punishments aren’t bad, usually just taking toys away or timeout, so I don’t really get why he would be afraid of being punished and lie to me.

    Just today he did not finish his lunch at school, which has been a problem lately. He will barely eat and then get sluggish and not pay attention in class. When I asked him why he didn’t finish his lunch (in a completely nice, loving tone mind you) he promptly said that the bells at school were broken and they rang too early. Really? I know he’s 6, but how does he think that I will fall for him blaming his school?

    Last night I walked into the kitchen to find water all over the floor. I asked if anyone knew why there was a mess in the kitchen. I barely got out my sentence before he said, “Charlie did it.” (his brother) I was just about to ask his brother what happened when I noticed the front of his shirt was sopping wet! When I asked him if he was sure it was Charlie he told me he forgot and that it was actually him.

    I am clueless as to what to do with him! I know lying is common with kids his age and I don’t want a harsh punishment for him, but I also don’t want to lecture him. After all, he is 6, and if you have to talk to them about the same subject for more than a minute it just goes over their head. So I guess my question is, does anyone have an effective and creative punishment for lying??

  26. Johnny5 December 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all those creative parenting ideas! Got another idea that would be great for your list. You can ask a puppet or other character to help discipline your child and whip them into shape. It’s pretty funny and it works! http://kazoobukids.com/

  27. Heather December 4, 2013 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I leave five minutes before my kids leave for school. We had a problem with them forgetting to lock the door. Big No No! I took the kids electronics and money and grounded them from TV because we were “robbed”.

    They were bored for two weeks but it did make them play well together cause it got them off the boob tube that dad lets them watch all the time. And best of all they haven’t forgot to lock the door. :o)

    • Jenifer Nd Dan Thompson January 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      I love this one !!
      Awesome idea

  28. dragsline January 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Many years ago, I drove past a house with as kid out front throwing dirt clods at cars. I came back by about 30 minutes later and he was on
    his hands and knees edging the front yard with a
    butcher knife. My guess is he never forgot that one.

  29. Karan May 7, 2014 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Any thoughts for a strong willed two year old?

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  31. Need a life line May 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm - Reply


    I have a 9 year old who has ODD among other things….. what do you do with a child who refusing to stay in time out, refuses to stay put in their room, refuses to do anything for their conq. I need ideas that I can have control over that I can follow threw with because at this point nothing is working at all :(

  32. Heather B September 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Such great suggestions! Thank you! One of the stories my parents tell of when I was four was a time they found me in the bathroom washing my own mouth out with soap. I must have thought I said something worthy of needing self-discipline! I actually remember doing it, but I don’t remember what bad thing I said. Now if I could only be so good at discipline to train my son to self-discipline! We are doing everything we can to give our son the foundation and understanding he needs to succeed in his faith. Discipline is such a key component to character and development for our kids. I’ve been reading a brand new book by Dr. Tony Evans. One of the goals of the book is to help parents grow in confidence as you discover your worth as a parent based on God’s Word. It’s called “Raising Kingdom Kids: Giving Your Child a Living Faith.” He says, “It’s far easier to SHAPE A CHILD than to REPAIR AN ADULT. Raising kids who recognize and retain their identity as children of the King launches healthy adults who have the capacity to stand strong in their faith.” Equipping and guiding our children starts with us, parents! This is the most solid, thorough, inspirational and affirming parent book I’ve ever read! I love it and HIGHLY recommend it for all parents! http://www.raisingkingdomkids.com

  33. Tricameral April 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I love this my daughter had a retainer for her over bite but she would not wear it so I took her to the orthodontist and now she has headgear braces she is humiliated and I think she will wear this until her orthodontist says other wise no retainer for her she gets her braces off in three years I cabt wait for those with grade pics to come in

  34. SarahJohanson April 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Depending on the severity of the “offence”, one of the number one things I have my kids do is make them stand outside our house holding a sign that says, ” I disobeyed my mom, so I have to stand here for an hour holding this sign.” and I watch out the window to make sure they show it off! Its more fun when you live on a busy street! 😉

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