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Returning Christmas Gifts: Creative Discipline or Public Shaming?

The Short of It

A parent who got fed up with a child's behavior returned his gift of a Wii gaming console just days after Christmas. So, is this creative discipline or a form of public shaming? You be the judge.

The Lowdown

On Reddit, a store clerk appears to have posted the return receipt for a Wii gaming console that features this note of explanation: "Son was put on the naughty list, had to watch it being returned."

Reactions on Reddit have been mixed. Some commenters supported the parent's decision to enact tough consequences for presumably very bad behavior. Other commenters thought the parents went too far and felt that the kid having to watch the gift being returned amounted to public shaming.

I'm not sure where I stand on this one. I have threatened my kids that I would return their Christmas gifts several times since the big day. Yup, they've been extra naughty, too. It's my opinion that all the excitement of looking forward to Christmas has given way to bratty behavior for most kids.

So what's a parent to do?

The Upshot

I haven't followed through on my threats to return gifts. This just feels too extreme to me. But empty threats don't amount to effective discipline either. The right thing to do in this situation is probably to take away the toys until your kids can get their behavior in check.

But I'll admit, I kind of admire the parents from Reddit who had the guts to say enough is enough and just return the (very expensive!) toy.

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