Mum's hardcore discipline for disrespectful kids: coal for Christmas, presents to be donated

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images 

One mum is so frustrated by her son's behaviour she is contemplating cancelling Christmas. 

The mum, who took to Reddit's AITA (Am I the A**hole), asked if the drastic move would be going too far. 

Writing that she had four children - a nine-year-old son and three daughters aged seven, two and a newborn, she explained she had been stockpiling presents since June to get ahead of the Christmas rush.

However, the behaviour of the two eldest has her questioning if they deserved these and whether she should instead gift them coal and donate the gifts.

The mum took particular issue with her son's behaviour, who split his time between her and his dad's home. 

"Any time he is at his dad's (two weeks on, two weeks off schedule), he lies constantly and doesn't do any of his schoolwork, and it's then on me to get him caught back up every time," she writes. 

"Most recently the week before and of Thanksgiving break I had to catch him up on 46 (yes, FOURTY SIX) missing assignments. He's been lying for months about not only schoolwork, but every little thing he possibly can."

Adding that he also hit two of his sisters, was disrespectful towards adults and did not listen, the mum said previous punishments of taking away TV privileges, video games, toys and extracurricular activities had not worked. 

And the behaviour was rubbing off on his younger sister and the pair had recently deliberately let their younger sister fall down the stairs and laughed when she was hurt. 


"I am so angry and upset that I want to make my point crystal clear to both of them. The other adults all agree that coal for Christmas would probably get the point across, however I would still like an unbiased opinion," she asks. 

If Christmas was cancelled, all presents aside from 'need' gifts such as clothes or shoes would be donated to a local charity, she said. 

Many on the thread said it would teach her kids a lesson, saying she should stick with the plan.

"Cancelling Christmas is a bit.. extreme.. but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get the point across. Maybe tell them that if they don't start changing up their behaviour, Santa is going to give them coal? That way they'll hopefully become a little better," wrote one.

"What if you let them know that they're losing presents for misbehaving? And then for each transgression, have them drive with you while you drop their gift in the repository. I'm going to guess/hope that seeing it getting done might make an impression, and yet they would know that if they behaved, they might salvage something," another added.

However others argued that this year had been difficult enough for kids and taking away Christmas would be draconian. 

"This year has been traumatic for kids and you're ascribing a lot of schoolwork failure to malice when for most kids it's trauma and depression. Taking away Christmas is not going to help with that. Getting him some support, maybe therapy, maybe a tutor, maybe some more social outlets — those things are going to help," said one.

"You've already demonstrated that negative reinforcement and taking away possessions is not effective. So why would you keep beating a dead horse? Address the core psychological cause of this and stop with the endless punishments. Your child needs help," another added.