There have been quite a few reported cases of severe punishments that have claimed the life of kids. A father had stuffed his kid in the washing machine to teach him a lesson and yet others locked their kids up in dog cages. Some of these punishments are insane and not commonplace.
Death by chocolate
In Alabama, a nine-year-old girl passed away after her stepmother and grandmother allegedly punished her for eating a bar of chocolate. The poor girl, Savannah Hardin, was reportedly asked to run around in the yard for three hours!
Documents show that the child had an unspecified medical condition, which required her to be under continuous treatment and medication from a urologist. As stated by authorities, Savannah’s grandma was enraged that Savannah had chocolate without consulting her because of the caffeine content, and caffeine is hazardous for her medical condition — hence the punishment.
Savannah was forced to run around in the yard located near the trailer that she lived in and was asked to pick up sticks and other items to be placed in the burn pile. Stepmom Jessica Mae Hardin did not look into the matter until it was too late — the child had collapsed three hours into her grueling “punishment.” She was taken to the hospital but it was too late. The autopsy results state that Savannah had exceedingly low levels of sodium and she was severely dehydrated. She died of exhaustion.
She was a strong child coming from a broken family with an ongoing custody battle. Her biological parents were divorced in 2006 when she was three. There were multiple investigated allegations that Savannah was “mistreated” and living in “hazardous conditions” while with her biological mother Heather Hardin. She was still strong and thrived at school.
Academically, Savannah was a bright kid. The principal of her school, Linda Johnson recalls: “Savannah was an excellent student, earning A’s and B’s in her school work. Her favorite subject was math; she enjoyed reading books to earn points in the Accelerated Reader program – and was very proud of always meeting her reading goals. … Savannah was a happy child at school. She always wore a smile, and often brightened the day of teachers and administrators with her kind comments.”
10 tips on punishments
There is no easy way or effective way to punish your child as every kid is unique and will respond to discipline differently. We have a quick and general guide on what to consider when there is a need to punish your child.
1. Focus on the punishment on the wrongdoing, not the child.
2. Be firm, don’t waver. Make sure that you are able to carry out the specific punishment — the time that you say you would. If the said punishment time falls during school hours — it would not be sensible, would it?
3. Be reasonable. Don’t be too harsh and state punishments that your child will not be able to carry out or that might endanger your child’s life—as in the case of Savannah.
4. Be consistent. Make sure that mum and dad are consistent in deciding on punishments. Be on the same page or your child might learn to take advantage of the situation.
5. Be private. Don’t go public with the punishment. The purpose is not to hurt the child’s ego but to work on their behaviour and actions.