My TN dad was something else when we were little. I am sure having four children ranging from 7 to 2 was an experiment in agony, for the adults anyway. One of fun things for us as children was having so many other siblings to blame our numerous misdeeds on. In this case, we all chose denial rather than blame each other.
I don’t even remember what the crime was. All I remember is my dad lining us all up in a row. He said he was going to use an old Indian trick (back then no one used the words Native American so excuse the use of the word Indian) to determine who the perpetrator was. He whipped out his pocket knife and his silver Zippo lighter. I still remember that shiny silvery lighter. He lit it and held the flame under the knife and told us he was going to get the knife hot. Then he would put the knife on all our tongues. The knife would not burn those that told the truth. The guilty party would have their tongue scalded. I remember knowing that I didn’t commit the crime, but I was still worried about getting my tongue burned. I mean, after all, it was a hot knife.
The knife didn’t burn my tongue and I remember saying something like, “Daddy I didn’t do it! The knife didn’t burn my tongue” in an excited voice. I didn’t figure out until I was an adult that he didn’t really get the knife hot. I really thought he did. I remember thinking when I was a little older how mean that was. Actually, I think I must have been traumatized because it is one of only a few memories that I have as a small child. Knowing my TN dad as an adult, I realize that he wouldn’t scald our tongues with a hot knife. I suspect he was trying to teach us a lesson about all of us saying we didn’t do it, and the importance of telling the truth. I learned that if you lie, Daddy will put a hot pocket knife on your tongue. Oh I’m just kidding! Actually as a parent myself, it’s really pretty diabolical. I have to give him respect for that creativity of the idea.
What was your unusual punishment? Would you use it on your kids? Or even better than than, did you use an unusual punishment? I need to know so that I can