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Mom Asks If She’s Wrong For Punishing Her Kids By Making Them Do Chores In A Hot Dog Costume

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Parenting can be extremely difficult. Many parents will even argue deciding how they will discipline their children and follow-through is among the hardest stages.

But the disciplinary tactics parents use, well, they come in all shapes and sizes.

Take the mom, for instance, who had her kids wear a hot dog costume while completing all of the tasks included in their latest punishment, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor DuePlatypus7760 detailed how, with the arrival of 2020, they had to get creative with their punishment style.

But the Original Poster (OP) also wondered if the punishment was a little too humiliating: 

“AITA for forcing my kids to do chores in a hot dog costume as a form of punishment?” 

The OP realized she had to get creative during lockdown. 

“I know this isn’t as high-stakes as most of the other posts here, but I’m curious! Kids are 13 and 7.”

“So, over the course of quarantine, my usual punishments don’t carry the same weight.”

“Grounded? Eh, they’ve practically been grounded since March by the government.”

“Lose their devices? They’ve been completely consumed by the void of boredom, so it’s barely a drop in the bucket.”

“Stand in the corner? Life is hell, so it’s good practice.”

“So nowadays, when they get in trouble, they have to finish their chores in The Hot Dog.”

But the OP also wondered if it was a bit much. 

“2020 might have desensitized them to boredom, but not embarrassment! We’re locked down pretty tight over here, so it’s just Mom and Dad embarrassment, not public humiliation.”

“So, AITA?”

Fellow Redditors chimed in anonymously, rating the tactic on the following scale:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some Redditors simply found this plan to be hilarious. 

“Lol I’d die if I saw a kid raking leaves in a hot dog costume… NAH”Dreadifare

“I’m a little sleep-deprived and this whole concept is making me laugh a lot harder than is strictly warranted.”

“Like there are so many stories on this sub of parents removing doors, taking away all technology, turning the wifi off, taking away books…. and then there’s the Hot Dog. I love it.”Dirmanavich

“Nta. Lol. Very funny because it’s harmless. It’s a good way for them to know that their actions have consequences. Very good form of punishment.”toxicdelug3

“I just had a 20-minute hysterical laughing fit that woke up all my pets and my husband because I’m just picturing a kid raking leaves or washing dishes in a HOT DOG COSTUME, and I’m WHEEZING.”

“NTA, this is HILARIOUS and brilliant.”NonConformistFlmingo

Others agreed and found the punishment to be harmless.

“NAH since you’re not trying to publicly humiliate them, the only one seeing them is their parents and siblings.”

“I think people are too serious about this – it’s a hot-dog costume. No one is getting hurt, and you said they haven’t even refused to wear it, so surely they don’t mind that much. If you guys have a good relationship… that’s just funny.”

“If my mum did this to me at 13 I’d probably laugh my a** off, wear it, and do my chores while dancing in the costume.”Vixen7-9

“From OP’s response elsewhere, it sounds like wearing the costume doubles the time of the chore. However, the extra time could be time lost to dancing.”

“I think it’s great. It’s a silly policy that provides a mild inconvenience for mild poor choices (again described elsewhere, but it’s kid stuff like skipping a Zoom class that might under normal circumstances merit no screen time for an evening).”KayakerMel

“NTA”

“It’s creative, you’re not abusing your kids by making it public (aka showing it to everyone to rub it in their faces) and you’re taking the quarantine into account to adjust what you would do in those circumstances. I’d say good parenting”SandrineSmiles

One Redditor had an idea for how to make the punishment even more interesting, which other Redditors were all for. 

“Same, I love to see this kind of thing rather than parents trying to overstep their bounds and being overly strict with kids. All it leads to is hatred on the kids’ part, which makes everyone miserable.”

“Also to OP, if affordable, you could always change the costume every month or so, make it a little more interesting lol, or go with something entirely different. Good on you for making chores at least a bit more entertaining than I had them haha”Do_Babies_Ovulate

“i recommend a banana costume”Little__MissFortune

“A pirate costume with a giant hat. Just imagine! Oh the possibilities!”varmapriyanka99

“Change the costume up to be month appropriate. Or month inappropriate depending on how you like your punishment. Hot dog in December. Elf in June.”pugandmoose

Another Redditor detailed her enjoyment in making punishments annoying, which fellow Redditors needed to hear more about. 

“NTA but I am all about creative consequences while parenting. I have a 16 yr old & as she’s gotten older, most stuff she does is because she’s busy & forgets, but it’s annoying. So my consequences are annoying.”

“Forget to unload/load the dishwasher? Congrats, the windshield of your car is covered in post-it notes, all of which say ‘Did you do the dishes? No, you didn’t.'”

“Forgot to clean up the dog poop in the backyard on your day? Well, I just meticulously hid 40 pictures of Nic Cage making weird faces in all of your stuff. Happy hunting!”

“I am absolutely adopting this costume idea though. Love it!”OpossumJesusHasRisen

“Please tell me you did the Nic Cage pictures thing. Also, I may just use it in the future, if you don´t mind.”HiromiSugiyama

“On 2 separate occasions, actually. It always takes her a good month to find them all. Another that I frequently use is going in & covering all her stuff with googly eyes (using double-sided tape so they can be easily removed because I’m not a monster).”

“And I absolutely encourage pretty much anyone to adopt this method. It’s fun for me, exercises my creativity, and while it annoys her when she finds the prank, she laughs & asks what she did if it isn’t as obvious as the post-it notes.”OpposumJesusHasRisen

Though parenting and disciplining can be hard, there are ways of making the best of it, especially according to these Redditors.

Perhaps inviting a little silliness, even during chore time, is the way to go.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.