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Parents Make Son Stay Up All Night To Watch TV After He Refuses To Go To Bed On Time

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Kids sleeping

A couple's harsh punishment for their misbehaving son is raising eyebrows online after they pushed him to exhaustion because of his refusal to go to bed.

When trying to teach kids valuable lessons, parents know that it's helpful to show kids the consequences of their misbehavior. In that regard, it's certainly fair for these parents to want to teach their kid that not going to bed on time can result in severe tiredness.

However, how they went about it is what may have caused them to lose some support.

These parents make their son stay up all night watching TV after he refused to go to bed on time.

A couple in the Hunan province of China left their 8-year-old son home alone one night. Before leaving, they told him to finish his homework and be in bed by 8:30 P.M. When they returned, a familiar situation for many parents unfolded—their son didn’t obey a word they said.

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He hadn’t finished his homework and is on the couch watching TV instead of being in bed. On top of that, he hadn’t even showered.

The boy went straight to his room after his parents walked in, but they wouldn’t let him off the hook that easily. The mother dragged him out and plops him back on the couch to continue watching TV for the rest of the night.

At first, he was calm, sitting still as he watched. Eventually, he got up to go back to bed, but his mother wasn't having it. She dragged him out and turned back on the TV. The boy clutched the remote as he sat, continuing to watch.

He intermittently cried for the next few hours until around 4 A.M., when he finally passed out.

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When he finally fell asleep on the couch, his mother woke him up.

At 4:47 A.M, the mother returned to the living room to find her son lying down, asleep. She sat him back upright, waking him up. For over half an hour, the frustrated mom sat with him, ensuring he didn’t fall back asleep. He soon started crying again.

Just under thirty minutes after 5 A.M., the kid's father enters the room and, at long last, the boy could finally go to bed.

While the mother says her tough parenting has improved her child’s behavior, the punishment itself may be somewhat cruel.

According to KidsHealth.org, children between 6 and 13 years old require 9-12 hours of sleep per night. Without enough sleep, kids may can have trouble paying attention, mood swings, and behavior problems. In this case, we hope this was just one bad night but forcing a child to compromise their health and well-being just to teach them a lesson is never acceptable.

Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly if you're familiar with some of the more outrageous opinions floating around on the internet, viewers supported the mom's approach.

“Very effective punishment! The kid will hate watching TV now,” one person commented. “A very clever punishment,” another added. “The parents also had to stay awake and suffer, but the kid got the message and learned his lesson.”

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Other people shared their own stories of this style of punishment.

“I actually did a [similar] thing with my son who was very irritating about his home cooked food but would gobble on KFC,” one person wrote. “I once made him eat a whole 12 pc bucket after a full evening of irritation..even though he did not change after that, his craving for KFC somewhat reduced.”

“This is what has happened to my friend when his mother heard he smokes,” one person commented. “She bought [a] whole packet of cigarettes for him to smoke infront of her non-stop. He begged her that he will never smoke [again] in his life.”

However, not everyone approved. Other people lashed back at their form of discipline. “Very sad. Punishment makes a child stubborn,” one person commented. “Child abuse! It’s the parents’ responsibility to regulate how much TV their children watch,” another added.

So, how should parents discipline their children?

Kim Openo, a counselor and therapist, told YourTango in December 2022, “If you want your kid to actually listen to you AND understand what he or she did wrong, you must teach them.”

Openo explained that parents’ understanding of their child’s developmental stage is imperative to how they should react. And additionally, discipline should not come from a negative place. 

“It’s all about using positive reinforcement alternatives to get your kids to listen to you and respect you,” Openo added. “When parenting is better, children are better behaved. This makes for happier kids AND parents.”

Perhaps, if the parents of the 8-year-old used positive reinforcement it would have made it a more pleasant time for the parents and the child instead of both having to stay up all night.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. He writes on entertainment and news.