Dad Locks Up Daughter's Closet Over $500 Phone Bill

We’ve heard our fair share of stories about punishments parents invent for misbehaving kids and teens. Many times, they’re really not OK (just browse our Oh Mother posts and you’ll find a few guaranteed to set you off). But this one isn’t cruel. In fact, we’re giving this dad props for creativity.

Jared Cramer’s 13-year-old daughter Julia called with some bad news about the latest phone bill. Turns out, Julia had been posting to Instagram too often, and ended up with an outrageous charge because of the data fees. The total? Exactly $541.36, according to NBC12.

So the Hanover, Virginia dad took the teen’s phone away, but also came up with an additional way to make his daughter feel responsibility for her offenses: lock up her closet and have her earn it all back by doing chores.

Each item was labeled with a number, and the figure represented the number of chores Julia would have to do. In the meantime, she was able to wear three outfits from Wal-Mart (of dad’s choosing), but her designer clothes, jewelry – even makeup – were shut away, NBC12 reports. She was also allowed to have necessities, like deodorant, a toothbrush and bar of soap.

It sounds like the teen learned her lesson, and is a pretty good kid overall. Dad told the news station Julia woke up early to do her chores and said, “You know what dad, I know you love me, I know I messed up, and I’m gonna work this off.”

Like I said, we give this dad props. He taught his daughter something valuable: In the real world, when you rack up a debt, mom and dad don’t magically pay the bill. Maybe she didn’t have to earn money and pay it herself, but the 13-year-old had to pull her weight around the house to earn her belongings back – and rightfully so. It’s an age appropriate lesson with a happy outcome. The fact that she respects her dad’s punishment and understands what she did wrong makes this story even better. No cruelty, no shaming. What a refresher.

What are your thoughts? Maybe you disagree! Did this dad do the right thing or was his punishment wrong? Let us know in the comments!


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