The Brady Bunch : Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

I think Mike and Carol were pretty good parents for the most part. However, some of their discipline was stupid and annoying. One instance that comes to mind is the one with Peter breaking the vase. I thought it was so stupid that they devise this scheme to get Peter to confess. They have him decide the punishments for all the other kids. Totally crazy. Then, when that doesn't work, they buy him a new lantern to make him feel even more guilty. If they knew Peter did it, then why not just confront him? If they had asked him point blank, he would have admitted it.

And, why take a whole camping trip away from a kid just for some stupid vase? I understand they had a rule about not playing ball in the house, but good grief. That seems harsh. Further, Greg should have been punished too. In fact, Greg should have been punished even more. It was HIS idea to play ball in the house in the first place. It just by chance was Peter's shot that broke the vase. It could have just as easily been Greg's shot that slipped and went downstairs. Greg started the whole thing and then acted like it was all Peter's fault.

Another time is when Greg gets grounded for driving a friend's car to get concert tickets. Greg was right. Mike said that Greg couldn't drive THEIR car. He said that specifically. Mike did NOT say that Greg couldn't drive ANY car. I can see why Greg was upset about that. Then there is the one where Marcia is grounded. Why would Mike plan a family ski trip when Marcia is grounded? And, this is early on when Marcia was still getting used to Mike as her father. He was way too hard on her. You don't plan a family ski trip and then not allow one kid to go. And, even if they're grounded in general, they should still be able to go places with their own family.

Greg, Marcia, and Peter are the only ones that I remember being punished. Granted, it has been a long time since I have seen all the episodes, but I never remember the others being punished for anything. I remember Mike warning Cindy that if she tattled again she would be punished, but she didn't do it again so it ended there. Then Bobby got his parents upset when he was doing the Jesse James thing and also when he was the school monitor, but he is not punished. And, Mike is going to punish Jan via grounding when she rides her bicycle without her glasses until she tells him that she sold her bike to pay for the new picture. He decides that is punishment enough. I'm sure I'm forgetting about episodes though.

Finally, do you think Mike and Carol ever spanked the children? Spanking is never mentioned. Granted, even in the first season, the kids are a little too old for spanking. Greg and Marcia were certainly too old. The other four might have still been young enough. I suspect that Mike and Carol might have used spanking on occasion, but very sparingly.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods


Then there is the one where Marcia is grounded. Why would Mike plan a family ski trip when Marcia is grounded? And, this is early on when Marcia was still getting used to Mike as her father. He was way too hard on her. You don't plan a family ski trip and then not allow one kid to go.


If I remember right, the ski trip was already planned before Marcia was punished.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

How far would one have to travel from LA to go skiing?

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

I have no idea. Were the Bradys in LA? I know they were in driving distance of a beach, but so are a lot of people.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Even tho they never mentioned what state they were even in it just seemed implied they were in California and in the LA area.
As for skiing you could get to the mountains in a couple hours or less depending on which resort you go to. One could go to Mexico, mountains, beach, desert etc in a couple hours time....but gong to the next state would be another couple hours. Lol

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

In terms of spanking, I don't think they did. Granted, it was a much more acceptable form of punishment back in those days but Mike was would have to preferred "reasoning...calm, cool reasoning"

God created the domestic cat so that humans could know what it's like to caress the tiger

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

That's a good one, Phil! Calm, cool reasoning. Carol was probably more likely to spank the girls before she married Mike. I can see her doing it when it was just her and the girls. Probably never Cindy, but perhaps Jan and Marcia on occasion.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods


discipline was stupid and annoying


as is all discipline in the eyes of children brats...



Oh God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Which is sad when you think about it because Mike really liked getting spanked.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

I've always looked at the broken vase scenario as Mike and Carol not punishing the kids for the broken vase, but for the cover-up, which was perpetrated by all. Of course, Carol would have been upset that the boys had been playing ball in the house, regardless of who actually threw the ball, but I doubt her punishment would have been as severe as taking away his camping trip. Something more along the lines of doing extra chores to work off the damaged vase would seem more in-line with what the parents probably would have gone along with.

As far as Mike saying Greg couldn't drive the car? If he had just said that Greg couldn't drive, then there would be no episode. Mike even admitted that he could have been more clear and let Greg off the hook for the car incident, but held him accountable to exact words since. The whole point of the story was to show that, while people can reasonably infer a meaning, playing the 'exact words' card has pros and cons both ways, too.

Finally, while Mike and Carol were never seen spanking the kids, spanking is referenced in a couple of episodes. I'm guessing that corporal punishment was used when the children were young, and only as a last resort.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

they probably figured that the anguish they all went through with hiding it, getting alice involved, covering for each other that they did their own punishment.

it seems to me that you are screwed any way you turn with the vase...

you see something and keep your mouth shut, you get in trouble anyway because you didn't tattle.
you say something and you could either a: get called a tattle tale and/or [mostly and] get snubbed by the rest of the kids for snitching.

you did it and you could either tell on yourself or not. if you did, that could go one of two ways... 1: parents would go easier on you because you fessed up and came to them or 2: you'd get thwacked. most kids, no matter who their parents are, are scared shi7less of getting hit and that is the reason why they keep their 'oopsies' quiet/try to fix it themselves.
you did it and didn't tell: when you get found out, the punishment would be probably worse than they imagined because they didn't fess up to begin with.

most of the rules were in place so that the house can 'continue to have nice things' [god, how often did we hear this??]. they were not told not to play ball in the house because ma and pa brady were douchebags, but to teach them there is a time and place for everything.

I often say this to my students: I am not saying no to be mean, but for x/y/Z. usually 'safety' was the reason.

and when a kid fessed up to something I always went easier on them than if I found out by myself. It takes a lot of courage to admit your goofs in real life and most people [especially adults] don't take responsibility for their actions, intentional or accidental. it is trait I admire.




Oh God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Great analysis of the cause/ effect relationships!


they probably figured that the anguish they all went through with hiding it, getting alice involved, covering for each other that they did their own punishment.



I guess in Seinfeld terms, the kids went all the way to the Hamptons on this one!

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

In this clip, Florence Henderson admits to spanking her real-life children:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=343cJK8TIF8

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

that was how disciplining and raising children was done in most cases. it was not abuse but discipline and child rearing.

Oh God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

this is just one of those things: if I were >whatever< where would I go/be/hide?

you have to think like a child would think when writing a child character.

Oh God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Just think? It's a known fact that many of the story lines originated directly from the conversation around the Schultz dinner table or what happened in the Schultz family. Was this one of them?

On another subject, spanking should be something that happens rarely and other punishments, i.e., time outs, extra chores, etc. should be used frequently with spanking reserved for times when a child deliberately breaks the rules and all other measures have failed. When spanking is necessary the dignity of the child should be preserved with spanking done "behind the woodshed" and should be administered with a paddle on the child's backside only. If a child misbehaves due to being tired, hungry, faced with a new situation or a break in their normal routine, they should definitely not be punished. In these cases, simply correcting the situation, i.e., giving the child a snack, removal from stressful situations, and/or a time out will usually fix the problem. When children know that it's possible to get spanked, inwardly they are actually glad because that means they have a boundary and all children need clear boundaries.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

I wish I knew who came up with the term 'Time Out' for punishments, but I bet it was someone who felt really guilty for punishing their kids when they acted up. And I'm willing to bet their kids acted up a lot, because of such a lax deterrent for misbehaving.

What a lame concept. In sports, a 'time out' isn't even a punishment, it's a REWARD. It's a break from the action to catch your breath so you feel better to go back out and play! Teams like having time outs...they're a GOOD thing. They should have been more accurate by calling them 'Penalty Minutes' (hockey) or use the card system (Yellow or Red in Soccer).

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

eh... well we can't hit them anymore so there's that.

but I don't use a time out as a reward but a break from the situation. something everyone involved needs believe it or not. I always called it Take some Time. and it was not a punishment, but take a break from the situation, usually with a glass of cool water. it's either that or hair gets pulled out and eyes get punched black.


and with most children... the issue regarding whatever happened lies with the parents. I don't care how old the child is [unless younger than 3] when you bite someone it is a no no and that behavior is coming from somewhere. not saying the parents are always at fault but the child might be retaliating from -- a new baby in the family. even if the parents DON'T neglect their older child, that might not be what the child perceives.

or we should do what they do now... nothing and then the kids smuggle guns in to school. already happened once so far and we've only had school be in session for 2 days.

Oh God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

I would normally use timeout not so much as a punishment but to give the kid a chance to rest and recoup. Sometimes kids "misbehave" because they are tired, overwhelmed, or just stressed out. A time out gives them a necessary break.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Please explain who Schultz is? What does the Schultz family's (whoever they are) dinner conversation have to do with the Brady Bunch? Thanks....

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

My bad. I really meant to refer to Sherwood Schwartz, the producer of the Brady Bunch.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods


Please explain who Schultz is?


He was a sergeant at Stalag 13. He knew nothing. Nothing!

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Charles Schultz. Cartoonist who drew our lovable loser Charlie Brown. Kid had a dog who would write about a WWI ace flyer or Joe Cool.


Oh God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Well the other kids were being dishonest also covering for Peter, so I think that's ONE reason they wanted them to be SEMI punished anyway.

And no I don't believe Mike and Carol spanked, that seemed pretty obvious.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

It annoyed me when they at first told Marcia that she could not have her slumber party. They did not believe Marcia over the drawing, yet they believed Greg who had been caught smoking the day before and then had a pack of cigarettes. Did not make sense.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

The vase episode: I never understood why Carol tried handing Peter the vase without ensuring he had it before walking away, and handing it to him while he was mowing the lawn.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

I agree. Those punishments were stupid.

Re: Kids' Punishments and Mike and Carol's disciplinary methods

Mike and Carol were just really lucky that their kids were so square that they never got into any real trouble or came back at them with actual attitude.




Sometimes a movie or tv show plot is so stupid that only the stupid can understand it.
Top