How and When Do We Ground Our Kids?

The rules have changed for grounding. It isn't enough to tell your child, you can't go out, not when they have technology that links them to all their friends. Tell us what you think.

When we were young, parents could tell us we were "grounded" and it meant something specific: stay home on weekend nights, no fun. But as with everything, things change.

What is "grounding" in 2011? What is the type of problem that would make you ground a child -- poor grades, disrespect, lying about something? And what exactly does it involve: some physical labor to get the point of punishment across, or just being banned from fun activities for awhile?

Now, unless you take away the cell phone and the computer, kids have access to the friends 24-7. Is grounding still an option?

Tell us what you think. 

Lisa Vasile April 13, 2011 at 11:03 PM
Ugh... that's what I feel when we have to deal with the issues that bring us to the point of punishment....Ugh! We drive our kids everywhere because they are all still younger than driving age. We have taken the phone. We have taken the internet. We have taken tv. We have said no to going to friend's houses or events. But what we struggle with is the lack of 'fear of loss'. When we were younger the fear of what my parents would make me do- or take from me- was the motivator to get my butt home, not talk back, drive the speed limit, do my chores and be 'human' to my siblings. This doesn't seem to happen at all in 2011. Our other struggle is the differences between my husband's upbringing and my own. My parents were a lot more strict. I might want to take things away (or make the kids do more chores) for a week- he might say a day. I am eager to hear ideas and comments for this one...especially as they start to drive!
Karen Raleigh April 14, 2011 at 12:20 AM
I've only grounded my oldest (11), and only once. I don't really feel like she was old enough to ground before, because she didn't really go anywhere except school and scouts and sports. I'm not really comfortable telling her she can't fulfill a commitment because she's being punished, so we did other things. This year, though, she does a lot more socially and has a phone, so we did ground her for a week once over the winter and that included taking her phone away. I think it was pretty effective even though she still saw her friends at school and practice. She still had to explain to her friends why she had no phone or why she couldn't go somewhere with them, and I think that was a little embarrassing for her.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) April 14, 2011 at 06:05 PM
I know a lot of my students, in middle and high school, were happy when I gave them good report card grades because their parents would withhold the cell phone otherwise. It was a motivator. For kids with jobs, though, it's harder. They pay for the phone.
Karen Raleigh April 14, 2011 at 08:08 PM
I paid for my phone (landline, natch) when I was a teenager and that never stopped my mom from taking it away. She'd just unplug it from the wall and keep it from me while I paid the bill!
Mary MacDonald (Editor) April 14, 2011 at 08:15 PM
;) I can remember when an operator had to cut in. (before call waiting!) And one did, on me, when I was on the phone with a friend for FIVE hours straight. My family still teases me about that.


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