7 Things Parents Should Know About Grounding [Teen Article]

7 Things Parents Should Know About Grounding

7 Things Parents Should Know About GroundingCathy is a 17 year-old from Seatac, WA. She spends her time watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reflecting, and listening to various types of music as she's writing her thoughts away. She hopes to live through her passions.

Cathy is a 17 year-old from Seatac, WA. She spends her time watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reflecting, and listening to various types of music as she’s writing her thoughts away. She hopes to live through her passions.

If you think back to when you were a teen it is probably a fuzzy collection of both good and bad times. Like the time you told your parents you were going to the football game and how after you ended up going to a friends party. You probably also remember how mad your parents were when you came back home almost two hours late. They took your car keys and grounded you for two months. You fought with them and yelled at them and didn’t learn your lesson because you did it about two or three more times in the following months. Now it is your turn to discipline your teen and you are having the same problem your parents had. It is tough being a parent, but keep these seven tips and ideas in mind from my personal experience and observation. It might help.

1. Do not ground them so much. Grounding them constantly will only make them used to it. It begins to lose its threat and eventually they continue to do what they want without fearing any consequences.

2. That being said do not ground them for long periods of time. Over time they will only forget why they were being grounded in the first place and you might too. Pretty soon it doesn’t feel like they are grounded and life resumes as if they were not grounded. I have seen it happen. Do not ground them for long periods of times such as a month long, especially without explaining why what they did was wrong. Which brings us to point number three.

3. Many times we are told we are grounded and that is the end of the discussion. We both know wrong was done, but that is not always enough. Take advantage of the situation and use it as time to talk. Explain why it was wrong and how you feel. It helps you set ground rules that you can both live with.

4. Constantly grounding us can have an effect on us in a different emotional level that you might not expect. Sometimes it can feel like no matter what we do we are always wrong. No matter what choice we make it is always bad. Being constantly grounded might begin to make the teen feel like a bad seed causing them to act out because of it. This is when grounding stops working and in fact, makes things worse.

5. Do not forget the power of sincere emotions. Sometimes just seeing your disappointed mother’s face is enough to set us straight. The one thing we can’t bear to hear is that we disappointed you. This would be a good time to switch gears. Tell them they are not grounded but that the trust is gone. They will think twice about asking you to go out next time, and make the effort to improve on what they did wrong. They will want to prove you can trust them and that they are capable of being responsible.

6. Do not rely on taking things away from them, such as their cell phone. They know they will eventually get it back. Remember to open up to them and talk about it so the punishment is more of a learning experience than it is a week without something they know they will get returned.

7. Keep your emotions in check. I know you may be angry and your first instinct is to yell but before you do remember this: you have control over the situation. You set the tone. If you begin yelling you will only get them to start yelling. You will both have your defenses up and nothing will get through. We react to you. The quickest way to stopping the lines of communication is to start it off by screaming at them. This just makes both sides feel like they are the right one. Constantly yelling creates distance between you. Set the tone and calmly talk through it. It will bring you closer and you might even learn something from each other.

Discipline can be really hard for the parent and teen. Remember that discipline should be a learning process. Most importantly, remember that you are looking out for the well being of your of your son or daughter and let that be reflected in your conversations. This way you both benefit.

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If you liked this article get more Radical Parenting in our new book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?

  • http://www.youthcoachingacademy.com Harry Singha

    Keep up the magnificent work
    You are making an amazing difference.
    Do let me know how I may add value

    Stay blessed
    Harry Singha
    Chairman, Youth Coaching Academy

  • http://www.parental-intelligence.com Bob Collier

    Fortunately, grounding is not a universal practice. As amazing as it might seem, there are many parents who would not even think of being so disrespectful to their children’s natural desire to have what they want.

  • Vanessa Van Petten

    thanks Harry!

  • furious

    This sounds great and all, but to actually get it to work is tougher. What if you have a child who constantly breaks the rules. If you ground them from video games and computer they will go to the school and play them there. No matter what they are not being grounded nor are they learning anything other than the way around the punishment. My child has been grounded and cannot bring items like games and consoles from other kids into my house without permission. When he’s grounded, he sneaks these items anyway. When he’s caught for them he is obviously grounded from tv and electronics, but he’ll just go to school the next day and play them there. These kids don’t know what grounding means anymore. My suggestion for my teen is to ground him from the computer and games all summer long. He can’t sneak them then or play them at school. So let me guess, this is bad parenting?

  • emily

    i totally agree 100% but im the teenager and my mom is the one who grounds me . when they ground me and im constantly yelling at them and agrueing with them and it brings my self-esteem down soo much and they have no clue what it does to me, i feel they are just grounding me to torture me, i learn my lesson the minute my mom looks at me and is like im soo disappointed in you, what happened to my angel. i hate my parents when they ground me even if they are doing it for my own good if they loved and cared for me they wouldnt take everything away is constantly my words. we teens rebel when we feel not important to our parents or they dont give us enough freedom, or they just simply dont trust us. i HATE that. my parents dont trust me and wonder why lie to them, well i lie to them because i dont have any freedom my mom doesnt let me hang with guys and she checks my text messages every single night it drives me crazy. she says she trusts me but thats not trust. my parents show no love to me, im constantly upset about family, school, boyfriends and not once does my mom ask whats wrong or talk to me when i am, unless to tell me to shut up and stop crying it really hurts. but i totally agree with you (:

  • Brittany

    my parents ground me and it does not work. i’ve basically been grounded for three years and it’s pointless. with my parents, i get things taken away for bad grades. however, even if i improve my grades and keep them up, i am still punnished for the grades that once were.
    also, i get told i am grounded. but not for how long. i don’t get told what i can do to get ungrounded, and am never told when i am un grounded. the real punishment for me is the dissapointment from my dad. i no longer fear the disapointment from my step mom because she has told other family members that she is done with me, that she doesn’t want to be with me. how can you expect your teen to respect you if you frequently express how much you dislike them?

    respect comes with love and respect has to go both ways to work. even if you think not, your kids love you. they’re not trying to torture you. they’re not trying to mess up all the time. but it’s hard to not mess up all the time when the only things parents recognize are the mistakes.
    let go of the past, they’ve learned from their mistakes and bringing up everything they’ve messed up, just makes them forget the good about themselves.
    we neeed friends. friends are people we can comfortably talk to. and we need to talk and express our emotions and feel loved.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X3RKUKR7LZY2CTHGVHC7Z62DZM Taylor

    I’ve been grounded for over two months now, I live with my father which has taken away the things i love and desire the most, over one “F” on a report card from two months ago, I try hard in school i really do, and all he does is put me down and yell for no reason at me.
    I have exactly no idea when i”m ungrounded, and its only made it worse for me as im miserable, and depressed, angry, sad, etc. My father acts in unruly ways towards me, calling me names,and hurt me every way possible, he has no idea how much it emotionally hurts me as he the only one person i can really trust to protect me, keep me safe, etc. I do so much around the house, such as clean and make bed, vacuum, wash dishes, sweep floors, take out garbage, and more. Not once has he tried to help me with my school grades, or anything . I give so much but receive nothing but anger and hate towards me.
    Now…I’m done with this shit, and the only way im going to get back what he had no right to take away from me, is to physically take it back myself, ive been patent. I dont know what his problem is, but he doesnt need to take me down with him. Im done. Im just a victim of all of this.