Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grounding teens?

Rating: Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness
           10                       10                           10             10
Comment: Thank you so much! You gave me some new insights into my problem.

Questioner: Mom

Subject: Alternatives to grounding

Question: My daughter is 16 years old, and hasn't had any problems until just recently. She has gotten grounded a couple of times this year for coming home late, and we took this offense very seriously starting by grounding her for one day for being 2 minutes late, then one week, then two weeks.

 During this time, we took away all privileges such as cell phone, leaving the house, and having people over. Just recently we noticed a couple of alcoholic beverages missing from the cabinet; we checked her room and were puzzled to find two beer bottles in her closet. We imminently grounded her until further notice, which she did not take lightly. She continued to beg and plea, saying that she'd do anything to avoid getting grounded.

My daughter is definitely what i would define as a social person, so i can understand her apprehensive attitude toward being grounded. And I'm sure she does feel a bit "trapped", having been grounded over half of her sophomore year. I was just wondering how we should punish her, maybe some kind of alternative to grounding.

Thanks for your advice.



Answer: Dear Mom,

You are not going to want to hear this however, either there is something you haven't shared here or you are way out of bounds. You have a 16 year old who has not had any problems until just recently and she was grounded 1 day for being 2 minutes late? thne one week then two weeks??? If she truly has been no problem until now maybe she still isn't the problem.

Grounded an entire day for being 2 minutes late is punitive. Besides using an ineffective behavior modification this is just rigid to say the least and a sure fire way to take a good kid and start creating one who is going to REBEL.

How does one get grounded for over half of her sophomore year without having been a problem before this? How does she end up with all of her priviledges taken away for being a few minutes late? Something is not adding up here.

I would love to share my thoughts with you however you will need to come clean here. Remember setting an example of honesty is just plain good parenting and a wonderful example for your daughter. Children learn from what we do not from what we say. In the meantime, try praising her or reinforcing her good behavior for a while unless we are dealing with a serious drinking problem here which has been developing for sometime.

In this case please get her in to be screened and assessed for a drinking problem and find an alanon program for yourselves to deal with the reality of the situation.
Best Wishes.

M Kay Keller

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