Total Pageviews

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Argument For Disciplining Your Kid: Grounding

I'm sick to death of people not disciplining their kids.  Please, do society a favor and stop pussy-footing around.  You all are raising  a bunch of spoiled, entitled, tuned-out, obnoxious, lazy kids.  OK, so you don't want to do the Corporal Punishment thing.  Spanking is so passe, you say.  
How about denial?  How about good, old-fashioned Grounding?  The older kid equivalent of a Time Out.   Time-outs seems to work until they start get, well, sassy.  
My dad was a pretty tough guy and he brooked no nonsense.  You absolutely knew he loved you (never, ever a question about that). But he had his rules and regs and you'd better obey.  Or else.  You certainly knew where the boundaries were.

I got grounded as teenager.  Seriously grounded.

Age: fifteen.

My offense was staying out past curfew, way past, and didn't call.  Frankly, if they REALLY knew where I really was and what I was doing, I wouldn't be around to write this.  It really was pretty bad. Another person was involved which is why I can't post it on a public forum.  I have no problem admitting to really pissing off my dad when I was almost arrested.  Twice in one evening.  In Clearwater, Florida.   But that's another story.

When people talk about grounding their kids, they need to talk to me.

I was grounded for FOUR weeks.

I think it may have originally been a week but I believe I got testy with my mother, who of course told Dad and it immediately got jacked up to four.

Grounding: No phone, ONE hour of TV a day, no overnights at friends' houses except parent-approved friends, no after school activities except for the play I was rehearsing and I got picked up immediately afterwards. So essentially no hanging out. Except at home. No closed doors.

"NO TV!!??  What will I do???"

"Read a book, write, do art, listen to music, go for a walk around HERE." We lived in the country then.

I had to care for my horse but could only ride him around the property (about a mile).  We did a lot of circles, that horse and I. I also had to groom our Yorkshire terrier which neither one of us enjoyed very much. I had to do dishes everyday and once a week I had to scrub the steps' carpeting.  By hand with a brush, Cheer detergent and water.  (Which, ironically, is probably the best way to do it.)

When I complained about the hard work, my mother said instead I could clean the whole house (which was big) and she'd give the cleaning lady 4 weeks off if I thought that was a better alternative.

Scrub-scrub, shut up.

When I groused about the whole thing, my dad said,

"You want to make it 6 weeks?" I gave him The Teenage Rolling Eyed Look And Groan. Oh, big mistake.

He said, "You just made it six."

Gulp. Are you -----ing me?  SIX????

A few days into it, I got snarky again, and he said, "You want to make it eight weeks AND have to explain why you had to drop out of the play and not fulfill your commitment? 'My father grounded me which is why I have to drop out.' That is what you'll have to tell them.  I'll go with you to make sure."

Humiliation. Double-gulp.

They did let me go to the cast party but I had to be home at 11:30.  I did call and ask if I could stay until midnight and they actually let me stay until 12:30. Mind you, I didn't drive and so I had to make sure I got home, someone had to take me. I always called if I was going to be late after that. I was on time that night because it was almost at the end of Grounding Purgatory and I didn't want to foul it up.

I have to say both parents were pretty tough because they had to put up for days with the rolling-eyed, grumbling, horrible attitude that only a hateful teenager can do. The next big threat was taking my horse away and since they'd done THAT once already, I straightened my attitude up.  I just bitched out of sight and hearing.  My horse heard most of it.  He was a good listener.

Lesson learned.  If they even threatened to ground me again, I was sweating bullets.

I guess my dad figured if he survived living on the streets of Cleveland as a young teenager, sleeping on friends' sofas for years, high school with a job, boot camp, OSS training, trying to rein in a bunch of Kraut-Killing Frenchmen in World War Two,  law school while working three jobs with two kids, I'd survive four weeks of "restricted duty."

HOWEVER --- tough as he was; if anyone messed with or bullied me, my dad was all over that like stink on rice. He'd take on anyone, any organization. Just ask the 1960s Lakewood School Board. And my maternal grandmother.  SHE was "grounded" for six months!  But that's another story.

In conclusion, I believe grounding works. Nowadays, people are loath to spank their kids.  I'm on the fence about that.  Sometimes a swat on the arse gets a kid's attention.  Time-outs can be effective, I guess.  Getting sent to your room with no electronics works too.  Pitching/donating their un-cared for stuff is pretty effective.
But for the older kids, that charming eight-on-up, that hard core plugged-in kid, that sassy, mouthy smart-aleck, ungrateful brat you raised I say:

Ground 'Em.

You're not their damn friend.  You're not their slave, cleaning person, personal maid. You are their parent.  If you don't set up those chores, rules and regs, society and work will.

Take it all away.

They won't die.  I didn't.

No comments:

Post a Comment