We have all done it. Your kid does that one thing one more time that drives you crazy. Whether it is being late for dinner or playing rough in the house, the result is the same. You lose it and tell them they are grounded. Probably the same way your own parents did. But does grounding kids really change behavior? Or does it just make us feel better.
Grounding Kids – The Good and Bad
A recent radio show asked their listeners if they stuck with what they said when they grounded their kids. The result shouldn’t have been that surprising. About half of the parents who called in said they relented almost as soon as they pronounced the kid was grounded. Perhaps this was because for many of us our memories of the pain of spankings or groundings are much more vivid than the actual transgression.
If you can’t recall why you were grounded, what is the point? Experts back this up, saying that such punishments as grounding only lead to resentment in kids. They don’t learn from the action. So what can you do when grounding isn’t the solution? For many, the answer lies in redemption.
Redemption – Modeling Behavior with Action
Grounding kids doesn’t give them any reason to change behaviors. But giving them a chance to redeem themselves can. The two can go hand in hand when used sparingly and without withdrawing you own support. If the child was playing rough in the house despite being told repeatedly not to – especially if the result is damaging something, grounding is a beginning. But give them a chance to redeem themselves from it. Perhaps they can do extra chores and earn their way out of grounding. If they have money saved, perhaps they can pay to repair the broken item.
Whatever you choose, redemption allows them a chance to learn how to take responsibility for their own actions. While grounding kids may be the knee-jerk reaction of parents who were raised with it – there are ways to use it minimally with redemptive behavior. After all, changing the behavior begins with understanding why it needs to change. In the end grounding kids so they sit in their rooms angry solves nothing.