26 answers

Fair Punishment?

I have a 17 year old son who plays Yugioh, which is a card game similar to magic or Pokémon. He won an invite to a national’s competition in Pennsylvania after placing in regionals. We allowed him to drive there with 3 others young adults. Their ages ranged from 19 to 23. We specifically asked him before he left to supply us with the name of the hotel, address, phone number and his room number. He said he would text it to us. He was at the hotel from Friday to Sunday. My wife had to text him several times, just to get the name of the hotel, the town and room number. He never supplied us with the address or phone number. He told us in the text, “look it up on the internet.” Now this trip was not a normal thing, it was the 1st time we’ve ever let him go this far from home without either myself or my wife’s supervision. So, when he got home, after a big discussion between my wife and me, we decided to ground him for a week, which is actually on Tuesday through Sunday. We explained to our son, that our request was simple and he neglected to be responsible and follow through with what he promised he would do. He also has a history of not doing what we ask of him, but him doing things the way he feels fit. My question is, are we being too hard on him, by grounding him for a week?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your input and advice! It was very helpfull!

Featured Answers

No, and the next time he goes away without parental supervision, he would be 18, have his own car and be paying for all his expenses.

Blessings...

4 moms found this helpful

I think you were WAY to easy on him. A week is just a good start. At my house there would be loss of the car, phone, extra chores, basically if I can think of it, its now going to affect him. If I would have told my parents to "look it up on the internet" they would have and then they would have come to get me right then. In my opinion he just proved he isn't ready for "adult responsibility" so the next time he asks to do something like that I would go with him and "shadow" him for the whole weekend.
Respect is a two-way street. If you want it you have to give it!
Best Wishes.

4 moms found this helpful

Are you kidding me...too hard on him, I would say to easy on him. He's got to understand that this is a privelege to go do something like this all by himself and he's got to prove he is responsible enough to get to do this again. You said he's got a history of doing this, sounds like you haven't been hard enough on him for a long time now, so he thinks it's ok to do what he did.

He wouldn't be going to far from home without a parent for awhile if it was me and my husband.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

This isn't a question about whether the punishment is "fair". This is about setting limits and enforcing consequences.

What I don't understand is why you didn't have the hotel information (sans room number) before you even let him leave. Did you even have the cell numbers of the guys he traveled with? Had you met them before? If not - lazy.

It sounds like you give your son a lot of freedom and then wonder why he thinks he can do whatever he wants. Either set limits and enforce them or don't, but I feel this is too little too late.

10 moms found this helpful

If my son had text me "Look it up on the internet". I would have looked it up on the internet, gone there and picked him up, offered his friends a ride home and left with the car.

If you feel that grounding him for a week after that behavior, then you raised him to act like he did and to NOT RESPECT you and your wife and your rules. At 17 its a little late to start over and teach him, but not too late. If he has graduated from High School, you have less control than if he is a senior.

I would attach rules and requirements to using the car, jobs to do around the house, school work, part time jobs and saving for a "rainy day", etc.

Good luck to you and yours.

6 moms found this helpful

I would not have even let him go without the info up front. Grounding is not too harsh, but will not do any good if you do not follow things through each time he does not give the info you need to make sure things are safe. I even call my mom and let her know when my family is going away and where we will be staying just in case. If you need info and he will not give it, he loses. Plain and simple.

6 moms found this helpful

Pshaw.

You didn't look it up on the internet and go pick him up right then and there (which is what my parents would have done), and then have him refund you any and all money you spent on the trip.

I've grounded my EIGHT year old for a week for less disrespectful behavior.

I cannot say what I would do in your place, since my son is 9. But what I DO know is that whatever you do will set the tone for any future trips.

But I TOTALLY get you double checking/sounding board with us... I'm about to do the same.

5 moms found this helpful

You are not being hard enough IMO. When I was 16 a week from 17, I went to a friends' party and it got late, I had a few drinks earlier in the night so I crashed at my friend's house but I never told my mom that I was going to crash overnight or answered my pager. Next morning I called home and drove home quickly because if I didn't get my butt home my mom was going to take my junker and I was going to have to bike 7 miles to & from work for the next several months. It was already late September and I knew my mom would have me walk in the snow to make sure I knew that driving was a privilege not a right. I ended up grounded for a month without my car. I never made that mistake again, even when I was an adult living under her roof.

The next year after I was 18, I went to a convention at a hotel for a weekend that I paid for including the hotel room. My mom had the hotel information, the number for the hotel and the convention organizers, the names of who I was going to be with and their cell numbers, and I had to call a few times while there to check in. I did it because my parents made it very clear that once I turned 18 and was out of high school that I could live with them and follow their rules or move out. I knew if I didn't do as expected of me I would be coming home to my mom helping me pack and told when I was expected to move out.

5 moms found this helpful

No, and the next time he goes away without parental supervision, he would be 18, have his own car and be paying for all his expenses.

Blessings...

4 moms found this helpful

Not sure, as my kids are much younger, but it sounds to me like you're doing things in the wrong order. You said he often does not follow through, but maybe you need to make sure he does everything before he can leave.

Do not let him leave until he gives you all of that information. Maybe you need to be getting it from him a few days before he goes.

"He also has a history of not doing what we ask of him, but him doing things the way he feels fit."

It won't be long before he turns 18. You really need to begin to require things ahead of time. Otherwise he is learning that he may or may not get caught for not doing what you want. Teach him to be responsible by requiring him to be responsible in order to get what he wants. You're not going to teach him responsibility by grounding him after the fact.

Positive reinforcement is always much more effective than punishment.

4 moms found this helpful

I think you were WAY to easy on him. A week is just a good start. At my house there would be loss of the car, phone, extra chores, basically if I can think of it, its now going to affect him. If I would have told my parents to "look it up on the internet" they would have and then they would have come to get me right then. In my opinion he just proved he isn't ready for "adult responsibility" so the next time he asks to do something like that I would go with him and "shadow" him for the whole weekend.
Respect is a two-way street. If you want it you have to give it!
Best Wishes.

4 moms found this helpful

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