27 answers

Punishment... I Think I Messed Up....

My 5 year old was caught swiping Easter candy, hiding the wrappers, and then she LIED about it.... so she's grounded this weekend. No TV, no friends, no fun. My 7 year old (RIGHT after her sister got in trouble) colored on her bedsheets (which yes was stupid, but I'm actually kind of impressed because she was making 'printed sheets' instead of plain... totally creative, but not on my dime! She's always doing artsy stuff like this, but it usually destroys something.) Anyway, she's grounded too.

They're really, REALLY good girls, this stuff was just dumb so for the first time ever, they're grounded so I can prove a point, the point being negative behavior (especially the LYING, that's what I'm soooo disappointed about).

BUT... this is where I may have messed up. My fiances birthday is Saturday. All our friends will be there with their kids. I mean, what do I do? Make them sit next to me the entire time? Give a temporary reprieve JUST for the birthday cookout? I always stick by my guns, and I'm all about some tough love, but this seems really extreme, even for me, if they can't run around with the other kids for the 2 hours we'll be together.

Can I update the punishment, make them each write 'I'm sorry, I won't do 'x' again because it's naughty' or something, like 20 times each, so they earn the play time? What would YOU do?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

LOL this question makes me laugh because I remember being in SO much trouble and having something REALLY fun coming up! My mom would make us think we weren't going to be able to go to whatever it was but since she really had no other choice she'd tell us at the very last minute that we could but that "we were STILL in trouble"! We always still felt REALLY bad for what we had done and I never remember thinking that I had "gotten out" of bieng punished but we still had fun at whatever the thing was we got to go to. :o)
Good Luck! I hope you find something that works for ya'll!

5 moms found this helpful

For us, family activities aren't included in punishments, unless its to amuzement parks, movies, etc.

Go to the party. When playing with the kids they'll have to ask you first, but then the punishment gets put back on track after the party.

3 moms found this helpful

Yeah I'd just sit them down and tell them I forgot about the party but they are still grounded. Just let them go to the party and have a good time, then after the party, right back to the grounding regimen. I wouldn't have them miss the party bc as you said this is a family thing, in fact I think they should be expected to be there. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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OHHH honey this is why we think ahead before us parents dish out punishments..She is 5 yrs old eating candy when she wasn't suppose to then hiding the wrappers then lied about it to me for my punisihment (which I have done)is to throw away the candy.You gave her 3 punishments 1 for each thing she did for a 5 yr old & now your not happy about the decision you made.Now for the 7 yr old she colored on bed sheets an explanation to why that isn't appropriate your upset & have her strip the bed,tke them to the washer show her how to load them in begin the wash afterwards to the dryer,then remaking the bed that would of been my punishment.It is punishments that fit the behavior.
Talk to them soon let them know that lying isn't a good choice,& drawing on things that aren't to be drawn on isn't going to be accepted let them know how you feel then let them speak tell them about the party that they will be allowed to play wioth the other kids but their punishments will still remain for the rest of the weekend

7 moms found this helpful

LOL this question makes me laugh because I remember being in SO much trouble and having something REALLY fun coming up! My mom would make us think we weren't going to be able to go to whatever it was but since she really had no other choice she'd tell us at the very last minute that we could but that "we were STILL in trouble"! We always still felt REALLY bad for what we had done and I never remember thinking that I had "gotten out" of bieng punished but we still had fun at whatever the thing was we got to go to. :o)
Good Luck! I hope you find something that works for ya'll!

5 moms found this helpful

What did you ground them from? Fun? That's not possible. When you ground make it very specific. You are grounded from your tv. Not just randomly grounded. You can't cancel fun. Kids will have fun with a cardboard box. I see no problem with clarifying this with them. That's an important lesson to teach too. "Your father and I discussed it and we are choosing to ammend your punishment. We have decided you will be on restriction from all electronics, no tv, computer, telephone. There will be no friends over, other than for the bbq of course. If all goes well and you follow the rules, you will be off restriction on Tuesday" or whatever.

4 moms found this helpful

Grounding is a last resort here. It just doesn't work and ends up being a hassle for me. ]:)

Instead, we remove privileges that have a chance to be earned back and we have natural consequences.

So for instance, when my lactose intolerant child once ate some milk chocolate and then lied about it, I didn't punish her because her punishment was stomach cramps and diarrhea for 24 hours. I didn't have to do a thing and she hasn't touched chocolate that isn't safe ever since. Natural consequence.

When it comes to the sheets, your 7 year old can now learn how to wash a load of sheets. Walk her through the whole thing. And now her bed has to use those sheets even if the crayon or marker or whatever she used even if it won't wash out completely and they look ugly. They are now HER sheets. See? Natural consequence.

Your 5 year old must throw away her own garbage, and her tummy probably didn't feel too good after eating all of that chocolate.

What I'd do now is sit with both of your girls and have a frank talk about lying. Let them know that telling the truth is always better than lying even if they think they'll get in trouble. I always tell my girls that they'll get in less trouble if they tell the truth, and sometimes they might not actually get in trouble at all because what they lie about isn't worth lying about to begin with. It's the lying itself that gets them in trouble.

4 moms found this helpful

For us, family activities aren't included in punishments, unless its to amuzement parks, movies, etc.

Go to the party. When playing with the kids they'll have to ask you first, but then the punishment gets put back on track after the party.

3 moms found this helpful

I would tell them if they toe the line today and in the morning then they can go to the party, but that the rest of the punishment still stands. That way you get very well behaved kids while you are preparing for the party, and you are still sticking to your guns. Why not use it to your benefit? :)

3 moms found this helpful

Here is the thing with the birthday party, you will be punishing the other kids by continuing the punishment during the party. Those kids are looking forward to the birthday party and playing with them. It is unfair to make them suffer for their bad behavior. At least this is the logic I always used on my kids when their grounding fell on an event like a family birthday.

I hate lying!!! We have punishments for specific behavior, that punishment is doubled, no discussion, if I find out they lied to cover it up. If they did something and fessed up before I even find out the punishment is cut in half. I have raised some really honest kids doing this.

2 moms found this helpful

You aren't the first parent who got themselves into a pickle like this.:)

I try to make the consequence relevant to the actions that needed correction. Your five year old lied because she knew she was getting into trouble for sneaking candy. I think my response would have been "No sweets for you for X amount of time." and a discussion about how not telling the truth damages your trust in her, and this has a great consequence: she should have to spend the day playing within *your* sightlines, wherever you need to be (except the bathroom,unless you are cleaning it) and spend their day next to you: when you do laundry, she would have to be in the laundry room with you; when you cook, she would have to stay in the kitchen, etc. She doesn't get the fun of doing things "with" you, but must stay in sight. My sister did this with her son and his conclusion was "Mom's really boring and I want her to trust me again."

When it comes to writing on her sheets, your older daughter would either need to buy new sheets out of her 'fun' money (does she receive an allowance? For the near future, half of her weekly allowance could go to repaying you for the replacement of damaged property.) The other option would be that she would have to 'live with it' until you were ready to buy new sheets again, whenever that is. Personally, I'd have her replace the item because you don't want to have a reminder that coloring on the sheets is tolerated.

Or a third option would be to hire a babysitter during the party and let them be in one part of the house-- no fun, no tv-- and tell them they must stay there. Here's the thing-- you made an impression with the grounding, but it isn't relevant to what they *did*. Writing something 20 times isn't always helpful, either, esp. for a 5 year old.

If it were me, I'd have a discussion with the girls; let them know that you picked the wrong punishment (but not why you feel it's not going to work-- don't undermine yourself by explaining this to them) and that you've thought it over and This New Plan (whatever you decide to be the consequence) is what's going to happen. Be clear that they don't get to 'go back' to the grounding because they don't like the newer consequences, you are the parent and you are not "negotiating" a consequence for them. I think you might find that the consequences I suggested will make more of an impression on them, too. And no, I would not set a precedent of letting them 'earn' their way back out of the punishment you suggested. If it were me, I'd realize that I had likely been angry when these things happened, had acted hastily, and should just change it from a punishment to a consequence instead of providing loopholes which, in real life, don't usually exist with punishments.

2 moms found this helpful

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