Birthdays and Grounded.

Updated on September 20, 2013
H.A. asks from Scottsdale, AZ
20 answers

So my sons best friends birthday party is on Sat. My son was grounded for getting an F in science and math and so he cant do anything outside the house besides school intill his grade is at a high C.He hates me because his friends party and i said yes before his groundings.I dont know if he should miss it or just go,what would you mamas do? EDIT:Mamas,My son is almost 9 and his school wont allow him to pass wth F's,And this is the way i was taught and i am teaching him that F's are bad in may have not grounded him so i did.Also he had a big project in science, and did not turn that in and he started in july so it is not early and he got bad grades on his math tests.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I toke him off his grounding and if his grades are not approve by fall break (here in AZ it is next friday) He gets no computer,no TV anything.Just books.

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Birthdays only happen once per year. If this is his good friend I would let him go. It's the kid who's party it is that will be disappointed.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Since it's his best friend's birthday party and you said yes before the grounding, I would let him go. But have him make it up to you some other way. If he wants to go to the party, make him do extra chores to make up for it. That way he is still getting the punishment but he's not missing out on his best friend's birthday party.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Portland on

I suggest that grounding a 9 yo for a failing grade is counter productive. You want tp inspire him to do better. Grounding is unrelated to school work. Why did he fail? Make the consequences such that they help him learn. In addition to that not letting him go to the party is also punishing the friend.

At 9,, I suggest that failing is more likely to be an indication that he neefs help. He still needs his parents monitoring his work as it progresses. I suggest that you should've known he was having difficulty before the grade was posted. I'm surprised that you grounded him insread of finding ways to help him do better. A consequence could be that he has to complete his homework before watching TV or that he sits with you to discuss his progress on assignments. How does missing his best friend's birthday party help him do a better job on assignments?
How is he to improve his grades in a week? Have you made a plan to help him? If you haven't talked with his teacher it's essential to do so. She will help you know what he needs and how you can help him.

I suggest that taking every thing away is way over reacting. What consequences do you have left for the big things. Poor grades at 9 is not a big deal and is not an indication that he is purposely being disobedient. If he is purposely deciding not to cooperate with you and his teacher you need to get started in counseling.

I urge you to take a much more positive approach to his grades. Find out what he needs and provide thst. Instead of punishing him reward him for good work. Remember he doesn't know how to study and learn. He is only 9. Help him succeed.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

First, the b-day party is a "No Go" at this point, he is grounded and that includes the party. If he has already bought the gift dropping it off would be appropriate, before the party starts.

Second, you had to have known this was coming. A grade like an "F" for a 9yr old does not come with out its warning signs. So, what did you do to prevent this grade from coming? As a parent who's role it is to support schooling did you meet with the teachers, find out his issues, see if there are any underlying issues there like dyslexia or a learning disability? Did you get him a tutor when poor grades started coming in? Did you look to see if he was the victim of bullying or a bully himself and that added to the failing grades. I know of no teacher that allows a student to fail with out reaching out to the parents.

Third, due to No Child Left Behind he will go to the next grade - although he should not if he is not meeting standards currently. I wonder what YOU as a parent could have done differently as well as your son, the student. I think you both (or the whole family) needs to buckle down and make changes in your educational lives to better your son's education. Bottom line - if your son can not succeed in school some of the blame is on you too.

Personally, I would not have grounded him in the "traditional" sense, but distractions would have been removed. I also would like to think that I am involved enough in his schooling to know when his grades are slipping right away and be able to work with him before he fails.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Your son's best friend didn't fail anything so why is he being penalized?

I would let him go but then again I wouldn't have ground him to begin with.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think Kristina M's post made some excellent points.

I would be talking to the teachers to find out where he is needing academic help and ask about what sorts of resources are available in this regard. Kids who struggle do not struggle by choice, but they cannot always explain what about the subject/project is difficult for them. I would be doing everything within my power to get my son help a long time ago if I were in your position. Talk to the teachers, ask to meet with the school counselor so that you can get some guidance on helping your son. Whether it's a learning challenge he's dealing with or a power struggle in refusing to do his work, he needs help. Get it now. I struggled in school in a few classes and it wasn't on purpose-- I was really in over my head and needed help.

As for the party-- I don't know the extent to which it is the lack of understanding of the information/concepts or the refusal to do the work, so I really cannot give you a definitive answer. It's not an easy one to call.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Well I have a different take.

If you've already RSVP's then the child goes. The hostess has already spent money on the child and figured the child into the cost. Parties aren't cheap, and you have already committed your son to the party. In my house we uphold our commitments.

However, with my kids. If a party fell while they were grounded they went and however much time they spent at the party was then tacked onto the end of their sentence. They also had the choice to work off that tacked on time by doing physical labor around the house...yay, me!

Now some will say, "what did they learn if they still got to go to the party?". First they learned they keep their word, and second does anyone really think a 2 hour period is going to make up for all of the time they have been grounded. My kids know they are in trouble, party or no party, there smart enough to understand that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

First, no party. He is grounded. That simple.

Second, what kind of work do you do with your son on a daily basis to help him with his school work? Are you checking his homework (EVERY time) before he turns it in? I am simply confused as to how someone so young gets 2 F's and his parents a) didn't know it was coming, and b) couldn't have helped/prevented it. My son gets fantastic grades and of course part of it can be attributed to his own abilities - but a HUGE part of it is us working with him, staying on him and expecting him to do well. Please don't think I am saying you don't expect good grades from your child. But again, I would really like to hear how you are working with him daily. I think that might play a big part here.

The day his science project was due - did you make sure he had it with him and remind him 15 times (yes, that many for a 9 year old boy) to turn it in? At this age, our kids should be annoyed by us. If your son isn't annoyed by your reminders, you need to up the ante.

What, besides the grounding, are you doing to prevent this from happening the future? Grounding won't make him "get" the subject matter any better (if that was the issue), it also won't help any ADD (if that is the issue), and so on. F's are pretty serious - you realy need to find out WHAT the issue is and address it beyond just grounding. Grounding is just a small piece of what should be done.

ETA: And what do you mean "he hates me" - did he SAY that? If so, you have some respect issues going on. My almost 9 year old would never speak to me that way. I suggest nipping that now. If you are simply saying you *think* he hates you, trust me, he doesn't. He may hate you in the future when he is 33 and at a dead end job wondering why his mom didn't assist him more with school, get him a tutor, address his ADD (you fill in the blank of whatever the issue is)......9 year olds simply don't get multiple F's without something else going on. Please do some digging and help your son.

Good luck

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think grounding can be taken too far. I would never have my kids miss a birthday party, even for an F.

I don't think making his life completely miserable is going to make him appreciate school.

I think you should let him go the party, and find ways to help him with his schoolwork other than just grounding him. Maybe a tutor? Maybe he's not good at math, how is not letting him go to a party going to improve that?

I completely agree with Marda.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

How old is he?
He is grounded.
Too bad.
Getting F's in two classes, that is pretty bad.
Is he a bad student, or just lazy and never studies nor does his work and is irresponsible?
If he has a real learning problem, well that is different.
But if he is just lazy and irresponsible about school and school responsibilities, then, well, his F's are a direct result of his bad work ethic and attitude. So I would say, he is grounded.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Welcome to Mamapedia!!

So he got an F in Science and Math - but how? It's so early in the school year.... You mean he got F on a homework assignment?

I don't think "double punishment" is a good idea...I think Fs in school are punishment enough on their own (wait til he applies to college, then he'll really regret those Fs).

Kids are only kids for just so long. I think you should let him go to the birthday party. BUT, you can insist on a curfew/bedtime, if it seems like he is goofing off in school.

ETA: Remember that an "F" represents ONE teacher's opinion of your son's work. You're going to ground him over one random person's opinion of his work?! Is this teacher your best friend?! Don't put so much personal emotion onto those grades!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

He should miss it. That's the whole point of grounding. He does need to tell his friend, so let him make that call, and let him say his angry things about you to his friend. But if he is capable of passing science and knew he would be grounded if he got an F, then...bummer for him.

ETA: He's 9? Hmmm...I thought he was a teen. Not sure that changes my answer, but it would probably depend on the nature of what happened.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

So you grounded him, then the next day you removed it? He's working you, and he won.
You already pulled the grounding, so no going back now. Sit down with him and set CLEAR expectations for grades and CLEAR consequences - you might want to go so far as writing a contract and having him sign it. For example - both my kids know that anything below a B average, and any single grade below a B for more than two grading periods, means no extracurriculars - sports, band, choir, drama, etc etc. They are fully capable of achieving the grades we require and fully capable of understanding the consequences if they don't. Set reasonable expectations and reasonable consequences - then Follow Through!

Second - sit down with your son, and with his teachers, to find out why he's failing. Does he need tutoring? Does he need more structure? Does he need more accountability? Find out why his grades were allowed to get so bad, set up a plan to improve them, and set up a plan to make sure they don't get that bad again.

ETA - I disagree that grounding is not related to schoolwork. If he is not doing schoolwork because he is playing with friends/watching tv/ etc etc then grounding him from those things is a natural consequence.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Mom, regardless of what you grew up with, you need another strategy. It is WAY early for this stuff to start for your son. You need to have him tested to find out if he has some sort of learning disability. You also need to sit down with HIM and the teacher and formulate a plan to watch him be organized.

He is not in junior or senior high. He isn't even in double digits yet. You need to be involved in his homework.

Instead of taking away his privileges, make him earn them by finishing his assignments. If you take everything away, he doesn't see any point in doing what you want because he has lost privileges already.

When what you do doesn't work with him, you find something that does. And you really need to work this out, mom. School is going to be a very long road if you don't.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

How old his he? Is he still 8? If it's truly his bff, I might make an exception because school grades aren't his friend's fault, and it's *his* special day. I'd explain this to your son, and remind him that all other activities are suspended, as it's important to follow through with consequences. Consistency is important. He's old enough to understand. My son would be really hurt if his bff weren't allowed to come to his party because of bff's academic performance.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time. If he knew the consequences of his bad grade, and proceeded to get a bad grade anyway, then he gets what he gets. Sorry, best friend, he's not going to the party.

That being said, he's in 3rd grade (or maybe 4th?) - still young enough that if he has a project to do, you need to be somewhat present to help him organize his time so the work will be done on time. Kids don't just know how to do that automatically, especially not at that age. It sounds to me like you need to get on him about deadlines so his work is completed and turned in on time. I'd also say a conference with his teacher is in order so you're all on the same page.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Actions equal consequences.

I guess it depends on what you said, but be-careful if you let him go. He did the crime, now he has to pay for it.

I would not back track, there is another year and another birthday next year. He will be made, but remind him his grade, his actions created this you are just enforcing the rules.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I do think it's possible that he might be held back and have to repeat his grade if he flunks out.
Are you sure he's able to do the work?
Has he been evaluated for any learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, etc?
In our school district, we had to sign every piece of homework in the 3rd grade - it showed that we saw it, the work our son was doing and that we reviewed it and went over it with him.
(At the time we'd just moved to a new school and my hand was cramping I was signing what felt like 6 or 7 pieces of paper per school day plus his planner).
I also reviewed homework when it came back from the teacher and I saw what grades he earned right as he earned them.
It showed me exactly where he was having trouble with a subject and we could work on it so he could resolve the problem.
Just telling a kid 'you got it wrong, do it again' doesn't help him understand where he went wrong.
If he's having trouble in a subject that I can't help him with, then he needs a tutor.

Kids don't automatically know how to approach a project.
They get this rubric which should tell what the requirements are and what he has to answer, but at least at first you have to show him how to step through it (he accomplishes the steps, you just tell him what order to do them in) and after a few projects he'll then know how to organize it himself.

Same thing with writing a paper.
They don't know how to establish an outline.
I taught my son to write out each question he has to answer on at the top next at the middle of a piece of paper for as many pages as it takes for them all.
Then find the information to answer each question and collect and write the info under each question in the area below it, and THEN read through it all and write a paragraph to answer each question and then one more paragraph for the conclusion.
Our son was writing 5 paragraph papers in 2nd grade and if the subject was about something he was really interested in the paper was usually longer than it needed to be.
It's a lot of hands on work for the parent, but once a kid knows how to handle it, they are then ready to take over doing these things on their own.
If your son was assigned a big project in July, what did you do to check his progress on it every week?

I guess the short answer is I wouldn't ground him from the party.
But I would do more to make sure he's able to do the work required of him and help him organize it and monitor his progress a lot more closely.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Grounded is grounded. From EVERYTHING.
I have kept my daughter home from parties when she was grounded. I even took away concert tickets I had given her for Christmas because the concert fell during the time she was grounded.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have never heard of a grade school giving out letter grades like A's and F's. most of the time at that age it is E for excellent, A for average and N for needs work. Thats an awful lot of work for the first month of school.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions