Do You Ground from Activities You Pay For?

Updated on March 30, 2014
N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL
19 answers

I'm just wondering if you ground your kids from the activities you pay for like sports. So far we just ground from TV, phone, playdates, etc. I haven't been able to bring myself to ground from dance lessons when we pay a lot of money for her to go! Also, grounding her from team sports when the team is depending on her seems to be punishing the team. So far we've never had to get that far, behavior has always corrected when being grounded from the other privileges.

Just looking for other's thoughts on the subject.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Toledo on

Team sports are a responsibility to the team, and should be supported . The best punishment is to add chores to their responsibilities instead of taking things away. That gives them less time to get into mischief, and you don't have to feel guilty for letting coaches and teammembers down. That's the way the world works--- when you screw something up, you have to work harder or longer to make up for it.

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answers from Dover on

I never grounded my son from sports or other things like that (even if I didn't pay for them) because I saw that as a commitment. I paid for them, we made a commitment, and the coaches were going to show up...not to mention the rest of the team.

I would ground him from a dance (unless he had a date...not her fault), being a spectator at a game, electronics of all kinds, and telephone.

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answers from Portland on

I grew up with a mom who grounded and deprived for any infraction, and it made no sense at all to me, except in the rare event that it was that particular toy or privilege that had been abused. Looking for a better way to raise my daughter, I found that reasonable, respectful, authoritative parenting got fabulous results, and I've seen the same in other families using this approach.

If you want to try this lovely approach, the very best and most informative book I've yet found is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish. It coaches parents on how to make the child a working part of any solution, and because the kids get to help determine their future course, they are invested in making it work. Brilliant book, with many wonderful and effective techniques. I use it with my 4.5yo grandson all the time, and we have the most marvelous team interactions.

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answers from Phoenix on

I am not a grounder at all - yet. I still have 2 more soon to be teens to raise.

When I was growing up and I watched my girlfriends get 'grounded' for some odd reason, I remembered then, I will never do that to my own children, b/c I noticed how ineffective it was. The parents are pissed, they say they're going to take this, that or the other away, and then the mean ones follow through on 2-3 weeks of tortuous solitude or give in. Either way the kids learned that their parents weren't going to follow through on their threats, or they were lonely and unforgiven for just too long. I believe children are way smarter than we give them credit.

I'm a get mad in the moment, tell them what went wrong, what we're going to to do in the future to make this not happen again and go to your room so I can have a moment to regain my composure and come out when you can offer a sincere, heartfelt sorry. Then we kiss and make up.

I just remember seeing how ticked off over time my friends became towards their parents and how much they learned to lie to them to avoid these ridiculous and ineffective means of punishments.

And I want to add, I have the most well mannered, sweet, sympathetic, kind, loving kids around. I am complemented ALL the time on their behavior at other's homes, at school events, in public places. It is a pleasure taking being with them.

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answers from Washington DC on

Absolutely. I've only had to threaten it to date, but I sure would. If whatever the offense is warrants that kind of punishment, sure. I'll take the financial hit for her to get the message. For example, my 7 year old has some big dance shows coming up. She has been dancing for 5 years now and is on a competitive dance team. BUT, her room was a MESS. I told her over and over to clean it. Even gave her small amounts to do, but it was still not done. When I finally told her if it was not done in time to go to dance then she would not go and then not be in the show, then she got it done.

As far as team sports - YES!! Doesnt that teach them to be more responsible or they will let other people down?

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answers from Seattle on

Any that aren't team sports... yup.

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answers from Houston on

I see it as those team sports and specialty lessons as character builders. Kids really need these, especially when they are feeling down and embarrassed or upset about being in trouble and grounded, or are having a hard time with something in their life that is causing them to act out. I think it is cruel to ground or remove kids from team sports as punishment... unless what they did is extremely serious, but that would be a very rare occurrence.

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answers from Chicago on

isn't the purpose of grounding taking away something they enjoy? if they enjoy the sport you're paying for, it's fair game!

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answers from Raleigh on

We aren't there yet, but my parents never grounded us from those things. No matter how bad we were, we went to the paid for activities. Youth group was also something that never got taken away (in fact, as "punishment" my brother was forced to go to some things he didn't want to in a way to help him shape up!). I think you have the right idea...



answers from Tulsa on

No because frankly she would be behind on her lessons which I feel are too expensive. Plus, it is unfair to all the others who did go that week if time is spent catching her up. My husband and I had a long discussion before he agreed to this and only because others would be affected was I able to get him to not insist on grounding her from lessons.
This summer, we prepaid special classes and he did ground her from them.
We gave some away to kids who would have never been able to go otherwise so they would not go to waste. The art teacher saved our supplies for afterwards. I am hoping not to do this again as her behavior has greatly improved.



answers from Washington DC on

No. That punishes the team. I also make mine go if they are not feeling well, to show support. They can sit out of the pool or on the sidelines but they will be there, it's a commitment.


answers from Seattle on

Maybe I am in the minority here, but I WOULD ground from team sports and would have a hard time grounding for things I fork out a lot of money for!
The reason I would for team sports is because it's not your fault that YOUR child has made a decision, it's his/her fault. And he or she KNOWS that their behavior is going to affect the team. The team wants to get mad? They can get mad at the kid!


answers from Stockton on

If the other stuff is working then I wouldn't, BUT, if/when that stops being effective, then I would ground her from whatever thing is the most important to her wether I pay for it or not. That's just my opinion....


answers from Spokane on

totally agree with you. I don't ground from paid activities and especially not from a team sport. That's a commitment, not just an activity.
I ground from the computer, tv, dsi, play dates, bday parties and what actually works best for my oldest son is an early bedtime. He HATES having to go to bed early. So for each offense he has to be in bed 15 minutes earlier than his scheduled time. It works wonders for him. Each child is different ~ you just have to find their trigger.



answers from unknown city on

Well, I have a serious issue with this, as well as a little story about my soon to be 13 year old son in sixth grade.

Please keep in mind that he plays select baseball and basketball, which costs a lot of money!!!!!!!!!!!

My son has played the violin since 4th grade. By the time he arrived to middle school I asked him if he was serious about playing it all the way till high school. He said yes so I bought him a brand new Yamaha violin for 1000.00 bucks (did the math and is cheaper than renting!).

This year (first year in middle school) he has lost interest in violin. Told him to stick it out for the remainder of the year and we would discuss the following.

Long story short, he "ACCIDENTALLY LOST" his violin and couldn't participate in a school concert.

In the past I have taken away his games, phone, friends, etc. Doesn't work! Yes chores are great but not for punishment because when they get on their own in the world they won't want to do them and then there will be a big mess!

This kid always seems to know exactly where all of his different pieces of uniform are but we can't seem to locate his big olé violin? Huh?

This kid is very passionate about his sports so therefore I feel that this is where the discipline should be since everything else has failed!

Yes, his father and I have paid a lot of money in advance for his sports but, he needs to learn that if he doesn't keep up his GPA in high school he won't be able to play!!!!

So I say bench em!!!!



answers from Tulsa on

No, I believe there are much more important things, to kids, than keeping them from something that is usually a team effort where they are depending on this child to be there and do his part. I have never kept kids out of Gymnastics, dance, soccer, T-Ball, etc...I think things like keeping them in the house while all the neighborhood kids are outside playing on their bikes is torture enough...LOL.


answers from Oklahoma City on

if they enjoy it, and it's a something that will 'nip' it in the bud, then yeah, fair game. maybe tell them, keep it up and you're not playing next season?? if you really want to get your money's worth then probably not, but kids are "now" attention spans so taking away a sport next season for something they did 6 months ago, wont really work that well


answers from Cincinnati on

I think it would depend on why they are being grounded. If it is grounding due to poor grades then absolutely. They clearly need that time for their studies then. If it's for other stuff though then I would be hesitant but wouldn't rule it out. Like you said, the team sports would be you punishing the team (unless they have extra players). If there are extras then yea, why not. Pull it for a game. See how the kid likes it. LOL! Dance lessons cost a small fortune so I think I'd save that one for last. But if it comes down to it, yep. I'd pull them out. I'd have to be pretty PO'ed for that tho.


answers from Biloxi on

Nope - have never grounded mine from activities that I have paid for. Maybe I am just cheap? LOL

I took away all other privileges - and I mean everything but books. If he had a low grade in a class and had homework or a test to study for, I may have had him miss a practice but never a game as that effects the entire team and punishes them for something they have no control over.

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