I Just Grounded him...now What?

Updated on June 25, 2011
E.B. asks from Tacoma, WA
22 answers

So, my six year old had asked if he could go out front and eat his Ice Cream he was having....I told him he could, only if he stayed away from the neighbor kids(they were hanging out with friends...normally I wouldnt make this request, but I know they are not gonna want a 6 year old hanging around them...not cool:(). I had told him if I saw him going onto there side he would be done for the afternoon.

Need less to say I caught him trying to get up onto the porch where the kids were. He starts screaming..''Erynn made me do it, she was encouraging me''...I was ticked because I was only gonna make him do the after noon in side...Let him out after dinner. But after witnessing this freak out show...I thought other wise.

After having him slam doors, call me a loser and try to escape. I had enough. I lost it(by lost I mean I freaked out on the inside and kept calm on the outside). I sent him to his room with nothing...I took the TV his games..all of it. I told him he was in there for the weekend.

I was NEVER grounded seriously at my house as a kid. My mom never followed through with anything. So, what does being grounded really mean?

Do I not allow him out unless it is to eat, use bathroom or leave somewhere with me?? Do I let him hang out in the common areas of the house? I am not backing down. I am pretty good at sticking my guns. I just dont know what ''grounded'' really is...

Do I take treats and goodies away... make snack and meals as boring as possible?

It's kind sad my sweet 6 year old is having these fits like he is 15.....already! I am not ready for this.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank You! He has lost all the Yummy treats for tonight. And will not be allowed out for the evening and tomorrow. He is VERY sorry for calling me a Loser.

I am glad that this is happening now. I am a Love and Logic mom...So, watching them fall on their faces now and having to go back and pick up the pieces so to speak is important. I would rather they learn now, to take responsibility for there actions.

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answers from Washington DC on

Sounds like some moms like to be walked all over. He slammed doors, called you names, didn't listen, etc. Ha! I'd have popped his tail and he'd be grounded. It is NEVER okay in my house to call names, VERY disrespectful. If a door gets slammed, it comes off. I think you are doing everything right. You are going to raise a respectful young man if you do as you say. I'd say 6 is when I started having issues with my daughter, now 8. It's the age...and you need to be there for him as a parent, but let him know you're the boss. You are NOT over reacting, and I think you know that by doing what you did. And kudo's for not freaking on the outside!

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answers from New York on

I think for this one I'd put in his room (no tv or screen time) for the first day and then in the house the rest of the weekend (you could go either way on tv but I'd keep the video games put away). I worked in a teen group home and even with teenagers they were rarely grounded to their rooms for more than a day at a time. They lost specific privleges for specific misbehaviors most of the time.

My son is 5, not 6 and once lost his Lego for a whole month. I let him earn it back a little at a time so he had some back after a few days but it took a while to get it all.

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answers from Seattle on

Ladies...he called his mother a loser, he slammed doors and tried to escape. That doesn't fly with me. He would have been grounded too.
My opinion of grounded is that they can't do anything "fun". No Tv, no video games, no friends, no phone, no park. He stays in the house or goes with you when you need to run errands. You don't have to take away snacks and goodies...that's a different punishment! lol Meals stay the same too, no bread and water! lol
Good for you for sticking to your guns.

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answers from Hartford on

You kind of over-reacted and just arbitrarily kept taking away more and more and more making the punishment worse and worse and worse. What sort of message are you trying to send other than "Mommy won't back down?" That you're willing to give harsh punishments and over-punish beyond what you said you would do?

First of all, you need to recognize that he's ONLY six years old. He's pretty poor on the impulse control. You put him in a situation where you set him up to fail to begin with. So he disobeyed, but because he got upset you decided that the original promised discipline wasn't enough punishment so you made it more harsh, making him even more upset.

I'm not being snide or catty here, but how did you expect your six year old child to react? You caught him, which upset him so he knew the punishment was coming. All he needed was to be put in his room per the original punishment. He's allowed to be upset and emotional. He would have calmed down and gone through the punishment and it would have been ended and over.

But you kept tacking on to the punishment and making it more and more extreme. Perhaps from the beginning you should have just been outside with him to be his conscience and remind him not to stray from the yard. But since you didn't, I suggest you go in to see your son and admit to him that disobeying you was wrong, and that you thought over the extra parts of the punishment you tacked on and decided to go back to the original punishment. There's no reason a six year old little boy should be grounded for an entire weekend, especially not as severely as you're considering. That would be torture for an adult, let alone a very small boy.

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answers from Austin on

Grounding can mean what you make it mean in your home.I would base it on what the offense had been.

If I wanted to grounding him at the age of 6, it would have been no TV, video games all weekend. And no going to anyone's house if invited, and canceling any play dates that had been planned during the grounded time.

I would have continued to do my own plans for that weekend, but if I was busy, your child would have to entertain himself. He could read books or play quietly in his room. He would have to continue to run my errands with me and help with his typical chores. And better be on his best behaviors.

Stick with it. At some point, speak with him about how you are disappointed in his behavior.

Remind him why he is grounded. When he speaks about being "someone else fault", do not allow him to continue..

Tell him it is only his fault. He is old enough to know not to break your rules. He could have come back into the house when (if) someone was trying to get him to break the rules.

I remember my mom saying, if "Suzy" is trying to get you into trouble, maybe you should not ever be allowed to play with her again. Do I need to speak with her about making you break my rules?" Of course I was mortified at the thought of my mom getting after someone else for my problems..

If he complains or gets sulky, remind him all of this is because of HIS behaviors. That you also do not appreciate feeling like you are also grounded, because you have to watch him in the house all weekend, and you had hoped to go swimming this weekend or the movies. or whatever you all had planned.

The most important part of a grounding is never going back on the promise that he is grounded. This way if you tell him, Do you remember when you were grounded for not following the rules? do you want to be grounded again? he KNOWS, mom is serious..

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answers from Houston on

I ground in different ways, grounded from snack foods, grounded from friends, grounded from the phone....etc... It has to be different for every kid because you take away the thing they broke the rules with or you pick something they really love and deprive them of it.

If i took t.v. away from my 8 year old she really wouldnt care less, but if i took away her phone, or computer games she gets the message. She also likes staying up late, and i let her on the weekends and summer, so i threaten that too.

yeah if my kid called me a loser id take it ALL away. name calling and then slamming a door, nuh uh, i dont even think so, not going to fly .i punish for much lesser offenses, I dont think you over-reacted at all, in fact i know i wouldve done much worse. he CANT talk to like that. At 6 he is old enough to know better.

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answers from Biloxi on

My son could define grounding for you. LOL At 15 he is well versed in what it means. In my house it means no electronics - TV, game systems, etc. He can have books and food. Yup, when he is seriously grounded it means no toys either. But, at 15, those are low interest now. At 6 it sometimes meant no toys.

I don't change what he eats - but I do not let him graze on snacks because he gets bored. I will assign extra chores to keep him busy. He can still go run errands with me - but he must maintain a good attitude or the grounding gets extended.

I let mine roam wherever he wants in the house - unless I have decided to watch TV, then he has to go away. I am not a TV watcher but I have been known to put in a movie when he is grounded - kinda' on purpose torture.

Depending on his behavior in the first 12 to 24 hours of grounding I may relent and give a small privilege back - like an hour of TV. But game systems are gone for the entire period.

It's tough - rather like punishing myself also - but if you set down a punishment you must be consistent and follow through. If not, the next time you make the threat they just will not believe you. Don't undermine yourself.

Good Luck
God Bless

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answers from Boston on

Since you said you "normally would not make this request" maybe he did not think you meant it, or maybe he did not even hear you? I would talk to him at bedtime or whenever you can calmly talk and let him know that you were disappointed he did not listen, and even more so that he spoke to you like that. Does he normally treat you this way: slam doors and call you a loser? Boy, are you going to have fun when he is a teen!
I have never grounded my kids, I think it means taking away all privileges. I have taken away TV time, or Gameboy, or a favorite toy, etc. But first of all I have 2 girls, and secondly I have been pretty strict all along. You cannot all of a sudden be strict when you are lax the rest of the time, that would just confuse kids. Since you call him your sweet kid, maybe tell him you got really angry and still will not allow him X all weekend (tv?, going to play outside?) but you would like to hear him explain his side calmly and with respect.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

To be honest if he isn't able to play and do things in his room this punishment is actually pretty cruel. If he is able to keep occupied and not totally segregated it might not be so bad.

Most rule of thumb is that kids loose privileges not access to the house and the other family members. Kids concept of the passing of time is so different for them than us. To him an hour is like all day to us.

I think he needs to be out in the rest of the house but restricted to not having access to TV and other electronic items plus whatever else you think is appropriate.

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answers from Dallas on

Just dropping a note to let you know that I completely agree with Laurie A., Laura U., and Victoria W.

You have a sweet 6 year old, but if you want him to stay sweet you will need to follow through with consequences.

I do not think you are over-reacting.

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answers from Seattle on

I think you over-did it when you lost your inner cool. A weekend might as well be the whole summer for him.

I think Peg's suggestion is wonderful. At dinner (or just before) tell him you were so surprised by his actions and saddened by his words and choices that YOU made a mistake. I think the rest of the evening with no TV, games, etc is fitting for the crime. Bedtime as usual - start tomorrow with a clean slate. DO let him know that the next time he behaves this way, he will immediately go to his room and spend the rest of the day there.

Tell him that he will not be allowed out front by himself again until he earns your trust back. And next time the neighbor kids are out there and he has ice cream to eat - send him out back.

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answers from Spokane on

When I "ground" my 7 y/o I take away his ds, the tv and his ipod (which has limited time on each anyway) or from a specific function like a bday party. Or he has to go to bed early and that just kills him! If he argues or has a fit about something I just simply say "that's 15" and he knows he has to be in bed 15 min early that night. If he keeps pushing he'll lose another 15 min.
I don't ground him from going outside b/c that would make us all crazy :) and I am not sure what he did really calls for an all weekend grounding...but that's your call.

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answers from Chicago on

I think that since the issue involved him not listening while outside, he should be grounded from going outside all weekend. I have always been one to dole out major punishments for what started out as a minor "crime" but escalated into a huge battle because my daughter won't back down. I end up not sticking to the whole punishment. Now I try to step away and tell her I'm going to think about what her punishment will be. The suspense kills her and it gives me time to really come up with something appropriate.

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answers from New York on

You know you have overreacted to this situation. Sometimes grownups do that. I'd sit down with him and explain that you've thought about what happened and would like to talk about it with him. Make sure he knows that slamming doors and screaming at you is not appropriate behavior. Ask him to tell you that he is sorry for this and remind him that you are the mommy and you make the rules.

As far as grounding I'd say to figue out what punishes him without taking up a lot of your time. Write it out so your son knows exactly what will happen when he's grounded.

When my kids were younger I'd always make sure that their grounding didn't take more time and energy from me than them. Ours was home on the bus after school, no phone, no computer, and no video games. They could watch tv but the other children got to choose the show. I'd ground for a day. When they got to be tweens it was longer however if they behaved well they got time off for good behavior. After all the goal is to have them think about things and hopefully learn to be better the next time.

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answers from Portland on

You make grounding whatever you want to make it but be consistent. Consistency is what it is all about.


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answers from San Francisco on

I think making him stay home for the weekend, with no TV or games, is enough. That will definitely be punishment for a 6 year old. You can let him out of his room and have him hang out in the common areas.

GOOD FOR YOU for sticking to your guns. No 6 year old boy should be blaming things on other people and calling his mom a loser! You need to be VERY firm on that kind of behavior until he stops.

All weekend without gaming will definitely send the message. And next time he calls you a name and is defiant, make it a week. This behavior definitely needs to be nipped in the B..

Anyone who is familiar with my posts knows I am not a big disciplinarian. But after all my vast experience with all types and ages of kids, I can tell that this type of boy needs early and firm consequences. And I'm not calling him a bad kid, he's just a very feisty type, and if this isn't stopped now, it won't be pretty when he's a teen.

By the way, calling your mom a loser IS really fouling up. NO boy should insult his mother.

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answers from Seattle on

I don't think you are over reacting. We are trying love and logic right now, and both my husband and I were raised by "drill sargent" type parents so while we love the concepts of love and logic, we sometimes draw a blank with how to put it into action (so we practise, and we are learning).

That being said, you get to decide what being grounded looks like at your house. For us, grounding did not start until we were able to drive. Grounding was the loss of driving privilages and friends could not come over either. At younger ages, we lost privilages, but it was not labeled as grounding - no phone, no friend time, no tv (we were already a video game free home) - basically, whatever suited our personalities/values at the time of the punishment (my mother actually took books and outdoor time away from me because I really couldn't care less about tv/phone like my brothers did). One thing I also think my mother did well was not just restrict valued activities, but increase our family contribution. - If I turned my light back on to keep reading after bedtime, book was gone and I got to wake up an hour earlier to accomplish a task or two that contributed to the family. So you could tell your son somehting like - "I know you have not been grounded before, lets review the ground rules. Grounded at our house means no tv and no friend time (sub in what ever you decide here). Since this will give you some extra free time, you will spend some time each day contributing to the family. Our doors need extra care because you mistreated them. During the preiod you are grounded (or by X day that is the end of your grounding) you will need to have cleaned all the doors in the house. Here are the tools for that. If you need any help learning how to use them, l'd be glad to teach you. We will check your work together after dinner on sunday (or when ever the punishment ends)

Then if he doesn't follow through, then when you check his work - "uh-oh, it looks like your family contribution is not complete. I guess your grounding can't end. You my have your tv/frieds privilages (or what ever you took away) back when you finish contibuting to our family. Let me know when you are ready to reveiw your work again.

What ever you decide, follow through on your word or your soon learns he doen't have to take you seriously. "Grounding" can have its meaning change as he gets older, so what you determine today does not have to lock you in forever.

Good luck - this stuff is SO challenging!!!!!

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answers from Kansas City on

I think just grounding him from TV would be sufficient. It is the worst punishment my 4 year old can think of when she doesnt get to watch tv for a day, so that's a pretty good one.

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answers from San Francisco on

How about grounded from going out front. Indefinitely. Letting him go out front but not talk to kids who are out there is too hard a rule to follow IMHO. Think of less as a punishment and more of a solution to a problem, that is for his own good, even though he may not like it. Perhaps some other additional punishment for being mouthy, trying to sneak out etc.

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answers from Phoenix on

Now, you're grounded;) . I always try to come up with a punishment that fits the crime and miserable enough that they learn a lesson but not so miserable that the rest of our lives have to stop ( just slightly impacted). I have an 8 yr old , so I can kinda know what you're going through. Try to have a good weekend.

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answers from Portland on

My dd has been very rude and mean to her family members and is often trying to make her little 3 yr old bro. cry. She is 6 and she is not always enjoyable to be around when she is being nasty to those around her. She was grounded for 2 days from playing with her neighbor friend. She was given a warning and within just a few minutes decided to say something mean to bro. I grounded her for the day. Her friend had just come over a few minutes before to ask if she could play. He was sent away and told she would be over in about 10 minutes. My dd just couldn't keep it together.

She asked how she could get out of grounding. Told her if she can be nice, no mean or rudeness out of her mouth toward her family and she could play again the following day. Well, she didn't make it. She couldn't keep her mouth closed to the rude/mean words. She got grounded another day.

I felt bad, because it hurts her friend, too, and he didn't act out. But, you do what you have to. They need to learn proper behavior and what the rules are and mean.

Good luck.

Oh, and let's try to keep out the negative comments. They really don't help and that wasn't any better than her own kid calling a name. Just because you don't know her, doesn't give you the right to be rude....You know who you are....


answers from Eugene on

You have been in trouble yourself for at least eight months. Your whole family have been through these ups and downs with you. You are asking judgement of a six year old that he doesn't have. He is too young to know how to stay away from those neighbors. You have to use better judgement and say no you can go outside after you have had your snack. Or tell I don't like those other kids and you won't be able to resist joining all of them so we are going to stay in our own backyard.
You over punish for everything. Aren't you in counseling. If you aren't get there. The rule is one punishment for one event. Period.

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