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Grounding ignored

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Grounding ignored

I grounded my 13 year old son as he failed to come straight home from school after he had been asked to do so as I had to go out. He went out with his friends instead and when contacted and told to come home directly decided to walk his friend home first. Consequently I was late for an apt. He had done something similar before and had been asked to call and ask before he went anywhere but home after school. I grounded him for the weekend but had to go out for half an hour. When I returned he had gone out and was not picking up my calls. Eventually he called back and said he was out for a ride on his bike. I told him to come home immediately but he cut my call off.
I am so upset and frustrated that he would disrespect me enough to do this. I really don’t know where to go from here. I feel he is getting out of control. His behaviour generally has changed over the past several weeks, he is curt, ignores my requests to do things such as chores and homework, and blatantly refuses to do as he is asked on occasions. I do put boundaries in place and give consequences but what do you do when those consequences are ignored?
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Re: Grounding ignored

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Hi @Jessr21 , 


Welcome to ReachOut Parents !


That sounds like such a frustrating situation - I'm the parent myself to a slightly younger child, and I would have been  so upset and frustrated (and probably a bit angry to be honest!) if my child had gone out when they were grounded and then weren't answering my calls! The teenage years are definitely an age when a lot of young people will be testing boundaries and making impulsive decisions without necessarily considering long term consequences - the areas of our brain that control impulse control and planning don't finish developing until we're 25. 


You mention that his behaviour seems to have changed in the last few weeks, do you know if there's anything that is happening at school or with his friends that may be affecting him at all? A first step might be to pick a time when you're both calm, and try having a chat with him  - both to see what's happening for him, and let him know how it makes you feel when he breaks boundaries like this (especially when it's something that could mean you don't know if he's safe, like not picking up his phone when he's out). In terms of consequences- do you think he'd be open to helping you come up with appropriate consequences? Having some buy in to the process might make him more likely to follow the house rules- it also may be helpful to work out what his 'currency' is (for example, some kids may respond to losing time on the computer,  losing phone access, or social media time etc).  We have some good articles on setting rules and boundaries with teenagers here that you may find helpful. 


Parenting a teenager can be incredibly challenging - we're an Australian service but I did come across this free advice/ support line for parents in the UK here. Sometimes it can really help to talk things through with someone who's removed from the situation and brainstorm some strategies that might help.