07-17-2018 08:21 AM - edited 07-17-2018 08:21 AM
After he broke a curfew rule several times after repeated warnings, I grounded my 16-year-old son from attending a concert with his friends he had been looking forward to. A few hours before showtime, the (outdoor) concert was cancelled because of heavy rain. No make-up date was announced. So instead I grounded him from a church group waterpark outing that is coming up in a few weeks. Both my son and his younger sister (whom we’ve already have nicknamed “our little lawyer”) say this is unfair. My wife is keeping quiet but she privately told me I am being unreasonable. The kids argue that the punishment was that my son could not go to the concert--and he didn’t go. I say the cancellation negated the grounding as there was nothing to be grounded from. As a parent, I can lay down discipline as I see fit, but I like think of myself as fair. I also don't want my son to think he "got off on a technicality." We agreed to post the question on a discussion board to see if there was a consensus either way.
07-17-2018 05:14 PM
07-17-2018 05:37 PM
Hi @RichardC, I agree, that's a tricky predicament. I can only offer my own experiences with my similarly-aged daughter. I too grounded her, in our case from going to a supervised party that her friends were also going to. She was grounded due to giving what I believed was an unacceptable (expletive-laden) response to a question. The party was subsequently cancelled! I had a long conversation with her to explain to her that there are consequences for misbehaving in 'the real world', and asked her what SHE believed an acceptable consequence was. She ended up suggesting her own 'punishment'.
It's not an easy process but I found that my daughter actually owned her own behaviour when she was given the opportunity to understand it (she of course initially suggested that she shouldn't bear any consequences!). It also gave her an understanding of other peoples' boundaries and she felt a little more empowered in herself.
It's a delicate conversation and only you will know whether this is right for you and your circumstances, but I hope this helps a little.
07-18-2018 10:08 PM
07-22-2018 10:40 PM
Hey @RichardC, I think it's absolutely your decision as a parent as to what you do, and as others have said, it's a tricky one with no right or wrong answer I believe.
My suggestion would be to talk with your son before making a decision. Ask him why he was punished, what he learnt from it. Be completely fair, if you feel he has got it and learnt from his mistake, I wouldn't transfer the punishment to something else. As you say, the concert was cancelled on the day, so hopefully that gave him the time to think about things.
If you feel he hasn't gained a lesson, explain to him why you feel he didn't learn and so are transferring the grounding.
Let us know what the outcome is!
07-23-2018 12:01 PM
10-23-2018 06:45 AM - edited 10-23-2018 06:46 AM
I don't really believe there is a "right" answer to this. It is hard to say one way or the other. As it was not your sons fault that the concert was cancelled, It seems slightly harsh to punish them for that.
That being said, I understand where your coming from, there should still be some sort of punishment.