Mom grounds son, but for how long? In a sense, it’s up to him!

Disciplining kids can be a tricky matter. Facing consequences for breaking the rules is good for them: it’s no fun but it teaches important lessons and builds character. It can also be good for the parents: who doesn’t like reasonably well-behaved children? At the same time, it’s seldom fun to be the killjoy disciplinarian. And when you think about all the youthful hijinks your own parents didn’t find out about…

One classic form of punishment is grounding — when it’s adults we call it house arrest. It can be pretty effective, too. Being confined to the house (except for going to school, of course) can get really dull, really fast. And what worse punishment is there for a kid than having to say over and over again, “I missed that. I was grounded.” But how long should a grounding last? The severity of the misbehavior is obviously one factor to consider, but even then, the duration is arbitrary. Why 20 days for breaking the neighbors’ window? Why not 15? Would 21 be more effective while 19 wouldn’t send the message?

One mom who caught her son using his phone after hours came up with a brilliant solution. Instead of grounding him for a period of time, she put a price on it instead! 500 points, to be exact. She gave various household tasks point values. Once he’d racked up enough points, he wouldn’t be grounded anymore.

Minor chores like taking out the trash, scooping the litterbox, and watering the plants were worth 10 points each. Mid-range tasks good for 25 to 30 points included loading the dishwasher, emptying it, cleaning the counters, and cleaning the living room. Bigger jobs like cleaning the bathroom, cleaning and organizing the kitchen cupboard, and cooking dinner were worth 50 points each. Laundry was apparently not to the boy’s liking because that (including folding and putting away the clothes) would earn him a solid 100 points.

How did you like this mom’s idea? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Be sure to like and share: you may have friends who will thank you!