We all know that grounding your kid as punishment ends up hurting you more. They don’t go anywhere. They are with you constantly. And they are not happy because they are grounded. Which you did. Because they pissed you off.
So grounding isn’t a good thing. Then I get the great idea to ban electronic devices. Another vicious circle is created where the now-deviceless child is constantly at my side bugging me because he has nothing to do. There’s a lot of sleeping, whining, bitching, moaning, groaning. And he’s not happy either.
Which brings me to the latest escapade of motherhoot. Aaron is grounded from the TV. But I come down on a Sunday morning to find him…gasp!…watching TV. He claims he didn’t remember he was grounded from it. Conveniently forgetting the one hundred times Jim and I both told him the day before he was grounded from the TV until Monday.
(My kid can conveniently forget anything I tell him, but he can quote Ipod prices from ten different stores on 5 different generations with 1400 different memory configurations. How about your kid?!)
I tell him to turn off the TV and he won’t. It becomes my mission to get the remote so I can put the parental lock on the TV. That will show him! It becomes his mission to make me chase him through the house to get the remote.
I’m middle-aged and arthritic. I am not chasing my 14 year old son anywhere to get the remote. I give him one more chance, and he refuses.
What do I do? I grab a scissors from my desk, walk over to the TV, and I cut the cord.
Snip! No more television!
(I’m not completely insane. The TV was almost 20 years old and had a permanent green spot in one corner. It was one breath away from being electronic waste. And we have another–nearly identical–TV just waiting to be put into service.)
I go off to lunch with Jim. Absolutely gleeful at my action. But also a little concerned that I might have jumped the mommy shark. Then it hits me that Aaron might be at home trying to fix the cord, and would end up electrocuted because one end of the cord is still plugged in.
So I grounded my kid…and potentially killed him in retaliation for disobedience. There has to be a child abuse charge in there somewhere.
Nope. He survived the day. As far as I know, he has made no attempt to repair the TV. It’s been weeks and weeks and weeks since TVgate occurred.
He blissfully goes off to school (where he gets to terrorize his poor teacher for several hours) while I am stuck home. Without a TV downstairs.
I have a great TV in my room. But when I go up there to watch it, I end up falling asleep. So I am doing a lot more napping than needed. I’m talking to the animals–and myself–a lot more. Once again, I screwed myself up by punishing the kid!
Moral of the story: think through your punishments to ensure you do not end up hurting yourself more than the disobedient child!
Maybe I’ll tell you about the time we went to the mat over butter…