What's a suitable punishment(18 Posts)
I was away for weekend. Darling child decided they would have a 16th birthday party in our house [I'm seperated so house of me and my 16yr old] House trashed - new carpets needed. They've been in loft - hole in ceiling. Booze that was presents to me drunk [though they had been sitting there for years]. Darling 16yo roped their mum into coming round to help tidy up [I'm not the tidiest of dads] on the pretext of doing something nice for me when really they wanted house tidy for party.
My ex did a stunning job of clearing up after the party before I got back, for which I am unbelievably grateful. Darling 16yo is in her bad books becasue she lied about what was going on, and also becasue of the irresponsbility of it.
As I was writing this I was phoned by 16yo - had a long conversation. Bottom line of that is despite my disapointment with darling 16yo I'm still their dad and I may feel at the mo that I really dont want to see them, but I got to get over that cause I have an important role. And there is a longer story there too but that's not what this thread is about.
Really what this post is about though is what is a reasonable punishment. Ex and I have already told 16yo what the punishment we feel is appropriate but I'm not sure if we are being too harsh. So what punishment would you impose [said punishment can have several parts to it if you want]
TBH if my 16 yo did this she/he would be selling everything they had of value to pay for the repairs/replacements. Mobile phone, games consul, the lot would go!
Do they (I'm not sure if your talking about i or 2 people) have a part time job, savings etc If so I would be having that as well.
Please bear in mind though, that although I have 3 adult DC I have never been in this position so I can only say what I think I would do.
I asked ds (also 16) what would be fair. His answer - 'she fucked up. She has to pay.' (new carpet, mending hole in ceiling, alcohol, the lot.)
According to ds if she hasn't got a job, she needs to get one now.
I would suggest some unpaid labour - cleaning, lawn mowing, car washing etc for both you and your ex.
I would decide how many "jobs" you think are appropriate to pay off the "debt" eg 10, and make a chart so that they can be crossed off as they are completed. I think teens need definite timescales/boundaries for punishments - they need to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel otherwise it's likely to have a negative effect.
I would probably also say no social life until all tasks have been completed - no parties, sleepovers, shopping etc and maybe limited phone/ computer access of 1 hr per evening until punishment is completed too.
I think this is a win/win - they have to suffer but within reason. You get some jobs done. Hopefully they learn their lesson and gain a little maturity and perspective, which you sort if hope is the point of discipline in the first place
*sort of hope
Thanks for comments - the punishment their mother and I agreed on [ps only one 16yo] was grounded till after christmas, no pocket money - its going towards carpets and no internet these too till after christmas.
Too harsh? Suppose there is always possibility of early parole for good behaviour. That said 16yo is usually pretty good but has breached out trust with this
"breached our trust" that should be
Not too harsh. Unless you are unreasonably generous with her pocket money, it isn't going to pay for the damage, is it? I would actually consider not giving her any more pocket money until it has amounted to the cost of repairs. I'd put it in a separate bank account and not tell her, put it aside to reward her for something later in life. (Money towards first car or new clothes when she gets first full time job.)
I would want to do something which would get through to her the true cost of the damage she has cause.
Of course, the real damage is one of betrayal of trust. Just would not trust her with a key to your place, or be able to stay there when you are not there.
Oh yes and she doesn't get to stay on her own without lots of supervision and no key.
Bloody hell, how awful
Are there any extenuating circumstances? Did things get out of hand? Was your DD scared/ intimidated?
How remorseful / regretful is she?
What does she consider a fair solution?
Will her friends pitch in to help ?
I would factor all of the above into my eventual decision.
My initial thoughts are that grounding till Christmas is too harsh. Will seem like a life sentence to her and exclude her from friends and positive influences.
I don't know about grounding, but no privileges and pocket money for sure. At some point she's too old to punish, need to transition to treating like, I dunno, an young adult who you're kindly looking after.
A lot depends on her attitude. Is she sorry? Did it get out of hand- was it completely her "fault" or did she have gatecrashers/people who got drunk and she couldn't stop them?
Oh dear, I know exactly how you feel, this happened to us with our 17 year old son, he and his friends trashed the place, the thing I was most upset about was my flowers in the garden they had all been sat upon and ruined, months of nurturing! I hit him many times with a feather duster as he did not even clean up properly and was a bit rude when we told him off I sort of lost it really as I was trying to clean up HIS mess, not the best idea I have ever had but we do laugh about it now. He had to pay nearly 500 quid for all the damage but as we own a business we made him work there till it was paid off, he was crap but we had to do it to save face, actually caused more work at the factory than he did, but there has to be a punishment. I think it hurts when you realise that they just have absolutely no respect for your things and that takes some mending. FWIW I think your punishment is spot on, unless you have a feather duster!! Good luck with the grounding, I hate keeping that up as it means you have them there till Christmas under your feet!
Yep, I agree that truly grounding her isn't really going to help at all. Certainly don't let her have another party at your place (even if you're there) beyond Christmas, and if she's allowed to go to other parties, then a strict curfew at about 11pm (My 15 yo has just gone from 10 pm curfew to 11pm, so 11pm seems a fair step down for a 16yo to me.) I'd also make sure that she isn't going to any house parties where the home owner isn't there! Let her go to her usual after school clubs, shopping trips with friends and that kind of thing though.
Come to think of it, I would want to know how the hole in the ceiling came about and who was involved, and have a friendly, supportive chat to the parents of others there. Not to get the cost of repairs from them, but to make them aware of the consequences of letting them go to parties like that, without checking with the home owner/parents first. Also to make better links with the families of the children she's mixing with.
One of my friends had a 2 week party at 17 when his parents went away, including a bomb-making session in the garage. This was before I knew him, but his father bought him a 1-way ticket to the other end of Europe. Where he got put in jail for petty thefts and had some interesting buggering experiences, and eventually made his way home and became a responsible adult (in time).
For me it would depend how typical this was for a teen, for my friend it was highly typical and one of many problems.
But if my current teen, who's terribly well behaved, did something like that, I'd think it had been out-of-character peer pressure and maybe not be totally tough if they were upset and unlikely to do it again.
Ah - what I've discovered I should have added was that gorunding to me meant grounding except going to positive things - i.e playing at orchestra at weekend morning rehersals, going to scouts and being a young leader at cubs once a week.
Other than that (and school obviously) gorunding to me is a 24 hour curfew! An other parent suggested to me that that was a bit too harsh - that it shoudl just be an evening/night time curfew and that at weekends they should be allowed out to see friends during the day [if only for the benifit of the sanaity of the parents not having to put up with board teenager!] - I'm not convinced. Your experience/wisdom please!
Oh and despite ban on internet seems mother may be allowing facebook access - that's one fo the thinsg I want explicitly banned as part of "no internet" - who is right: me or mother?
I would say your idea of grounding sounds good. Let her go to her activities so her punishment doesn't affect other people (like the kids she looks after at cubs and her orchestra etc.). A full-on ban of everything out of school would (I think) wear you down eventually and make you give in to it much more easily. I would, however, maybe give some leeway in a month or so if she shows true remorse to allow her to gain your trust back.
If you follow through with a total internet ban, you need to be prepared to confiscate her phone (or give her a cheap one with no internet), her iPod if she has one, computer, tablet, etc etc. I assume you're banning it because she loves the internet and it's something she'll "feel" if she loses it! But a ban should mean a ban - Facebook is still the internet, so no internet should mean no Facebook!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.