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Do I grant DS1 a reprieve?

(16 Posts)
survivingthechildren Wed 08-May-13 05:49:30

Lots of posts today! But I am in need of some advice from hardened parents of teens!

Some of you may remember that I posted a few weeks back about my DS(15). He had a serious gob on him, and the way he spoke to me resulted in him being grounded for a month.

He has about 10 days left of being grounded. On the whole, he has taken the grounding with good grace, and there has not been much attitude about the whole thing. This saturday, there is going to be a friend's birthday party out on a farm, and he has asked to go.

Here is how I stack the odds:

- Has behaved well since the grounding incident
- We moved to NZ 6 months ago, and this party is important socially

- He was incredibly disrespectful to me, and the grounding is a result of us taking a very hard line. He has been home every weekend, and everyday after school save for music/sporting commitments. I feel like any relaxing on our part, only undermines DH and I further.

Do I cut him some slack and let him go? Or do I continue to hold firm?

claraschu Wed 08-May-13 06:02:22

I didn't see your other thread, but it seems to me that a month is a very long time, so it would be fine to reward him for changing his attitude. I think making friends after moving can be very hard, so missing this party could be damaging to him.

I would let him go because you have made your point and he has already taken it on board.

ihatethecold Wed 08-May-13 06:09:32

What's your gut instinct?

Only you know your teenager.

Would he think he got off his grounding by sweet talking you?
Or would he have learnt a lesson that you mean what you say?

GoblinGranny Wed 08-May-13 06:41:05

AsIhatethecold said, only you know your teen and how he'd respond. I can only answer for how it would work with mine.
I would say that he could go, specifically because he'd handled the grounding well so far. But it is a one-off, for a special event, and he still has to do the next ten days after that of being grounded.
Mine would link the acceptable behaviour to the reward, and it would reinforce the link between bad behaviour=negative consequence, reasonable behaviour= reward. I know that mine would take the deal on offer and carry out the rest of the punishment.
But that's my Aspie, not your son.

MaryRobinson Wed 08-May-13 10:28:42

Did you throw the X-box out the window. Fabulous.

IfI you think that 'crisis' has led to a new regime in the house then yes I would. He knows you're tough, now you can be magnanimous!

survivingthechildren Wed 08-May-13 11:50:58

MaryRobinson Ahem. Yes, this is the DS of xbox fame.

I think I may go with a Saturday reprieve, and then he can see out the rest of the grounding.

He's been good since we grounded him, so I think he's learnt a bit of respect. I myself moved as a teen, so I can relate to how difficult making new friends can be.

Will have to see what DH says when he gets home. I suspect DS asked me, because his father will be much harder to convince!

secretscwirrels Wed 08-May-13 17:19:35

I don't know what he did but a month is really tough.
If he has taken it with good grace I would be inclined to let him go, making sure that he knows you are pleased with his response.
In fact you might consider suspending his sentence for good behaviour if he has done two thirds of his time?

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Wed 08-May-13 17:24:47

No advice here but remember your original thread and hahahahahahaha it will stay with me forever. I love your style OP grin

BCBG Wed 08-May-13 17:36:31

I would definitely let him go, particularly because you have moved recently - as he has responded well to the grounding I would give him early release for good behaviour. grin. He has dealt well with the punishment which suggests he understood the reasons - I wouldn't make a big thing of it either, just 'We have considered, and agree you can go, given your recent improvement" showing that you can meet him and listen to his requests when addressed civilly. Kids need to see adults demonstrating the kind of respectful interaction that they are being asked to deliver themselves. Sounds like you have it about right!

cathpip Wed 08-May-13 17:37:43

I remember your Xbox thread, and he certainly has deserved the grounding for that long! How about a compromise, clearly this will be important for him socially and he has taken the grounding well, so far. In my opinion you need to follow through with the month but maybe offer a few hours of time off, let him go on the proviso that he is home by x o'clock, and if he starts whinging tell him it's that or nothing as he is technically still grounded.

scaevola Wed 08-May-13 17:51:30

Yes, I think there is something to be said for letting him "earn" an exemption for the party. It sounds like he's done OK, and you can make it absolutely clear this is something that can be earned, and only achieved by good behaviour and acts of kindness/generosity.

And make it clear that it is event specific and for certain hours only (threaten to turn up at the party if he's not back home by agreed time, and embarrass him in front of friends).

ClaraOswald Wed 08-May-13 17:57:57

How have your other children been with him about the destruction of the xbox by the way?

Have a word with your DH, I think that your idea of allowing the party but with strict conditions is a good one. Let him know that breaking those conditions will add on a week to his grounding.

survivingthechildren Thu 09-May-13 02:14:23

Thanks for all your advice! We have decided to let him go, but on the understanding that he will still see out the rest of his time. I think he's earned it with his good grace over the last few weeks.

Is it silly to feel nervous though? We're giving him a lot of trust here, and it will be so much more upsetting if he breaks it this time. <Big breath> I know I just need to have a little faith in him smile

ClaraOswald my other DC are DS2(13), DS3(11), DS4(6), and DD(5). The youngest two really couldn't care less, they hardly used it anyway. But DS2 and DS3 took it quite hard initially, and DS1 caught a right bollocking off the two of them.

Honestly, I wish I had never allowed the contraption in my house in the first place. Getting rid of it has really opened my eyes to how addicted the boys were to it. If we allowed it, they'd sit in front of the xbox for 12 hours at a stretch. And although we had firm limits, I would dread getting them off. It was always arguments, cheek, sulking, and then they'd mope about with bloodshot eyes and then drive me mad for it the rest of the day. Holidays were hell. All 3 of them seemed incapable of entertaining themselves without it, but have managed to sort themselves out now that it's been gone a few weeks. I'm not sure whether it's just my children, but they don't seem to be able to enjoy it in moderation.

It's made a real difference to the atmosphere in the house as well, now that their every waking moment is not focused on the bloody thing!

ClaraOswald Thu 09-May-13 07:05:09

I don't think he will break your trust, but now he knows you will take no nonsense excuses.

Glad things are working out for you all. smile

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 10-May-13 18:29:38

Don't beat yourself up about having it in your house in the first place. The addiction definitely depends on the DC. DS1 would play for a few hours and then not play for a few weeks. DS2 is completely different and we have to keep a check on him. I know from their friends that some are on the devices all the time and some aren't. DS2 bought XBox live (it's DS1's box) and DS1 obviously can use it. He was all enthusiastic when DS2 first bought it, but after a couple of weeks he hasn't really used it at all. DS2, however, is a different case.

I read your other thread and thought your response to all of it was awesome. I did read it out to my family as I thought it was so brilliant and wondered what they would have done if I had thrown the XBox out. They all thought you'd done the right thing as he was so rude in the first place and that the other DC were right to be upset with him.

I think, as you say, this has been a bit of a wake-up call for him. I hope all goes well and he acts correctly at this gathering. I'm sure he will. He seems to have taken in all that you have said to him. I would reiterate the terms just before he goes out, though.

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Sun 12-May-13 09:25:45

"I'm not sure whether it's just my children, but they don't seem to be able to enjoy it in moderation."

Some children cannot use these things (computer games also) in moderation. Yes I speak from experience.

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