Grounding kids is never easy. Recently my dear 10-year-old son was being a real peach, and by real peach I mean anything but. The back talk was incessant, the attitude constant, and my fuse growing shorter by the minute. It was a recipe for disaster.
He kept pushing me. And pushing me. And pushing me. Eventually, he pushed me just a bit too far, and I finally played my ace in the hole. I threatened to ground him from that afternoon’s birthday party if he kept at it.
And then, he kept at it…
Truth time. Did I really have the strength I needed to actually follow through on that threat? Was I really going to ground him from that birthday party?
I took a deep breath and did the deed. I texted the other Mom and apologized, and then told her my child wouldn’t be able to attend the birthday party that afternoon.
Yes, I did it. I grounded him from the birthday party.
You can probably imagine what happened next. He lost it, I mean LOST IT! Throwing things in is room, screaming that he hated me, screaming that I was the worst mom ever.
And it sure felt like I was the worst mom ever. But I knew deep down that I did the right thing despite his insults plunging daggers into my heart. He kept at it for a while. And me? I let him. I’m pretty sure he thought I would cave, and let me assure you, I was tempted. Why does doing the right have to be soooo hard? But I was determined, come hell or high water (or a 10-year-old’s temper tantrum), I was going to stand my ground.
And stand my ground, I did. I took (another) deep breath and told him that we had some errands to run. Reluctantly, he put on his shoes and joined me in the car. It wasn’t a pleasant trip, but at least he was doing what he was asked to do. Eventually the ice between us thawed just long enough for him to ask me to change my mind. As tempting as it was, I held my ground, the answer was still a resounding no. Much to my surprise, he let it go, apparently resigning himself to his reality.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I had grounded my child from a birthday party and we both survived. It wasn’t pretty, but we made it through. And my son, well he realized that his Momma wasn’t bluffing. And for that reason alone…I would do it all over again.
But hopefully I won’t have to! So, to all you mom’s out there doing the hard work of disciplining and actually following through, solidarity! You’ve got this!