Grounding and Social Isolation

I was just kind of browsing on the reddit and came across a decent looking TIFU post, “TIFU GIVING MY 17 YR OLD NEPHEW ADVICE ON HOW TO MEET WOMEN.” For anyone who isn’t aware, TIFU is short for “Today I F***ed Up” though they very rarely are about things that happened “today.”

In the comments, there was a discussion about whether or not his nephews punishment was helpful or appropriate. That’s not really what this is about though.

When ever their child got in trouble “You’re grounded for 2 months”

When their child grew up “Why do you never leave your room? “

 — neutrino71

I’m certain this was intended to be a lighthearted and humorous comment, and it is in a way, but the response really got me thinking.

This painfully hit home for me… I don’t think there was ever a year that I wasn’t grounded. It was always poor grades… things just didn’t click for me a lot of the times. Or they would click one way but that’s not the work the teacher would want to see.

Anyways… as I got older the groundings made it so that I got secluded from the different groups I was apart of. There are such better ways at handling things than locking your child up in their room like a homestyle prison :/

 — FL_Squirtle

I have never really thought about the social implications of a grounded child. I can sort of follow a twisted logic of “if you have bad grades you should spend less time with your friends/playing games/on the phone/watching tv/etc and more time studying.” I don’t exactly disagree. It’s important to help children understand how to balance social life with work/school. That’s a life skill that they’ll find useful later.

In this example though, it didn’t teach balance, it destroyed it. For starters “I don’t think there was ever a year that I wasn’t grounded” implies that the form of discipline chosen wasn’t effective. Yeah, it’s super easy to tell a child to go to their room. Yeah it kinda works in the younger age range, to a point. I’m questioning the whole idea though, who does it benefit? Does the child know why? If not they just think you’re being mean for no reason. Did you ask? Maybe the problem is that they don’t feel you’re listening to them.

Uh, mine aren’t teens yet either, which changes things a little too. Their cognitive abilities are much more like an adults, if somewhat compromised by hormones. If my parents told me to go to my room now I’d laugh and tell them to do something rather impolite, so not that different from a teen.

Either way, the social isolation and possible implications of that was something I’ve never really considered as an aspect of grounding, especially now that we do so much communication through the same channels we use for entertainment. May be colored by my lifetime of gaming too. I understand that sometimes there are unspoken obligations built into a gaming group and that the consequences of forcing your child to miss those obligations has to be weighed when considering punishment.

Weird rabbit hole for a Friday.

Take care y’all.

4 thoughts on “Grounding and Social Isolation

  1. I never was grounded. Punishment for bad grades was that my mother actually sat down with me an hour a day after I did homework and assisted me in learning, till I had acceptable grades again. That by itself was good incentive to rather study and get reasonable grades, without any negative repercussion.

    So, without being a parent I would still say the examples quoted, were people were grounded for bad grades, are mostly an example for bad, helpless or lazy parenting. Examples like these make me appreciate my parents and how they handled things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I’m glad you had such a helpful experience. I didn’t really do high school, so my experience here is limited. Based on what I do know though, grounding is a fairly common direction, because it’s an easy solution, and I would have gotten a “lecture.”

      When I say lecture, I mean that my father would sit down and repeat the same paragraphs worth of information for an hour or too. I get it, as an adult, he was trying to help me understand why certain things are important, but as a child it felt more like he was trying to bore me into submission.

      It’s weird, I used to receive feedback on how the kids were doing in class really frequently, but that seems to have tailed off right around 3rd grade or so. I don’t hear much except for the youngest one.

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      1. On what you write about your father, I would say he had good intentions, just didn’t know how to handle this. Teaching is not easy, after all.

        Also, you can bet on it: I absolutely did hate it, when my mother sat down after I did homework to check me for vocabulary or something like that. My English grades were abysmal right from the start. But lucky me, my mother realized that it wasn’t stupidity but mere laziness. (And a rather bad teacher, but I didn’t understand that yet at the 5th grade. When we had the same teacher again, at 11th grade, we were able to understand that he was terribly bad, though. )

        But yes, I sure was lucky that my mother not only saw the problem, but also understood on how to solve it. Grounding me (or any lectures) would not have cut it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, he absolutely meant well. I’d say he did the best he could in the circumstances. I was certainly not easy or cooperative. Pretty sure one of my 6th grade teachers quit or moved as a directly result of me. She was as crazy as I was.

        I love to shake the hand of my fifth grade teacher though. I put that guy through hell.

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