My son's 8th birthday party was yesterday and a certain situation got me thinking. Nate's little "girlfriend" wasn't allowed to come to his party because she was grounded. While I understand the importance of consistency in parenting, I couldn't help but think that I would probably make an exception for a birthday party since it's actually punishing the birthday boy/girl too when a friend isn't allowed to participate.
What do you guys think? If your kiddo is grounded are they grounded and that's that or are there exceptions such as b-day parties, team sports, vacations etc. that affect others?
We haven't got to that point yet, but yes, if he's grounded, he's grounded. There won't be any exceptions for family, friends, or once in a lifetime events. To me, it would be a bad idea to let your child know that there are exceptions to a punishment at that age. It's just my opinion and the way I was raised and I'm sure it will be harder than I want it to be, but to me it's an important lesson.
Growing up there were no exceptions. That's how it will be in my house too. At that age especially, a child should know what's on the agenda for at least that week and act accordingly to be granted the privilege to attend. When I get closer to that point though I may consider some sort of 'make up' like a chore or something, that takes the place of simply grounding. Not sure. There wont be anyone getting away scot free though!
I'm not a fan of deciding what punishments will be doled out ahead of time. For an older child, I think it does more to keep them guessing what might be in store if they act up. Make them think twice about doing the bad thing not knowing which punishment will be coming their way.
In the OP's case, since she was grounded I agree with the parents upholding that punishment.
You don't think that knowing what punishment is coming helps with consistency? Or do you feel that as long as you are consistent with apply a punishment, any punishment, that it is enough?
I definitely would not make an exception for a birthday party. For my DD, there is no currency aside from time in her room and missing events she wants to go to. There is no toy to take away, TV time, computer time, or anything like that that would encourage her to behave better, as she becomes indifferent about those things when she does wrong. But, missing parties, a trip to the park, or other 'events' really speaks to her.
Perhaps it can be used as a learning experience for the birthday child?
I'll just ditto the above three posters
If they're grounded... they're grounded. No exceptions. Yes, they may be upset about missing a birthday party they've been looking forward to, but that may also be the consequence needed for some child(ren) to learn/not do xyz again.
No, I wouldn't make an exception for a bday party. The times I remember being grounded growing up are the times I missed something "huge". And boy did it straighten me up (for a while, anyway).
It may be upsetting to the bday girl or boy, but my kid is my first responsibility and I need to do what is best for him. That said, I hope Nate wasn't too upset and still enjoyed his bday!!
We haven't gotten to that stage yet either, but I would think that grounded is grounded. Maybe if it was at the end of the grounding period and the kid had been good all week, I'd consider easing up, but otherwise I would think grounding would have no effect if there are birthday party exceptions!
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 11 ) and Juliet ( 7 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
I only have a 2 year old and 4 month old. But I am thinking that I would with warning say "You know so&so's birthday party is coming up next week, if you want to go, you better straighten up". But then there's a part of me too that feels the child should behave regardless of the "reward", because then that's teaching them to only behave when it will benefit them in some way. KWIM?
If the offense was not huge, I probably would let them go. I agree that taking away a currency so great as a b-day party would probably teach the lesson, but there is also something to be said about committment. If I could take away somethign else other then the party and still have it be a good punishment, thenI probably would choose to do that.
A friend of mine whose son is in my scout Den often uses not goign to scouting as a punishment. I tell her I totally stand by her decisions, because it is HER decisions, but it does irk me because usually it is something that was RSVP'ed and all the kids were counting on that boy to show up. But then the next day he is out riding his bike an playing and I think, well why the heck didn;t you take that away instead?
That said a birthday party is not as huge a committment as a little league game or a visit with grandparents who are only in town once a year. I think it just needs to be logical and int he end as aprents we do a lot more negotiating then we intend to when the time comes.