Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Yes, We're Grounded!"

What you must know going into this: We do not generally use grounding. It has only been used as a punishment to fit the crime. Like the time when G had forgotten who we were trying to raise him to be. To remind him, we grounded him to a list of words which he had to look up in the collegiate (1500 pages) dictionary. From the list and their definitions he had to put them in report form. Which word would I like to describe me, and which words would I like to avoid being described as. Sounds easy, except that he was only 7 years old, in the first grade, and we had given him words which would require that he look up more words to define; took him a bit longer than a week, for the first draft. At that age their handwriting is atrocious, so of coarse a re-write was in order. It was so impressionable that no one in our home has forgotten.

Cece had the same punishment…

Second, G was grounded from me once for a period of two weeks; for disrespect towards me. The natural punishment was that he lost the “privilege” of me and, with that, all that I do for him. (This actually works very well. Painful enough that we have had no more incidences worthy of such grounding.)

At this time he was in the 3rd grade. He had the opportunity to eat oatmeal for two weeks, in his room. Do his own laundry. Walk to and from school. Eat pb and j, with carrots and water for lunch (at school…no cookies, etc, notes from mom, just boring old sack lunch – very painful punishment!) and ditto for dinner – in his room. He could not talk to me, ask me questions. He was to report directly to his desk and was given various writing tasks by his dad. He was also given only two bathroom breaks a day. After a couple weeks of missing mom’s dinners, love, attention and attending too, he was ready to understand that respecting his mother gains him great comforts.

You would not think that this would be a good thing to aspire to.

Alas, S-9 and J-7 are grounded. Unfortunately, I allowed them to come up with their punishment this time, and this is how it went.

After walking the dog and checking in with various neighbors to see what their after school treats were, they decided that without telling mom they would stay at the house with the best offer.

After about an hour of dog walking time I began to worry. Not so much for the boys, but for the neighbors whom they were certainly entertaining.

Sending out an SOS (ie G and Cece), the boys were called home and given a stern lecture, dinner, pajamas and meet me at the couch to talk punishment.

They came up with being grounded.

I thought, not what I would have chosen, a bit harsh, but….both agreed it was what they wanted.

I gave in. And then… unison, “YES, WERE GROUNDED.” We get to eat in our room. The cheers, I am certain, could be heard downtown, because about that time their dad called to see if everything was “okay.”

Me, in shock, “Yeah, were fine, the boys are just off celebrating that they are grounded.”

(Later I hear them talking, “finally, we get to be grounded.” “I am going to clean up my desk, how about you?” “Yeah, we get a whole week in here, so I want it to be clean.” “What do you think mom will serve us for dinner?” “We don’t have to go to piano….we don’t have to go to scouts….I don’t even think we can come out to go to church.”)

Watch out world. (and in conclusion: why didn’t I think of this, peace and quietly I get to type away, eat what I want, when I want, and they are in their room CLEANING.)

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