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My 11 yr old step son has been grounded forever...

When he and his father met I thought that his behavior problems were not being handles properly...he was in 5th grade, failing almost every class and getting in trouble at school at least twice a week for disrupting class and even hitting other children. My fiance would talk to him about things but never really grounded him...He is a single father, works full time and goes to school so he had a hard time enforcing grounding because he often had to have a sitter help...and of course you can't ask someone to watch your child free of charge and put a bunch of restrictions on their life because the child is grounded. Anyway...when we moved in together over a year ago a lot of things changed...he no longer had to go to a sitter after school so we strictly enforced punishment...we took away tv, games, radio, bike and any other social activities...The problem is that he will start to do better so we unground soon as cont'd

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Asked by Carli26 at 8:02 PM on Feb. 23, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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  • cont'd that happens his grades star falling and he starts getting in trouble again and he always winds up grounded again within a matter of days.... we just don't know what to do anymore. We are all in prison because of fiance and i don't get to spend time together because someone always has to be home with him...and we don't get to do anything with him or my daughter becaue he is always grounded...we are just at the end of our rope...what could we do? We feel like we have tried absolutely everything in our power to make things better and nothing seems to work...

    Answer by Carli26 at 8:05 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • next ime tell him he is ging to stay grounded untill he shows he can do better for 2 weeks (or 2 months ) befoore ungrounding him.

    and, personally my opinion here- I would not ground from family activities. In fact, doing family together activites may be helpful for his behavior. I think it is important to still plan a family game night, a family night out for ice cream and put-put.

    Answer by Kiter at 8:15 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • well we have done that...and as far as the family activity thing goes...we feel horrible for leaving him out but when we do involve the same thing happens...Like last week we did that and he got afterschool detention seems so hopeless...this has been going on for over a year...if we keep him grounded things are ok but the minute he gets an inch of slack he taked a hundred miles...

    Answer by Carli26 at 8:22 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • Inconsistency, poor grades, acting up seems like a kid that is frustrated. Any chance of ADD? Talk to him, then talk to the teachers, talk to your doctor, read books. We do have some great parenting books on our website (Driven to Distraction) plus several good parenting books (How to talk so your kids will listen)

    Answer by momjs at 9:29 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • but he can turn it completely arund when grounded? My ADD/ ADHD kids would never be able to turn it around simply because they were grounded.

    So even doing family activities he messes up badly? What does he have to say as to why he is fine when totally grounded and messes up with the smallest freedom?

    Does he get an allowance? Have you thought about having him do extra chores when he messes up? Scrubbing the bathroom or mopping the kitchen?

    That has to be so frustrating for you and his dad to be that tight al the time with him. How is he on school breaks, summer break?

    Answer by Kiter at 9:37 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • when i first came into the situation add or adhd was the first thing i thought but then i made a deal with him that i would give him 5dollars for every A and the next 6weeks he had straight As....but it didnt last. One of his teachers has said that he will complain of being bullied at school but the only thing she and the other teacher have witnessed was him being a bully. and he is he picks on people younger smaller and even girls...including my 6yr old daughter. he not even allowed to speak to her any longer. its just really sad. I really worry about his lack of consience and he cares nothing for consequences...we are so lost...

    Answer by Carli26 at 10:47 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • Have you looked into counseling with a Behavioral Therapist (they usually don't do meds, but work on helping find changes and coping skills)

    Answer by Kiter at 11:23 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • I don't think it is healthy for him to be grounded all the time. It has sort of lost its impact, I am sure. But maybe he does need the structure....So can you think of it as "structure" rather than being grounded....I am not sure what your grounding consists of, and what his life is like when he is not grounded. He is only 11.... Maybe some rules like homework is done before video games....rather than no video games for a month. Have you asked him what he thinks the problem is? I just don't think you can respond with grounding for everything he does and keep him grounded all the time. Think of a way to incorporate structure into his life, rather than keeping him grounded.

    Answer by BJoan at 8:54 AM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • He needs to be evaluated. It sounds like a learning disorder or oppositional disorder of some type. Good luck.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 11:35 AM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • Have you tire getting him involved in a highly structured activity such as Karate...That is what the Doctor recommended for my son who has less than desirable behavior at school. He has been in it for 3 weeks and loves it. He has had an off week this week but still we have seen improvement to some degree already. In fact he had to tell Master Minter that he had a bad day at school today and M.M. told him if he was good the rest of the week he could get a token on Sat. (they collect tokens for rewards) Any time he starts up I remind him he will have to tell his instructor and it usually sets him straight. lol maybe it's the black belt! Oppositional Defiance Disorder could be possible as the PP mentioned. A good friend of mines son has that and it can be tough to get through to him.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:44 PM on Feb. 24, 2009

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