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How harsh is too harsh?

My 13 y/o little sis is being raised by my older brother and his wife, due to our parents being out of the picture.
She has been with them for a year now and this month has been getting into some major trouble. 3 times this month, she snuck out at night, has been out past curfew, got caught with cigarettes and beer, punched my brother,and shoved my Sil against the wall when they tried to discipline her. They are at the breaking point with her, and they have already been going to counseling ever since she moved in. I feel bad for them.
They are worried she is headed for the dentention center, so they have really cracked down hard on her. She is grounded until her behavior starts to improve, they put an alarm on her window, took her door off the hinges, and this summer she has to do various chores throughout the day as part of her punishment. Do you think this is fair, or is this a bit harsh for her?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:18 PM on Jun. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I dont think its too harsh, if she is sneaking out the house...alarms on the windows is a good idea, and privacy is a privladge not a right. If she can not be trusted they are doing what is best. I hope this is just a phase and she outgrows it quickly. I have taking everything away from my oldest DD and I mean all she had was her clothes and bed, she had to earn everything back, posters,books, journals, everything. Nothing is given, it must be earned.. Except love, food,clothing, and shelter of course. It is very hard when you are dealing with a younger sibling, my little sis moved in with me, of course she was older but I had to kick her out...Turns out to be the best thing for her, she is clean and on standing on her own now, and she even thanked me for kicking her out when I did. Best of luck to them.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 7:31 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Not too harsh at all! I have a friend who had to do the same thing, took her daughter's door off the hinges and everything, because she was continuously rebellous and skipping school and stealing, etc. When a child/ teen reaches a point where they are about to get kicked out of the house and/or go to juvenile, you have to do whatever you can to keep an eye on them. Counseling/ therapy should be a must also. Good luck to them.

    Answer by army_wife2000 at 7:23 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • i think the majority of this is fair however the door off the hinges is an invasion of her privacy as a person not a BAD person she still needs her space for anyone to get a good reaction out of her.....this is really hard on her too and she probably just needs some time to bond with those who can show her they understand. somebody needs to take her out and shop with her take her out to eat and gently pry to whats bothering her! i should know i used to be this way

    Answer by tiffandgene2009 at 7:27 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • No, not one bit. They are being responsible guardians if they are cracking down on her now. If they don't toughen up, can you imagine where she will be a few years down the road? In dentention center, raped, killed... so much can happen and she is only thirteen. Let your brother and his wife do the parenting, they are doing good job. Just remind them that she does need some loving, too. After all, she is probably distrubed by the absence of her mother.

    Answer by ShadesofGrey at 7:27 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I think its a good idea. Id do stuff like that if my teen was acting obnoxious like that.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 7:35 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Fair, she needs love and discipline and they are trying to give her both. They must punish her because if they don't she may hurt them one day.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 7:42 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Not at all too harsh. I know a mother who has had to do something very similar ordered by a judge, to avoid her daughter going to juvie. As a matter of fact, she removed everything from her daughter's room except a cot and bedding. Her daughter has to EARN privacy, which means when she shows she can be trusted, she will be allowed limited privacy. She has to earn desserts, sodas, make-up, hairspray, use of her blow dryer, and just about anything that you can imagine is a priveledge. The other option was for her to spend 6 weeks at a wilderness camp for troubled teens, and then to juvie if that failed. So, the mother decided that she would handle it at home first.

    Answer by Petie at 7:42 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Not harsh enough.

    Answer by teamquinn at 9:05 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I think it's perfectly fair, I would do the same in a heartbeat! She needs to be shown that she needs to be respectful and trustworthy one way or another or she will have a perminant home with no privacy or freedom (JAIL!) Kudos to your brother for stepping in! She is old enough that she needs these types of consequences!

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 9:08 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I'm having deja' vu.....I could swear this exact same post was posted a couple of months ago......

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:06 PM on Jun. 29, 2009