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Knee jerk reaction. Why?

I've seen so many posts where the knee jerk reaction anytime a teen does something wrong is to "take off their bedroom door, and confiscate their phone and electronics"

Why is that? Do you really think that's going to work? I think you're just asking for rebellion if you treat your teens like that.

I've never done that to my kids. They turn 18 next month and they still talk to us with respect, with openness and with honesty. They're not perfect, my daughter was even caught shop lifting once, but the community service she was ordered to perform taught her that was a bad idea, but they are great kids that love and respect their parents.


Asked by onethentwins at 3:18 PM on Jun. 17, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 22 (12,497 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • My parents were like that with my sister. They mellowed when it came to me. When my sister was 15, she went on a few dates with a boy, and once stayed out all night. When she came home, they had been so worried and so angry, they did not let her talk to anyone for almost a week. They made her come home from school, and not even use the phone. I used to smuggle my phone into her room. It used to really bother me how they treated her after that. Like she was always about to do something wrong. I am certain that she and the guy just talked all night. Nothing more. Of course that just made her rebel. Now, my sister is in her late thirties, married and will not speak to my mother. I am the go between for them. She doesn't blame my dad, because he was not the instigator for the treatment. She lets her kids visit their grandma, but I usually pick them up and drop them off.

    Answer by martine1778 at 1:08 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • To be honest, my parents taking away my phone, car, etc when i was younger worked. it taught me a lesson that if i want valuables then I need to behave and treat others with respect.

    Answer by campbellb3421 at 3:20 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • I think punishments for teens need to be based on them. I know I have to be harder on my 9 yo to get through to her than I do my 11 yo or my 13 yo. I know my parents had to be harder on my sister than they did on me. Some things work for some kids, but if the softer approach doesn't work, sometimes you have to come down hard. You did what worked for your kids, other parents have to do what works for theirs.

    Answer by missanc at 3:21 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • maybe its a way to teach them that their actions have consequences and they cant just run around and be invincible

    Answer by zperez0809 at 3:21 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Different things work for different teens. Although I have not had to do those things, my teens know that I would if they pushed things too far. I raised them to respect themselves, their parents, eachother and then society. They know what is expected and what will happen if they don't. Seems fair to me. We have not had one huge problem ever.

    Answer by ochsamom at 3:26 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Punishments for bad behavior need to work with the kid. But grounding teenagers has been a big one for a long time. It could be taking away electronics, phones, cars and/or allowed to hangout with friends. My parents had a 2 pronged approach to getting the desired behavior. I refer to it one part as trust equity and the other was typical grounding. If you were honest, and open, you would build trust, and that meant no set curfew and the ability to change plans last minute. (i.e. I could go to a 10 pm movie and coffee afterwards with on a couple hours notice.) But if you lied, or tried to get away with things, you had a set curfew and had to have your weekend plans laid out by Thursday.
    Of course, bad behavior also got punishments, either extra chores, no going out, no phone or some combination of all three.

    Answer by troeltc at 3:31 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • If you read some of their posts all the way through, it isn't a knee jerk reaction. It is a last resort reaction. They've tried everything else and are looking for ANY advice on punishment that won't involve corporal punishment.

    There is nothing wrong with using these so called "knee jerk reactions". They are typically last resorts and are applied after all other punishments. Rebellion - if you really read the OPs, they are usually already dealing with rebellion.

    Don't judge unless you have walked through the same situations.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 4:46 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Quote "I would say "walk a mile in OUR shoes' then say something. You only have real young kids? Your days are coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    My youngest turn 18 next month. My time is over.

    Comment by onethentwins (original poster) at 5:41 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • twinspuls - I'm not saying that there are things that don't warrant severe punishments especially after everything else has been explored. But I see many posts where a mother asks "my kid did this what should I do?" and the first response by some is "take their bedroom door". It seems like to some this is a knee jerk reaction.

    Comment by onethentwins (original poster) at 5:43 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • I have to say that my son is rarely punished. He doesn't need it. He's not perfect but talking to him about why his choices are inappropriate, what he could have done instead and what will happen if he repeats a behavior has worked. But, when he does need to be punished, what works is taking away his electronics. What works for my son may not work for someone else's. A kids personality plays a big role in what punishments will work.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:06 PM on Jun. 17, 2011