Need grounding help

gabbiegrl1February 27, 2009

OK..this is my first post so please be patient with me. I have an 11 y/o SD and a 12 y/o SS. Their mother is difficult and it's very hard dealing with her. The most recent issue is that the SS has once again brought home poor grades. This child is perfectly capable of getting good grades and demonstrates this by bringing the grade up atleast 2 marks by the next grading period. He needs punishing. BM is inconsistent with her consequences for the bad grades and here we are again. He was both punished,no video games until the grade was brought up, and lectured by his father the last time this happened. SS didn't want to visit this weekend because he knew dad would be mad (as he should be, SS failing because he won't bring home or do homework). BM told SS he had to visit anyway. I told BM that he would be spending the weekend in his room without TV or video games and she replied that we had no right to punish him since we have very little involvement in his upbringing. Excuse me but she is forcing SS over here despite the fact that he doesn't want to come and now says we can't punish him. Am I missing something here?

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"I told BM that he would be spending the weekend in his room without TV or video games"

I think this is honestly a little harsh. I am all for a child having consequences but I think spending the weekend in his room is a little much. I would take away the tv and video games, but not isolate him from his family all weekend long.

I think BM and DH need to be on the same page regarding behavior and consequences. Easier said than done, I know.

I also think your life will be a lot less stressful if you let DH and BM handle these issues.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:14AM
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I was a little angry when I wrote my email. Sorry :( We would never make the child stay in his room all weekend. We are going to take the games and TV from him. And, yes, I know DH should be handling these conversations with the BM, but realistically that doesn't always work for some divorced couples. There is very little conversation between she and I and, usually, it's very short and to the point. No side bar conversation, just the facts and that's it. So, back to my question. Do you think that grounding at our house is reasonable?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Honestly, if it's reasonable or not isn't the true problem. If mom and dad aren't on the same page and mom makes dad into the bad guy for holding SS accountable little is accomplished and no real point is made to SS. We run into this time and again with my SD's non-custodial mom - we'll ALL agree to a consequence and then she will either 'forget' about it or just flat out tell SD it doesn't have to be that way at her house and to not tell dad. Not only does this kind of behavior do nothing to encourage the kids to do better, it sends the message that grades (or whatever) aren't as important as mom and dad's feud with each other. By no means am I saying bad grades due to poor effort should go without a consequence, but if it's not effective then what is the point?

Is it possible to talk to BM, discuss his lack of effort and together work out a plan to motivate him to do better?
We just did this with my SD - once she was allowed unlimited texting her grades dropped, and we could easily see it was because she was either rushing through homework to get to texting or just not doing it. The obvious consequence to that was to lose the ability to text after school at all, that way she had no reason to rush. Weekends are allowed, after homework is completed Fridays (if any.) We gave her that latitude to show us she could handle it for one day, and if she blows it she loses texting all together.
So, rather than just grounding him for a weekend is there a way to find something that is a 'natural consequence' to his actions? If he rushed through or skiped homeowrk to play video games, take those away. If it's to go out and ride his bike, take it away. Get the drift? That way it's less of a punishment and more of a consequence. Perhaps mom would go for that a little more?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Notjustmartha, I sooo agree with what you're relaying. I never understood punishments that don't fit the crime.
And you're right about finding what will motivate him to do better, because if you don't know what that is, no matter what you "do" to him, the outcome won't be satisfactory.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 11:54PM
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