The problem with grounding the old fashioned way, as our folks did it, is that everyone forgets the infraction before its paid off. Time based grounding is less effective than "ordeal therapy" grounding. It is FAR better to do a quick, intense, grounding and get back to freedom and normality. They learn this quickly and often after applying this method a few months the parents lose the cards from dis-use.
STEPS TO SET UP YOUR B-MOD TEEN GROUNDING PROTOCOL:
1. Have family meeting. Establish house rules. Parents rule... but teens can opine. They like being involved as it feels fair and just. Post rules SOMEWHERE in house...ie on fridge.
2. Prepare "grounding cards". You need about 10 more or less and ONE "Get out of jail free" card.
3. List the exact steps to accomplish a chore and put the equipment back away. Write these like you were programming a robot verbally. (see example below)
4. The "Freebie" or "Get out of Jail Free" card reads, "This is your lucky day, you got the free card. All you have to do is RESPECTFULLY say what you did wrong and what you will do differently next time and you can go free."
5. When a rule is broken. Say, "You broke the rule about ______, you have to pull a grounding card."
6. Spread the cards upside down (like a card trick) and say "please pick one."
7. If teen refuses (and only then) you get to too turn the cards over and select one FOR them. (Hint: Don't pick the free card ;-)
8. After giving a card, then disengage with the teen. Let know you will check their work and end the grounding when they are ready for you to, but otherwise try to leave each other completely alone.
9. If the teen tends to do sloppy work, make your check a double or nothing bet. If it is unsatisfactory and they annoyed you by saying they were thru then you can have them pick one more card to go with the re-do of the old. That usually fixes that tendency. If they are loud or obnoxious you can give one extra card but don't go beyond two cards. Just leave them grounded indefinitely. This way just teaches teens to cooperate with your authority as life is easier this way.
(Always give ONE warning about attitudinal limits or subjective issues. For example, if your teen is mouthy with a bad attitude say "this is your warning ! If you keep talking or acting that way, you will pull a card!" )
Watch out for marking of cards. Dog-earing is a favorite way to get the Free Card. Parents please RESPECT the Free Card even if you are really steamed as this is what hooks them into this system and makes it successful.
If teens are very hard headed and don't do the card...fine...let them stay grounded. AVOID arguing with them AT ALL during this process. IF a teen refuses to pick...pick one for them and leave it on the counter and walk away. They are grounded. To me that means...NO PHONE, NO INTERNET, NO FRIENDS NO TV, NO MEDIA, NO NUTHIN' CEPT doing your homework, eating your supper and going where you have to go.
"Tub B or Not Tub B compliant" (we liked funny titles in my family)
1. Get blue sponge and yellow bucket from under sink. 2. Put one cap on Mr. Tubby Scrubby in yellow bucket and add one third bucket of warm water. 3. Scrub bathtub with solution making 12 complete circles of bathtub so that walls and bottom of tub are clean. 4. Rinse tub with cold water and empty and rinse bucket and sponge. 5. Put all equipment under sink and make sure sponge and bucket are reasonably dry.
Regular chores are not part of the grounding protocol but should be part of house rules so they get done.
Other grounding card chores might include: 1) cleaning out under a sink 2) scrubbing toilet 3) picking up yard or porch 4) reading a book of the Bible and doing a brief review 5) doing push-ups 6) anything you don't want to do that a teen can safely do. They can range from a short task that can be done in a matter of minutes up to a chore that may take most of the day. BUT the secret is in letting them "get er' done" and get back out of grounding. IF IN DOUBT let 'em out. That way they feel justice and mercy is with them.
Other chores could be, doing windows, vacuuming, picking up dog droppings in the yard, raking, mowing, doing a load of laundry, cleaning the fridge or oven, doing extra math problems, copying words and definitions from the dictionary. Just make sure the chores are not too demeaning or unreasonably difficult. Remember you want them to win by following your rules and directions...don't make the mistake of being a control freak here. Just keep doing the formula as called for.