For reasons I will leave out of this post, my 16-year-old son has been grounded for the past 2 weeks. For most parents this means a sullen, mope with an air of resentment hanging around the house and sucking the air out of every room they enter.
Surprisingly, or not so given his personality type, my son took it like a man. It was not an unreasonable length of time and fortunately for him nothing really important was going on socially. That is not to see he was all that happy about it, but he did not make it unbearable for me.
In fact, it was just the opposite. I cannot remember the last time we spent this much time together. Let's face it, going to the mall with mom or having to dinner together is better than house arrest. OK, kind of a left-handed compliment but I will take it where I can get it these days.
I try to make the punishment fit the crime, and since this offense was not technology-related he still had his cell phone and computer.
The whole experience had a bizarre twist to it. The day he was grounded he started a discussion with us about positive and negative punishments and reinforcement. He went into great detail spewing back what he was learning in his Psych class and pointing out how we were doing this whole grounding thing correctly.
Um, thanks for the critique son.
"Wait, is this friggin' normal? Shouldn't you be sullen and angry at us, slamming doors and giving us the silent treatment?", I asked. "Actually, no", he said. "You were justified in giving me the punishment so I get it. I don't like it, but I get it."
Oooookkkkk... where was the camera? Seriously, there was no grey area in what prompted the grounding so I guess he figured sucking it up would make it go better.
And it did. We spent some nice time together. Did things we don't normally get a chance to do anymore. And it is surely safe to say...
He is SO out of here come Friday night! 'Love you mom, but really, you need to hang out with your own friends now."
Me? I is it bad that I hope on some level he screws up again so we can spend more time together? Ok, Ok, that would make me pathetic. I get it.