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Monday, 22 March 2010


I've just had a huge row with Matthew for a comment he's made about my parenting on facebook.

Three years ago, Matthew was arrested for stealing a chocolate bar from our local Co-op. The Co-op is a minute walk away and is our local corner shop.

His excuse was: "I felt shaky and needed sugar."

I was so furious with him that I grounded him for a month. In our house that means you're not allowed out, you're not allowed on the computer or any of the games consoles.

I did this to teach Matt a lesson.

Last week, Alex was arrested for assaulting another teenager at school. I grounded him for a week.

Wildly different groundings and here's why.

Matt was at school at the time, so for six hours a day; he was at school with his friends. He walked to and from school with his friends.

He still defies me in that he smokes in the house, he gets drunk nearly every weekend and he has his girlfriend over to stay. He asks if his friends can stay with a moments notice and I usually don't say a word!

I don't ask him to contribute financially and I don't ask him to do anything around the house as he's rarely here. I paid for all of his college material and didn't ask for him to pay it back when he got his EMA (which is the whole purpose of EMA!) - I don't even ask him to show us what he's learning at that college and cook a meal once in a while!

I have been quite relaxed as a parent with all my children.

Alex is at home with me all day! He is not out wondering the streets, he has not been allowed to meet up with his friends when they finish school and Alex is sorry for what he did! Matt was sorry he got caught!

Matt has deemed me unfair in this decision. Well, when you're the parent Matt, you get to decide!


  1. I would have done the same as you, but perhaps without such a well reasoned response. I always hated the idea of grounding. The last thing I want is to be home with a sulky child (of any age); it is as much a punishment for the grounder as for the groundee. Best luck!

  2. I think you have valid reasons for dealing out their punishments. Most importantly Alex was sorry he did it vs Matt only being sorry he was caught. BIG difference in attitudes means BIG difference in punishments. Maybe if Matt showed remorse and showed you some respect he wouldn't have had such a long grounding. Good for you for sticking to your guns!