“ Why did you ground me? I hate you, Mom, I want to see my friends” These are the famous last words of every teenager who has been grounded because teenagers like to press our buttons. Grounding your daughter might seem like punishment to her because, well she’s a teenager but don’t let her walking around angry intimidate you, we were all grounded when we were teens because it’s a good way for anyone to learn right from wrong.
One of our readers from Texas sent us an email at her wit’s end, asking “ Aita for grounding my daughter” because her daughter sneaks out after being warned a couple of times and feeling frustrated she grounded her. Now Anonymous has done everything that she can to be lenient but as a mom, there is only so much that she can do. Read the story and what we have to say about this, our solutions are simple but they work.
Aita for grounding my daughter (Story)
“Hello Sindi, I am a mom to a 16-year-old girl, for the most part, she has been behaving but ever since she turned 16 I am not sure what has happened. This issue has been bubbling under for some time and I am at my wit’s end. My daughter has a curfew of 10 pm during the week and 11 pm on weekends. This is reasonable given that she is not yet 18. For the past month she has been coming home late and last week my youngest informed me that she had not slept in her room. I am so angry I stayed up at night and heard her sneak out at around 2 am. I asked her where she was and all she did was give me the silent treatment. I warned her that I would ground her the next time but she still kept on sneaking out. I work as a nurse so I am not always at home, so when I got home at around 5 am she was not there. I was mainly mad about her leaving her younger siblings alone, anything could have happened. When she finally came back I took away her cell phone and told her she is not allowed to go out. At this point, I don’t know if she will even listen to me. Her dad and I are no longer together and he only sees her once a year so I am on my own. She wrote me a letter telling me how unfair I was, was I wrong? I need help. I hope my email makes sense.” Anonymous from Texas
5 Reasons why you are not an asshole for grounding your daughter
You are not an asshole for grounding your daughter when she does something wrong, grounding teaches her that she needs to be responsible for the wrong thing that she does.
You need to assert yourself
If your darling daughter has started misbehaving it may look strange to you but all teenagers go through a bad girl phase, can you remember when your mom grounded you? If you remember then you will have noticed that you never went out of line when your mom asserted herself. She may have taken away your phone, told you that you could not go out, or made you clean the entire house. Whatever it was, she made sure that you knew that she was in charge. It’s time to replicate what your mom or grandmother did, by asserting yourself, it’s not being mean, it’s called being a loving mom.
You know what’s best for your daughter
Hey, mommy, you are your daughter’s mom, you gave birth to her and in your hearts of hearts know what your daughter needs, dare I say at this time you know her even better than she knows herself. Your motherly instincts will never sway you in the wrong direction, especially when those instincts tell you that your daughter is misbehaving, she needs to be grounded and start behaving. Trust your mommy-guts, if they tell you to ground her and take away her privileges, then guess what she must be grounded.
Actions have consequences
Teenagers need to know that actions have consequences otherwise if the world was left up to them they would be couch potatoes, Netflix-watching, wine-drinking, and partying people all day every day. The world is an unkind place and it’s especially unkind to teenagers who grew up with no consequences for their actions. We see it every day these teens become pregnant, drop out of school, and suffer from mental health issues that stem from doing what they wanted when they were teens.
You need to be firm on your word
Your teen daughter knows you well, and she knows that when she pouts and puts on her baby face, mommy will go back on her word. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s cute when they do this, but there is a time and place for the cute face teenage daughter. When she gives you the silent treatment, does her chores with a sad and depressed look, or stays in her room don’t back out on your word. She will do this every time, let it play out because as soon as the grounding period is over she will be back smiling, laughing, and calling you the best mom in the world, the trick is to be firm on your word.
She needs to go on the right path
Have you watched television lately? Teenagers are being given too much freedom to the detriment of their futures. There is no way that you as her mom can fully predict your daughter’s future, but it’s your job to do the best that you can to ensure that she stays on the right path. She will never go around telling everyone my mom wants me to fail, she never put me on the right path. Doing this at times means that you have to ground her so that she can know what not to do.
5 Things that you must do when you feel like an asshole for grounding your daughter
When you feel like an asshole for grounding your daughter you need to talk to her and make her understand that her actions have consequences, as your daughter she needs to learn responsibility, and if she breaks the rules that being grounded will be a consequence that she has to face.
Talk to her
Okay, Mommy, sure you are mad at your daughter and maybe even feeling a little bit guilty for grounding her, that is normal. The best way to get rid of your mommy guilt is to talk to your daughter, she won’t know what you are thinking if you keep quiet. Remember we are dealing with nearly adult people here, so don’t talk to her angry, it does matter how disappointed you are, talking in a high-pitched voice is enough to make the both of you get angry at each other all over again.
Give her a chance to make it up to you
Give your daughter time to make it up to you, if you have done a good job raising her then she most likely knows what she did was wrong. Make it easy on her and give her something easy to do around the house. Tell her you need her to babysit or help you spring clean the house, afterwards sit down, giggle, and talk about how proud you are of her for helping you even though she is grounded.
Show her what happens when you don’t listen
Sometimes we need to show our daughters what will happen if they continue on a path of not listening. If she thinks that you are too strict, show her an example of someone who grew up with a mother who was not strict, maybe she fell pregnant or dropped out of school. The internet is full of stories from former teenagers who wish they had listened to their parents, show her some of these stories.
Slowly give back privileges
Yes, Mommy, there comes a time when she has to get some of those privileges back, like her cell phone and going out with her friends. I know you wish you could ground her forever but that would just make your entire household miserable, there is nothing as sad as being cooped up with an unhappy teenager, trust me they can make our lives difficult. To keep the peace and have some sort of normalcy ground her for a limited time and then tell her she is not grounded, hopefully she will have learnt her lesson.
Remind her of the consequences
Hopefully, your daughter is smart enough to know that each time she breaks the rules she will be grounded. If you have to, ground her as many times as needed until the lesson is learned. This is such a good time to teach her about accountability because she sees you as an example, she will always remember you as her mom who took responsibility and made her take accountability, she won’t look back at this and say “My mom never takes accountability” She will look back at this as a positive experience, not now but in the future.
To round it off
Being a parent to a teenage daughter can test your patience but that is what being a mom is all about, remember to be firm, without asserting yourself she will do this until it drives you crazy, being grounded is a right of passes that all teens go through, it just so happens that now it’s your daughters turn, she will thank you when she is an adult …. Tell me how it goes.