What parents won’t often admit: When they ground their kids, they are punishing themselves too.
After T’s unfortunate incident with taking the lollipop from the store, we grounded him last weekend; no electronics and he would not have his Halloween decor, bought on the same trip to the store, until next year.
It may seem extreme, but we felt it was important he understood the severity of his actions.
By grounding T, we were indirectly punishing ourselves. Giving T tablet time is a way to give ourselves free time throughout the day.
But we stuck to our guns and had an ok weekend. Last Sunday, we went for three walks. If inmates get outdoor time, surely our guy is allowed!
At the end of last weekend, T asked if we were still mad. I told him we were not happy about what he did, but we love him and we focused on the positive: he returned the lollipop, apologized, and he learned an important lesson.
I spoke about this incident during my recent checkin with my psychologist, who specializes in children with special needs.
We had an interesting chat about punishment vs discipline. What I got out of it was to match the consequence with the severity of the action, otherwise the punishment overtakes the lesson.
Research has shown that discipline can be challenging with kids with FASD, as they have difficulty understanding cause and effect.
I’m not sure I agree with that, but also, while I’m an expert on T, I’m not an FASD expert and I’m learning new lessons every day.
Regardless, what I got from this recent experience is the importance of focusing on the lesson, because that is what will matter in the long run, once the anger, shock and sadness has passed.
Just like every day is a new day for kids like T, we must believe in second chances.
This past weekend was more fun and relaxed.
T did great at swim lessons and his instructor said T will move up to Level 2 for the winter session.
We met up with friends for lunch then dropped off a care package for a friend.
T and I went to buy Halloween candies. On the way into the store, T gave a twoonie to a panhandler and on the way out, he said bye to the man, who appreciated T’s kindness.
This past weekend was grounding for me.
It reminded me to take a step back – as with every negative situation in the past – and look at the big picture: T is a great kid finding his way in the world. I believe he learned an important lesson.
We are aware of the possibility of future incidents, but it’s time to move on from this one.
The hubby and I told T he had a fantastic weekend, did great at swimming and we reminded him that he did a good thing by returning the lollipop.
For all his efforts, we told him he could get his decor back in time for Halloween.
This morning, T woke up excitedly with no fuss, got changed into his costume for school – Master Chief from the video game, Halo.
Tonight, he finished his reading homework in speedy time then went out for trick or treating.
We got home by 7 pm and he spent the rest of the night handing out candy to trick or treaters. One kid had the same costume as T which got him super excited!