or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › punishing children by ruining other people's plans?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

punishing children by ruining other people's plans?

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 

I have had this happen to us several times now. One of my kids will make plans with another kid on a weekend, have everything worked out, then that child's parent/guardian will ground the kid and our plans are ruined.(or my daughter's plans...) This just happened yesterday...my daughter called my MIL several times the day before yesterday to work out some plans with my neice to take her and do some things. It is to be a group thing but all the timing and everything revolved around what and when my neice was allowed to do/go. So my MIL informed me yesterday morning that neice was grounded and couldn't go!!(for not getting up for school in time and being late for school) After my daughter spent all the time making these plans. Why do people think it's ok to do this to others? I feel it is very rude. And it's happened so many times. The rare times I've had to ground any of mine, if they already had very involved plans with someone I didn't cancel, I just grounded around that one event. (like my oldest was going to the military ball with her best friend, it had already been planned, so she was allowed to go but was grounded from phone/computer/future events) And when this happens, the other kids always keep their cell phones and are still on facebook all night, they are just grounded from whatever event they were planning to go to. 

 

Do you guys think it's all right to punish your child by punishing other people? And how is it punishment when the kid is still allowed to text and chat online?

post #2 of 81

I think more than likely the parents are not looking beyond their own child & family - really just not considering how it is impacting the other child.

post #3 of 81

I think the other parents are focused on what is important to their own child, and not thinking about so-called collateral damage.  It is a shame that they aren't thinking beyond this.  I'm not sure about the chatting on-line thing.  Chatting to whom?  Perhaps they think the physical event was what was important and they don't think beyond that.  Not sure given the limited facts.  It is a wake-up call for me, however, when dealing with my own DD.  Sometimes as parents we are so focused on our own children that we tend to forget how certain things affect others.

post #4 of 81

No, in this situation I do not think it is right to punish your child by also punishing other people.  I also believe it is really rude and inconsiderate to break plans unless someone gets sick or there is a family emergency or something like that.

post #5 of 81

We've never really had it come up but maybe they feel the event is pretty important to the child so it will have an impact on them to be house bound. I doubt they are thinking of how disappointing it is for the other people or that it will even keep other people from doing what they want to do.

Sorry you are frustrated and your dd is disappointed. Have you said anything to them about how frustrating it is from your side?

post #6 of 81

I don't see it as that big of a deal. If I decide my child can't go to something that has been planned, there's a good reason for it. It usually means that DS (so far) is not in a mood that would allow him to go or some other important reason.. I don't do it arbitrarily.

post #7 of 81

I think it is rude and would be a big deal to me.  My kids are young, so their friends are not being grounded yet, so I haven't run into it the way you're describing.  But, I have, plenty of times, gone to a play date and had the other parent threaten to leave if their child doesn't do whatever.  Nine times out of ten, I've learned, parents don't follow through with those kinds of threats (a whole 'nother problem), but there have been a couple of times that we were burned when the parent did follow through.  It was so disappointing to my ds.  :(

 

I also once had a friend call and ask us not to come to a birthday party *as we were getting in the car* to go because ds had gotten lice like ten days earlier (and it was most certainly gone by that point).  Wah!  Now that I think of it, this happened like 2 years ago.  lol  But it scarred me.  I'm still not over how sad he was.  It's a different situation, but that same sort of impotent feeling of someone disappointing your child for a reason you feel is very unfair.  Obviously I'm still angry about it.  I would be PO'd in your situation, too, OP.  

 

Otoh, I don't punish, so it is unlikely I'm going to have great empathy for someone telling me they are hurting my child by retaliating against their own child for something.  

post #8 of 81
Thread Starter 

This has been teens/preteens(age 12+). I rarely have grounded anyone, the major time was when my 15 year old had a guy over while we were not home. That required some heavy-duty serious grounding from us. They get so much freedom, but that was definately something she KNEW not to do. There were other circumstances that made it so wrong that I won't get into here. That's off-topic but my point is while I rarely punish my children, I wouldn't ground them from something that someone else was counting on that child for. It's not a matter of a young child not in the best mood for a birthday party.

 

The texting and chatting thing, these kids when grounded are not allowed to go to some event, but are allowed to be online chatting with their friends all night and texting them. That's what I had meant. It's like their parents don't mind putting other people out and ruining their plans, but they still let their grounded child do everything else.

post #9 of 81
Thread Starter 

The lice thing would have offended me also, considering it had been 10 days before the party!! That's plenty of time for it to have been taken care of. We have struggled with lice and ever since I have been really stubborn about not letting my young daughter share helmets at softball or whatever. Other people seem to have no problem with it but I sure do LOL  

post #10 of 81

When we ground our oldest it is usually from one thing that is important to her. If she were grounded from going somewhere, she would still be able to talk on the phone or get on the internet. We don't do just a blanket grounding from everything. Also, I wouldn't completely rule out making her cancel a pre-planned event depending on the circumstances. For example, if she were being really sassy and having a bad attitude, there is no way I would allow her to go to her friend's sleep over. I hate her friend would be disappointed but parenting my child is more important.

 

 

post #11 of 81

I would always be upset with my friend for acting the fool and getting grounded. 

 

I think that was only the case because my friends had reasonable, fair parents, so if they got grounded it was because they did something really bad that they knew they shouldn't have done. In one case, they took their parents' car when they had no license. In another case, they left their sibling alone without dinner while they were supposed to be babysitting.

 

So basically disappointing peers was a part of the punishment, and we were not angry at the parents. Nor do I feel that it was rude of the parents. It was rude of my friends.

 

They would not do this for something like being slow to get out of bed!

post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrineg View Post

my friends had reasonable, fair parents, so if they got grounded it was because they did something really bad that they knew they shouldn't have done. In one case, they took their parents' car when they had no license. In another case, they left their sibling alone without dinner while they were supposed to be babysitting.

 

So basically disappointing peers was a part of the punishment, and we were not angry at the parents. Nor do I feel that it was rude of the parents. It was rude of my friends.


This is how I see it too. I think it really depends on the situation. When my kids were younger, I barely took privileges away, ever, and found it bizarre idea that a child was supposed to learn not to repeat what they did Tuesday by skipping going to the zoo with us on Friday (for example). And when my children were young they were easily disappointed and confused by other parents doing things like this.

 

My kids are teens now, and if they did something bad enough that I felt that the shouldn't leave the house for during the weekend, fun with friends would definitely be off the calendar for them. They had some plans canceled by a friend this summer for something similar -- the teen had been told to clean his room before he could go do X, which was several days away. He didn't bother to clean his room. He didn't get to do X. My DDs thought it was funny, but weren't mad about. They thought he was a fool because his mother had been very clear.

 

How other parents discipline their children isn't something for me to judge -- for one parent, a grounded child can communicate with others, for another they can't. One mom I know grounds her children off electricity. They are stuck with no tv, computer, stereo, phone etc. Every body does it a little different.

 

If you just let it go, you'll be happier. Being upset is just keeping you upset. It isn't bothering the other parent a bit. Although you plans were canceled, you and your DD still had a day to do what you wanted to. Your day wasn't ruined -- it just got wiped clean to be made into something different than either of you expected.

 

It's not a bad thing for our kids to learn to change gears and flow with little disappointments.

 

 

post #13 of 81

I haven't had to deal with this in awhile because my kids are old enough now that they don't have a lot of parties or playdates, but young enough that they don't have an active social life.  So they don't get grounded from things, they just get their computer taken away these days.  When they were younger, I might cancel an outing, but usually that was when we had planned a trip somewhere ourselves and they weren't behaving.  The trip might get postponed a day or so, or if it was a reward, it might be taken away. I wouldn't impose a grounding when we had plans to do something right then, like go to a birthday party, or what have you.  Now if my child was sick or just in such a bad mood that going would have been bad, I might cancel, but usually I'd wait out the bad mood, talk about the issues and then go to the event.  I don't really think I felt  punishment was needed in the early years, but if I was trying to impose a negative consequence, it would usually be the loss of another privilege or possibly future outing--like if they wanted to go for ice cream or something.  The most common situation was that my daughter would be in a really bad mood and not behaving well, and we might cancel our weekly playgroup outing, but no one was particularly waiting on me, and it was better for my daughter's emotional state to do this.  

 

One time I was pretty ticked off at my older daughter who was about 6 or 7, and was thinking of not letting her go to a birthday party, but then that seemed like a rude thing to do, and really, what I wanted was not to impose a punitive thing, I just wanted her to do the thing I asked her to do.  And, really, it turns out that she's usually OK with not going to a social outing--she didn't really care if she didn't get to go to the party, she didn't see it as a reward for good behavior, it was just part of our life. Choosing not to go to that would have been an arbitrary punishment that didn't really teach a good lesson, and would have the added negative of not following through with a commitment. Sometimes I think the canceling of plans as a punishment is really just the easier way to do things for the adult, but it's not necessarily the best consequence or punishment.  I was also trying to teach my children to be respectful of others, and we don't like when people cancel at the last minute.   The only reason to cancel would be if they child's behavior was so bad that she couldn't go and be a good guest, but that was not an issue.   And at their current age, my kids would far rather I keep them from a party than take away their computers for a week. 

 

Now with older kids, I feel like it's a different situation. Like if your teens are just doing egregious things, you might have no choice but to really crack down on all their activities.  But, given the little I know of this situation, I wouldn't have my child cancel weekend day plans with other people because she was late for school; this isn't really teaching her responsibility in my opinion. I'd probably make her go to bed earlier or do other things that helped her learn to be on time or what have you.  But if she really wanted to do the group thing, I suppose this could be a negative enough consequence to stick with her.  Somehow, though, I have a feeling she'll continue to have problems, especially if her cellphone or facebook privileges aren't ever taken away.  I don't really see how this kind of punishment is going to help her become more reliable and responsible, but that's just my opinion, of course. :)

post #14 of 81

Ehh, I've had a friend ring up before a playdate and ask us not to come over, because her DS was being naughty. It wasn't exactly a "grounding" situation, more like "he's going to be a terror, I'll spend the whole playdate disciplining him and having someone else around will just make me more stressed out". Which I totally get. With little kids, playdates are usually pretty fluid anyway - I've often organised "We'll come over if the baby has had a good sleep"-type playdates with SIL, for instance.

 

Plus, this particular friend was notoriously flaky, so I'd already warned DD that the playdate might not happen. :p She was a bit disappointed, but not heartbroken (I think because she was intrigued and somewhat smug at the idea of the other kid being naughty!).

 

I have quit a park playdate early because of DD's bad behavior, and I felt bad about it; but it was with SIL, and I knew she'd understand. She's had to do the same thing with her DS from time to time. Plus, it really worked - DD responds much better to "If you're not going to behave nicely we'll go home" now, because she's seen me follow through. So SIL will reap the benefits of future less-stressful playdates.

 

With older kids, I get your point. It does seem unfair to punish your child's best friend, or mess up a parent's birthday place settings/loot bags/whatever. But it also seems counterintuitive to chauffeur a misbehaving child to a treat, especially if his/her behavior was likely to be bad at the event. So I can see why people do it. My parent always threatened to, and I HATED it - every time I was invited anywhere, I knew Mum would hold it over my head for the rest of the week whenever I was naughty (which was, ahem, often). I don't remember her ever following through there; I think she was too concerned about what people would think. And I kind of despised her for that. So it wasn't the greatest system...

post #15 of 81

Something similar happened for ds' 7th birthday. His best friend was invited, and come the day to the party, his mother showed up to help, but ds' friend was at home. They'd grounded him from the party because he'd run away (around the block) when they'd told him to come home, and it took them 10-15 minutes (of sheer panic, I'm sure) to find him. But I was really ticked. Ds was really really looking forward to seeing this friend (they live across town) and was really disappointed when he didn't come. I was disappointed in his parents. I couldn't understand how making their son not come to ds' birthday party would help him learn not to run away.

 

But in the end, it wasn't my kid and it wasn't my discipline choice. I love his friend's parents, but they've made a number of parenting choices (especially discipline) that I wouldn't have.

post #16 of 81

My oldest DD is 6, and we've (very rarely) left place due to behavior.  One stands out in my mind, at about 3.5 yrs old she was being difficult in a pizza place to the point that I felt it wasn't fair to other diners and after several gentle reminders about behavior in resturants we packed up her food and left.  It wasn't a punnishment perse, but was because she wasn't able to behave in a way that was appropriate at that time, so we ate the food at home and tried the same resturant again (at her request) the next day.

 

my closest friends and i have ALL left each other's homes at one point or another due to our older kids behavior... I DO get that it can be disapointing to the friends, but there are the rare times that my child's behavior isn't appropriate for our location and we don't stay there anymore.  This has happened only once, but it made a big impact on her.  I also think its important to use the social aspects of this type of thing to help the child make proactive behavior choices, like reminding them that their friend would be disappointed if something were cancelled, or taht the other parent might be less likely to invite them over again.

post #17 of 81

Plans sometimes just change and it is something I have taught my dd to live with.  During things like birthday parties there are always so many people that one or two parents not letting their kids come isn't a big deal.  When parents cancel a playdate I assume it is for the best.  My dd has been to playdates that I really should have canceled because I knew they weren't going to go well based on her mood before playing and she has had friends who came over even though they really should have stayed home, so I have seen how a parent worrying too much about a reaction they think may exist can cause more harm than good.  I would much rather have the parent cancel and help my dd deal with her emotions about that than have a child over who really isn't in a mood that is conducive to a group activity.

post #18 of 81

I don't see it as a big deal.  Parents are parenting THEIR children they way they see fit.  At 12+ the kids are old enough to know that sometimes kids do stupid things that end up with them not being able to follow through with planned events, even if it messes up their friends' plans.

 

Not all children are allowed to still go on whatever device they normally would when grounded either.  My 12yo has had her phone & ipod taken away from her, but still been allowed on facebook because I can control when she goes on facebook.

 

While being grounded for not waking up in time & being late to school may seem minor to someone, if my dd was consistently doing this she'd have consequences & not being able to go to something because of it may be one of them.

 

Teens/preteens are very social creatures & it is easy to be social through phones/facebook, but actually going to a planned event is often a bigger deal(and thus not being able to go even bigger) than having facebook/phones taken away.

post #19 of 81

I think only worrying about your kid's feelings (vs. the other child's safety or discipline) is just a different side of the same coin.

 

Very rarely, I have had to discipline a child that way.  The phone calls area always uncomfortable, especially one particular time with one mom who is quite frankly gossipy and hypercritical (of adults).  If I had to do that particular interaction over again, I would have lied and said my kid was ill, so that I didn't have to deal with her crap.

 

I guess I don't understand if you wouldn't be thinking daggers at someone for breaking a playdate because their kid puked in the car on the way over at the last minute, why you would feel free to do so with someone enforcing a limit who is unwise enough to be honest with you about it and gives you advance notice.  Can you not see that the intent is to be polite, honest, and respectful of you?

 

I also have a child who finds disappointment and change hard to deal with (harder than it should be, age appropriately, that is).  I do understand how much of a pain in the ass it is when someone has to cancel, because I've had to deal with the fallout as well (granted, she'd be just as disappointed if something was canceled for a fever of 105 OR grounding).  But I guess I really don't see the point or the value (or the help either) of looking down one's nose at someone who is kind enough to be honest and upfront with you instead of lying. 

post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Something similar happened for ds' 7th birthday. His best friend was invited, and come the day to the party, his mother showed up to help, but ds' friend was at home. They'd grounded him from the party because he'd run away (around the block) when they'd told him to come home, and it took them 10-15 minutes (of sheer panic, I'm sure) to find him. But I was really ticked. Ds was really really looking forward to seeing this friend (they live across town) and was really disappointed when he didn't come. I was disappointed in his parents. I couldn't understand how making their son not come to ds' birthday party would help him learn not to run away.

 

But in the end, it wasn't my kid and it wasn't my discipline choice. I love his friend's parents, but they've made a number of parenting choices (especially discipline) that I wouldn't have.


I cannot imagine allowing my child to attend a party if he had purposely run away from home & hid from me as I frantically searched the neighborhood for that long for him.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › punishing children by ruining other people's plans?