I’ve made a radical observation, people: Grounding a teenager is like teaching a baby to sleep through the night. Here we go!
One of my early goals as a mom was always to get my precious little infant to sleep a solid eight hours. To do so successfully required three to four nights of me fighting back high blood pressure and tears while my baby “cried it out.” Despite understanding the rationale for such cruel tactics, the urge to succumb to Mama Beardom was generally so great that my husband Doo would have to physically restrain me from “going in.” Apparently, the tortuous wails of our offspring didn’t affect him. Monster. Of course, this maternal misery was quickly forgotten with the first night of uninterrupted sleep, praise Jesus, but each time I had to go through it, it was pure hell.
Enter grounding a teen. I know in my heart of hearts that when one of our high-schoolers makes a poor decision, he or she must face the consequences. This is how they learn from mistakes and avoid adult incarceration. But it’s so much harder when they can argue their case and play the Unfair Card (which they know is my personal trigger). They barter and bribe and professionally manipulate until I’m ready to not only reduce their sentence but extend their privileges. Luckily, Doo isn’t fooled by this nonsense. Just as he did when they were newborns, he keeps me strong.
So, even though 75 percent of our kids can now drive, they will always be my babies. And sometimes, even when it’s difficult, I still have to let them cry it out.
You’re welcome. Peace out.