HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Disneyland Dad: The Fly In The Ointment

Hi Mark, This weekend K is grounded. He asked his father to take him to soccer and his father did. (while his father lives with us I am in many respects a single mother and my husband is not interested in joint parenting). In fact my husband actively works against me. Anyway, now K says he doesn't care if he is grounded - he will get his father to take him. His father will buy him another phone if I confiscate it again. The only option I see is to say that the grounding stands and he must start it again and until he serves his grounding I will not take him anywhere. I would appreciate any thoughts you may have. ~ V.

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Hi V.,

Re: The only option I see is to say that the grounding stands and he must start it again and until he serves his grounding I will not take him anywhere.

You hit the nail right on the the head. When a child is grounded, but Disneyland Dad (i.e., the fly in the ointment) undermines the consequence, then mom simply restarts the clock when the child returns home.

For example, mom says her child is grounded for 3 days with no computer privileges. Disney Dad shows up and takes the kid to the carnival and buys him 3 lbs. of cotton candy, 2 stuffed toys, and one foot-long hot dog. Kid returns home (totally over-indulged and sick to his stomach) ...the clock starts again as soon as he walks in the door.

Be sure to let your son know that HE is the one extending the time-frame when he leaves with dad prematurely -- not you.

Also bear in mind the a weaker parenting plan supported by both parents is much better than a stronger one supported by only one parent.

Mark Hutten, M.A.

==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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