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

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Grounding Teens "From" Their Bedroom

"My situation is this... We live in rural small town USA. My son does not have even one neighborhood friend that he hangs out with. He comes home everyday from school, eats a bunch of food and goes to his room to read or nap or whatever to keep away from the family. And if he is out with the family, he is bossing everyone around, bullying his little sister, etc. It's a real treat, let me tell ya. Besides the "grounding thing" being difficult (because there isn't much to ground from) ...since our ipod ordeal last Saturday, he has NOT spoken a word to anyone since then. He is unbelievably stubborn. I even told him on Wed. that if he wanted his cell phone back, all he had to do is say "please". No response. He won't crack. I've tried talking to him in his room ...he tells me "get out!!" He doesn't even look me in the face. My sister says he needs an "exorcism". I'm not entirely sure she is wrong. HELP ME!! PLEASE."

You can always find leverage (i.e., some privilege or material item to withhold as a consequence).

I currently have a parent in my parent group whose situation is similar to yours. She said, "My son doesn't go anywhere or do anything -- I've got nothing to take away, and there's no sense in grounding him because he's a home-body."

I asked what he does with his time. She said he just goes to his room and naps. Ahhhhh! Then she really does have something she can use as a bargaining tool. Coming home and napping is a privilege -- not a right. She doesn't run a flop-house.

Anyway, now she sees to it that her son does not have access to his room whenever he needs a consequence -- that's right -- she took away his room. Get it?

My recommendation would be to ground your son FROM his room -- not TO his room -- for one 24-hour day (with the exception being that he can sleep in there at night). The 24-hour discipline does not start until he calms down (if he is having a temper tantrum). If he mistreats anyone during that 24-hour period, merely re-start the 24 hours.

I know this will be difficult, but you can do it. I've got faith in you.

"Thanks for the prompt reply... Yeah I get it...sounds so easy...UGH! I guess, in reality, I am afraid of the confrontation with him. He really has me over a barrel, and he definitely knows it. I am afraid of him, plain and simple. He and I had an argument about a year ago that went radically wrong and he broke my hand. And his dad is not a lot of help...he either does nothing or flies off the hook and there is a physical altercation. D___ stands right up to everyone. In the past, when I say "time out", he just sits there and defies me. He is really good at defiance. I know I sound whimpy and difficult...I’m sorry."

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

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