What is the Best Punishment for Teenagers? Grounding? Taking their phone? Spanking?
I’m not a spanker but when my oldest was 11, I went to spank him…well, I think I did, and he stood up and started laughing. It was pretty pathetic on my part. I just needed a better skill.
Then I was on vacation this past week. And my friend shared with me a story how her 13 year old daughter (Going-through-puberty-aliens have already taken her sweet child) was so unkind to her mother, mom got creative on a punishment. When the anger dissipated, my friend told her daughter to write a 5 page paragraph apology stating what she did wrong.
My friend started laughing and even read me parts of the letter where her daughter called her the Kin Juuung Emmm (I spelled it wrong in case they search the internet and do weird things to accounts with his name) of her household. Together we laughed at the letter, which was so well written and so detailed Mom and myself were oddly also so proud of her. It was meant to be saved, possibly posted and even shared with her at a later date.
But that got me to thinking…what a brilliant punishment!! I will do it! Take their phone and say the only way they can get their phone back (or whatever it is you have taken from them – party, free time, TV time? My friend took away her daughters books. Books? Yes, books!! I’m telling you, this girl is smart!!) is they must write a 5 paragraph apology essay to get their phone (or thing) back.
It was the very next day that my own 13 year old daughter played Kin Juuung Emmm to her younger brother. I was livid. I took her phone and then remembering what my friend did to her daughter, I calmly told my lovely kind teen that in order to get her phone back, she must write a 5 paragraph apology essay on what she did wrong and how she could do things differently.
I half expected her to do nothing, scowl at me for hours, or complain. Instead she disappeared. “Okay,” I thought, “she doesn’t want her phone? Fine.” I hid the phone and went about my day.
Thirty mins later I walked into the kitchen and my daughter was just sitting at the counter. “When are you thinking you will start that letter?”
“I’m doing it now…” She said as she pulled her arm away to reveal a notepad with a ton of writing on it.
I almost squealed!!! She WAS doing it!! Yeah!! I was so happy. I felt so in control. I felt my mommy skills were queen bee! Rocking.
Not much later she presented me with her letter…on one sheet of paper.
We went into my bedroom where I asked her to stand and read it to me.
She giggled and did as I asked, standing and reading me her letter. When it was done I asked her how she felt about what she did and reading the letter? She shrugged and then said nothing.
I waited…just looking at her with calmness.
She soon answered, “I feel bad…but good to say I’m sorry.”
Again, I had to hold my squealing back!! Seriously?? This was AWESOME!!! She did something bad and now she clearly sees her mistake!? And wrote it down?? YEAH! My new favorite punishment!!! (Cause she’s a girl and a teenager. Give her another day and she’s sure to growl and claw at someone else.)
I then had her find her brother and read him her letter. But there were rules. When she was done, she had to look at him in the eyes and apologize directly to him.
She did just as I asked and then spoke directly to him like I had asked.
I was elated.
Course this whole thing took a good 3 hours, but the best part is… 5 things:
- She learned a lesson about her feelings and options.
- She practiced writing/essay skills.
- She practiced speaking skills.
- She practiced apologizing – an art in itself that if one is good at, one can have an easier life.
- I now can save her letter forever!!!! Or to give to her at her wedding! Yeah!
Now that’s a great punishment!!