Inappropriate punishment?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2004
Inappropriate punishment?
18
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 12:28pm

Dear Moms,

I’m Kaylie and I’m 14.  Today when I got home from school, my mom took away my phone and laptop privileges for 5 days because of a bad test grade.  Over winter break I had to study for a map test.  Being as forgetful and I am, I forgot about it until Sunday.  I put it off until the night before, which I shouldn’t have.  I have done this a lot but don’t think it should affect my mom as much as it does.  As long as I do the work well, it doesn’t matter the time I do it.  But I am one of those kids who does not believe that school should be my very first and only priority.  I think experiencing high school and having fun is more important that getting superb grades.  I do think getting good grades is important.  I do get decent grades (mostly B’s and the occasional A or C).  Anyway, I got a D on the test.  I could have studied more but I have a solid B is that class and the quiz only affected my grade by a few (less than 2) percent.  Now, I am not angry because my mom took away my phone, I am more angry because I believe that it was my choice and my future.  I do understand that that I could have done a lot better, but taking away my phone would make me angry and less motivated to do my work in a timely and good quality fashion.  I think she should have chosen a more effective and beneficial consequence, such as being grounded so I would stay home and focus on work not friends and making sure every night I finished my work with quality and really knew the material.  I believe her reasoning for taking my phone is to make herself feel better, not to fix the problem.  I understand she want to feel like it is working, but I know how I feel and I know I’m more irritated than wanting to up my grade.  She has taken away my phone many times before but it never solves a problem but creates a bigger one.  Please let me know if this was an appropriate consequence.  I think it should solve a problem , not create one but still make me regretful like a punishment should.  Please let me know your view on this.

Thank you.

P.S.  I am a good kid involved in dance and community service clubs.  

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 12:37pm
Dear Kaylie, how long do you spend on your phone each day texting and calling your friends? How long do you spend playing games and using apps on your phone? How long do you spend on the internet each day? As a mom, that is what i am looking at, I can ground you, but your phone is likely still your connection to most things regarding your social life other than actually seeing your friends. That is why the phone would have been taken away in this situation in my household. I agree that experiencing life, social and community wise is important at that age, however, at 14 years old, and I hated when my mom and dad said this to me, but now understand it as a mother myself, I have seen a lot more of life than you have, and know the far reaching implications grades and school have on you and your life, much of which you don't see quite yet. My job as a parent is to best prepare you for life, and that is what I am doing. If you know you are forgetful when it comes to things like school work, get a planner. At 14, these are when the most important skills such as organization are being learned, because if you don't learn them now, believe me, go off to college and you will be lost. I think having a calm, sit down discussion with your mom when neither of you are upset is a good idea, ask her to sit down and talk about each one's views on things and try to come up with a common solution to address these issues. This would be showing her that you appreciate and respect her as a parent and adult who has much more life experience than you, but also that you are willing to work through and find solutions to problems.
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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 3:06pm

So you registered to be an iVillage member when you were four?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 3:38pm
LOL, I like that Suzy...
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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 3:41pm

suzyk2118 wrote:
<p>So you registered to be an iVillage member when you were four?</p>

This user name posted something on the surviving middle and high school board back in June about her 8th grade daughter.  I have a feeling DD hijacked the account to post this one... 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 4:01pm

Hi Arryl.  This is Kaylie's mom.  I gave her permission to post this and get some outside opinions.  I will print it and give it to her after school.  I very much appreciate your help.  Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 4:05pm

LOL!.  She did not hijack.  I asked her to write down on paper what she wanted to say and I typed EXACTLY what she wrote.  If she ever needs mom opinions again, I'll make sure it is clear that she had my permission.

Thank you! 

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 6:28pm

Ok; then I agree with Arryl's assessment.  The phone is a privilege, not something you need 24/7.  However to me if you can show a cumulative grade report to Mom proving that the overall grade in the class has not changed or has changed insignificantly enough so that you can bring it back where it was, I would think you could argue that it was an anomaly and won't happen again.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 9:13pm

">>>She has taken away my phone many times before but it never solves a problem but creates a bigger one<<<"  Simple answer.  Get rid of the phone PERMANENTLY.  You are 14.  You do not NEED a phone, except for emergencies.  To wit, all you NEED is a disposable phone, with emergency minutes.  And those minutes should not EVER disappear, unless there IS an emergency.

My dds got jobs the day they turned 16, because untill they had jobs, they had no cellphones, no devices, no car, no license, no insurance, no gas money, no clothes beyond the basics, no going out money, etc., etc., etc...    And the rule about having a job, was that the MOMENT a grade dropped, the job went away.  

In my house, complaining about a punishment was the fastest way to have it twice as bad as it would have been, had they shut up.  Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, as they say.  And remember, a family is NOT a democracy.  Children do NOT get input on the rules untill, and unless, they have proven that they are mature and responsible enough for their opinions to be taken into consideration.  14, on the face of it, would not be sufficent, but your petulant behavior certainly proves you are NOT mature or responsible.

PS: Involved in dance and community service clubs doesn't cut any ice.  Doesn't make you "good", and certainly isn't a replacment for good grades -- as defined by your parents.  Not you.  All THAT stuff would have gone bye-bye too, in my house, if you didn't do what was expected.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 10:52pm

Good for you mom in letting your DD get the thoughts of other mothers. 

A well written letter.

Kaylie, when you get to be a mother of a teen in a few decades, you will understand these type things much better. 

One of the things that parents learn about teenagers is that “deprivation of privileges” is much more effective than any other type of punishment.  And contrary to corporal punishment (spankings), “deprivation of privileges” is less painful on the parents--almost painless for a parent. LOL (Laughing out loud)

Seriously, spanking or switching a child is truly more painful for the parent than the child. On a very very FEW occasions, when our girls were really young, hubby and I did switch our girls for things like not staying at our side while shopping so that they would not get abducted by a pervert, not holding our hand in the parking lot so that they did not become road kill, keep hands off the stove top, etcetera. 

By eight, nine, and ten our girls had advanced to the age where “deprivation of privileges” began to be very effective.  They like movies, six flags, and the waterpark; so we used missing those to make a point and modify their behavior when necessary. 

My guess is that your mother knows how important the phone is to you and that she is using that to make points to you FOR YOUR BENEFIT.  And, to me, five days does not seem like too much of a punishment.

When you start driving in a few years, you will learn that the state uses this same formula in correcting our driving practices.  The reason that we don’t park even half an inch on the blue handicap lines at the mall is the $400 ticket that the city issues,  the reason that we don’t speed is that $200 plus fine.  Those fines deprive us of the privilege of spending the money elsewhere on things we would like to do.  VERY EFFECTIVE!!!

Another guess of mine is that you could and probably should be doing better than a B average.  You know it, she knows it, you know she knows it, and SHE KNOWS THAT YOU KNOW SHE KNOWS IT.  LOL

What you and maybe mom may not know is that the difference between a B and an A is generally only !0% or 15% more time on homework. However, your social life may be coming between you and that extra ten or fifteen percent.   When you wait to the last minute you often run out of time to do a better job.  It’s just as easy to do it first than last.  Mom is trying to change that “bad habit.”   The reason that it is BAD is that it deprives you of doing your best.  I assure you that if a B average was the best you were reasonably capable of, MOM WOULD HAVE NO BEEF WITH YOUR GRADE. 

In a few years you will be going to college.  You need to be developing your study skills for then as the competition gets more keen after high school when generally speaking only the upper half continue on.  Those B students become C students, and grad school gets even more competitive. 

My guess is that you can do better in school and still have a good time in high school.  You just need to find the balance and make some priorities that come before the fun time.

All the best to you and your parents.    

PS: Kaylie this will come as a complete shock, but your parents spend all their waking ours trying to make your life better.  LUCKY YOU!!!!

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 01-16-2014 - 8:37am

I'm replying to myself on this one.  I do remember 'back in the day' that I was a perfectionist and very determined to keep my grades up.  But I am human and I did get an occasional D on a test (in college too).  In my case this was not due to lack of studying or understanding; just getting thrown a curve during a test.  This is ok.  To expect perfection 100% of the time to me is unreasonable, and if you can bring the grade back up to what is expected, I am still of the impression it was ok to falter on one test.  You might want to come to an agreement with Mom on what could happen then the NEXT time this may happen so that you're both ok with the consequences (sit down and come up with an agreed-to outcome).  Good luck.

Sue

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