7 Alternatives to Grounding Your Teen

Bad behavior needs to be addressed, but is grounding your teen really what’s best for them? An old school punishment may not always be the answer. There are alternative ways you can confront problematic behavior that will strengthen the parent-teen bond and teach your teen a lesson at the same times.

Write an Apology Letter

If your teen’s actions have harmed or inconvenienced another person, have them write that person a letter of apology. This forces them to acknowledge where they went wrong, strengthens their relationship with that person and sets a positive tone for moving forward.

apology-letterPhoto by Green Chameleon

Talk it Out

Grounding does not resolve the deeper issue that the behavior stems from. Sitting your teen down and having a talk about what is going on with them will help you understand why they might be acting out. It will also bring the two of you closer when you share and listen to each other.

mom-son-hugPhoto by pixelheadphoto

Change the WiFi Password

Render their devices useless with the click of a mouse! This is guaranteed to get their attention. Taking away their Internet privileges will get them off their tablets so that you can engage with them in real life. This will also prompt them to look up from their screens and focus on other people around them.


Photo by Marcin Milewski

Make Family Time Mandatory

When your teen makes a mistake, get them to take a break and participate in a family activity. Tell (don’t ask) them to set aside an afternoon or evening for some quality family time. This could be a games night, a trip to the beach or even a proper family dinner at the table.

dicePhoto by derekGavey

Fix Something Broken

If your teen’s actions resulted in something being broken, help them repair the damage. This will give them a chance to make it up and teach them to fix their mistakes.

broken-platePhoto by Chris Hunkeler

Don’t Rescue Them

Sometimes natural consequences will do the job for you. If your teen skips an exam and fails a class, do not write them a “get out of jail free” note. Let them deal with the results of their bad behavior. You will not need to play the bad cop if there are already real-world consequences.

boy-stressedPhoto by Zurijeta

Use Positive Reinforcement

Teens can sometimes stop responding to punishments. Try going to opposite direction and give more attention to your teens triumphs than their failures. Instead of waiting for them to make an error, reward them while they are doing well. It will encourage them to keep up their good behavior.      happy-friendsPhoto by oliveromg

Feature Image: Potstock / Shutterstock