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Grounding Your Kids – The Complete Guide

Grounding Your Kids, A How To GuideGrounding your kids, a widely accepted form of punishment for misbehaving kids. If used right, this can be a good way for your child to reflect on what they have been doing wrong, and regret their actions. This will hopefully lead to them thinking twice before they make the same mistakes again.

On this page I’ve gone in-depth about what grounding involves, why you should ground your kids, and how long your should ground your kids for (Among other things). So if you’re not sure about the process, read on.

What Does Grounding Involve?

Grounding your child usually involves telling them they can’t leave the house for a certain period of time. This can be from one day upwards, usually maximum a week or two. During this time your child is not allowed to go out and play with their friends, and they also aren’t allowed to have their friends over to play with them.

Is Grounding And Affective Form Of Punishment?

Grounding can be a very effective form of punishment. Many kids want to go out and play with their friends, so stopping them from doing this will hopefully get them to learn from their mistakes. As they won’t want to be in that position again, they will hopefully not carry on doing what got them into trouble in the first place. If this is the case, the grounding has been effective.

Having said that, sometimes it takes more then one grounding to get a message through. Because of this, you may need to ground your child more then once if they continue to do the same thing. You should try not to ground them more then say three times for the same thing however, as if they carry on doing the same thing despite their punishment, then a different punishment approach is needed.

A Parent’s Roll In Grounding

So once you ground your child, is they anything else you need to do? Well yes, there is. As well as making sure you stick to the amount of time you said they’re grounded for (Consistency is very important as a parent), it’s also important you make sure it’s clear why they are in trouble. You may want to remind them of this every day or two, so it’s clear to them if they act in that way again, they will be grounded again. If they understand this, hopefully they will act differently and change their ways.

Why Should Your Ground Your Kids?

You should ground your kids if they have been misbehaving. They might not be listening to what they are supposed to be doing, they might be being rude, or they may be doing something they know they’re not allowed to do.

As grounding a child is a form on punishment, then end aim is for your child to learn from their mistakes. If they are misbehaving and aren’t learning simply by your talking to them, then grounding them is an option which can help get your message through to them.

How Long Should You Ground Your Kids For?

The amount if time you should ground your child for will depend on what they are being grounded for. If it is a small offence, you may decide to only ground them for a day or stop them from doing something specific. If it is an ongoing issue or something very serious, you may instead decide to ground them for a week or two. It all depends on what they have done and how strong the message is you want to get across.

I wouldn’t recommend you ground them for more then two weeks though, as if you message hasn’t got through by this time, you may need to start thinking about another type of punishment. Remember, punishments aren’t there for you to be horrible to your child, they’re there so your child learns about right and wrong. If they aren’t learning from it, you need to take a different approach to punishing them.

When Not To Use Grounding As A Punishment

While grounding can be effective for kids that like to go out and play with their friends, it can be less effective for kids that like to stay indoors a lot. They may enjoy staying indoors because they enjoy watching TV or playing computer games, so grounding them won’t have much of an effect. In this case, it may be better to stop them playing computer games or with things they enjoy. With this you will be killing two birds with one stone: You’ll show them it’s not acceptable to behave in the way they did, and you’ll be encouraging them to get out and play with friends. With any luck they’ll end up enjoying playing with friends and become more sociable as a result.


Grounding your kids can be effective if used right, but shouldn’t be over used. The more you use the same type of punishment, the more your child becomes immune to it. When used with a combination of other punishments, grounding can help your child learn right from wrong and make them become a better person.