Recently I stumbled upon a stroke of genius; a small twist in the concept of grounding. Basically, instead of grounding a child for an arbitrary period of time; a point system is established allowing the child to earn their way back to freedom on their own time table.

I tested point system grounding with amazing results. Obviously, no child wants to be grounded. Yet, my teen was truly excited about the shift in our paradigm toward grounding. Without hesitation, he set out to earn points. I received a well thought out letter of apology. I also had 12 interior windows cleaned, a load of laundry folded, and help with younger brother’s homework. Best of all, hugs were passed out!! 

I believe the twist on grounding works for two primary reasons:

  1. The child is allowed a sense of control over their circumstance.

  2. The child has to shift their attitude to a helpful demeanor. Therefore a negative atmosphere is converted into a positive.

Truly, the most wonderful affect of the grounding point system was my teen’s change in demeanor. The positive tone of cooperation was absorbed throughout the house. All my children got along and and we had pleasant conversation during dinner, (as opposed to our typical loud bickering).

I wish I thought I’d never have to ground a child again. But that is just insane…. When I next need to employ this new tactic, I will adapt the point system as necessary based on the age and severity of the punishment required. I will also consider what I or my husband need help doing around the house!

Sometimes a subtle shift in perspective makes all the difference in the world!

A sample of my “un-grounding” point system:

Bummer… You’ve gotten yourself Grounded!

To get un-grounded you must earn 500 points

  • Write a nice letter to a grandparent or great-grandparent = 25 points

  • Write a letter of apology for your actions include what you will do differently = 50 points

  • Patiently help a sibling with homework = 30 points

  • Prepare & Cook Dinner for your family = 75 points

  • Pack lunches for siblings = 10 points per lunch

  • Make breakfast for siblings = 50 points

  • 1 load of laundry (wash, dry, fold & properly put away) = 100 points

  • Empty Dishwasher = 20 points

  • Dust & Vaccuum Den = 50 points

  • Pick Cat box = 50 points

  • Sweep & mop kitchen floor = 75 points

  • Clean 1st floor guest bath (toilette – in & out, sink & floor) = 50 points

  • Vaccuum stairs = 25 points

  • Wash interior windows (with ladder to get to top) = 25 points per window

  • Clean blinds (wet rag wiping each blind) = 25 points per window

  • Genuine sincere Hugs to family = 5 points

  • Sincere compliments to family member = 5 points


Points (parent initials required)