Ask the Experts

Make Grounding More Effective

It really can improve your child’s behavior – if you follow these two guidelines.

Perhaps universally known and extremely overused is the technique of grounding a pre-teen or teen to the house for days or even weeks. Despite its lack of effectiveness for most teens with ADHD, grounding continues to be relied upon by many parents. One of the central problems with this procedure is that the parent must also be grounded to supervise the child.

However, two factors that may improve its effectiveness are:

1. Length of grounding – a weekend or week should be the maximum sentence.

2. Instead of having the child “hang around the house,” select three extra chores for the child to perform. Once these are completed, the grounding may cease. There are, of course, no privileges (TV, telephone, etc.) allowed during the period of grounding.

From “Power Parenting for Children with ADD/ADHD,” by Grad L. Flick, Ph.D.