Thing 1

Creative Entertainment

LilZ has been “grounded” due to a decline in his good grades. His grades are still good compared to the last four years, but they have been dropping as the school year comes to a close, so I told him he is only allowed to watch TV for 30 minutes a day for this nine week grading period.

In our house? That is a SEVERE punishment.

I used the quotes around the word grounded for several reasons. First? I consider a true grounding to mean that you are allowed to do absolutely NOTHING for the entire time you are grounded. No phone. No computer. No going places. No talking to people. No smiling. No laughing. No happiness. Misery only. I was only grounded in that sense once growing up and I totally deserved it. LilZ has never done anything to warrant that type of punishment. Since it’s really just a small adjustment in his television watching schedule, I feel silly using the word “grounded.” However, since I moved to Alabama – I noticed that most people around her DON’T use the word “grounded.” Ever. They say that their children are “on restriction.” Is that an Alabama thing? Because I grew up in Tennessee and there? Kids were grounded. Not “on restriction.” That’s one of the few pieces of Alabamian lingo I have not adopted willingly. I’m not sure why, it just sounds weird.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, LilZ’s punishment. So – he’s been forced to entertain himself with things other than television the last few weeks. This has not been as hard on him as I expected (dammit). He has spent some time hanging out with friends in the neighborhood, he’s blown bubbles in the yard, colored the driveway with sidewalk chalk, and he has read a LOT of books (he inherited my love of reading). But yesterday? He had to get really creative, since it was raining outside and he was out of library books to read. So, what did he do while I caught up on some TiVo? He took my Ellen DeGeneres Books on CD and started listening to them in his room. It was cracking me up because I’d pause the TiVo to put a dish up, or change the laundry out, and I’d hear Ellen in the back of the house talking about poking herself in the eye or waving to strangers in public. And the best part was? Hearing LilZ cracking up at whatever she was saying.

So, not only has this punishment decreased his dependence on television as a form of entertainment, it’s also increasing his appreciation of stand-up comedy and widening his knowledge of “funny.” Man. I’m a freakin’ genius when it comes to parenting, aren’t I?

15 thoughts on “Creative Entertainment”

  1. I agree…Far as i know, in the middle, lower TN area…it’s grounded….never heard “restriction or on restriction” till I came here.

  2. wish I’d’ve had you as a parent…i’d’ve ended up semi-normal instead of just plain weird!

  3. I’ve lived in AL all of my life, and until a few years ago, the term was “grounded”. I was grounded growing up, as well as all of my friends. I do not know where this “restriction” business comes from. Crazy kids these days.

  4. My mom used restriction and she was from California, so I’m not sure. But god, I was on the most hellish forms of restriction all the time…but it was really bad when she would make me COPY BIBLE VERSES.
    A HUNDRED TIMES.

  5. That is so awesome! You’ve set him up with the tools for a fabulous summer filled with non-teevee watching fun! Good for you! Hope it’s helping with the grades too.

  6. Around my house we call it “Amish.” Instead of grounded, you are Amish. You will have no electrical entertainment (tv, radio, pc, whatever) and will be doing a LOT of hard work. Good for you for coming up with a punishment that has turned out to be so positive. (Our kids only get 90 mins of TV a day anyway, so they would hardly notice if that’s all we took away!)

  7. Yeah I guess its an Alabama thing, my parents used the term but they really GROUNDED us. Once I made below a B on my report card, I was grounded for 6 weeks until the next report card came out. No tv, no phone, no leaving my room but to shower and eat dinner at the table. All other time was spent in my room studying. Needless to say I learned how to cheat so that I never made below a B again. That worked.

    Zoot your a genius!!!!

  8. grounded here (often) never on restriction which sounds like you are being limited in the amount of liquor you are allowed to consume.

  9. We don’t watch any television during the week. None. Because the kids can’t watch television, as a result, we don’t watch much television either. Once in a great while we’ll turn it on after the kids go to bed, but for the most part we don’t even turn it on after they are asleep. At first I wondered about all I was missing, Survivor, the Amazing Race as two examples. But now, I don’t think about it much. And on the weekend when we could watch TV, we don’t really watch much then either because we haven’t been watching, so we don’t know what’s on.

  10. well, my mum says “on restriction” and it drives me crazy. i don’t know why…

    but I don’t think it’s an alabama thing. we live in VA, and she grew up in MD.

  11. But what about Lost? Doesnt he watch that? That would be so sad to not be allowed to watch Lost….. ( dont get me wrong, I so understand the need for rules and punishment)

  12. I heard ‘On restriction’ when I lilved in SC. So I think it’s a deep south thing. It was ‘grounded’ when I grew up in MI. And I was so introverted anyway, that spending time in my room reading or playing video games was A-OK with me.

    But my parents wisened up and took The Belt to my ass till I was 12. F%#$ers.

  13. Freakin’ GENIUS.

    My parents would’ve G R O U N D E D me if I hadn’t been such a perfect angel. *snort*

    “On restriction” is what I am now, everyday, when I don’t allow myself to eat anything that is remotely yummy. I believe some people refer to it as a “diet.”

  14. Grounding kids is FUN. Except for the part where I have to sacrifice my TV watching, because if it’s on, I ‘ll catch them watching whatever I’m watching. It could be a Lifetime movie, and they’re there. How do you do it?

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