How to Get Ungrounded

Published February 21, 2019
Mother grounding teen daughter

It is possible to get ungrounded and rebuild the trust that you may have lost with your parents. Depending on what you did, there are a few things you can try to reduce or eliminate your grounded status.

The Offense

Before you begin to plan how you're going to handle getting ungrounded, take some time to think about how severe your actions were. Try to see it from your parent or parents' perspective, instead of in general. This will help you appeal to them once you feel prepared to do so.

Earning Back Trust

One of the biggest complaints that parents have is that they may feel a loss of trust in you. Brainstorm some ways that you can show your parents that you are a trustworthy person who they can count on to follow the rules going forward. You can:

  • Be reliable and consistent.
  • Follow through with your word.
  • Take on responsibility without them asking you to.
  • Keep your room tidy, take care of your belongings, and pitch in around the house.
  • Go out of your way to be thoughtful and assist other members of your family.

Speaking With Your Parents

When you speak to your parents about getting ungrounded, do so in a mature, calm way. Keep in mind that this is your chance to share your thoughts with them.

Presenting Your Point of View

Prior to having a conversation with your parents, ask them if they'd be open to discussing your grounding. Tell them you'd like an opportunity to share your thoughts and hear their feedback. For a successful conversation try:

  1. Thanking them for hearing you out
  2. Letting them know you appreciate their opinion and respect their decision
  3. Apologize for the offense and note what you've learned from your mistake
  4. Let them know how you'll handle the situation differently in the future
  5. Ask if they would consider lessening the punishment and give you an opportunity to prove yourself
  6. Ask if there is an alternative course of action that they would be comfortable with while lifting your grounded status

  7. Regardless of what happens, stay calm, and thank them for hearing your thoughts

Keeping Your Cool

Mother scolding frustrated daughter

It can be super challenging to stay calm during this type of conversation, especially if you feel like the punishment doesn't match the crime. However, it is crucial to stay level headed so your parents actually listen to you. When emotions get high receiving parties tend to shut down and become defensive. This will definitely not help your case.

Managing Your Emotions and Reactions

To keep yourself calm and collected, take some time to go over what you'd like to say to your parents beforehand so you are fully prepared. Think of a few different reactions that they may have and imagine how you can handle these situations in a relaxed way. If you feel yourself becoming angry, sad, or upset, try:

  • Reminding yourself of how important your remaining level headed is and that you have a better chance of your parents hearing you out if you do so
  • Take a few deep breaths before speaking to them and during the conversation if you feel your emotions escalating
  • Do a body scan before and after speaking with your parents to check in with yourself- remember managing emotions effectively is part of being an adult
  • Prior to speaking with them, or during a heated moment take a minute to visualize a calm place- this can help you return to a calmer state of mind

Understanding What Works

Whatever happens, be proud of yourself for taking initiative and trying to speak maturely with your parents. Take note of what they respond positively to, and continue to work on rebuilding their trust.

How to Get Ungrounded