Grounding is a form of punishment given to children, usually older children, preadolescents or adolescents by their parents (or teachers or headmasters in a school setting) for bad behavior and poor performance in school or other duties. In the terms of behavioral psychology, grounding is a negative punishment because it involves the removal of desired things, rather than the addition of undesired things.
Every now and then, a young person who is grounded is banned from leaving home or their room to go anywhere other than to attend required activities such as school, meals, church, music practice, etc. Grounding does not necessarily mean people are unable to come over, only going out is prohibited. It is commonly combined with the withdrawal of privileges such as the use of computer, Internet, video games, television, telephone, cars, mobile phones, prom, slumber party, etc., and some children may even be sent to bed early. Depending on the severity of the person's behavior, some groundings can last from as short as a day or two, to as long as a month or year, while some last an indefinite amount of time.
The term most likely originated in the aviation community. When an aviator is restricted from flying due to misconduct, illness, or other reasons they are said to be "grounded."
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