Computer ban is new way to punish children

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The Independent Online

Unruly children are increasingly being threatened with virtual grounding by parents who find that pulling the plug on the computer is the best punishment for bad behaviour.

Unruly children are increasingly being threatened with virtual grounding by parents who find that pulling the plug on the computer is the best punishment for bad behaviour.

Gone are the days when a slap or being sent to bed without supper were the ultimate sanctions parents could mete out on troublesome youngsters. In a survey of 3,000 adults, 28 per cent said confinement to the house and a curfew on all social activity for up to a week was the toughest sanction.

Withdrawing all treats was the second most-used sanction with an 18 per cent vote and a television ban came a close third. Banning the computer came fourth, being named by 14 per cent of parents. It outscored more traditional punishments such as withholding pocket money, or forcing children to do chores, which came bottom of the list.

The findings were part of an annual state of the family survey conducted by the Family Assurance Group, a friendly society based in Brighton. John Reeve, the firm's chief executive, said, "Modern deterrents are required for modern children. Thankfully for many of today's younger generation, the threat of the slipper has been overtaken by cessation of social pleasures."

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