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Grounding is a form of punishment given to 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 his/her 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, etc., and some children may even be sent to bed early.  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 uncertainty makes it difficult for the individual to cope, which in some cases can make the punishment more effective.
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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