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BOTD 11/27/2012 "I Know What I Did Last Summer" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz


A DMK Production


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You come home from work and your eleven year old son, Stanley, greets you with a very bizarre statement, "You need to give me a spanking."

After questioning the following comes to light:

Stanley's school had a special guest speaker today about morals and values and honesty. Stanley has been feeling guilty since the summer. The neighbor's windows were broken and Stanley was implicated but denied involvement and it was never proven that Stanley was responsible. You had basically forgotten about the incident. Stanley now admits that he was throwing rocks at wasp nest on the neighbor's house and missed and broke the windows. Stanley says he is sorry for lying and for breaking the windows and he realizes he needs to be punished.

How do you respond to Stanley?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I'm going to thank him for coming forward and (finally) being honest. I'm going to tell him it was a very brave thing to do.

I will then go with him to the neighbor's where he can make an apology and we will arrange some restitution, probably in the form of yard work.

When we get home, I will explain to Stanley that neither a spanking nor an apology can always fix things, and that sometimes one has to live with the consequences of one's actions.

Six months after the fact, a spanking isn't a reasonable solution to his misbehavior from last summer.


Editor Extraordinaire
The great temptation is to say, "This was so long ago -- let's just forget it. You've punished yourself enough."

In a sense, that would be true. Stanley has punished himself. What he is looking for isn't punishment so much as absolution and closure. For my part, I have to be careful not to send the message that telling the truth or delaying the truth necessarily exempts one from punishment.

I will tell him I'm proud of him for coming to me, even belatedly, and admitting the truth. Then I will give him the spanking he asked for. It won't be a harsh punishment.


John Boy

I feel that if it is still bothering him, the Statute of limitations has not yet been reached. spanking time.

Stone Man

I like Kier's approach up to the "living with the consequences of one's actions". Then I have to interject a depends.

I've known kids who would do well with "living with..." and be able to forgive themselves and go on, having learned a lesson. I've also known, and am one, of those who are too hard on themselves and need closure to be externally administered. If Mom or Dad were to not spank me, I'd have gone off and done things worthy of a spanking until I got one transferring some of that punishment to the event from long ago.


Aw, it's way too long to spank him for it.

Restitution and apologies are much more appropriate. He needs to unburden himself at the neighbours.


Tricky one this scratch

It's not as if I've finally found proof so long afterwards that Stanley was reponsible, rather that he has decided to admit his guilt and seek what he knows would have happened had he been found guilty at the time.

If I am convinced that he really needs to be spanked to put things right in his own mind then I'll oblige - just sufficiently to get him crying


That must have been some talk! First of all I am going to wrap an arm round Stanley and congratulate him on coming clean, It cannot have been easy. However I will say, short of my thrashing him with a 3 ft length of switch a spanking is a relatively easy way, 6 months after the event of removing the guilties. The harder thing will be to admit what he did to the person who deserves to hear it, the neighbour whose window was smashed. So I will take Stanley round and he can either make restitution from savings or do do yard work to make it up. Whether a spanking is still needed after tha ill be down to Stanley but for me , I think the lesson will have truly been delivered and received and I won't end up spanking Stanley six months after the event


Things that go through my head:

1) Unless I have Stanley in a private school, I plan on having a talk with someone about exactly what they're supposed to be teaching there. The deal is, you teach math and science, and I'll handle morals and ethics.

2) Stanley is still young enough to have a very straight-forward since of morality.

I think what I'm going to do is have a talk with him about exactly what happened, why he didn't own up in the first place, and why he thinks he needs to be punished now.

Depending on my relationship with my neighbor, I'm probably going to clarify exactly what kind of spanking Stan thinks he needs. I'll assume he thinks he should get a deluxe spanking, which, in my house, would be a full double pattern with extra smacks on the legs and sit spots (for the original deed and for not being honest about it).

I'll counter offer that we give him a thorough hand spanking to start, then go talk to the neighbor, where he can apologize, say he's being punished for it, and arrange some recompense. If this were with the Dugan's, I'm sure Jerry would accept a token payment and take some chores for the balance. Before any of this starts, I'll let Stan know that, if he doesn't feel he's atoned after this, he can have a bedtime finale with the brush.

I'm willing to bet he'll feel vindicated before that, though.


Now that Ivor has responded I can stop scratching my head. Very Happy


Jack wrote:Things that go through my head:

1) Unless I have Stanley in a private school, I plan on having a talk with someone about exactly what they're supposed to be teaching there. The deal is, you teach math and science, and I'll handle morals and ethics.

But Jack, according to the scenario you've already failed. In any case there are many parents around who don't bother to try anyway.

I would want my kids to attend a school that aims to turn out well educated, well balanced and responsible kids ready to take their place in the world.

Sadly today this seems to be a big ask although things do seem to be starting to get a bit better over here.


I think most is said already. So to shorten my answer: "It depends..."


Ewee... I've rather failed him, haven't I?

He's just now getting a sense of ethics?!?

He's not the only one needing a hike to the barn/den: I've failed him pretty badly. We'll cover this thoroughly before I spank him to clear his conscience. After that,we're having a long talk about things.


1strappedboy wrote:Ewee... I've rather failed him, haven't I?

He's just now getting a sense of ethics?!?

Not really.

A kid can have a good idea of something - say that there are homeless people in the community, but it'll never cross his mind until his nose is rubbed in it. Kids, like most people honestly, tend to get distracted, then lose track of things.

This is a case where the kid knows he did something wrong, but was happy to get out of a spanking. He probably felt guilty about it a day or two, until something else got his attention. Now, someone else comes along - someone who's so important they're a public speaker, not like dreary old Dad who only works for a living and supports his family. The public speaker may say exactly the same thing boring old Dad does, but he says it in a new voice, so it makes a new impact.

That's one of the reasons why kids need to develop new roll models as they grow older.

Beyond that... MM, may I suggest you read this article? It's good for a laugh - and some thought.

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