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BONUS BOTD 1/14/13 "The Wrong Side Of The Bed" A DMK BONUS

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David M. Katz


A DMK Bonus Production

It is Monday morning. Your twelve year old son, Nat, had a very busy and fun-filled weekend. He had two friends over for the weekend and none of the boys slept much. Nat's guests headed home around 4:00pm on Sunday. When Nat is tired, he gets in a foul mood and is grumpy. Soon after the departure of friends, Nat started getting rude with you and your spouse and seemed irritated with generally everything. Because of some emotional issues in his past you have learned to talk to him about things when he gets like this. You ascertain that Nat is just very physically tired. You suggest some calm and relaxing activities. Nat decides on a pre-dinner bike ride. At the dinner table, Nat keeps nodding off and he is grumpy about his dinner. Your spouse suggests, "Honey, you had a busy weekend. It would be OK if you wanted to go and lie down and read." Nat refuses and starts back talking and sassing your spouse. Since the start of the school year, you all have allowed Nat to manage his own bedtime. He has always been responsible for this and often goes to bed some nights earlier than he did when he had a set time.

Your spouse tells Nat that (s)he knows he is tired and he needs to be careful about how he is speaking to everyone. Nat smarts off again about how he does not have to go to bed because he has no bed time. Your spouse has had enough and says, "Well, you do tonight, go to bed - NOW!" As it is not quite yet even 8:00pm, Nat starts arguing again. You step in and say, "What were you told to do?"

Nat replies, "I was told to go to bed but I am supposed to be able to stay up if I want." Nat tries to argue his point with you. You tell him firmly, "You have two choices. You may go to bed now as you were told or you may get a spanking and then go to bed as you were told." Nat gives you a look but finally says, "OK, I'll go to bed." He is asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.

NAT -12

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Around midnight, you are in your home office killing time on your computer and Nat looks in on his way to the restroom. His mood and tone are much better even though you can tell he is sleepy. He tells you he is on the way to the restroom but he is sorry he was acting like such a jerk earlier. You two hug and you tell him all is forgiven and to have a good night.

This morning, Nat must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Grumpy boy is back. He is complaining about breakfast and everything seems to be wrong with the world. He does try to get rude with your spouse but your spouse is able to clam that down. It is just all and all a really bad morning for Nat and his attitude. You wonder where the sweet boy from midnight is at.

As you are taking Nat to school, you try to have a discussion with him to see if there are any issues. He does not want to talk. You get to school and wish him a good day but tell him the two of you need to have a long talk when he gets home.

When he gets home is talking all you will do?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Looks to me like he hasn't been getting enough sleep lately and that seems to be having a major effect on his attitude. I think that we will talk about it when he gets home and he will have a bed time again on school nights, perhaps 10:30.

Just talking tonight unless he still insist on back talking and being disrespectful to his mother and myself. Then I think a "special" will do him well!


Editor Extraordinaire
Who isn't grumpy on a Monday morning? I think sometimes with an adolescent -- and Nat is either an adolescent or on the verge of it -- it's better just to give them space. It is possible to over-talk situations, and if he feels defensive, he's more likely to say something objectionable. He may not know why he's grumpy. It could be hormonal or perhaps a side effect of having his normal sleeping patterns disrupted or just some stuff he doesn't want to talk about. I'd give him some space; make it clear that I'm available if he wants to talk. He might benefit from some sort of physical interaction. A hug or playful wrestling match can do wonders.




Im with JTT and Kat, I dont think I would do anything other than talk unless the back talk came into play. at this point I dont think anything more than talk because if there was, it should have already happend and it sounds like the other incedents have been handled at this point.

Good Luck Katz, hope Nat ends up having a better day

hugs kal


He is still caching up. When you are overtired and a bit hyper as it sounds like Nat is you don't sleep great. I have to question our wisdom in allowing Nat as much autonomy over his bed time as we have. Kids aren't always the best judge

So in our (spanking free )chat I will be telling Nat that I am happy for him to decide his own bed time when he is behaving like a big boy but if he behaves like a toddler or has unacceptable attitude and language we will reserve the right to treat him as a little boy and send him to bed earlier than he would like, with a paddled behind if necessary . Repetitions of what we had to put up with Sunday evening and this morning will bring spankings AND early nights. Tonight he will go to bed at he clearly, as I said he is still catching up.

Stone Man

My worry for Nat is whether he can get by this day of school without getting into serious trouble there.

I wish now I had had the foresight to wrestle with him last night and tickle and stingoor him to death. follow that with some hugging and a back rub and he would have been off to lala land in no time.

The talk after school will just be a talk, as long as nothing comes to light that is bothering Nat and requires punishment.


Depends on how he behaves that evening.

John Boy

I think, after our talk, he needs either some quiet time or recommend a nap. Nat, I still have days like this, scratch including this morning. I know that sometimes lack of Sleep catches up, and even "enough" sleep can cause the grumpies to come back. More then likely he will be fine after school, but this is one of those, where the littlest thing could cause an explosive situation. bom


Aw, poor Nat, his sleeping time is all mixed up.

My brother used to be a bit explosive when he was a teenager, the trick was not to let him anger us.

I would tell him, 'Yes, dear, no, dear, I love you, too" That used to work well with him.

I think that Nat needs some guidelines for his sleepovers. If he is going to be cranky for lack of sleep days later, he may have fewer of them. And he has to learn to know when he needs to rest.

I would wait for him to talk about it when he is back from school.

Hugs Nat, hugs, David. I love you


Last edited by LLALVA on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrections :))

Emlyn Morgan

I'm going to whack him.


I know he got overtired last night and probably just didn't want to get out of bed this morning and I'm going forget about a talk tonight.

I'll just get off his back, stand back and allow my normal Nat to re-emerge


To me, the important part is that, when he started back talking the spouse in the morning, it was cooled down. That leaves me with three issues.

First, where was the good boy from midnight? Good question. Am I always chipper, polite, and in a good mood? If I'm not, then it's rather hypocritical of me to expect him to be.

Second, is he in charge of his own bedtime? Yes, but we are the parents, so he needs to understand that we will always (through his minority) have executive override and presidential veto.

Third, does he deserve a spanking? I dunno - who's the one who didn't supervise him more closely, knowing how he gets when he doesn't get enough sleep.

I think this is one where Nate and I need to have a long talk, find out if there's some other major occurrence that could be upsetting him, and see how he feels about his behavior. However, for me, since he did back down when I told him to, and since he did stop the back talk when my spouse told him to, I don't think he pushed it far enough to deserve a spanking, unless he keeps pushing this afternoon.


I think Leti made the most important point - it seems like he does a good job of setting his own bedtime. It's when he has friends over that he has troubles. Probably the best thing I can do now is be proactive, and make sure he knows that they have to be in bed by a certain time if he wants to keep having guests.


I agree with Jack and Leti that 'helping out' picking a bedtime when he has company may indeed help but make sure to broach this issue before hand and in a non threatening manner. chances are he'll see your point.

Kat's right about giving him a bit of space as he verges on the cusp of adolescence. Much of what I seem to be hearing is twelve year old bull headedness. Give that as much space as you're prepared to tolerate and then enforce the boundaries.

David M. Katz

Everyone has correctly assumed this was a true situation.

He came home form school in a better mood and was willing to talk. He admitted he was tired and, yes, that made him feel bad. There were apologies and hugs all around.

In the future, when there are sleep overs, there will need to be a component of sleep, especially if there are two days in a row. We will work it out where the boys can still have fun and feel like the sleep over is a special time but Nathaniel admits, "we usually get real tired after a while."

He will continue to manage his own bed time as he has done fine with this since we started allowing this, but, he now understands that we as parents will have authority to assign him a bed time if we feel it is needed. He has been given a bed time of 8:30 tonight. This is mostly because he is still tired but there is a punitive component to it as well and he fully understands that and gave no argument.

Being the South and due to the fact that my world is now covered in a thin coat of ice and given the fact that schools close here at the mere mention of ice and/or snow, school tomorrow is doubtful, but, he will still be nice and rested.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


cheers Im happy everything worked out for you and Nate!!!!

hugs kal

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