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BOTD 01-26-13 Disctracted Dirk - A David Katz Production

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Bransom Postmaster

A DMK Production

Your thirteen year old son, Dirk, is basically a good kid but he does have one problem that you are working on with him. Dirk likes to be outdoors and often lets himself get distracted by his surroundings and this means he is often late or misses curfew. You have tried everything from talking and reasoning to grounding to spanking. Dirk makes short term improvement but falls right back in to his old ways.

Today Dirk wants to go for a walk in the park. You tell him that is fine but remind him to be home by 2:00PM as he has a doctor's appointment for a check-up. Yes, Dirk has a watch. 2:05 rolls around and there is no Dirk. You call his cell phone and hear it ringing from his bedroom. By 2:30, you have to call the doctor to reschedule and are charged a $25 missed appointment fee. You get in the car and go to the park. You find your son along one of the paths watching a group of squirrels. He looks surprised to see you and then looks at his watch. He says, "Oh no, I'm so sorry. I guess I just got distracted."

Dirk - 13

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How do you deal with this?

Can you dig it?

John Boy

First that $25 is coming out of his pocket. Second when we get home, I am going to see if I can once again try and get to his brain through his butt. If that doesn't work, I may take away everything until he learns to manage time better and not get so distracted.


Editor Extraordinaire
If Dirk is this easily distracted and it's something that is a regular occurrence, then I can't see the point in punishing him, especially as punishment has failed several times. Is he easily distracted at school and in other settings? He may have an issue that needs to be addressed. If he is simply a bit irresponsible and prone to lose track of time, I may find a system of positive reinforcement, along with teaching him strategies for staying aware of time, works better than punishment.



He knows he has a problem with becoming distracted. He knows he has a doctor's appointment (and if he's like every 13 year old I ever treated, he doesn't want to go). He has a cellphone, but "accidentally" left it home. His "distraction" has cost me an additional $25.00 and inconvenienced the doctor.

First we're going to talk. If I believe this was a manipulation to keep from going to the doctor's appointment, I'm going to handle it differently than if he was "only" distracted (again).

Either way, sadly, he's in trouble. Clearly what I've tried hasn't had the desired effect. I'm going to remind him that there is an ALARM on his phone (and maybe on his watch as well). To prevent a recurrence of what's about to happen, he merely needs to set the alarm and remember to take his phone with him. Like the old AmEx commercials: "Don't leave home without it". If that's the circumstance, a moderate (probably hand) spanking, and extra chores to make up the $25.00 should do the trick, along with regular reminders to always bring his phone.

If I believe this was deliberate in an attempt to not (in kid think) "have someone see me undressed, feel me in places only I'm supposed to touch, and then give me a shot", I'm going to be much harsher. Looks like he's been found in a good location for picking a switch.


The look on his face alone clinches it.

Stone Man

Kat wrote:I may find a system of positive reinforcement,

You mean like "I will positively paddle you if you're ever late again?" Razz

Just look at the Kiddo... I couldn't resist putting him over my lap for a round or two.


I think that I'd feel more the idiot for letting him go in the first place, knowing about his wandering ways.

I'm not sure that I can blame him completely. At thirteen, he's little more than a child.


A thirteen year old who leaves his phone behind? For todays kids it's like forgetting an arm or leg.

Anyway, like Jkher said, who's more to blame than me letting him go out alone

- without knowing where he goes to
- without checking he had his watch and cellphone with and set to remind him

Well, the fee is going to come (partly) out of his allowence. If other punishments doesn't work, maybe this will do. Nevertheless I will have him checked for mental problems.


Oh Dirk what re we to do with you.

I'm tempted to say two with the paddle for every 5 bucks and if I suspect Dirk was really trying to avoid that appointment thats what it would be.

The alternative is Dirk will be 25 bucks lighter. I think we will go for that this time but whatever:

Next time Dirk goes out he is on zero trust. We will check he has his mobile on(AND WITH CHARGE). We will call him in time to make

curfew. If he has received his reminder The later he is the more licks he gets but the minimum will be 3 unless he can present a cast

iron reason for not getting back on time. Sorry Dirk you are going to have to work at getting our trust back. You want to enjoy the

privelege of being a big boy now your a teenager. Start earning it


Dirk will be well aware that he will have to attend the Doc's some time.

If I believe he is genuinely surprised when I find him then I'm with Kat. His first positive reinforcement will be standing the $25

Emlyn Morgan

I'm going to whack him.


Watching the squirrels?? Is the boy nuts??

I probably shouldn't have let him go out at least not without ensuring he had either a phone or a watch with an alarm set, but then at 13 he should also have a sense of responsibility.

As this is an ongoing problem I'm not sure whacking him will do much good in resolving it, but it may well make me feel better Twisted Evil


This should have been solved long ago by teaching him to set the alarm on his cell phone every time he needs to be home at a certain point, then making him prove to me that he has it before he leaves. Likewise, can't I find a cheap watch with an alarm.

Dirk is obviously not malicious in this, but I think that a spanking is in order. I'm going to tell him about the fee, but will only make him do some token chores to repay it. However, I think we're going to have to start being more strict about when and where he's allowed to go (at least in cases like this), until he proves to me that he can be more responsible.

David M. Katz

I think I am going to align with Jack. His approach seems most sensible and logical.

I do share some of the blame by knowing Dirk's tendencies and not making sure he was properly equipped.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


IF I believe that he forgot his phone (I find that rather hard to swallow) and IF I believe he's not playing me (I'll buy that), then we'll discuss (again) ways of making sure we are on time for things. The missed appointment fee is coming out of his allowance.

I like Stoney's 'positive reinforcement'! Razz

If this is an ongoing issue of being so easily distracted there may indeed be a larger problem that needs taken care of, espcially if it interferes with school, etc.

On the other hand, if (as I suspect) he just blew this off because he didn't want to go to the doctor's office, I'm taking the fee out his hide in addition to a 'wake up' spanking!! Twisted Evil


The horrible, inhuman monster does not believe that Dirk "accidentally" forgot his cellular telephone device.

Most kids of Dirk's age would rather go out of the house naked than leave without their telephone.

No modern teenager is ever more than three and five sixteenths inches away from his phone.

What never? No, NEVER... not even hardly ever...

He's coughing up the $25.00 and getting a good bare bottom spanking to boot.


I agree with the others, this really is not a spanking offense, especially since it's not going to help him keep better track of time. I agree with Jack, Why haven't I showed him those handy alarm functions on his phone yet? I know I sure use 'em a lot! The cancelation fee is coming out of his allowance though, that should be punishment enough.

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