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BOTD 5/13/13 "Gentry The Good Boy" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz

A DMK Production

Your twelve year old son, Gentry, is rarely in trouble. You have not had need to spank him in over a year. He is well behaved at home and at school and you and your spouse even get compliments on how polite and respectful he is. Gentry's behavior and trustworthiness has earned him a lot more freedom and privileges than you ever imagined you would give to a twelve year old. Gentry seems to thrive with the added freedoms.

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Gentry asked permission to go "hang out" at the park in town and you allowed him to go. He said he would be home by 5:00pm.

You are good friends with the manager of the small grocery store in the town. It is around 4:00pm and you get a call from your friend. He tells you he has Gentry in his office. Apparently Gentry was caught red handed shoplifting candy bars. You are asked to please come take Gentry home. Your friend tells you that he is supposed to call the police and file charges on Gentry but, considering that Gentry is a good kid and considering your friendship, he just can't do it. He says he will just release Gentry to you and let you handle the matter.

You get to the store and Gentry is sitting in the manager's office and softly crying. Gentry admits that he was trying to steal the candy bars. You apologize to your friend the manager and Gentry does the same. You are told you are free to go and you take Gentry home.

Gentry is silent for the ride home. When you get him home, Gentry explains he saw some of the guys from school at the park. He said they hung out a bit but then started teasing him about being a good kid. He said they were calling him "Angel" and stuff like that. Gentry said it was bad. Gentry says the other guys told him that he could prove he wasn't an angel if he would steal some candy for them because they were hungry. Gentry said he knew it was wrong but he just couldn't deal with the teasing. Gentry says he did steal the candy but the other guys ran off when he got caught. Gentry has returned the candy to the store.

How do you handle this matter? Does Gentry's past impeccable record impact your decision? Do the circumstances of the theft impact your decision?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Yes, it does. I just can't see what good a spanking would do here. We will have a long talk together about peer pressure and so on and he will apologise again to the store owner, offering his help for compensation of his troubles.


While his prior status as an 'angel' must and will be taken into consideration as we go forward, it needs to be realized that said status is the proximal cause of the 'crime'.

Gentry and I are going to have a long talk on the perils of peer pressure and his apparent inability to resist. Perhaps we'll develop some coping skills that will work for him. At the end of our talk however, Gentry is getting spanked for this and I think he'll understand why it's necessary.

He managed to avoid prosecution which would certainly remove the term 'angel' from his reputation and I do believe that he needs a level of punishment that will make him 'think twice' before acting and be of sufficient strength as to be a deterrent in the future (a tool to resist peer pressure).


If it's been over a year since Gentry has been in trouble, I'm going to let him give me some input on the situation. I'm also going to take the teasing into account (and I've actually had to deal with a situation like that before).

The simple fact is, no matter what kind of policies schools adopt, I don't think there's any way bullying can be completely eliminated - at least not for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, parents need to teach their kids how to deal with this kind of thing.

Gentry could easily have said a couple of different things to end the teasing. "I'm not that good, I'm just smart enough not to get caught," or, more honestly, "I can act up and get in trouble, or behave and get rewarded. Do you like being punished?"

As bad as I feel about this, and as bad as I feel about teasing, Gentry didn't just make a bad decision, he broke the law. He is going to be punished, and I'm pretty sure he's going to get a sore bottom, but I'm probably not going to switch him.

John Boy

I think this is one of those times where Gentry and I will have a long talk. My guess is he knows the consequences for stealing in our house. I well tell Gentry since he has such a good record, he has to be punished but how is in his court. He knows our rules and will probably be going out to cut a switch, however a paddling or lockdown in the guest room are options he can come up with. Gentry will again probably choose the switch or paddle, as well as work to earn money to pay for the stolen candy. It may have been returned but I think it adds to the lesson.


Gentry is in for a lecture on peer pressure and a sore bottom.


Ditto Jack, Dimitri, and JTT.


It must be tough being the 'goodie', especially if you haven't got any goodie friends.

I shan't ask him if he 'wants' a spanking, but I will ask him if he thinks he deserves one. I'm pretty sure I know what the tearful answer will be.

Once we've got that behind us I need to give some thought as to how I can prevent Gentry being picked on in the future.


I am going to take everything into account snd we will have a long chat about handling peer pressure and just what could have happened and probably would happen if there was a repetition. (Not sure if I should say this to Gentry but there are probably better ways to shed a goody goody image than committing a criminal offence.) Its disappointing Gentry did this if in some ways understandable but I think it would help stiffen Gentrys resolve in future and assuage his guilt if He did end up over my knee. I will also ask him to write a letter of apology to my friend in his best handwriting and thank him for taking this no further.


Editor Extraordinaire
Gentry's prior good behavior and the circs do affect my decision. I think Ivor's approach works best for me. I can't be overly harsh with Gentry, but I also don't want to establish a pattern of excusing serious misbehavior. Peer pressure is mitigation but not justification. Gentry is very fortunate that he wasn't arrested. More important than punishment, however, is giving him tools for coping with tough situations. Peer pressure, whether it comes from friends or bullies, is a fact of life for kids.


Stone Man

Ditto Kier's ditto.

The worse Gentry will get is a hand spanking... not even a deluxe version. He's already sorry for what he did knowing it was wrong to do all along.

Once/while he's recovering we'll work on things he can try and do to deflect bullying if it happens in the future. It can be a lonely world out there for kids who think it makes sense to behave rather than brake rules/laws. Sad

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