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BOTD 5/28/13 "Keeping Commitments" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
KEEPING COMMITMENTS
A DMK Production

When your son, Benji, turned thirteen, he asked if you would consider grounding him instead of spanking. You agreed to try it but reminded Benji that spanking was still a very real possibility especially if he gave you any issues with being grounded.

It is now three months later and school is out and summer is here. Benji fell into a pattern of breaking his curfew. Finally, after warning Benji about his curfew, you grounded him for a week. Today is Saturday and Benji is four days into being grounded. So far he has handled it well and has not given you any attitude or issues and even seems to be learning from it.

Every Saturday, weather permitting, Benji mows two yards in your neighborhood to make extra pocket money. Both neighbors are very pleased with Benji's work and reliability. Today is Saturday and you catch Benji heading out of the house. You remind him that he is grounded and ask where he is going. He reminds you that he has the two yards to mow. You tell Benji that he is not allowed out and that he will just have to wait until his grounding is over to go out and mow. You tell him to call the neighbors and tell them he can't make it. Benji protests loudly saying that "he promised" and that they are expecting him. He says it is "his job" and he has to go. You stand firm and tell Benji he is not to leave the house

A bit later you and your spouse leave to run a couple of quick errands. Benji is left at home with the reminder that he is grounded and he is to remain in the house.

As you are returning home you see the following in your neighbor's yard. That is Benji pushing the mower.

BENJI - 13
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How do you handle this issue?


_________________
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
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1strappedboy


Sherrif
While his work ethic is commendable, he broke the grounding and disobeyed a direct order.

That, in our house, earns a serious stropping which shall follow in due course. Benj can forget about grounding for the foreseeable future as he is unable to comply with it.

Jack


Admin
I apologize to Benjy. He was trying hard to do the things I'd taught him to, and I was sending him a bad message by trying to prevent it. Work, like school, isn't part of grounding, and I should have kept that in mind.

However, I think young Ben is going to lose the cash from today. I'll put it aside until his grounding is over, then we can talk about doing something with it aside from pocket money (saving it for Christmas shopping maybe? Or maybe donating it to a charity - I'll take his input).

http://bransomtx.forumotion.net

AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with Jack.

He wasn't grounded from going to school--which is a commitment. And he shouldn't have been grounded from mowing the lawns of his "customers". Were I such a customer, I'd be looking for a new lawn boy.

I see Dimitri's point--I DID issue a direct order. But sensibly, in this case, it OUGHT to be "my bad" instead of bend over.

He can lose the money from the yard work (which I'll save for him for later, though he won't know it now), and I'll make clear that "grounding" means outside of school and already scheduled "work" (but not necessarily scheduled fun--though I would likely make an exception for something very special--a best friend's Bar Mitzvah as opposed to a scheduled movie).

kalico


Sherrif
Im in with Jack and Kier

Never should have told him he couldn't do his job, so I agree that he can loose money for now and get it back later for something. Agreement also in that we need to maybe go back to the way things were...


hugs kal

John Boy


Sherrif
I will let him finish mowing, then I will make him shower and paddles his little butt dry. I may even add a day to his grounding.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=John+Boy

Iconoclast


Trailboss
Agree with Jack and Kier! Work takes priority over grounding.

Iconoclast

Padraig


Trailboss
I'll join the club. Maybe he gets some fun out of his "job" but he has taken the responsibility and should deliver. However, we will have a serious talk about disobeying and what comes afer...

David M. Katz


Marshall
Jack wrote:I apologize to Benjy. He was trying hard to do the things I'd taught him to, and I was sending him a bad message by trying to prevent it. Work, like school, isn't part of grounding, and I should have kept that in mind.

However, I think young Ben is going to lose the cash from today. I'll put it aside until his grounding is over, then we can talk about doing something with it aside from pocket money (saving it for Christmas shopping maybe? Or maybe donating it to a charity - I'll take his input).

DITTO, Jack!

I have either lost my mind or I am a jerk to not allow Benji to keep his commitments.


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ivor


Marshall
I see where Dimitri is coming from as he did disobey a direct instruction.

Whether depriving Benji of his work and earnings was a corret decision is another matter. But, as I told him he couldn't go and he did, then he's earned himself either an extension to the grounding or a spanking.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

Pi Beta


Deputy
100% with Jack on this. What was I thinking about to refuse to let him fulfil a commitment?

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with those who see the parent as wrong to forbid Benjy to mow the yards. I can't blame him for disobeying me under the circs. Having foolishly made a poor decision, I'm going to extricate myself as gracefully as possible rather than compounding the mistake.

Kat

1strappedboy


Sherrif
In reality, I too am in the softy brigade on this, but the scenario as written didn't give the luxury of being the better man.

Note, it specifically says 'I'm standing firm on the grounding'. Playing within that box are you all really letting Benj off?!?

If yes, I really wish I'd had parents like that!

Jack


Admin
1strappedboy wrote:In reality, I too am in the softy brigade on this, but the scenario as written didn't give the luxury of being the better man.

Note, it specifically says 'I'm standing firm on the grounding'. Playing within that box are you all really letting Benj off?!?

Sometimes it's hard to answer these exactly as the scenario is written. Sometimes I make a real point of trying. Sometimes, I just have to say, as I did in this case, 'maybe I did say that, but I was wrong, and now I'm going to try to fix it.'

And maybe it's because of how my parents are that I will try to admit when I'm wrong and make repairs.

Mind you, I'm not letting him have the pocket money from this time, so it's not like he's getting off scott free. I just think that if he was 'even learning something from the grounding', that I shouldn't go out of my way now to help him learn the wrong lesson.

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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
1strappedboy wrote:In reality, I too am in the softy brigade on this, but the scenario as written didn't give the luxury of being the better man.

Note, it specifically says 'I'm standing firm on the grounding'. Playing within that box are you all really letting Benj off?!?

If yes, I really wish I'd had parents like that!

I believe it is always better to admit an error and risk inconsistency than to back a poor decision at any cost. I've seen too many adults who cannot admit to being wrong. I can see that going back on my word here might cause potential problems in the future. In general, you want kids to believe that you mean what you say; otherwise, they never know quite where they stand. It's unfortunate that the scenario locks me into a course of behavior that I hope I'd have the good sense to avoid in a real situation. Yet people do make these errors. Honesty and good communication are essential if you reverse a decision. A willingness to listen and be flexible before making pronouncements goes a long way towards avoiding these situations. Reversing a punishment decision is definitely choosing the lesser of two weevils. Razz I believe that ultimately, however, it earns more respect than a dogmatic insistence on following through.

Kat

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Fair 'nuf!! Laughing

Good answers!

ivor


Marshall
You may be convinced Dimitri, but I'm not.

In the strict terms of the scenario having turned down the chance to change my mind once when Benjy asked if he could go and cut the grass today, I don't see that I am likely to change it when I get home and find he has sneaked out in my absence to go and do just that.

Perhaps I should, or perhaps I should have done when he asked earlier,but I just don't see me backing down at this stage.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Put that way, I'm back to my original answer! Actually the fact that he went out and did what he wanted/felt he needed to do shows a level of brass that does not bode well for one so young!

What happens in a couple more years when he's a big, robust teenager and I ground him?

Perhaps by then he'll be mature enough to abide by the grounding but a spanking for direct deliberate disobedience is a bit of a must happen IMHO.

Sorry to be the resident meanie! Sad

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
1strappedboy wrote:Put that way, I'm back to my original answer! Actually the fact that he went out and did what he wanted/felt he needed to do shows a level of brass that does not bode well for one so young!

I feel just the opposite, Dimitri. It shows me a boy who has the courage of his convictions and who will probably grow into adult who has the courage of his convictions. There is a thin line between teaching a child respect for authority and conditioning him to be blindly and indiscriminately obedient to it. Ideally, the parent should be the model for the child, but the parent in this scenario seems to me arbitrary and unreasonable. The boy, on the other hand, has shown a work ethic and sense of responsibility/commitment.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
Kat - I do agree with what you are saying about the boy.

The very least the father could have done was to call Benji's cliets and explain to them that he was unable to cut their grass today but would be available to do it on xday and that he was sorry for the inconvenience.

It is just that in this scenario the father is being portrayed as very obstinate and thus imo, highly unlikely to change his stance.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
ivor wrote:It is just that in this scenario the father is being portrayed as very obstinate and thus imo, highly unlikely to change his stance.

I do agree with you, Ivor. As presented in the scenario, the father is very unlikely to change. I admit I usually try to find a way to get around the limits of the scenario. Smile

Kat

1strappedboy


Sherrif
I can see it from that perspective in all fairness.

It's probably a product of my own upbringing that I see the 'disobedience' aspect of this as being the 'hot button' topic for me. That's certainly how it would have been perceived by my folks and therefore I'm kind of conditioned to that mindset; what can I say?

I think in the scenario application that, since I "held tight to the grounding", that I wouldn't be cutting much slack in his breaking it regardless of the reason.

In real life, I could see myself saying "go do your job and get straight back here" and being ok with it. I must say though that this is one more situation where it would have been better to spank him and be done with it, and really a fine illustration of why I dislike grounding anyway!

Jack


Admin
1strappedboy wrote:Put that way, I'm back to my original answer! Actually the fact that he went out and did what he wanted/felt he needed to do shows a level of brass that does not bode well for one so young!

You have a point here, but I reflect back on my own childhood. When I was 13, I was living with Mom and Ralph, and saw Patrick and Mary on a regular basis. Mom was wildly inconsistent, but mostly inflexible, and Patrick and Ralph were about as flexible as a concrete block.

Keep in mind that, by the time I was 16, I'd threatened to break Ralph's arm, and Patrick and I had had a knock down drag out that resulted in a trip to the emergency room for him.

I think that if you're willing to listen to a kid and admit when you are wrong, he'll be willing to listen to you when you try to explain when he's wrong. When you're inflexible, hard headed, and unwilling to listen, that's what you teach. And when your kid gets bigger and meaner than you, where are you left?

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1strappedboy


Sherrif
Lord knows you're right on that score!!

It must have been so therapeutic to have had a winning tussle with your tormentor!

Kat wrote of the difference of respect and blind, conditioned, obedience; that was me/us to a "t".

Despite the fact that I was a good bit bigger than Alex, the whole "obey your elders" thing was utterly ingrained in me. If he or Mum said 'to the barn' that was that; I went. Much and as many times as I fantasized about tying him in a knot and feeding him to the pigs I just couldn't cross that boundary. Of course I did leave the second I could and I've often wondered if I wouldn't have knocked his miserable head off later in life. Of course I can point back and say with all the sarcasm implied that he made me who I am today Shocked .



Last edited by 1strappedboy on Tue May 28, 2013 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
1strappedboy wrote:Of course I can point back and say with all the sarcasm implied that he made me who I am today Shocked .

Sometimes kids become the adults they are because of their parents. Sometimes kids become the adults they are in spite of their parents.

Kat

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