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BOTD 8/7/13 "I'm Going Home" Late Chat Production

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David M. Katz

*A Late Chat Production
*Leti, Kier, John Boy, Jkher, DMK

This is your thirteen year old son, Blake, at the annual family reunion and picnic.  He isn't happy.

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Why isn't he happy?

Blake did not want to attend the reunion and picnic.  It is an annual event and the only time that some of the family are able to see each other.  Blake has known about the picnic for a little over two months and has been rather vocal about not wanting to attend.  Blake basically says he will be bored and doesn't want to spend the day with a "bunch of old people." You feel it is important for Blake to attend the reunion/picnic and so you tell him he has to go.  You are able to appease Blake and get him a little more interested in the picnic by reminding him that his cousin will be there and that they can hang out together.

When you arrive at the picnic his cousin is not there.  Your brother tells you and Blake that he let his son stay home.  Blake becomes angry and starts sulking and whining about having to be there.  He says it is unfair that he has to be there and his cousin doesn't.

The activities get underway and, later on, you notice Blake is missing.  You and the family search the area and he is not to be found.  Blake is eventually found walking along the highway headed back to town.  He says the picnic is lame and he is going home.  (It would be about a ten mile walk.)

What happens with your unhappy boy?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Editor Extraordinaire
I think the trouble is that while I wanted Blake not to miss the opportunity to know some of his relatives before they die, I didn't see that a relationship cannot be forged in these yearly meetings. To him, it is boring to spend time with relatives with whom he has no bond. I used the presence of his cousin to reconcile him to the reunion, so of course he's going to be pissed off that not only is the cousin not there, but his parents allowed him not to attend.

While I'm probably pretty upset that he went off like this, I need to remember that he is feeling disappointed and angry -- as well as being thirteen, which is an age at which few people exercise good judgement. I'm going to pick him up and drive him home rather than make a scene. Sometimes the least said is the most effective. He can have some alone time to reflect on the immature way he reacted. I will reflect on my own failure to listen to his needs, as I try to make the most of what time I have left to spend at the reunion.



I guess Blake walks home 10 miles!



I will spend some time driving him home. He is old enough to stay at home alone a few hours and it will save my nerves and the peace of the already disturbed family meeting.


I can see Kat's point to a large degree. If I'd been 'dragged' to a function and the one person who was going to make it tolerable didn't show up on his dad's ok I'd be pretty peeved too.

I also know that at 13 I've been taught better manners than to skulk and sulk. I would at the very least try to make the best of the situation.

That being said, however this is deliberate and potentially dangerous and Blake will know what that's going to buy him upon our return home!

10 miles of highway (I presume highway to mean 4 lane divided and not 'road') is WAY too dangerous for a lone child to be walking! Yeah, I know that when I was 13 I was invincible/could conquer the world; it ain't so and that's why we have parents!

I won't strop his rear off but he's getting a good one. Twisted Evil 

John Boy

I will take him home, and promise him a spanking he won't forget. He may think he is grown up but that was very childish. I will then return to the reunion finish visiting, and go home and deal with my sour 13 YO


Im with Dimitri and Jb on this one, I feel he is old enough to suck it up and deal with it. He needs to start learning that we all have things we need to do that we might not like. Im not to fond of the HUGE family get togethers either but I know I have to go and in the end it really doesnt hurt. He will be going back and when we get home he is getting a sore bottom!!!!

hugs kal


I also agree with Dimitri, JB, and Kal.

I've been to more than one family affair I'd rather not have attended. If I'd been reasonable as a parent, Blake would have a Gameboy or PSP to distract him, but his behavior is unacceptable, and his response to his disappointment the action of a spoiled, solipsistic child, not a "young adult".

Act like a baby, get treated one. And a baby walking 10 miles without telling anyone where he was going would be treated as what this is: dangerous, deliberate, disrespectful disobedience.


I'm more inclined to Kat's view in the basis that having told Blake his cousin would be there I should really have checked to ensure that was going to be the case.


I'm with Dimitri. It was very dangerous and there will be a sore behind for this but it will be tempered by the unfortunate fact that I didn't compare notes with my brother re Blakes cousin not being at this bash


I am really unhappy with Blake for just leaving like this, but I'm not going to punish him for it. Would it have killed me to call my brother and make sure the cousin was going to be there? For that matter, couldn't I have taken Blake home when his cousin wasn't here, offered to go pick cousin up, or drop Blake off to visit him (so they could have their own generations reunion)?

I understand the idea that kids need to meet and spend a bit of time with their family, but I also understand that that kind of thing isn't really fun for them and forcing them to do it seems counterproductive at best (if their main memories of extended family are negative, are they going to want to stay in touch?).

There will be a discussion and some consequence for how Blake dealt with this (probably just a bit more supervision in the near future), but he will also be getting an apology from me.

(For the record, I had a situation where my two same age cousins were supposed to be there and weren't, except it was out of town, so I was stuck. My grandmother took the time to find a book store and take me to get a book, so I had something to do.)

Pi Beta

RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Real life me would be very tempted to join him since I am never entirely comfortable at large family get togethers. (I recently went to a Cousin's 80th birthday party 60 miles from home and knew by name less than ten of the hundred or so present. Rather more than 10 knew who I was which was rather embarrassing!)

However, having gone, I really have to stick it out so will return with him to the reunion. I will promise him that if he stops sulking and behaves reasonably maturely, I'll look for an excuse for both of us to leave in an hour and next year I'll let him miss the event. However, I will also warn him that if he continues to sulk as he has been, when we get home his backside is going to get roasted.

I hope I will be able gto find a job for him to do for the hour - clearing up or something that he can try doing with a smile.

Stone Man

The situation could have been handled better by Blake and by me. I understand Blake's lack of interest in the reunion, and probably should have called my relative to see if the promised cousin would be in attendance. I also should have considered taking Blake home (after a short stint of meeting and pleasantly greeting those relatives who would want to see him).

Blake should not have left the gathering, he would have been better served if he had talked with me about leaving and I hope I would have had the sense to see his point and taken him home... but he didn't.

I will take him home. I will warn him that he best be right here when I returned and that we would discuss the course of action I would take with him on my return.

I don't think I will spank him for scaring the %#@%% out of me, but time will tell.

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