Bransom, TX

a discussion place for our web site

You are not connected. Please login or register

BOTD 19 August 2013: Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]


Steve is your next door neighbor.  More specifically, he's the oldest son of your neighbors.

Steve is 18, and graduated HS this year...

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Steve has lived next door to you about a year less than the rest of his family.  He'd lived with his mother, until they had a long-term disagreement, that led to him moving in with his dad.  While his dad is closer to no nonsense than his mother, his dad usually deals with a situation and moves on.

At your suggestion, when Steve and his father started having some troubles, he came to you and asked about how you handle your older boys.  While you mostly used groundings or restrictions, a few swats with the paddle dealt with minor problems.  Steve wasn't adverse to that, and a Jokari paddle was added to the mix.  A couple of swats for minor problems cleared the air quickly, and was enough to satisfy both of them without dragging things on forever.

Today Steve came to you without his father, and admitted that he has a little problem of his own.  A couple of months ago, Steve got a ticket.  It was no big deal, except he was a bit short on cash, and he had summer plans and didn't want his dad getting mad at (read: grounding) him, then he kind of forgot about it.  Now the ticket has gone to warrant, and he has to pay it immediately if he wants to avoid being arrested.

He's come to you, asking to borrow money.  He admits he's screwed up, and he's willing to pay interest.  He just doesn't want his dad to find out, both because he's pretty embarrassed, and because he's afraid his dad will make a huge deal out of it and just not let it go.  Also, he admits he's heard the base canard that you paddle your kids when they get tickets (untrue - you only paddle them if there are extenuating circumstances, like you told them three times they need to leave if they want to be on time, then they get caught speeding so they won't be late).  After admitting that, he stresses that he's willing to pay interest.

For reference, Steve is starting school in a couple of weeks, but he's going to the local college, and will continue to live at home. Also, you're pretty close friends with his dad and step-mother.  Finally, the amount of money he's asking to borrow is no big deal, and you can afford to give it to him, much less loan it.

Are you going to make the loan?  What terms do you give?

John Boy

I personally think he needs to talk to his Dad about it. I am willing to help him out but I think it would be best for both of them that he at least knows about it.


In an ideal world, I'd agree with John Boy. But this world, from your description, sounds way less than ideal.

Do you think Steve is right that his dad will make a huge deal of it and not let go? It IS a huge deal if it's gone to warrant--it's the not letting go part that's my problem. If so, Steve's over 18, and I'd make the deal. If I truly believe that Steve's dad will be "reasonable", deal with the issue, and move on, then I'm going to facilitate helping the two of them to talk.

"Nothing's gonna change
The things that you said
Nothing's gonna make this
Right again
Please don't turn your back
I can't believe it's hard
Just to talk to you
But you don't understand"

If I were Steve's dad, I'd be troubled that my son was afraid to come to me with such an issue. Only you know whether that's late adolescent paranoia, or a well founded fear. If it's the former, I'm going to try to mediate. If I believe it's the latter, I'll treat Steve as if he were one of mine. Getting the ticket, then blowing it off til it goes to bench warrant would constitute "extenuating circumstances" and from his presentation it sounds like he agrees he deserves to be paddled. The question then becomes whether he's "willing to pay interest" or whether he WANTS to pay it. As he's over 18, I'm not sure it really matters.

David M. Katz

This is one of those things left between me and Steve. I will go WITH him to the clerk/sheriff's/police office to pay the fine and costs.

I will then take Steve home and extract a couple of swats in interest. I will then set Steve up on a strict repayment schedule - that he will have input on. A missed payment means more "interest."

I would cover this for him BUT, as an adult, he does need to learn the financial consequences of his actions but he doesn't need to face arrest and booking for it.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I don't like deceit in general and I'd really need to know what the deal is with his dad as in 'is he an ogre?' that would indeed over react to the situation. If so, I'd be much more inclined to assist him in keeping dear ol' dad in dark about this.

Presuming that to be the case, I'll make the loan with a strict repayment schedule and charge 'interest' a la DMK as I do feel there needs to be concrete consequences for the behavior at hand.

If he just doesn't want dad involved simply because of personal embarrassment or whatever, then we'll deal with those issues and I'll encourage him to 'man up' and deal with his dad honestly.


Steve is a young adult and in the end he did do an adult thing by seeking help....So I think I would do the loan and set up how he will pay it back and yes I think he needs to pay intrest just like you would on any other kind of loan.

If I'm not worried about actual money being paid back and him not working due to school then I think I would find some chores and put a dollar amout either by chore or hour until paid in full.

I also think though that he really needs to talk with his dad because we all know sometimes these things have a way of coming back and kicking you in the booty. He needs to act like an adult and talk with his parents.

hugs kal

Stone Man

Unless I know that Steve will receive abusive treatment from his father, I will not be helping him out with a loan without his father's knowledge. As he will be living at home while attending college, he and his dad need to work out the details of two "adults" living together and this will be as good a place to start as any.


I find myself conflicted on this one.  From the age of about twelve I went to some length to hide my misdeeds from my parents, not so much from fear of a hiding, painful though that was; but because I always wanted them to be proud of me - and did through adulthood until their deaths.

Pragmatism tells me that although I'm willing to help with Steve's finances if it is necessary, that I should not be an accomplice in hiding the situation from his father.  My heart though is saying otherwise.  He is technically an adult and his father doesn't NEED to know of this. I'm also rather proud that he sees me as someone he can trust and come to for help when he's in a mess.

I'm going to help him with a loan.  We'll discuss the repayment terms but I won't be charging (financial) interest.  However since he's brought up paddling I'll ask whether he thinks a paddling in lieu of interest would make him feel better about his irresponsible behaviour.


I side with Stoney on this one. I feel that somewhere, somehow what has happened will become known to Steve's father so better he hear it from Steve than anyone else.


Editor Extraordinaire
Count me in with MemoryMan. That time when you are technically an adult but still in many practical ways an adolescent is very difficult. It is a time when you don't want to disappoint your parents but rather be seen as responsible and mature. Even the best of parents have difficulty letting things like this go.



I'm also with MM.


Stuggling with this one. First up I won't be lending Steve the money. I don't know the family dynamics but it seems that Steve fears being grounded or lectured for a long time most hence him moving out of Moms house. I really dont think it right for me to offer teve an easy way out of this since he compounded a young mans mistake with something far worse. An inability to be honest with himself or with his dad. I think his dad seems a reasonable sort of guy trying to do the right thing s for his boy. Certainly not a monster. Steve has made a problem that could have been solved with may be a paddling and a brief loss of allowance into a major issue .I am prepared to be there when he explains himself to Dad but not to let him be a spoilt kid ducking the consequences of his actions Otherwise what does this young man learn from it. I am sure Dad will be able to move on even though Steve couldnt front up. But It would be wrong for me to collude in the suggested cover up.


I understand what Steve is going through. As an oldest sister I have helped my brothers and cousins a bit, and kept secrets. Nothing bad, but things that parents would not understand at the moment.  

I think that Steve doesn't want to disappoint his father.
I would help him with the loan and to keep it from his father.
It is a one time only thing and he has to understand that.



I would first consider if I had any work that needed done that Steve could do and I would have trouble with if I tried to do it myself. If yes then I would make the deal on that basis. Regardless of that I will do what David says and I will go WITH him to the clerk/sheriff's/police office to pay the fine and costs.



Fact 1) I've played around with and teased Steve, but I've never had a real reason to punish him (unless I'm totally blanking on something).

Fact 2) I really like Tammy and Jerry. I don't think either one of them is really abusive. We don't always agree on every point of discipline, but that hardly makes them bad people (or even wrong on those issues).

At first, I thought the same thing a lot of you did. Maybe he was embarrassed and found it easier to admit his mistakes to me. Maybe he just didn't want Dad to know about it. I was pretty sure his mom's reaction to him skipping school and hanging with 'bad kids' motivated his reaction this time.

Turns out I wasn't too close this time.

After a lot of thought, I decided that I really like having Rory and Kirby around here. Even Seth is still a minor. And the parents are both fun game night-people. I was willing to help Steve out, but I didn't want to jeopardize those other relationships. I told him I'd loan him the money, but he had to tell his dad. I did offer to sit down with him for the talk.

That's when the hidden truth started coming out. I mentioned those summer plans of Steve's? It turns out that Steve had been supposed to be working full-time, so he could put back some money to help with his school expenses and pay his insurance. He had very rarely gotten full time hours, but he'd still spent a lot of money. He was an insurance payment behind with Dad, and he'd maybe gone to the movies or something when he should have saved the money or paid dad back.

I'm not sure I have all the details, but I'm sure you get the gist. Nothing actually dishonest was going on, but a lot that was immature and irresponsible was. He'd been getting an ear full about that recently, and so he sure didn't want Dad to find out about the ticket and that it'd gone to warrant.

Which was too bad for him.

The three of us sat down and talked things out. Steve wasn't very happy, but we worked out something that will get him out of debt. The bad thing is that, while he's not going to be grounded, he is basically going to be broke between now and early Oct. He'll have gas money and a bit of food money, so he doesn't always have to eat at home, but dates, etc., are out of the question for a while.

I did loan him the money for this, and I'm taking part of it in trade. Steve is going to do a lot of grill cleaning for me, with the Labor Day party coming up, and he's also going to handle a couple of major projects I've had in mind for a while.

And he got paddled.

Staying with my regular ratio, and going by both his age and the seriousness of his lapse, he got to chose between nine on boxers and six bare.

He picked nine.

By the time I got through swatting the seat of his baby blue boxer briefs, he was yelling, squirming, and his face was fairly damp. He was breathing pretty heavy, and I'm pretty sure that one more swat would have had him crying.

We may find out. He's giving his check to his dad for now, so he'll just have to bring me a check his Dad wrote, but if he doesn't take care of the chores and projects he agreed to do, correctly and on time, he'll be having another appointment with the paddle.


That sounds fair.....sounds like the young man got way in over his head and just couldn't get out without some help.....Hope he does as he is suppose to and gets everything all done for you and doesn't have another meeting with your paddle!!

Happy he was able to talk to dad. I feel that was the best thing for all involved.

hugs kal


Leti asked me why this one wasn't on the Spankorama, and I replied, because Steve is 18. Of course, even as I said it, I realized that there was another Steve, not long after we started the Spankorama, who won it at 19, as I recall. Since Steve is still under threat of further paddling, I decided to go ahead and list him and link this. I also thought of a couple of other comments I wanted to make before I moved completely away from it.

I did not intend to paddle Steve at first.

First, it turned out that his dad really couldn't afford to cover the ticket. I'll spare the details, but medical bills, braces, new school clothes, new glasses, and two teens old enough to drive.

My recommendation (and yes, I've actually done this before), was to have Steve turn himself in. The first time it happened (Mikell), I talked to some police I know. If someone turns themselves in Tuesday morning, they'll be processed in, then, depending on how busy they are and the exact time of day, they'll either be put in a holding cell for a while or taken straight into court, where they'll get to sit for a very long time. Either way, 9 times out of 10, the judge will finally see them, establish a payment plan, and they'll be allowed to leave.

The problem is that tenth time. I'm not sure what the variables are, but the judge does occasionally have someone set out the ticket. For something like this, it would have been four to six days (four for this one, though he wasn't sure of the cost, so we didn't know). Jerry and I finally decided against that (well, Jerry decided and I was willing to provide an alternative), because Steve has a good job, and he could have lost it sitting in jail like that, they need him in the day to watch the younger kids, and it was getting pretty close to school, so there was a lot of things going on.

With that decided, I presented Jerry with my idea, and he thought it was a perfect balance of making things unpleasant for the young man, but not risking him going to jail.

Sponsored content

View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum