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BOTD 11/14/13 "Can You Help Me?" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
CAN YOU HELP ME?
A DMK Production

You have two sons who are now both away at college.  You were lucky in that your boys were well behaved and had a good reputation as decent and trustworthy kids.  Perhaps it was just in their nature or perhaps it was that you had reasonable rules and there were consequences for not following the rules.  Even though it wasn't required a lot you never hesitated to spank either of your sons; even well in to their teen years.

Your neighbor is a single mother and knows your sons very well.  Her husband left her and her now twelve your own old son, Kalen,  four years ago after an extra-marital affair.  He has not been heard from since.   Kalen's mother does fine financially and is trying her best to provide a good home for Kalen.  She will occasionally call on you for help with things around the house.  You are more than happy to help out as you are able.

You get a call from your neighbor and she asks, "Can you help me?"

You say you will try your best and ask what she needs.  She asks if you will please come over and she will explain.  You go next door and ring the bell and she invites you in.

She looks exasperated.  You see Kalen sitting on the steps glaring at his mother.


KALEN - 12
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The mother explains that Kalen is becoming harder to handle.  She tells of curfew issues, chore issues, issues at school and just general acting out and disobedience.  She says he will not listen to her and ignores her.  She says she caught him with cigarettes two weeks ago and grounded him but he refused to follow any of the terms of being grounded. She said today's problems started when she reminded him he had agreed to mow the yard today.  She said he refused and went off to visit friends and was over an hour late coming home.  She said she confronted him about it all and they argued and he became defiant and was cussing at her.  She said she sent him to his room but he is refusing to go and has planted himself on the steps  and won't budge. At this point Kalen looks at you and says to you, "F**k off, this is none of your business."

His mother becomes very embarrassed and looks like she is going to cry.  She says, "See, this is what I am talking about." Kalen continues to sit and glare.

His mother says to you, "Your boys are so respectful and well behaved so you must have done something right with them.  I am at my wits end with Kalen.  Please help me deal with him.  Do whatever you need to do but I need help! Can you help me?"

Do you help her?  If so, how?


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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
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Jack


Admin
It doesn't sound like I'm going to be able to help in the immediate situation - not directly. However, since we live so close, and since I don't have any kids at home, I'll be glad to start spending some time with Kalen. Very often, with a single parent, kids have too much time on their own, and I'm sure some structure will help him.

What I can do for now is find out what Kalen has and help him mom remove it. Phone, TV, stereo or iPad, video games, computer... All of it's gone. We can store it at my house for now. I'll tell his mom, with him right there, that my boys were spanked when they needed it, but that's hardly the only method that will work.

When we have all his 'toys' removed, I'll tell Kalen that, with his mom's permission, when he's willing to be polite and respectful, we can talk about how he can earn his stuff back. Later, I'll talk with his mom about helping to set and enforce limits for him.

I'm also going to suggest some counseling, since his behavior seems pretty bad for a 12-year old, and it's best to take action before it gets worse.

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kalico


Sherrif
Very Happy ....DITTO Jack!!






hugs kal

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I hate to give Kalen's mom more bad news, but it is a lot harder to fix a situation like this one than it is to establish good, consistent discipline from the start. I can give her some parenting tips, as Jack suggested, and try to establish a relationship with Kalen so that I might be in a better position to assist. Right now, however, she couldn't have made a worse error than to undermine her own authority by asking me for help in front of Kalen. While I'm not at all favorably impressed with his behavior, I can't really blame the kid for reacting with hostility. The bottom line is that his mom is going to have to work long and hard to establish herself with her son, because no outsider can do that for her.

Kat

Padraig


Trailboss
As much as he needs a very sore bottom, I agree with Jack and Kat that it won't work.

David M. Katz


Marshall
This one is a lot harder than the leaky toilet I was expecting.

I could jerk Kalen up, yank off my belt and pull down his shorts.  I could.  BUT that would accomplish nothing except alienating the boy even more and proving I was bigger than he. We have no relationship and so a spanking from me right now would serve no positive purpose.

I like Jack's idea of working with his mother and taking his "toys" and then  helping Kalen learn how to earn them back.  

If Kalen is willing then I am more than willing to spend time with him and mentor him.  Hopefully Kalen will warm to the idea.  I will work with Kalen and his mother on parenting and discipline skills.

Hopefully over time I can impress some better behavior on Kalen.  The day may come where a spanking from me would be beneficial but today is not that day.

Yes, counseling should be considered.

AFTER THOUGHT ON EDIT:  Has anyone considered what this boy is going through because of being abandoned by his father?  Perhaps he is just acting out because he has no other coping skills.  If anyone needs a spanking it is Kalen's dead beat sperm donor.

Combine the abandonment issues with these three little words:  pu - ber - ty.  That is a recipe for disaster in the making.

I wonder what would happen if I just grabbed him and hugged him?


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AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with both Jack and Kat (and everyone else).

A spanking from a relative strange with whom he has no relationship (f**k off, this is none of your business) is going to be counterproductive. Telling mom SHE screwed up and it's harder to fix than prevent is also likely to be counterproductive.

But yes, yes I can help. There is, however, no quick fix or magic bullet. I'm more than happy to be a mentor to Kalen if he and his mom want that. And in time, that could include a warm bottom if a real relationship is developed. But not now.

Stone Man


Marshall
Ditto Jack and Kat, and had the same thoughts as DMK's afterthoughts. Its hard for a boy to grow into a good man if he has no one to be a good model for him.

This is NOT the time for spanking.

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Much as I'd like to point at my boys and say "spanking made them who they are today", that would be not only inaccurate but a great miscarriage of hat I believe to be the successful raising of my boys.

Spanking and the threat of a spanking did indeed play a role in who my boys are today; right fine young men, but there was more o it than just that. I treated each of my boys as individuals and I listened hard as to what they were saying and trying to say! This made huge differences in how my kids turned out. I'm pointing to Dave and Jon as they are currently young adults about to set out on their own and I believe them to be fully equipped to do so quite well.

Faced with the situation proposed, I'd suggest Kalen spend some time with MY older two and come to understand what it as that I did with them that yielded the great end results I've had with them. Perhaps after my older two talked with him, my younger 3 could have a chat as well. Between Darren, Jeff, and Ryan they could explain to him why we have the house we do and the results thereof. I would hope that he could see how we work with each other for domestic harmony and how I would like him to work with his mom. While I can't just "beat him and send him off" I CAN impress upon him how bad his behavior has been towards his mother and hopefully I can convince him that he deserves 'a little something' for his past behavior and an incentive for behaving in the future! From there, we can go forward.

John Boy


Sherrif
Well shall be burning the midnight oil on this one. I think we need to wait him out till he calms down, then sit and talk and more then likely set up a plan on how I can help etc etc etc.

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squarecutter


Sherrif
I can't see yanking my belt off and giving him what for working at the moment. I'd like to be able to talk to him man to man as I am sure that is what he is most deprived of at the moment but if he isn't amenable? Jacks scheme is ingenious and will bring Kalen out at some point It would have to be open ended so Kalen would have to ask how he can get these things back. I'm still not sure how much of a relationship I will have with Kalen if he sees me as the enforcer. It seems like the lad is not going to hear the soft approach at the moment and grit his teeth through the hard one. It reminds me a bit of one the Perry brothers stories by Skipper http://www.malespank.net/viewStory.php?id=9005 on MMSA where they tame a boy by making his life a misery for a while. Much recommended by the way if you haven't read.

Further down the line I think counselling may well be nesessary because if Kalen just continues to be impossible he will end up in care

MemoryMan


Sherrif
I've helped Kalen's mother around the house but have I developed any sort of friendly relationship with Kalen at all?   That's not me; but it appears not ("F**k off, this is none of your business.")   I can't just parachute in and discipline the boy as his mother seems to want without producing a negative reaction.  I'd like to help but there is nothing I can do without first establishing a relationship with Kalen.

I'm going to ask his mother to leave us alone for a while.  Then as Kalen continues to glare at me (I'm prepared to temporarily restrain him in the unlikely event he gets up to leave with her)  I'll squat and talk to him sympathetically along the lines that women have some strange ideas about the way men and boys think and behave: That they sometimes make up some weird rules and that they can often be very intolerant:  That I can see he's unhappy and that his mother is unhappy too and that I would like to help if he will let me: That I'm not his dad and never can be but that if he will accept me I would be willing to be a sort of friendly uncle he can talk to and who will listen to him and be there for him.  

I'll tell him that I'm going to talk to his mother now and try to find out more about her attitudes towards him and that I'd like him to go to his room and think for a while.  Then if he is willing to talk or grump to me later I will listen to him.

It may in the short term all fall on stony ground but the seeds have been planted and if I make the effort to include him when I'm helping his mother around the house then something may germinate.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

Jack


Admin
David M. Katz wrote:AFTER THOUGHT ON EDIT: Has anyone considered what this boy is going through because of being abandoned by his father? Perhaps he is just acting out because he has no other coping skills. If anyone needs a spanking it is Kalen's dead beat sperm donor.
Yes, I know exactly how that feels, and it's why I suggested counseling. It's very easy for a boy to blame himself for an absent parent. He can feel that, if he'd just done something right or been better, the parent wouldn't have left.

1strappedboy wrote:Spanking and the threat of a spanking did indeed play a role in who my boys are today; right fine young men, but there was more o it than just that.
I disagree with you here in two ways, Dmitri. I feel that it was strict and consistent discipline1 applied from a person the boys loved and respected2.

1 - I think spanking is great, even for older boys, because it's quick and obvious, but also because (in most cases) as soon as the spanking is over, you can begin to move on. There are, however, other methods, and I think they can work as well. You have to be careful not to overdo them (like my mom grounding me six weeks for the first grade I had that wasn't an A), but then you have to be careful not to overdo spanking as well.

2 - This is the most important part, and it's the part that's missing from this scenario. If the kids don't either respect the person punishing them, or at least admit they screwed up and deserve it, it's not going to have any kind of positive effect.

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John Boy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:
David M. Katz wrote:AFTER THOUGHT ON EDIT:  Has anyone considered what this boy is going through because of being abandoned by his father?  Perhaps he is just acting out because he has no other coping skills.  If anyone needs a spanking it is Kalen's dead beat sperm donor.
Yes, I know exactly how that feels, and it's why I suggested counseling.  It's very easy for a boy to blame himself for an absent parent.  He can feel that, if he'd just done something right or been better, the parent wouldn't have left.  

1strappedboy wrote:Spanking and the threat of a spanking did indeed play a role in who my boys are today; right fine young men, but there was more o it than just that.
I disagree with you here in two ways, Dmitri.  I feel that it was strict and consistent discipline1 applied from a person the boys loved and respected2.

1 - I think spanking is great, even for older boys, because it's quick and obvious, but also because (in most cases) as soon as the spanking is over, you can begin to move on.  There are, however, other methods, and I think they can work as well.  You have to be careful not to overdo them (like my mom grounding me six weeks for the first grade I had that wasn't an A), but then you have to be careful not to overdo spanking as well.

2 - This is the most important part, and it's the part that's missing from this scenario.  If the kids don't either respect the person punishing them, or at least admit they screwed up and deserve it, it's not going to have any kind of positive effect.
Well said Jack, again.

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1strappedboy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:
David M. Katz wrote:AFTER THOUGHT ON EDIT:  Has anyone considered what this boy is going through because of being abandoned by his father?  Perhaps he is just acting out because he has no other coping skills.  If anyone needs a spanking it is Kalen's dead beat sperm donor.
Yes, I know exactly how that feels, and it's why I suggested counseling.  It's very easy for a boy to blame himself for an absent parent.  He can feel that, if he'd just done something right or been better, the parent wouldn't have left.  

1strappedboy wrote:Spanking and the threat of a spanking did indeed play a role in who my boys are today; right fine young men, but there was more o it than just that.
I disagree with you here in two ways, Dmitri.  I feel that it was strict and consistent discipline1 applied from a person the boys loved and respected2.

1 - I think spanking is great, even for older boys, because it's quick and obvious, but also because (in most cases) as soon as the spanking is over, you can begin to move on.  There are, however, other methods, and I think they can work as well.  You have to be careful not to overdo them (like my mom grounding me six weeks for the first grade I had that wasn't an A), but then you have to be careful not to overdo spanking as well.

2 - This is the most important part, and it's the part that's missing from this scenario.  If the kids don't either respect the person punishing them, or at least admit they screwed up and deserve it, it's not going to have any kind of positive effect.
Ok, I'll buy that point as well.  I neither loved nor respected Alex; I feared him and would "behave" largely because of that.  I do know that if we thought we could get away with something, we CERTAINLY made the most of the opportunity.  While we knew 'right from wrong' our reasoning for keeping to the right was not for the best reasons!

 You're right too in that my boys DO behave out of a genuine wish to please their mother and me and though there are consequences on the table for deliberate wrong doing, they know they can screw up a bit and I will work with them before I 'lower the boom'.  It was that aspect of things I'd hope my boys would tell my misbehaving little neighbor boy.  I'd like for him to come to the right conclusion on his own if at all possible and DMK is quite right in bringing up abandonment issues and (heaven help the universe) puberty as being driving forces in the current spate of brattiness,

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