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BOTD 11/20/13 "Bedtime For Burke" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz

A DMK Production

You have a nine year old son, Burke. When needed Burke is spanked. You recently started using a small paddle for Burke's spankings. You have found that Burke needs to get to bed by 8:30 PM on school nights or he is impossible to get moving in the mornings and he will also fall asleep in school. Burke was paddled last week because he kept getting up out of bed after bedtime.

George is your sixteen year old nephew; your sister's son. George is a good kid, an honor student and typically trustworthy and responsible. Your sister and brother-in-law still spank George if needed but it is a rare occasion lately. You also have spanking permission for George but have not needed to use it in three years. Burke and his cousin get along well despite the age difference.

Your spouse is out of town tending a sick relative and you find out you will need to work a late shift. You call your usual babysitter, Mrs. Grossman, to ask her to watch Burke that evening. She has a prior commitment and is unable to do it. You call your sister and she and your brother-in-law have plans but she mentions George is available and has been looking to pick up odd jobs lately for spending money. You and your sister and George work out the details. George will meet Burke at your house after school and watch him until you get home and you will pay George fifty dollars. To keep George from being out so late you all agree that he will spend the night in your guest room. You remind George that Burke's bedtime is 8:30.

The evening of your late shift arrives and you call to check in on a break. George says all is well and that he and Burke are doing their homework and plan on going to the park after to toss a ball around. George asks if he can use the money you left for take out to get burgers on the way home and you agree that will be fine. You remind George that Burke's bedtime is 8:30. You speak to Burke and he is doing well. You also remind Burke to listen to his cousin and to go to bed at 8:30.

You get home at a little after 11:00 PM and hear singing coming from the kitchen. You go in and Burke and George are there singing old TV themes and George is heating milk on the stove.

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Burke greets you excitedly and asks if George can watch him when needed instead of Mrs. Grossman. George asks you if you would like some hot cocoa. You thank George for doing a good job but ask if Burke has been to bed. George says, "Oh, he said he wasn't tired and didn't want to go to bed. We watched old TV shows tonight. I am making us some hot cocoa and then we are both going to turn in."

Who, if anyone, is getting paddled? Do you have some hot cocoa? Can George sit for Burke instead of Mrs. Grossman?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


No, George may not babysit in the future... Certainly not on school nights.

Burke is being sent straight to bed. The only reason he's keeping his pajama bottoms on is that George was in charge, and George didn't make him go to bed. At his age, that's close enough to permission that I'm not going to punish him for it. He will very clearly understand what will happen if this ever happens again.

George is being fired, and it's testing my nerves not to apply that literally to his rear. He did NOT do the job he was paid for. I reminded him twice of Burke's bedtime. I am extremely unhappy with him, and he's going to be getting the rough side of my tongue.

I reserve the right to spank Burke in the morning or if he falls asleep in school and to give George an age-appropriate dose of anything Burke gets.


No one is getting paddled right now.  I'm going to take a deep breath, have a cup of hot cocoa, and remind Burke WHY he has an 8:30 bedtime.  I'm also going to remind George that he was advised of said bedtime, and the reason why.  After we finish the cocoa, I'm going to shoo both boys to bed, letting them both know that God help them if either of them gives me a problem with getting up in the morning.

Assuming homework's done (which it seems is a safe assumption from the scenario), and both boys get up appropriately in the morning, I'm going to rethink Burke's early bedtime  (I think that as a 9 year old, I didn't go to bed until the 11 o'clock news came on--I'm sure that was true when I was 10).  If not, Burke can look forward to a paddling when he arrives home from school and so can George, adjusted for age.

I'm going to take George aside and remind him that when I ask him to babysit, he, too, is supposed to follow my rules.  If he can do so, then yes, he can babysit in lieu of Mrs.  Grossman in the future.  If not, he'll have proven himself too immature for the job and won't be asked to babysit again anytime soon.


I rather like Doc's answer and I shall echo it. Seriously, there's not much of anything to add from my standpoint.

David M. Katz

I am going to let Burke have his cocoa and send him off to bed.

George and I will then share a cocoa and have a strong discussion.   I am disappointed and will tell George so but, despite the bedtime fiasco, it seems he did a good job with Burke.

However, it will be George's responsibility to deal with  Burke in the morning.  HE can make sure Burke is up and functional and HE can deal with the grumpy nine year old.

After school tomorrow Burke and I will have a conversation.  He knows he manipulated the situation and if there had not been implied permission from George then he would be dealing with a sore backside.

Yes, after George and I talk and after Burke and I talk, if I feel both boys have a CLEAR understanding of the rules, then George can have another chance in lieu of Mrs. Grossman.

The paddle stays put away but just barely.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

John Boy

I am going to tell Burke I am going to wake him up early tomorrow, and if he doesn't come along right away the paddle will be the one up and then down.


To me George did quite a good job sitting Burke. Except the bedtime, of course. If he did babysitting jobs before, George should have known better, and he is out. If it was his first job, he'll get a pass. We will sit down and discuss the matter. I think, letting him get Burke going in the morning will show him the reasons for my bedtime orders.


I'm starting a K club


I can't see spanking either of them a this point is going to do any good other than relieve my frustration over what has occurred. I honestly don't think I'd be happy about spanking a 16 year old who wasn't my son anyway.

I will though think long and hard before employing George as a babysitter in future - sorry Burke


They're both in a bit of trouble for me. For now Burke can have his cocoa and get his skinny little backside where it should have been 2 hours ago. He knows I will deal with him tomorrow

As for George. As I see it the deal was $50 plus bed and board. The brief was to babysit Burke which he has plainly done but so far as I can tell and I will check with Burke he made no effort to get Burke to bed on time and I would quite like to know why. I think I will hit George where it hurts a 16 year old most, in the pocket. He didn't complete the terms of his contract so he can lose $20 and hopefully learn a bit of responsibility. I won't rule out his babysitting as it is clear the boys had fun, just too much. George took on an adult responsibility and needed to be the adult for Burke. He was no longer just the fun older cousin

Now Burke. No doubt I shall have a devil of a job getting him up in the morning and there wont be much time so I will talk to him after school. Unless he gets paddled at school for falling asleep(unlikely) he will be going over my knee tonight. He knows when his bed time is on a school night. It wont be heavy, probably hand and two or three pops with his paddle because I realise having his friendly older cousin babysitting was unusual. I might have allowed a little latitude but 2 full hours was not acceptable. It won't be a hard one, just enough to let him know we have limits and he breached them


Editor Extraordinaire
It's easy for me to see things from George's point of view. He's only sixteen, which is not an age at which most people can easily assume authority. Did I explain to both boys just how much authority George would have to enforce rules? It's especially hard to get children to mind if they don't understand exactly what the consequences will be for disobedience. I probably should have said in front of both boys that if Burke wasn't in bed at 8.30, he could expect a spanking from me. George's relationship with his cousin doesn't seem to me one in which he would be comfortable spanking Burke himself. I also imagine he is vulnerable to the younger boy's wheedling. Younger kids can be quite manipulative. (Oh, please don't make me go to bed right now, George. I'm not sleepy. C'mon, George, you're so much cooler than Dad and my regular babysitter.)

I'm not going to spank anyone. This situation was foreseeable, and after all, it's not the end of the world. George won't become Burke's regular babysitter, but I'll use him in an emergency. This house is still standing and no one got injured.



I will simply inform George that part of his duty is to get Burke out of bed and to school in the morning.

After all I do not really care when Burke goes to bed, Just so I do not have a problem getting him up.

George will likely become Burke's regular baby sitter because at 16 and a good student it is more likely George will be able to favorably influence good behavior from Burke, as well as keeping the money in the family.

In the morning George will discover for himself if an 8:30 bedtime is needed!


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