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BOTD 11-29-2013 A Thanksgiving Day Good Boy - Or Is He A Bad Boy After All? - A Kat Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
A Thanksgiving Day Good Boy – Or Is He a Bad Boy, After All?
A Kat Production

Your youngest son Michael is fourteen. He is a freshman at Holy Trinity High School, where he is a member of a club called Peace and Social Justice. Michael takes his membership in PSJ seriously. For instance, when it came time to shop for back to school clothes, he took the money you had budgeted for him to thrift shops. What he saved by buying secondhand items, he donated to charity (with your consent). Now he has volunteered to spend all of Thanksgiving Day volunteering at a soup kitchen that is serving turkey dinners to needy people.

Michael 14
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The problem is that your spouse’s parents are flying in for Thanksgiving. (S)he hasn’t seen them in over a year, nor has Michael. Your spouse insists that Michael spend at least part of the day at home, visiting with the grandparents – at least that he be present for dinner. Michael insists he has made a commitment to serve at the soup kitchen and refuses to back out of it. He claims he has plenty of contact with his grandparents through email and Skype – that a face-to-face reunion isn’t necessary. Their discussion becomes heated, and Michael calls your spouse “a selfish pig”.

You typically handle Michael’s discipline, and your spouse looks to you to intervene. Is Michael, who is still subject to spanking, in for a warm time? How will you resolve the conflict between how Michael wants to spend Thanksgiving and how your spouse wants him to spend it?


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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
Michael is getting a red butt, however we're all going to work at the soup kitchen this year and gather back home later in the day.

Drop'em Mike!


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John Boy


Sherrif
This is a hard one. He will get a spanking for what he called his Mom. I want to know is, did he plan this soup kitchen last minute? Did my wife invite the inlaws at the last minute? Did both parties know what the other had planned? My wife, me and Micheal are going to sit... or Micheal can stand and talk about the plans and work out something.

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Surely we can alter the dinner schedule to allow both for Michael's service and for time for dinner with the grandparents. I doubt the soup kitchen will be open for 24 hours.

I don't appreciate the outburst. I will pull him aside and discuss the issue with him and remind him how that his mother is far from a selfish pig. I will put him on final warning and strongly suggest he owes his mother an apology.

I like the idea that we can go together as a family and serve the soup kitchen and then we can all come home and enjoy our dinner together.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'm supporting my son.  He can go.

Unfortunately the discussion has become heated but the scenario doesn't say how dismissive of Michael's social conscience your spouse was being?  Was she perhaps indeed being selfish?  Michael's outburst was understandable even though his use of the P word was inexcusable.  

I'm sending Michael to his room while I continue the discussion with my wife pointing out that Mike gets on well with his grandparents and IS in voluntary regular contact with them and how proud they will/should be of him for spending his Thanksgiving helping the needy; that we can time our own meal so that we can take his grandparents along to the kitchen to see him at work.

Then I'll join Mike for a calmer discussion of the situation.   If he's then prepared to apologise to his mother for his outburst then the strap can stay on its hook.



Last edited by MemoryMan on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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ivor


Marshall
I'm going along with the MM solution, although it could also be suggested to the grandparents that they might like to go along and see their grandson in action.

The spouse can stay at home and cook our dinner while we're there Laughing 

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Jack


Admin
I would not have allowed Micheal to make an all-day commitment in the first place. It's great that Mike is serious about this, but he needs to focus on what's positive for himself, not just what's negative for everyone else.

Since I did allow him to make that commitment, we'll change it as soon as this happens (which was obviously well before Thanksgiving day, since I doubt the in-laws just woke up and decided to fly in). Since he's in a club, then there are obviously some other people with whom he can coordinate schedules to make sure the entire day is covered (though I'd be surprised if they're serving for more than a few hours), and we can even change the time of our dinner to let him help, if we need to. Heck, if they need more help, I can go down there with him.

But he is going to be joining the family. He owes us as much as he owes other people, and I think he just needs to be reminded of that, including the apology he owes his mom.

Spanking over this would be counter-productive, but I am willing to spank over his manners if they don't improve.


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Jack


Admin
MemoryMan wrote:Was (your spouse) perhaps indeed being selfish?  Michael's outburst was understandable even though his use of the P word was inexcusable.
Actually, Michael is being at least as selfish as (his other parent). While she might have been dismissive of his social conscience, he's putting his desires above his family. Sure, he's doing it for a good reason, and I'm not really down on him for that (he's 14 - he probably does think the entire thing rides on him being there), but he needs to learn balance and respect, and not just for the things he wants to respect.


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squarecutter


Sherrif
Some Thanksgiving. I want Michael not to have a sore butt, spend some hours serving soup, apologize to Mum who, I will remind Michael, has been slaving in the kitchen, probably working harder than anyone,. and to have dinner with the Grandparents. I will remind Michael that saving the world is important but so too is family.

MemoryMan


Sherrif
Jack wrote:I would not have allowed Micheal to make an all-day commitment in the first place.  It's great that Mike is serious about this, but he needs to focus on what's positive for himself, not just what's negative for everyone else.
What could be more positive for Michael than feeling good about himself in that he is giving up stuffing his face to be out helping others less fortunate than himself.   If denying him this warm glow and the opportunity for self development it provides just for the sake of compelling him to sit at the table listening to the (mostly) adult conversation going on around him then I would suggest the family unit needs a strong inward look at itself.

Jack also wrote

... I doubt the in-laws just woke up and decided to fly in ...

So do I - and no doubt they will be sleeping over.

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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Jack wrote:I would not have allowed Micheal to make an all-day commitment in the first place.
Michael made the commitment without consulting anyone else. He also committed to an entire day, which includes being involved in the food prep, set-up, and clean up afterwards. Meals will be served from 11:30 to 8:00, but preparations will start at 7am. The clean-up will continue until all the work is done, but will probably not be finished before 10pm. He has committed to a very full day.

I'm reluctant to discourage Michael's enthusiasm, so I will try to negotiate a solution similar to MM's. I understand my spouse's feelings, but perhaps she is placing too much emphasis on a single day. Since the grandparents are undoubtedly spending the weekend with us, perhaps we could have our family Thanksgiving on Friday, and spend Thursday working as a family to help those less fortunate. Michael does need to apologize to his mom, though. He is old enough and mature enough to put himself in her place and understand her desire for tradition and the family being together.

Kat

Pi Beta


Deputy
Michael has made a commitment and, morally, must fulfil that IF he unable to find someone with whom he can swap or share that commitment which, unless this grandparental visit really has been dropped on us, he should have time to arrange. I will, however, encourage him strongly to find a swap or sharer. I hope that 'solution' will mollify his mother - indeed, maybe she will have ideas of people who might like to share the task with Michael!

Clearly he should not have referred to his mother as a pig (or a sow?); how I deal with this will depend on his attitude and the sincerity of any immediate apology. If he's really into peace, justice and reconciliation and engages his brain accordingly, he should manage to avoid the spanking that otherwise would be his due.

Jack


Admin
Kat wrote:
Jack wrote:I would not have allowed Micheal to make an all-day commitment in the first place.
Michael made the commitment without consulting anyone else.
This very probably is an entirely different boy of the day, but that just killed my sympathy for him. When he's an adult, living by and providing for himself, he can make that kind of decision. However, just like I try to at least let my kids know when something is coming up, as well as consult them on it when possible, I expect the same consideration.

MM, I think I understand what you're trying to say, but my point was that he needs to also consider the good things in his life and not let them all pass while he's worried about the bad things in the lives of others. I'm glad he wants to help, encourage him to do so, and am willing to help. However, if the only reason he's doing it is to feel good himself, then maybe he needs to think a bit of the people he lives with as well. I know he's only 14, and I don't want to discourage him from helping, but I do want to encourage him to help those he knows and loves, as well as those he doesn't.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Jack wrote:This very probably is an entirely different boy of the day, but that just killed my sympathy for him. When he's an adult, living by and providing for himself, he can make that kind of decision.
I see it as the sort of impetuous thing a kid of 14 would do -- not really thinking it through and considering potential conflicts.

Kat

Jack


Admin
I'm sure you're right about that, and it's hard to be mad at him, because it really is a nice thing to do.


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