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10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway?

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1 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:57 pm

Jack


Admin
Your son, Gabriel, is very athletic. Now that he's in seventh grade, he's starting to have a chance to express that.

Gabriel, who just turned thirteen
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Gabriel is normally a pretty happy and cheerful person. Sometimes he's talkative to the point that you get a little crazy, but he's (almost) always a bright spot in your day. Which isn't to say he's perfect, and you have had occasion to use corporal punishment with him over the years - maybe not as often as you got it as a boy, but enough that you know he really is a normal boy.

Today things have been different, though. At first you think he's sick. He says he's not, and that he's okay, but he's behaving strangely enough that you insist on checking his temperature. No fever, but he just picks at his food, then goes to his room early instead of watching TV with you.

A bit later, you go up to check on him. You find him laying on his bed, languidly playing with some of his old action figures.

"About ready for bed?"

He nods, but then stops you as you start to leave.

It takes him a minute to get started, but he finally tells you what's wrong.

Today at school, in gym class, three boys got paddled because they were playing around in the locker room, and everyone had just been warned about that a couple of days ago.

You've given permission for Gabriel to be paddled at school, but you've also made sure he knows that if he thinks it's unfair - if he's sure it's unfair - that he can refuse to take them and call you, and you'll always have his back.

But this time, it's the opposite problem. He was also playing around, but he got away with it, simply because the lockers were positioned between him and the coach when the coach first spoke up, and he was able to back up and get away with it.

Now he's feeling guilty, but he's also torn. None of the boys who were paddled held it against him, since they would have preferred not to get caught themselves. On the other hand, he feels like he's being dishonest by not admitting it, but he's afraid if he admits it now, the coach might hold it against him for not being honest in the first place.

Can you give any advice or ease his conscience, or do you think he needs something else?


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2 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:35 pm

Iconoclast


Trailboss
I will just tell Gabriel that he should be glad luck was with him and to remember that next time he might not be so lucky!

Iconoclast

3 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:51 pm

John Boy


Sherrif
if he feels that guilty I think he should approach the coach and admit his wrong doing. Or I can "help" ease his guilt and if the boys ask he just says that he was dealt with.

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4 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:59 pm

AFinch


Sherrif
I'm going to tell him how pleased I am that he has a conscience.

That said, I can't imagine how confessing so minor a misbehavior to his coach is going to help. My guess is that this far after the fact, the coach would thank him for letting him know, but wouldn't punish now. His friends aren't mad at him per the scenario.

It sounds like a life lesson--sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Unless he's adamant that he needs something more than talking, that's all that's going to happen.

5 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:36 pm

1strappedboy


Sherrif
I'm firmly in Doc's camp on this one.

A VERY big hug with the "I'm pleased you have a conscience". This should serve as a platform for a very good life lesson to the fine young man he's becoming.

6 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:43 pm

Stone Man


Marshall
Gabe has told me and I see no reason to share this information beyond that. Since his mates don't care that he got away without being caught, Gabe should chalk this one up to good luck, with the understanding that someday the tables may be turned.

I see no reason to punish him. If that's what he needs than he needs to talk with the coach.

7 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:53 am

Padraig


Trailboss
Ditto, Doc.

8 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:14 am

ivor


Marshall
Count me in

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9 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:55 am

MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'm with the doc too.  Since the coach hadn't actually asked who else was involved he's simply lucked out.  That's just part of life and there are times when he'll be unlucky.

I'll tell him so and leave him with the question that if he owned up retrospectively - Would it help anybody?

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10 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:10 am

Jack


Admin
"Buddy, sometimes life is unfair. Be happy that this time it was unfair in your favor."

Seriously though, I think Doc has the right answer. I can understand the rules for safety reasons, but I can also understand boys pushing it. His friends aren't mad at him, and as long as he learned his lesson from their bad luck, I think he should just take it and run.

I think that, once he's told that it was okay for him to be lucky, and it's pointed out that he didn't lie to the coach, that he'll be okay with it and move on.


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11 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:37 am

db105


Trailboss
Doc gets my vote too. I think that the key here is that the misbehavior was minor. The coach used the paddle to restore order, just like he might have shouted or made a loud noise. (In fact, I'm not sure I like corporal punishment being used for such a minor offense, although the fact that they had been warned makes it understandable). Once the incident is over it just doesn't make much sense to revisit it.

I'll tell Gabriel I'm proud of him for having such a strong conscience, but that this time he just got a bit lucky and that he has been punished more than enough by feeling bad about it all day. It would be different if the misbehavior was more serious. It's like when the teacher is fed up because the students keep talking and then the last one to talk is the one who gets in trouble.

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12 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:55 am

squarecutter


Sherrif
I.m delighted he felt able to come clean and unburden to me. Sometimes Dads can be the hardest person for a 13 year ol to do that with. I think will ask him a question I learn't from his Uncle Jack. Do you think you need to be punished. Some might say that he's been punishing himself enough already.

If he thinks he does I think part of the solution comes down to what sort a man the Coach is. How he dealt with Gabriels pals suggest a reasonable man. As an athletic type Gabriel will no doubt have seen quite a lot of hinm in action. already.I don't want to punish him myself as I sort of think this is one for school and I almost don't have a heart to do it in a meaningful way. Will it go worse for him than his friends or will Coach be impressed with his honesty and deal with the matter with 2 licks and without a fuss. ( that would be my favoured outcome.) So it will be see Coach at school or extra chores here and Gabe can sleep on that one

13 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:45 am

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Count me in with Kier also.

Kat

14 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:32 am

David M. Katz


Marshall
I'm going to join everyone else at the table and enjoy this fine feast Kier started.


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15 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:54 am

Pi Beta


Deputy
I too am pleased that he has a conscience - a conscience that is punishing him even as we are speaking. I will ask him whether he was the only one to 'get lucky' or whether there were others who would then feel under pressure if he now were to own up to the coach.

Then, would his friends have owned up it he had been one of the unlucky ones and they'd escaped?

I will advise him to put this one down to experience and learn from it; things tend to even out over the years. Only if he still feels utterly weighed down by guilt should he confess to the coach who, I suspect, will not paddle him after the event but just warn him that he'll be keeping a much closer watch on him or, perhaps, keep them in reserve as a deferred punishment to be added to any future paddling should he transgress again this school year.

16 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:39 pm

Jack


Admin
db105 wrote: (In fact, I'm not sure I like corporal punishment being used for such a minor offense, although the fact that they had been warned makes it understandable).

As a former coach, I feel like I need to speak up on this issue.

In a school locker room, you have metal lockers and wooden benches (usually with metal bases). Even though the floor is a kind of rough stucco, it's still wet. Combine those things with boys who are rough housing or chasing around and you have a potentially dangerous situation. It's probably not high risk, and I always gave the boys a bit of leeway and a warning, but I can understand why someone might feel they needed to crack down in a case like this.


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"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."
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17 Re: 10 Feb 2014 - A Clean Getaway? on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:11 pm

db105


Trailboss
Ah! You coaches just stick together :p

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