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BOTD 2/11/14 "Taking Responsibility" A Memory Man Production

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David M. Katz

Taking Responsibility
A Memory Man Production

You are a gymnastic coach training a group of seven to eight year olds in your spare time,  At times you are on your own in the gym and you have a strict safety rule that nobody uses any equipment unless you or another coach is present and supervising.

You also have a son, soccer mad twelve year old Colin.  Colin is basically a good kid, a bright lively boy, high spirited and at times irresponsible enough to require a moderate, usually just your hand, spanking to keep his feet on the ground.

On your gym nights Colin also has soccer training that ends part way through your coaching stint after which he comes round to the gym club to help you and sometimes to do a bit of agility training himself.  

Today it is the end of training and one parent, 8yo Peter's, is a little late arriving.  As you stand outside talking to one of the departing parents Peter's mother drives up.  You go back inside to find Peter crying on the floor with Colin bending solicitously over him.  It appears that Peter had wanted one last go at the springboard vault over the horse they had been practising and Colin had stood in as catcher.  Unfortunately Peter caught his foot and Colin had not been strong enough to hold him as he plunged forward and they ended up in a crumpled heap with Peter twisting his ankle.

A trained first aider you ascertained that nothing seemed to be broken and by the time you'd finished with your freeze spray and strapped it up Pete had stopped crying and was able to manage a "silly me" sort of smile which soon vanished when his mother started chewing him out about obeying the rules.  Colin remained inside to clear up as you carried him out to the car and advised his mother before she drove off.

When you re-entered the gym an anxious worried looking Colin came straight across to you "Is Pete going to be OK Dad?  It's was my fault I missed catching him, I should have stopped him from doing it when you weren't there, then he wouldn't have got hurt. - Sorry Dad"

Before you could reply he started pulling his shorts down.

Colin - 12
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Do you consider his feeling of guilt over the injury his irresponsibility has caused has delivered a powerful enough lesson, or does he require some reinforcement across your lap?  

If so how severe will you be?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

John Boy

Well we got the gym to ourselves, let's get this over with.


I don't think any spanking could have taught them the lesson both boys did learn by the accident and I don't see the necessity to reinforce that.


I agree that nothing more will be learned by spanking him but he obviously feels the need for 'clearing the debt'. I think a token spanking will allow him to have a good cry and he'll have the guilty conscience cleared.


I agree with Pad, and kind of with Dimitri. I can't see where spanking him is going to teach him anything he hasn't already learned. Once again, I'm glad I've raised a boy with a conscience.

I'm going to ask Colin whether he really needs to be spanked. Unless he answers affirmatively, I'll leave it at a brief, non-accusatory restatement of the rules and the reasons for them. If he insists he needs to be spanked, it will be only enough for guilt relief.

Stone Man

Colin did something wrong and it resulted in the injury of a younger boy. He has learned a lesson, but also knows there is a consequence for what he did wrong and is readying himself for that consequence. I think it better he gets the expected punishment, albeit a moderate one, reinforcing the idea that poor decisions result in known consequences.

Man that's wordy!


Based on what he is doing it appears that Colin has in the past been spanked for such a misdemeanour, is thus fully expecting one now and just wants to get it over and done. If that is the case I'll give him what he expects knowing that the severity is in my hands and I can adjust to what I think this deserves.


Perhaps I should him over the horse!
No actually I think he is guilty enough as it is though his ears may burn a bit. His is not big enough to be catchiing 8 year olds in full flight. But it is a lesson as to why gym teachers don't appreciate kids who mess around. The discipline they try to impose is to try prevent this sort of thing. I think he might write a note apologizing to Peters mom for "encouraging" her son. Next time though. Unless I'm there touch nothing and don't join in if any other kid asks


I am with Dimitri this time. Colin already learnt a lesson. Now he needs my help to overcome his guilt. After him having a good cry at my shoulder we can go home where we can phone Peter's mommy and see how Peter is going. Hearing about Colin's spanking will not only increase Peter's respect (and understanding) for my rules but for Colin too.
And they all lived happily after ... Smile


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Kier.



Softies! A boy says he has learned his lesson and you'all say "oh, well, there's no need for punishment then". What happened to reinforcing the lesson? What happened to old-fashioned values? O tempora! o mores!



db105 wrote:Softies! A boy says he has learned his lesson and you'all say "oh, well, there's no need for punishment then". What happened to reinforcing the lesson? What happened to old-fashioned values? O tempora! o mores!


But Colin didn't claim he'd already learned his lesson; he was voluntarily dropping his shorts, preparing for reinforcement .... operibus anteire



Ah! Don't be so innocent. That boy obviously knows how to play you guys. He's pretending to drop his shorts so that you will feel all tender and mellow. Then he'll look at you with his big, hopeful eyes and you'll end up taking him for an ice-cream without first warming his bottom.



Since Colin isn't in my gymnastics group, it doesn't seem reasonable to expect him to know the rules. Even if he was familiar with them for some reason, if he's not a normal participant, then it's not something I'd expect him to keep at the top of his head. I don't think a spanking is really called for in this situation, though I will be sure to stress the rules a bit more in the future... and probably not leave kids of that age unsupervised around it.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

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