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BOTD 6/26/14 "Neighborhood Watch" A mahoover Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Neighborhood Watch
A mahoover Production


It is Saturday morning at 10 am, and you are surprised that your 16 year old son, John, is not up and about (or at least eating breakfast.) You and your wife had a monthly dinner group with other parents in the neighborhood last night, and John hung out with the other teenagers in the neighborhood. Dinner group is one of the few times you get to spend social time with other adults without kids, and you got home late and didn't check on John before you went to bed. When you check on him this morning, the door to his room is open, and this is what you find:
John - 16
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You wake him up so he can get started on his Saturday chore of mowing the grass before it gets too hot. When you wake him up, he says he feels really lousy. After talking to him for a while, he admits that one of the other boys got a bottle of rum and he and the others drank it.

What do you do next? Do you let the natural consequences of a splitting headache and mowing the lawn be sufficient punishment? Do you call the other boys' dads and let them know about this?


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
He's 16, been experimenting and come clean and admitted it.  

I think natural consequences and a discussion (not a lecture) is the best way forward.  That way I sHould be in a position to have some control rather than drive any future "experiments" UNDERGROUND.

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Jack


Admin
I'm not going to press too hard on the 'other boys' issue. I'll have to think a bit about whether to give a general alert to the other parents.

However, John is in for it, and he knows it. The reason why I let the boys sample alcohol is so they won't do stuff like this. Because he was honest about what happened, he may not be picking a switch, but he is in trouble. Considering his age, we're going to have a long talk before a decision is reached on what will happen.


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John Boy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:I'm not going to press too hard on the 'other boys' issue.  I'll have to think a bit about whether to give a general alert to the other parents.

However, John is in for it, and he knows it.  The reason why I let the boys sample alcohol is so they won't do stuff like this.  Because he was honest about what happened, he may not be picking a switch, but he is in trouble.  Considering his age, we're going to have a long talk before a decision is reached on what will happen.
ditto

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1strappedboy


Sherrif
In R/L when this happened, there was a very sore rear following the lecture and then after all of that (Dave, Darren, Jeff) will be sent out to cut the lawn while experiencing all of the natural joy that comes from over-indulgence. Bet it won't happen again! (Except 'you know who' that had to0 do it again just to make sure the outcome would be the same) And folks wondered why I worried about him reaching 18 in one piece!!

mahoover


Cowboy
Here is the answer that I wrote up when I created the scenario.

I will get John some aspirin and have him drink a large glass of orange juice, then take a shower. He will have to do his chores after that. Then he and I will set down for a long talk. I will remind him that what he did is technically illegal, and talk to him about the consequences if a police officer picked him up. I will segaway into talking about drinking and driving. I will make it very clear that if he ever has even one drink and gets behind the wheel he will not be happy with the results. At the very least he will be picking a switch and won't be driving again for a VERY long time. And riding as a passenger in a car with a driver who has been drinking is just as bad, and will hurt his butt just as much as driving after drinking. With that being said, if he does drink (or his ride has been drinking) and needs to get home, I want him to call me, and I will come get him. And while calling won't necessarily avoid all problems, it will be better than trying to hide drinking. And I will offer that if he is really curious about drinking, he can come talk to me, and I will arrange a time at home when he can try it out. He is old enough to start having wine with the meal, and an occasional beer.

After our talk, I will give him a choice, he can take a week grounding or three licks.

I will let the other dads know about the drinking, but won't provide any specifics. I won't press John for information about who else was there, and if he told me any names, I won't pass them on.

Stone Man


Marshall
If you want to crow with the roosters at night, you best be able to scratch with the chickens the next morning.

I'll be careful and watchful of John, but it will be far from coddling. I'll offer aspirin and push juice and any type of food he can keep down. Then its off to his "day job" and the joys of the day after with his head and stomach and the sounds of the mower and smell of the grass.

When he's done he'll be sent to the showers. There's no rush now and he can try and put off the inevitable, but it will come. Then it's off to the barn-workshop where we will discuss what has happened with all of it's permutations, including offers that if he wants to experience responsible drinking, all he has to do is ask when he sees me drinking. I hope it can be more talk and little lecturing, John will learn and figure out more that way.

When we've settled as much as we can John can bend over for his age with the strop ( I doubt I'll need anything like a full swing), then life will go on.

Padraig


Trailboss
A 16 years old up at Saturday 10 a.m.? You must be joking!

As I wrote already elsewhere, the views on going out and/or alcohol are considerably different on both sides of the great water. So, as MM has pointed out, we will have a talk about drinking spirits, but he didn't do anything we did not at his age.

AFinch


Sherrif
I'm inclined to "be European" on this matter. I think the natural consequences, especially as he came clean without any prodding, should be sufficient. If it happens again, though....

David M. Katz


Marshall
I don't like it that John and friends drank without parental supervision/knowledge.  I do like it very much that John came clean when he could have just as easily feigned an illness.

I want very much to dole out some sort of punishment but I won't.  John and I will have a very serious discussion and, as Kier said, if it happens again . . . .

However, the lawn won't mow itself so I will let John get himself awake and hydrated and he can get busy.

These things always have a way of coming out and I am sure the boy who "borrowed" the rum from his parents (assumption given that legal age to purchase here is 21) will be found out and he will most likely take down as many kids as he can. I will not pursue any other parents but I do expect to be informed eventually.  When the rightful owner of the rum becomes identified then John can bear some financial responsibility in replacing it.

And, yes, as a side note:  a teen up at 10:00 AM on a Saturday?  It rarely happened or happens around here.


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kalico


Sherrif
I'm gonna ditto jack.....

Just like jack, I also offer my kids some and only when I'm around. I've never had any problems with alcohol from my teens.



Hugs kal

ivor


Marshall
I'll ditto Padraig & MM just to emphasise the difference in view on this side of the Atlantic.

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squarecutter


Sherrif
The natural consequence of hangover and  a lawn mower clacking round the yard after I have stunghis backside into life and thrown him in the shower. Perfect. Later we will talk about following the hered and what could happen.Think it will be lesson learnt

Jack


Admin
ivor wrote:I'll ditto Padraig & MM just to emphasise the difference in view on this side of the Atlantic.

This scenario was hard for me to answer, and for a pretty similar reason. Here (in Texas, I don't know about the rest of NA), it's legal for a kid to drink when supervised by their parents. If this really happened, I'd be more upset about them not just coming to me and asking than about them drinking. But I see the situation as the same thing as if they took a car out by themselves the week before they took their driver's test. It doesn't matter that you can do it, or even that I've let you do it. It matters that if you do it one way, it's legal; if you do it the other way, it's illegal; and you broke the law.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm with MM. I'm glad these kids didn't do anything stupid, such as mix the drinking with driving. I'm not sure that letting John off a whipping is doing him a favor, though, as I've found that the endorphins that come along with a good dose of cp are very effective at counteracting the effects of colds and other mild illnesses. It probably would work similarly for a hangover. Wink

Kat

Pi Beta


Deputy
I'm also on the (North) European stage where mowing a lawn at that time in the morning is a recipe for bunged up cutters from the dew soaked grass. Our drinking laws are also less rigorous.

In the U.K. It is not illegal:

-  For someone over 18 to buy a child over 16 beer, wine or cider if they are eating a table meal together in licensed premises.
-   For a child aged five to 16 to drink alcohol at home or on other private premises.

It is quite possible, therefore, that what he has done is not illegal - just unwise. Teenagers need to learn including learning from experience (when the experience isn't actually illegal). I hope he will have learned from this and see no need to reinforce that.

The only "punishment" I'm inclined to impose is a cold shower to help him wake up. Later we will have a talk about the drinking - how many of them shared the bottle, what strength was the rum - weak (37.5%), normal (40%) or very strong (60% from a duty free at Keflavik is the strongest I've ever obtained), was it drunk neat or with a mixer, did they eat anything as well?

Oh, and how was I feeling that morning? Had I not had a few drinks myself while out?

Jack


Admin
Pi Beta wrote:I'm also on the (North) European stage where mowing a lawn at that time in the morning is a recipe for bunged up cutters from the dew soaked grass. Our drinking laws are also less rigorous.

Another of those cases where location does make a difference. You have to remember that Kat and I are about equal with the Sahara Dessert. The dew point isn't something we have to deal with often at this time of year.


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Iconoclast


Trailboss
AFinch wrote:I'm inclined to "be European" on this matter. I think the natural consequences, especially as he came clean without any prodding, should be sufficient. If it happens again, though....


I agree with Kier: Natural consequences will be enough, in any case if I punish my son for something he told me he will not be telling me much in the future!

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