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BOTD 7/17/14 "Surfing Into The Red" A Squarecutter Produciton

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David M. Katz

A Squarecutter Production

As you see, you and your spouse took the boys for a camping and beach holiday.

Porter is 9 , Philip 12 and Patrick 14
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The boys are mad keen surfers though Porter is a little inexperienced. The boys posed for the first day on the beach but a day or two later on things got a little stormy. Your spouse wanted to visit a nearby town one morning but the boys begged to be left to play and swim. You said that if they all stayed together and Patrick never let Porter, particularly, out of his sight that would be OK. Patrick had been showing more responsibility lately. The boys know the hairbrush for really bad offences by the older two and the paddle which even Porter has felt a few times as an upgrade from your hand have also made the trip but that you are sure that if the boys behave and abide by the safety rules that spanking wont be necessary on holiday.

It is unfortunately a very windy day and the lifeguards have red flags out all along the beach to stop people going in the sea. You receive a call from lifeguards telling you that all your boys flouted the no swimming and surfing rules in force today and they actually had to rescue Porter. He had swallowed some seawater and thrown up but was fine now.

When you reached the beach hut Porter said he'd be called a wuss if he didn't go in and that not doing would spoil the others fun. "Anyway, Dad, you said I had to stay close to Patrick...," Philip said. It was getting boring on the sand so they decided to surf anyway. Patrick just said, "I guess you'll never trust me again will you, Dad?"

Are they all in trouble and how much?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

John Boy

First do I need to worry about secondary drowning from the water he took in? Second The boys are done on the beach today and unsupervised the rest of the trip and Third I do have half a mind to roast a few rears but one son needing to be rescued makes it a harder decision.


Okay, I am a seriously horrible parent. Seriously horrible. I allowed my fourteen year old to try and watch, not one, but two younger siblings at a BEACH by himself. What was I thinking?!

They will get spanked, but only for going in the water with the flags up, then I'm apologizing to them for not doing my job.

Stone Man

I thought the boys were capable of watching out for themselves and each other, I was mistaken. I'll talk with each and with all, but it would appear the all will be spanked with a followup with the brush for the older boys, Patrick most of all as he was the leader in this gang from what Philip and Porter were saying.

Supervision will be much closer fro the remainder of the trip, and the boys can expect to be with us on an occasional field trip their Mom wants to go on. They best behave.


I think Kitty is correct. I am a horrible parent if I left a 14 year old, at a strange beach, in charge of a 12 and 9 year old. That said, I remember being left by myself in Hawaii at age 14. And having enough sense NOT to go swim when or where it was forbidden.

If the boys knew what red flags meant, and if they were, in fact, warned not to go in and did anyway, and if Porter needed to be rescued as a result, then, although the natural consequences of their actions out to suffice, they are all clearly TOO THICK to get it. So they're all getting spanked, and it's going to be a barn burner for all of them.

My apology will be more in terms of "I thought you were old enough to handle this, but clearly you weren't. Thank God, there were lifeguards around to rescue Porter." I'll let Patrick know that while I'm likely to EVENTUALLY trust him again, it will be a long time before that happens. All three boys will be closely supervised for the rest of this holiday, and I'll count myself lucky that nothing worse happened.


If they had got into trouble on a normal day that would be excusable, but to go into the sea when the red flags are flying is another matter altogether.

Beach shorts will now be lowered and red butts will soon be visible.


I agree with Ivor.

I don't think trusting a teenager makes me a horrible parent. I do think the boys blatantly broke the rules, and all three of them are going to be very sore and sorry before I'm finished.

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


I agree with Jack I don't think 14 was too young to supervise. It is an age that means he can, with his brothers do what he wishes to do on holiday rather than follow his parents around. Better holiday all round I do think that he and probably Philip knowingly disobeyed safety rules. Porter, I think I need to know to what extent he was dragged along by his brothers and he did do do one thing right. He WAS with his brothers.  He has suffered a consequence of sorts and had a nasty scare I think I can leave it at a chat about why no Means NO and that includes red flags out on the shoreline.

Patrick especially, and Philip ARE in trouble. They ignored the flags, putting themselves AND little Porter, an inexperienced surfer don't forget,  in danger and putting the lifeguards to unnecessary work.

Their bottom will be like the red flags when the paddle has finished with them Only the scare with Porter stops the brush being used.

This has put a bit of a crimp in how much I trust Patrick.with hiss brothers. For the rest of this holiday no boy  will be entering the sea without a parent present


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Squarecutter. The youngest gets off because he had an extra scare and because he was in charge of his oldest brother.



Kat wrote:I agree with Squarecutter. The youngest gets off because he had an extra scare and because he was in charge of his oldest brother.

In RL, I would have spoken directly with the lifeguard. What he said would make a difference, and Porter would be getting off easier than his big brothers, but I don't think I'd let him off completely.

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


If you aren't prepared a day on the beach without bathing can get boring. Maybe the water was too tempting and probably calm enough them to go in a bit, then a bit further, and another bit further...

Anyway. Maybe it was too early to trust them alone (not only Pat, but all of them) on the beach. Nevertheless they obviously knew what the red flags meant, so all of them broke the rules and they will pay the bill.

If Pat get to watch his brothers anytime soon depends on the situation.

Pi Beta

Porter is safe - thank goodness, and I'll let the experience he's suffered be sufficient.

I'm uncertain about Philip - I'd like to know whether it was he or Patrick who initiated the surfing before deciding the severity of his punishment, but he's certainly going to suffer to a moderate or serious extent.

Whoever initiated the surfing, Patrick was in charge and is going to get a very severe paddling. On the basis of his question about whether he'll be trusted again, I'm sure he'll be expecting the worst and I won't disappoint him. However, I'll look for a very early opportunity to let him prove to me that I will and can trust him to take charge again - ideally within the next few days.

If he lets me down then, however.....!!!!!

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