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BOTD 11-23-2014 Terrence's Turkey Day Trials - A Kat Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
Terrence’s Turkey Day Trials
A Kat Production

You’ve been divorced for five years. You and your ex-spouse have joint custody of your now thirteen-year-old son Terrence. Terrence’s holidays have always alternated between the two of you. This year Terrence is spending Thanksgiving with you. You recently remarried (about six months ago), so this is the first big holiday Terrence is spending with your new spouse, who has planned a big, traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with a lot of extended family. Terrence is already unhappy that this Thanksgiving marks a big departure from the way the two of you have always celebrated the holiday.


Terrence 13
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In the past, you have gone out to dinner and spent the day with just the two of you watching football, tossing your own football around and hanging out. You still have the football games to watch, but now there is a crowd in the living room sitting around the television; and tossing the football around has evolved into a competitive game of touch football.

Terrence has made no attempt to hide his unhappiness, though he has been careful not to be too blatant. However, any subtlety vanishes at the dinner table when he rudely criticizes the food. He calls the sage cornbread dressing your spouse has made “disgusting crap”, describes the whole berry cranberry sauce as “nasty”,  the giblet gravy as “revolting” and the turkey as “a dried out mess”. (In fact, the turkey is fine.) He ignores your signals and even your unmistakable warning. You’ve put up with a bit more than usual in the hope of salvaging some semblance of a pleasant meal; but now your spouse is tearful and the guests are all looking very uncomfortable, as Terrence seems hell-bent on being impossible. What will you do next?


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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
I'm going to pull him into a private area and make every attempt to give him a last warning. I do not want him to have the embarrassment of a spanking the very first time he's with my new spouses family.


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db105


Trailboss
Since he is obviously dealing with intense and difficult feelings, I really do not want to spank him.

I'll apologize to everyone and I'll take him away from the table. I'll take him somewhere private where we can talk. I'll tell him that I understand how he is feeling, but that I love him and nothing will ever change that. I'll tell him that life goes on, and that I felt the need to start a new relationship and fell in love with another woman. That it does not change anything between us. That it's important for me that the people I love would get on with each other.

If I see he is willing to try and behave in a civilized manner we'll return to the table. If not I'll tell him to stay in his room until he calms down, and that I'll keep his food ready for him so that he can eat later.

I'll also try to spend some time alone with him during this holidays.

Anyway, it would have been better if we had had this conversation before this...

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David M. Katz


Marshall
db105 wrote:Since he is obviously dealing with intense and difficult feelings, I really do not want to spank him.

I'll apologize to everyone and I'll take him away from the table. I'll take him somewhere private where we can talk. I'll tell him that I understand how he is feeling, but that I love him and nothing will ever change that. I'll tell him that life goes on, and that I felt the need to start a new relationship and fell in love with another woman. That it does not change anything between us. That it's important for me that the people I love would get on with each other.

If I see he is willing to try and behave in a civilized manner we'll return to the table. If not I'll tell him to stay in his room until he calms down, and that I'll keep his food ready for him so that he can eat later.

I'll also try to spend some time alone with him during this holidays.

Anyway, it would have been better if we had had this conversation before this...

I can't add a thing to this brilliant answer. DITTO


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StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Two words... Adoption Agency...

To start...

hxxp://www.adoptiveparents.ca/on_privadopt_agencies.shtml

(cut and paste replacing 'x's with 't's in 'hxxp' as usual and all)

Stevie.

Murray Campbell


Cowboy
I agree with Dave Katz

squarecutter


Sherrif
I will apoogize to all and take Terrence to his room. After a lecture tempered by acceptance that this has been a departure for him which is why he still has a chance of avoiding a hiding he will have the option of going to bed or coming back down, apologizing to his step Mom and the guests and being pleasant for the rest of the evening. If the latter he has no more chances. He will find himself staring at the pattern of his bedspread while I paddle his bare behind if he can't behave

Padraig


Trailboss
Good answer, db!

kalico


Sherrif
DITTO Db




hugs kal

MemoryMan


Sherrif
db has nailed it.

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ivor


Marshall
I can agree with the first part of DB's answer but not the second.

I don't consider his behaviour warrants any special consideration on my part such as keeping his dinner warm to eat later. And anyway, he has described most of it in very derogatory terms so I can't imagine he would want to eat it later when it certainly won't be at its best.

So, at that point I'll switch to Square's answer. He can stay in his room and sulk or come back and join us with the promise that, firstly we will spend some time together alone after he meal (even if it is doing the washing up together!)  but that if he starts again then we'll be back to the room and the paddle will be employed.

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Pi Beta


Deputy
I'm with Ivor on this.

If he arrived only this morning for the holiday I'll have rather more understanding than if he's been with me and my new spouse for some little time before.

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Seriously, though, I wouldn't spank...

He'd just be sent up to his room without the meal he finds so unpleasant and that would be it for punishment.

It would not be too strange if my new wife refuses to invite the boy for a family meal again, and I'll support her in this. My future meetings with the boy will take place out of the home, and obviously never again on a major holiday...

In any case, it will be some time before I want another visit with him...

Stevie.

Jack


Admin
I'm going to TAKE Terrence to his room. Depending on my exact mood, I'm either going to tell him to stay there while I calm down enough to talk, or we'll talk now.

The simple fact is that Jack knows how hard this is for Terrence, but the Dad in this scenario obviously either didn't understand or didn't allow for it.

As soon as I'm calm enough, I'm going to apologize to Terrence for my lack of appreciation of his feelings. I will also point out that he's done the same thing to my new wife. The only difference being that he was being deliberately rude to an innocent person.

I want to be angry at my wife, but she is wanting to celebrate our new status, and I can't blame her for that.

I think all I can really do in this situation is to tell Terrence that, if he can behave calmly and apologize publicly, then he can rejoion us. If he can't, he's welcome to stay in his room. For my part, I'll offer to take him to his mom's, or to make time for us to do things later. What I will not do is tolerate a repeat of this behavior, and if it does repeat, he'll be spending a long time over my knee regretting it.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Skateski's succinct and Daniel's more detailed answer. This is not a time to focus on punishment but rather to help Terrence come to terms with the changes in his life.

I don't really see the parent in this scenario as having failed to take Terrence's feelings into account. I'm sure he would have asked for Terrence's input into how the family would celebrate the day; but no matter how hard a parent who has recently remarried tries, his or her children will experience some adjustment problems. I think for Terrence that any changes are threatening. He has already had to adjust at an early age to spending holidays split between his parents. Now he has to share one of his parents with a new spouse. He will have to come to terms with this. Making special plans that are for just him and Dad will help, but nothing can magically make change easy. He needs time and understanding, a certain amount of patience, but also some firm boundaries about civility.

If my new spouse is the person I believe he is, he will understand why Terrence is acting out and hold no long term grudges.

Kat

AFinch


Sherrif
Late to the party, but I agree with Daniel and Ivor. He can agree to behave in a civilized manner, or he can stay alone in his room. If he chooses the latter, he can do so hungry.

Stone Man


Marshall
I'm in the Ivor camp, with a sprinkling of other posts.

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