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27 Jan 2015 - How Do You Handle a Naughty Man?

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Jack


Admin
You and your youngest brother were both accidents, which explains why there is more than twenty years separating the two of you.
.
Your 18-year old brother, Kyle

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Kyle has lived with you for about two years now.  After your father passed, your mom just didn't feel able to control him.  He and your oldest son have always been close, so it worked out pretty well... in some ways.
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Your sixteen-year old son, Chad

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Though Kyle and Chad always spent a lot of time together, and you had both boys across your lap (and later over the bed) many times through their youth - both together and separate - when Kyle moved in with you, the two of you had some major clashes over discipline issues.  While Kyle hates corporal punishment, he can't be trusted to complete grounding or restrictions without being under constant watch.  The two of you finally came to an agreement, not long before you gave up and sent him to military school.

Last year, when Kyle graduated high school, you agreed to let him keep living with you so he could attend the local college, with the agreement that he'd continue to follow the same rules.  By this time, Kyle had settled down, and you haven't had much trouble with him.

Until last night.

Last night, Kyle came in reeking of cigarette smoke.  He's smoked before, but you thought he'd stopped.  At first he claims that he was at a party, and other people there were smoking is all.  When you remind him that you still have nicotine test strips, he confesses that he'd had a couple.  

It's been well over a year since  you've used CP with Kyle.  You have a special instrument that you use for illegal activity.  Of course, since Kyle is 18 now, cigarettes aren't illegal, but he'd promised you to stay off them, so as not to expose your kids.  

Now that he's broken his word, what do you do with him?


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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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db105


Trailboss
Unless I consider that CP is no longer an option for Kyle, which does not seem to be the case, the occasion warrants it. Not the special instrument, though.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Danny

AFinch


Sherrif
I assume the special instrument is a switch. While smoking at 18 isn't illegal, it's deliberate, dangerous, disrespectful disobedience about which he lied, and which would have earned a session with it if he were, say, 17. I don't see any reason why continuing to smoke after promising not to should be treated more leniently than his first time because of an arbitrary date.

David M. Katz


Marshall
I agree with Kier.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'll be telling Kyle that whilst he is my kin and I love him dearly that I do not have the responsibilities towards him that I have towards my children.  I will tell him firmly that his continued welcome in my home is dependent on him conducting himself in a way that, in my opinion, does not impact negatively on the welfare or behaviour of my own children.

The choice is his.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

ivor


Marshall
Sorry guys, but as long as he doesn't actually smoke in the house then I can't see that there is anything wrong here.

And as for saying that it doesn't make any difference because he is 18 as opposed to 17 that is just a smokescreen!

He is now of the age where he is legally entitled to smoke. Because I don't like it and it may be unhealthy doesn't come into it

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

Padraig


Trailboss
Like it or not, he is 18 and if he wants to smoke there is not much I can do about. I can only ban him from smoking in my house or car.

I don't see a punishment for a legal activity working.

db105


Trailboss
Breaking his word about smoking, lying, breaking the rules he agreed to follow... None of that is illegal, and indeed I can't do anything about it if Kyle wants to leave. However, if he wants to live here he'll have to abide by the rules we agreed on.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Danny

ivor


Marshall
db105 wrote:Breaking his word about smoking, lying, breaking the rules he agreed to follow... None of that is illegal, and indeed I can't do anything about it if Kyle wants to leave. However, if he wants to live here he'll have to abide by the rules we agreed on.


But are those rules fair and equitable - or does that not matter?

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

Fenz


Cowboy
My house, my rules?

db105


Trailboss
Sure it does. The best moment to debate the fairness of the rules is not right after you have been caught breaking them, though.

Reading the BOTD scenario it seems to me that I'm taking care of Kyle and that in general he doesn't exactly behave like a responsible adult. If he decides he absolutely wants to be treated as an adult then I will respect his wishes, with the understanding that if he is an adult relative living at my house I will expect him not to be a bad influence on Chad, and that if I think that's the case I may not feel the duty to keep having him as guest. Hopefully it won't get anywhere near that, however.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Danny

Jack


Admin
ivor wrote:
db105 wrote:Breaking his word about smoking, lying, breaking the rules he agreed to follow... None of that is illegal, and indeed I can't do anything about it if Kyle wants to leave. However, if he wants to live here he'll have to abide by the rules we agreed on.


But are those rules fair and equitable - or does that not matter?

Fenz wrote:My house, my rules?

I don't think this is a 'my house, my rules' situation, simply because Kyle agreed to the rules. You didn't force him into anything (beyond the economic 'blackmail' of him not having to get a job and pay his own expenses).

Ivor, to me, it's kind of like this:

Q: Is it fair and equitable for me to require my employees to wear a uniform, even if they don't like it?
A: It doesn't matter. That's my rule, and they have to follow it, if they want to keep the position.

I'm going to admit to a bit of hypocrisy here. Kyle is of legal age, so I can't stop him from smoking. He is my baby brother, and I am concerned for his health, but sometimes you have to allow people to make their own mistakes. However, I don't want my kids exposed to it (the scenario doesn't say if it's for health reasons, like one of them might have asthma or allergies, but it could simply be that I don't want Chad seeing his much admired uncle doing something like that). That has been explained to Kyle, and he ignored my rules.




I'm going to remind Kyle of our agreement and see what he has to say for himself. I think this is a serious matter, more for him breaking his word than anything else, so I'm going to suggest about 5 swats, bare, with the medium Lexan, and a discussion of how we can avoid this in the future (even if it's Axe, mouthwash, and a clean shirt in his car, along with a promise that he doesn't smoke around the boys). I will also make it clear that if I find out he is smoking around the boys, other housing arrangements might have to be made.


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ivor


Marshall
I think at the end of the day, you and others, particularly it seems to me but not exclusively, those of you in the USA, get much more vexed about the smoking issue than I do.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

John Boy


Sherrif
David M. Katz wrote:I agree with Kier.
Ditto

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MemoryMan


Sherrif
In the scenario I have strong views about smoking and take my responsibility for the health and welfare of my kids seriously. (super seriously some might say)  Kyle understands this and has agreed, as a pre-requisite for living under my roof to observe the rules I have set for my kids.

...................Of course, since Kyle is 18 now, cigarettes aren't illegal, but he'd promised you to stay off them, so as not to expose your kids..............


I reiterate my original somewhat hard ass reply.

I'll be telling Kyle that whilst he is my kin and I love him dearly that I do not have the same responsibilities towards him that I have towards my children.  I will tell him firmly that his continued welcome in my home is dependent on him conducting himself in a way that, in my opinion, does not impact negatively on the welfare or behaviour of my own children.

The choice is then his.

(will I actually follow through if he stays and lets me down again) ...........???  

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I have to agree with Ivor on this one. The scenario states that Kyle agreed to my rules, but was the agreement actually entered into of his own free will? An agreement made under any sort of coercion, including economic coercion, is not an agreement at all. I should ask myself why I'm concerned that Kyle is smoking if he isn't doing it in my house or around my children. Will he be any less a bad influence if he smokes but does it in some seedy apartment that I've driven him into renting? What message do I send my son if I kick Kyle out because he has taken up a vice that is legal but that I disapprove of? That my love, affection and protection depend solely on his conformity to my will?

I think it's entirely reasonable to have house rules for Kyle, but I also think those rules should be somewhat flexible, taking into account changes in his status, as some behaviors become legal for him. He'll never have permission to smoke in my house or on my property, but I will acknowledge that what happens away from home is his own business.

Another thing for me to consider is that he may well be addicted to smoking, in which case, simply quitting might not be so easy. I will make sure he understands how much I still disapprove of his smoking; I will offer my support if he is addicted and desires to quit; I will address my concerns about how it may influence my own kids.

Kat

squarecutter


Sherrif
Its not under my roof and it is legal for Kyle to smoke so I'm not sure I have anything to say.  I think letting th kids smell his breath or his clothes would help them to stay off the weed

db105


Trailboss
Kat wrote:The scenario States That Kyle Agreed To My Rules, But Was The Agreement Actually Entered Into Of His Own Free Will? An Agreement Made Under Any Sort Of Coercion, Including Economic Coercion, Is Not An Agreement At All.

I think this argument only diverts attention from what I believe is your true argument (more on that in a moment). If we apply this logic any agreement I may reach with Kyle about his duties here is by definition void. Do I want him to do his fair share of household chores? Do I want him to behave reasonably? Only if he feels like it, apparently. Since I necessarily have a position of power (the house is mine and it might not be convenient for him to make alternative arrangements) does that mean I can ask nothing of him?


What message do I send my son if I kick Kyle out because he has taken up a vice that is legal but that I disapprove of? That my love, affection and protection depend solely on his conformity to my will?

The same applies for any reason I may have to kick him out. You say you would never allow him to smoke in the house. So what if he does, in his own room with the door closed? Nasty but realistically not a big health risk for the rest of the family. If you kick him out for that, won't you be saying that your protection depends on his conformity to your will? If you can not impose any consequence, is there a limit somewhere? Only if there's clear and direct risk for others?

I should ask myself why I'm concerned that Kyle is smoking if he isn't doing it in my house or around my children. 

I think this is what you are finding problematic. You do not think that forbidding a 18-year-old to smoke is reasonable.

I'm concerned because I think smoking is an unhealthy and filthy habit and I do not want my little brother to do it. Thinking about it, I have to concede that if Kyle were 36 I would not be trying to keep him from smoking out of the house. Therefore, I'm not treating him fully as an adult. That is because I don't think he is fully an adult. Yes, he is no longer a child, and yes, that should be reflected in how I treat him. However, I think I still can influence him to help him avoid bad habits.

Making sure he knows you disapprove of his smoking is good, and it might be effective with some kids, but what if he just rolls his eyes and says "whatever"? What if I think that he is not yet mature enough not to need any external discipline?

Treating him like an adult if he is smoking or doing recreational drugs or wasting his time at college without studying might not be in his best interest. Kicking him out is probably not in his best interest either, so I really do not want it to get to that.

I guess a lot will depend on his personality and my relationship with him. What works for some 18-year-olds may not work for others.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Danny

AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with Daniel. Kyle may be an adult, legally, but if I'm supporting him and providing him with food, shelter, and clothing, he's NOT an adult. I hated hearing "My house, my rules", but in this case, I think it's a valid argument. Kyle agreed to these rules. If he doesn't want to follow them, he is welcome to live somewhere else and smoke to his heart's content.

Jack


Admin
Wow!

I have to admit I expected this scenario to receive some differing views and to engender some discussion, but... Wow!




I think that we'll never be able to come to an agreement about some of this, because too much of it depends on things that we'll never know about this situation - how the agreement about rules was made specifically, but also years worth of relationships and interactions.

I do have to admit that there are two things that influence my feelings about this specific scenario.

The first of those is that I gave up smoking cigars so as not to be a bad influence on my kids. While I have had a few cigars in the years since I quit, it's not anything approaching a regular thing, and it's never been when the kids were around, or would be around when I got home.

The other thing is that I have entered into agreements like this with people of about this same age before. Of course, the agreements and the alternatives vary with my relationship to the person in question. With Mickey, if he hadn't wanted to live here, under the same rules, despite the fact that he was now over 18, I offered him the choice of moving, but still being supported by me, and we did discuss some changes to the rules. With boys like Christian or Clayton, I offered to allow them to live here, with a clear understanding of how they'd be dealt with - take it or leave it. My feeling is that if you enter into an agreement to gain advantages for yourself, you still entered into it, and the choice was yours.


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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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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
db105 wrote:I think this argument only diverts attention from what I believe is your true argument (more on that in a moment). If we apply this logic any agreement I may reach with Kyle about his duties here is by definition void. Do I want him to do his fair share of household chores? Do I want him to behave reasonably? Only if he feels like it, apparently. Since I necessarily have a position of power (the house is mine and it might not be convenient for him to make alternative arrangements) does that mean I can ask nothing of him?

I disagree, Daniel. There is a big difference between reasonable agreements reached through negotiation and an ultimatum. It's no good to say a person agreed to something if I point a metaphorical gun at his head to gain his agreement. If I have to confront Kyle about breaking an agreement, I want to be sure he did, in fact, agree. Otherwise, I should be honest and say, "You broke MY rules," rather than, "You broke the rules you agreed to."

db105 wrote:The same applies for any reason I may have to kick him out. You say you would never allow him to smoke in the house. So what if he does, in his own room with the door closed? Nasty but realistically not a big health risk for the rest of the family. If you kick him out for that, won't you be saying that your protection depends on his conformity to your will? If you can not impose any consequence, is there a limit somewhere? Only if there's clear and direct risk for others?

My reasons for not allowing smoking in the house extend far beyond health risk. I dislike having my walls stained from smoke. I dislike the smell of stale cigarette smoke. I dislike having holes burnt in furniture. I see a clear difference between behavior that has a direct impact on my property and comfort and behavior of which I merely disapprove. The impact on my life, property and children is where I draw the line. I don't stop being friends with people who smoke, but I also don't invite them to light up in my house or my car. As long as they aren't doing it around me, I keep my mouth shut.

db105 wrote:I'm concerned because I think smoking is an unhealthy and filthy habit and I do not want my little brother to do it. Thinking about it, I have to concede that if Kyle were 36 I would not be trying to keep him from smoking out of the house. Therefore, I'm not treating him fully as an adult. That is because I don't think he is fully an adult. Yes, he is no longer a child, and yes, that should be reflected in how I treat him. However, I think I still can influence him to help him avoid bad habits.

Okay, you concede that if he were 36, you wouldn't attempt to interfere. So at what age do you allow him to make this decision for himself? The law in the state of Texas in its wisdom has set the age at which a person can buy and use tobacco products at 18, so I can't legally stop him from smoking except around me. I certainly hope my disapproval has some influence on him, as well as reasonable arguments against smoking. I'm certain that punishment will do no good, even if he consents to it.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
Daniel:

Now that you have stated you will decide whether or not Kyle is an adult rather than the law, there is no point in continuing to try and have a rational discussion.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

AFinch


Sherrif
Sorry Ivor and Kat, but this time, I have to disagree with you vehemently.

I will concede Kyle is legally an adult, and can do whatever he likes. But if he's living under my patronage, he can follow my rules. Otherwise, he is most welcome to make other living arrangements, and do whatever he likes. Actual, as opposed to legal, adults are self supporting.

MY rules that Kyle broke ARE rules to which he agreed when he decided to come live here. Per the scenario, Kyle isn't my child--I have no legal obligation, and no real moral obligation, to support him (beyond the same obligation one would have to, for example, a homeless person on a street corner). While putting him out may be a "metaphorical gun" to his head, doesn't Kyle also have a duty to adhere to the agreement HE made in advance? Being told he can't smoke isn't a new condition imposed after the fact. He knew that going into this agreement.

And yes, if he were 36, I wouldn't interfere. Nor would I still be supporting him or having him live in my house. In that case, he'd be behaving like a real, as opposed to a legal, adult. At that point, Kyle would be supporting himself and his behavior would be his own business.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Kier, I'm afraid that you and I have a fundamental disagreement as to responsibility for Kyle. Having taken him into my home and allowed him to make it his home; having voluntarily assumed the position of a parent; I feel I do have a moral responsibility to him. Were he doing something morally reprehensible, I would take a stronger stand. Smoking away from my house, however, harms only him.

I'm afraid also that many of us have had to take in adult family members who are well past the age of 36. The happy condition of being self-supporting can come to an abrupt end due to circumstances beyond one's control. The conditions for giving a person house space for me: reasonable consideration for the others living here, no illegal activity, no drunkenness, civility & respect for others in what you say. Even then, in the past two years I've swallowed a lot of resentment because I know the person we've allowed in here (someone who is not considerate) is likely to end up on the street if we make him leave.

A bit of a side issue but something no one has brought up: just how do I enforce what he does outside my presence, as he is likely just to be much more careful in future?

Kat

db105


Trailboss
ivor wrote:Daniel:

Now that you have stated you will decide whether or not Kyle is an adult rather than the law, there is no point in continuing to try and have a rational discussion.

Question

Perhaps we can agree to disagree without calling each other irrational?

Anyway, I'll leave the discussion here. BOTD scenarios are supposed to be for fun and a bit tongue-in-cheek, not to make people angry.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Danny

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