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15 July 2015 - Three for One - A Jack Production

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Three for One
A Jack Production

You have three sons - 17-year old Palmer, 9-year old Redmond, and 15-year old Drake.

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You've always treated Palmer and Drake pretty similarly, and that's how the boys expect to be treated. It's been about two years since Palmer last had a sore butt, and he reacts pretty well to restrictions. It's been about six months less than that for Drake, but that has more to do with behavior than age. While you tended to use implements on the older two boys when they were getting it, Red is still in the hand spanking phase, though he's probably at about the age where you first used a belt on his big brothers.

During summers in the past, you've made different arrangements for the boys during the day. This year, with Palmer able to drive, and everything stable with everyone, you leave the boys alone with some basic instructions. While Drake and Palmer are best friends, and though they do find Redmond to be an occasional pest, they do usually tolerate and take care of him, and neither of them is either mean to him.

Everything seems to have gone fine, and the boys have been taking care of their chores, staying within their curfew, and letting you know when there was a change of plans. Even so, there are some things that have started making you wonder - like a Six Flags souvenir that you don't recognize. Last week, things came to a boil when you the gas card bill came, and you realized the boys had been going way over their allowance.

Doing some checking on the bill to see where they've been refilling, you see that they've been going WAY outside what you ever okayed for them. It doesn't seem like they've been doing anything explicitly wrong besides that. Questioning them, you find out that they've been making multiple trips to the amusement park, the water park, and a few attractions that seem more aimed at Red.

The boys know to be honest, mostly because they've dealt with the situation before and are afraid of contradicting each other and getting into worse trouble. They admit that sometimes Red has gone with them, sometimes they've left him with his friends while they went places - sometimes with friends, but sometimes by themselves - and sometimes they did take Redmond to places he wanted to go as bribes for keeping his mouth shut.

On the way hand, the boys were keeping up with the things they should have been doing. On the other hand, they were using the car way more than they had permission, driving it through areas that you felt were too dangerous for their experience level, taking friends when they shouldn't have been, and generally lying about what was going on.

So, what's happening to the boys? Will they all get similar? Will Palmer still be allowed to drive? Are they still allowed home without supervision? Is there anything else that needs to be dealt with?

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


I assume Palmer knows where his driving limits are. I assume he also knows that he can't drive non-family members anywhere without a licensed adult in the car.

He's lucky he hasn't been stopped by a police officer, or he wouldn't be driving until he's 21. He's losing his car keys for a week, and when he gets them back, it will be having gone over, in detail, where he is allowed to go and with whom. I will be closely monitoring mileage and gas (petrol) bills.

The boys have been keeping up with what they were supposed to be doing. It isn't clear to me from the scenario whether the "lying" has been by omission or commission. If it's the former, and that's how I'm reading this, I'm going to be inclined more towards leniency. I don't think I'd want them tattling, though I'm surprised a 9 yo was ABLE to keep from spilling the beans. I think the other two can stay grounded with Palmer. I'll let all three know that if there is any recurrence they can expect very sore bottoms regardless of age. No spankings today.


Editor Extraordinaire
Kier's answer seems pretty well thought out.


Pi Beta

In one respect, the boys have proved that they can be trusted in terms of looking after Redmond and leaving him safe with friends at times while it appears also that Palmer has been driving safely, albeit outside his set limits. On that basis, I'm inclined to remove the restrictions.

However, from another angle, they've proved that they can't be trusted to obey limits. I put no blame on Redmond for that even though he has benefitted from some of the outings and, from that viewpoint, I think he should contribute to the fuel cost.

Between us we will work out the fuel cost for all the unauthorised journeys and I will require them to reimburse me that cost on the basis of 55% Palmer, 40% Drake and 5% Redmond - from their allowance, earnings or savings. If that is beyond their immediate means, then my belt can be used as a substitute for some of that cost.

Though I could decide to use the belt anyway on the older two because of their deception (whether by commission or omission), I think bringing to their pockets the realisation of how much their outings really cost may prove a more effective lesson.

(Why on earth were they so dumb as to use a card to buy the fuel if they wanted to keep their expeditions secret from me is another question. Perhaps I should leather them for being so naive as to think they wouldn't be rumbled!)


I cant see hat Redmond needs to be grounded. He's only done as his big brothers asked and I prefer that he doesn't snitch on his brothers. As I'm taking the car keys for a week there will be a forced reduction in his movements anyway. I think Palmer is in serious danger of a belting if he has done anything illegal as far as passengers are concerned. I'm sure he knows the rules. Drake was complicit too so I think he gets grounded along with Palmer and they can start paying back for some of the extra gas used with extra chores


I was going to wait and see if there weren't a few more responses, but I don't want to forget about it (not that Leti would allow that).

Yes, this is based on a RL scenario, but I'm not sure how accurate it is.  I thought about using it Sunday.  I already knew the situation, and actually referred to it obliquely in my thread Quiet Times..  Because I didn't know all the facts in this, and because I didn't want to invite a bunch of arguments about what was really known (and because I found that great pic of the kid in the cut off jeans), I decided not to use it.  However, David is currently out of scenarios, and he asked if I could help, so --- Viola!

The major thing I changed is in how the kids were caught.  However, that removed one of the big problems that arose.  The kids actually did have permission to use the card a couple of extra times, but that's because Palmer would go to mom one week and ask for extra use of the card or a bit of extra money, and then he'd go to Dad the next week.  Then Drake went to Mom the week after that, then he went to Dad.  When the bill came, and it seemed higher than it should have been, Dad looked at it, found one (and only one) charge in Arlington, and he had no idea why it was there, so he went to talk to his wife.  Once he and Christi started comparing the bill, the fact that the boys had been playing the two of them back and forth for extra money came out, and that led to checking up on other things.

My understanding is that they had a family meeting Friday, after dinner, evidence was presented, and everything eventually came out.  Then all three boys were sent to their rooms to get ready for bed.  And being sent to your room to get ready for bed at 7:30 pm has one definite, and unpleasant, implication.

I actually like Kier's answer, but there's one problem with it, and I should have mentioned it in the original scenario.  The reason the boys were left alone this year, instead of last, when Palm could first drive, is because of their grandparents.  Always before, Grandma came over and stayed with them, or they'd stay with Grandma.  Even when the older boys were old enough to not need a sitter, Grandma was there for Reddy, and since she was there, the older boys could check in and get permission from her.  This past year, the grandparents retired, and I understand that they're on an Alaskan cruise right now.  Because of that, grounding the boys for any length of time would be almost impossible.  

It sounds like the boys had quite a long wait, because the parents were discussing things.  Both of them were pretty upset about the boys playing them back and forth like that.  As a single parent, I've never really had to deal with that.  The boys never actually lied, but they were far from honest.  While asking the parent whom you think is most likely to say yes is probably acceptable, this just seems like more than that to me.

Redmond was dealt with first.  I guess he was the hardest, and Mom and Dad did talk to him before announcing sentence.  While it's hard to remember everything that everyone said to you over several weeks, it seems like Reddy had directly lied on at least a couple of occasions (like about where he'd gotten a Six Flags cap he was wearing).  Except for a lie or two, Reddy wasn't really guilty of anything except accepting bribes and keeping secrets.  For the lies, he was given a 'pretty regular' spanking (Chris' words - and yes, the Russo parents are named Chris and Christi) and ten minutes in the corner.  He also lost one week's allowance towards the extra gas the boys had used.

By the time the original discussion and dealing with Reddy was past, it was nearly 9pm.  Drake and Palmer had been in their rooms for over an hour and a half, awaiting their execution.  Mom and Dad came in together, and announced that they were each losing two weeks allowance, that they were hard grounded (no visitors, no electronics except family TV, and no leaving the house, except the back yard or with the parents) for the weekend.  Palmer lost his driving privileges (no certain length set at that time), there was discussion that Drake would be delayed in getting his license (he turns 16 in Sept, I believe), and both boys were getting whipped.

After the expected protests, Mom left, boxers came off, and both boys started to go over the bed.  Then Palmer was told that he was the enabler (I should have used that as the title of this scenario), so he was getting extra and could wait.

Palmer says it was the worst whipping of his life.  I think part of that is psychosomatic, though.  Normally, if both boys are in trouble, they go over Drake's bed side by side.  Palmer probably gets a couple of extra, but it's still simultaneous.  This time, he had to watch his little brother get it (Drake says it was hard, but not a lot harder than normal), before he got his own (Drake has no idea how much Palmer's was harder than normal, because he couldn't pay much attention at the start).  

Reddy wasn't grounded for the weekend, and he and his mom joined us for Minions Saturday.  That's when I first heard about this, and I was asked if the boys could come over during the days.  It was announced to Drake and Palmer, and they've been over here a number of times this summer, so it's not like it was an additional punishment, except that I've been told paddling is definitely on the table with them if needed, and they were told, in front of me, that I am supervising them and they're required to be here, except as I allowed - which means they aren't grounded, are hanging out with friends, but have lost some freedom.  

As to specifics, it was decided that Drake can still get his license on time, but he wasn't told that until his weekend grounding was over. Palmer is restricted from driving for two weeks, and he'll be on 'limited driving' for a couple of weeks after that - with parents direct permission only, which means only when parents are home to get it.  One week of that will be during family vacation, so it's better than it sounds.  That gets them to when marching band practice begins, and he'll be allowed to drive normally, but it looks like they'll be coming back here after practice, which means limited freedom, even with the ability to drive.

And just for the record... From here, it's about a 35 or 40 miles to Six Flags, not a quick drive, but not horrible.  The thing is, it takes I-30 through downtown Dallas.  A couple of years ago, Barry got in trouble for making unauthorized trips to Dallas, but I wasn't too upset with him.  The thing is, he was going Friday night, after dinner, or on weekends.  For Palmer to be getting home when he was, he was having to risk the time when traffic was getting pretty heavy through there, and that part of the highway makes me nervous past mid-afternoon.  I'm sure Kat and Cam know exactly what I mean, but the rest of you will just have to accept that this one fact did rachet up what he deserves for this stunt.

And finally - Palmer turned 17 in May. As far as I know, he got his driver's license as soon as school released last year, which means he has been driving for more than a year, so taking a carload of his friends to Six Flags (or Hurricane Harbor, which is just across the highway from Six Flags) is a violation of parental rules, but not the law.

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


I think the parent are being to hard on the oldest but I can understand the driving through Dallas part.... affraid I try to avoid rush hour or down town.

I think the parents need to take some of blame ... They helped the kids do this by not communicateing
With each other....

Thanks for the update

Hugs kal


Still feel a little sorry for Redmond, Lies I realise, but covering for his brothers. His mistake was wearing that cap. Guess he'll be more careful in future


Square, I wondered about Reddy, too, and so did his parents. If you look back, you'll notice that I said they actually sat down and talked with him before deciding how to handle him. I think he felt guilty, at least partially because his brothers were catching pretty much all the heat. I think this might have been a mercy spanking for him in a way.

Kal - I'm not sure how this would have been communicated better. I'm honestly not sure the kids did wrong by going back and forth to the parents like that, but I also know it would have ticked me off. I think the grounding might be a little long, but I also think they want to make the point that he has to be trustworthy in order to be trusted.

And sometimes it's just hard to decide what's fair and what's not, but I think they definitely needed to make an impression on the boys.

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

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