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BOTD 10-08-2015 A Family Affair - A Jack Production

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Bransom Postmaster
A Jack Production

You have four sons - 12-year old Taylor, 20-year old Thomas, 17-year old Trent, and 14-year old Tim.

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The four boys are close friends.  Each of them have their own interests and friends, but they all enjoy spending time together as well.  Taylor and Tim both face sore (bare) bottoms as consequences when needed, just like Thomas and Trent did when they were younger.  Since Trent turned 16, you grounded him a couple of times, but you haven't heated his rear in probably close to three years now.  Thomas was about the same.

Thomas lived at home the past two years, but this year, he's moved from the local community college to a 'real' college, and he's living out of town now.  He has a  'mid-term break' this week, which gives him four days off, and he's used it to come home.

The weather is beautiful right now, so he took his brothers to a local attraction that has midway games, a corn maze, and lots of very good food (which is very bad for you).  It's fun, but there's not a ton of stuff to do, so the boys agree they'll be home between about 4 and 5pm.

With that knowledge, you get the grill going, planning to make a special dinner.  Five o'clock comes and goes, and there's no sign of the boys.  You call, and get no response from any of them.  Finally, about 7pm, they arrive.  The attraction was too crowded, so they left a little early and took in a movie.  They all had their phones off, and no one checked them until they were already on the way home.

You have rules on timeliness, and while you allow some leeway, the boys were very late with no communication.  Thomas knows this means Tim and Taylor both face sore bottoms.  He apologizes, and says it's his fault.  He also says that, since you can't really ground him, he should get the same thing (upgraded for his age and size).  Trent, who was getting ready to argue with you about grounding (since he could tell you weren't very happy with all  of them), adds 'screw that noise!  you're not spanking me.'

Should you just get the meat on the grill, should you grill something else, or will you just 'screw that noise'?

Can you dig it?


I'm going to just let it go (wrong movie).

Not fair for the younger boys, who were essentially at the older's mercy, having no car, to get spanked for this. Polite of all of them to shut of their phones inside a theatre--Patti Lupone (and I) would approve.

I'm just going to remind them that at least one of them should have had the courtesy to tell me about a change in plans so I wouldn't worry, but I can't see making a big deal out of this. I'm thrilled I have sons who are 8 years apart that all like each other enough to spend time together without being forced to do so.


Yep, I'm with Kier, particularly about this not really being the youngest boys' fault. They were inconsiderate. Maybe I'll punish them with some chores they can do together. I'll tell Trent that while he lives at home I won't completely rule out spankings for him if he truly deserves one.

John Boy

Ditto Kier I will let it slide this time.


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Kier also.


David M. Katz

My issue is they ALL had phones. I appreciate them turning those off for the movie but surely one of them could have called before going to the movie.

I assume Thomas was driving but maybe it was Trent but either way Taylor and Tim were at the mercy of the driver.

I still don't understand why there wasn't a phone call.

I see no reason to spank anyone but I think some burning ears and a minor consequence like some extra chores will send a message.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


While I am put out I'm not sure I'm spanking anyone . I imagine one of the reasons for the rules is the kids safety. The Thomas is or should be a responsible adult so I cannot hold the younger ones responsible for what happened. Further I think really that I want to enjoy the fact that all 4 are under my roof at the same time and that may not happen too often in the future. I think I will just tut that that nobody thought to call me. The food may not b as nice as it would have been but really we should enjoy being together


I'm with Katz i that I don't understand why there wasn't a call, but I can't see spanking for it especially for the younger pair.


Remember, the scenario doesn't say you threatened a spanking, but that the younger boys face one for the curfew violation.

Having said that, Katz and Ivor hit the thing that really bothered me. All four of these boys know they should have called me when they changed their plans. My normal response to this kind of thing would be to ground them all, but (as Thomas points out), I can't really ground him, and I don't want to ruin his visit home.

I'm also irritated by Trent's mouth. I can understand his 'teenage dignity', but not the way he wants to dig his whole deeper, before I even say anything. (Maybe he's just showing off for his big brother?). I think I'll start by taking Trent aside and asking him if he wants to stand with his brothers and take whatever I think is fair for the group, or if he'd just like to be grounded for a couple of weeks.

I think that, as long as I do this privately, he'll back down.

Once he's over there, I'm going to fetch the bath brush. I'll mention that two swats for Taylor, four for Tim, about 8 for Trent, and ? for Thomas seems like a good way to make an impression. I'll then give them a chance to tell me what they did wrong - not just the tardiness, but the lack of consideration and respect. If they all seem penitent (and I'm assuming they are, since Thomas made the offer in the first place), I'll put the punishment in abeyance. I think that will let them know how serious I feel it is (both about being on time and about honoring the plans you make with other people), without ruining the vacation or being unduly harsh.

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


OK.  They should have called but they forgot.

Inconsiderate?  Yes - and they need to know how put out you were by their lack of consideration.

But Punishment.....??  No.  I'm with squarecutter.


One thing here is that I don't know if this can be seen as four friends going out and breaking curfew. The youngest two basically were under the care of young adults. I don't know if I can blame them for not worrying about curfews.


I'm not going to ruin a (assumingly) great day for my kids. I'll have a quiet talk with Trent, though.


I think the thing about being a good parent is knowing when to let things go. So today they're all getting a reprieve.

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