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BOTD 06-02-2016 A History For Such Things - A DMK Production

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Skater

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A HISTORY FOR SUCH THINGS
A DMK Production


Nathaniel is your fifteen year old (soon to be sixteen) son and Jentzen is his right arm and best friend.  Jentzen just turned sixteen last week, got his driver's license and, with the help of his grandmother, purchased a reliable used Jeep.  For the past almost five years, Jentzen's mother, a single parent, has trusted you with handling the boy's discipline.  You basically consider jentzen to be like your own son and treat him accordingly. It has been over a year since Jentzen has needed any sort of punishment from you and close to a year for Nathaniel. Spanking and other punishments are not off of the table - it just hasn't been necessary.

The boys met in sixth grade and sealed their friendship with a very ill-planned school skipping incident that ended up with you being involved to avoid the boys from doing a "dine and dash" for an impromptu breakfast at a local restaurant.  In the sixth grade you returned the boys to school where each was paddled.  For his part, Nathaniel was spanked at home.  Jentzen was grounded.  (Discussion of which between the boys is what led to your involvement in Jentzen's discipline.)

In the spring of their seventh grade year, Nathaniel and Jentzen decided to commemorate their friendship by skipping out of school again.  Again, planning was not their first priority and the principal caught them walking off of campus.  Both boys were paddled.  You gave spankings to each at home that evening.

By eight grade the boys had a tradition.  This year they were a little smarter and simply never showed up at school.  Note - the school will not consider a student "skipping"  if the student never shows up on campus.  The previous two years the boys had left school after arriving on campus, hence why the school punished them.  The absence is unexcused and any tests/projects cannot be made up. During the eight grade escapade, the boys were caught by the computerized attendance system that sent an incriminating email to you and Jentzen's mother.  When confronted, the boys admitted to skipping and were spanked for the issue.

You and Jentzen's mother discussed the issue with your sons during ninth grade, their first year of high school, and arranged for an absence for the two on a field day and allowed them to hang out together at a local park.  You thought all went well and that the tradition was fulfilled but the boys needed their celebration.  The boys perfected their art and never showed for school but were able to get a friend who was an office aide to "cover" for them with the computer. You never found out about the skipping until late in to the summer.  By then it was water under the bridge and both boys simply got a warning.

The boys are now tenth graders and the school year is almost over.  There is only one more full day of classes before three half days for exams and then the school year is over.  This last full day is usually reserved for exam prep, films, private study, administrative tasks, etc. and no instruction occurs. Both boys are good students, in fact Nathaniel is ranked third in his class and Jentzen is in the top ten percent, and so they are well prepared for the upcoming exams.  Jentzen drives himself and Nathaniel to school but the boys never show up at school.  They skip and have a commemorative breakfast at the same restaurant (they pay this time) and then hang at a local mall and see a movie.

You get the automatic email telling you Nathaniel is not at school.  You call your son and he freely admits that he and Jentzen "blew the day off because nothing was going on."  He says that he and Jentzen are headed home now.  (They timed things so as to arrive when they would be expected to be home from school.)

NATHANIEL - 15
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JENTZEN - 16
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The boys are now home and openly ask you if you want to talk about them not going to school.

Your response?


*Most of you probably realize this is based in a real-life event.  No, the pictures look nothing like the boys in question.  After everyone gets a chance to chime in then I will share what happened.


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AFinch

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I think they're in trouble.  Knowing you, if they'd asked, you'd have GIVEN them the excused absence.  While the saying is that it's "easier to ask forgiveness than permission", I think in this case that, despite their "advanced age", they're perpetuating this "history for such things" and expecting it to end as it always has.

As at least Jentzen now has a driver's license, and it's almost summer vacation, I think loss of car keys may be more effective than a spanking.



Last edited by David M. Katz on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Corrected a name)

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Both boys need a good soapy enema and all...



(Stevie volunteers to do the honours) Twisted Evil

Warning poo and all...:
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Padraig

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Trailboss
Since spanking had not worked as deterrence in the past it will not work now. If they want to continue their "tradition" there is very little I can do. At least they had the sense to select a relatively unimportant day.

I bet there is some yardwork to do...

squarecutter

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Sherrif
Incorrigible is the word.

I think a school style paddling would be in order and in keeping with the tradition. Next year I will suggest to Jentzens Mom that he, and Nathaniel if he has one by then lose their car keys for the following weekend

MemoryMan

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Sherrif
This school skipping including the danger element (subsequent punishment when caught) commemorates and reinforces the advent of a very strong friendship.  It is likely to continue come hell or high water and be the subject of fond reminiscences in later life.

Have they harmed themselves or anybody else? ................. NO

"The boys are now home and openly ask you if you want to talk about them not going to school."

I have my role to play.

Pants down boys.

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ivor

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Marshall
I agree with MM.

This has now been going on for so long that it has become a tradition and part of that tradition is the paddling they receive afterwards. It is now part of the ticket price for the day in the same way as the meal and the cinema.

I suspect they'd be disappointed if you didn't keep your part of the deal. But it could be worthwhile indicating that if it happens again next year the price will also include loss of car keys for a period.

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Jack

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My answer would be slightly different than yours, but

"Glad you made it home a few minutes early. Get your clothes off and go get your switches, and maybe we can finish this up before your brothers get home."

And I agree with Kier - they're doing this to flaunt authority. At least they're showing some good sense in how they do it, but I still want to talk to them again about why that's not always a great idea.

Oh, and if they skipped the freaking review day, they'd best both hope they ace all those freaking finals, or I'll be all over their butts again when I find out about it.


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kalico

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Sherrif
I'm with jack and especially that last about the test.... Evil or Very Mad



Hugs kal

Emlyn Morgan

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Trailboss
Ah, yes. Skipping school. In south Wales we called it mitching.

Anyway, I'm going to whack them.

David M. Katz

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Marshall
Kier,
Their issue here is that the act needs to be without permission. I don't know why so even if we would have given them a day off, and we would have, they would have done this anyway. Your solution is somewhat close but softer.

Stevie,
I just have not made the boys' bathroom habits a top priority on my list of things to know and so I am clueless as to if you have the solution or not. However, I will be glad to mention your name should the service be needed.

Padraig,
You mostly share the sentiments of the adults involved.

Square,
I agree in principle but, at this point, what would the paddling do?

MM,
I think your point is absolutely valid. This act, to them, is greater than any thing else. I do see them being lifelong friends and so I agree.

ivor,
Your point mostly echoes MM, and, in hindsight, so does your point about the paddling. The point about driving will be discussed.

Jack,
Well, we didn't go with a switching. These two boys were in no danger of poor performance on the exams. This occurred a week ago Monday (5/23) and exams are over and grades are in. Both boys excelled on the exams.

Kalico,
Ditto Jack

Emlyn,
It was commonly called "playing hooky" when I was a boy. No whacks were given.

--------------------------------------

OK, we went mostly soft. The boys are showing better judgement in their matter and selection of their day off and we know and they are blunt about the fact that this "tradition" will occur next year and the next and they are willing to accept whatever the consequences might be. J's mom and Anne and I thought it had probably already happened and that they figured out how to get away with it so we were rather pleasantly surprised that they selected a "non-day" to skip out. They got away with it last year because Dex was an office aide and helped them. (Yeah, all 3 would have been 'toast' had that knowledge surfaced in a timely matter.) They admitted they selected the day they did because there was no real instruction but also because J had a license at that point. The ink was barely dry on his driver's license as he had just gotten it the Friday before.

So, no corporal punishment. They did however have to ride the bus to school for the final three days as J's Jeep was parked and we forbade them to ride with friends, siblings or parents to school. The bus is a fate worse than death to most high schoolers in our area but it is available if needed. This meant that they had to be up earlier as the bus arrives at our stop a full forty minutes earlier than they normally need to leave. It meant we knew they would be dropped off on school property (although that was not a real worry as neither of them would skip exams.) It also meant on Wednesday that N had to go to school very earlier and then sit in the library as he had no third period exam. J had to camp out on Thursday after the fifth period exam in the library because he had no sixth period exam. The boys were on a short leash for the next three days (half-days at school.) They weren't full on grounded but they found getting permission to go anywhere but school, church, or *work was hard to come by. That was our decison for this year. They both have already been put on notice that next year's event will result in a week's loss of driving privs for both (N will have a license then) and the big yellow bus will be the only mode of school transportation available. (However, I quite like ivor's 'paddling tradition" idea. )

*Both boys do have part-time jobs as 15 year olds are allowed to work in limited situations and the field broadens at 16. N is a cashier/lot boy/bagger/produce stocker at a small grocery store in our neighborhood. J is a grunt/gopher for a plant nursery / landscaping establishment near here.


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squarecutter

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Sherrif
I thought school paddling this time to be in proportion and In a daft way the tradition amuses me.I think loss of car would now have more impact than CP which I agree will have little effect now but in a sense only Jentzen would be feeling that. apart from the inconveience to Nathaniel. By next year of course loss of wheels will be an equally shared punishment and very irksome to 11th graders.

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
katz wrote:I just have not made the boys' bathroom habits a top priority on my list of things to know and so I am clueless as to if you have the solution or not. However, I will be glad to mention your name should the service be needed.

All teenage boys are the better for a good clearing out every so often...

David M. Katz

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Marshall
I am bringing this BOTD back up for a specific reason.

No, the kids are on spring break right now and so nothing has happened.

I absolutely know that Nathaniel and Jentzen will do this again this year.  They both now have driver's licenses and access to vehicles. It WILL happen; the question is when. It always happens in the spring.


----------------------------
It has been suggested by many here that a paddling is actually expected and is part of the ritual for the boys.  I have toyed with how to handle this year's event.  With input from many I have sort of settled on some swats and a loss of driving for a period of time.  Maybe that is too much? Also, I will find out - I always do.


If the school catches them actually skipping from school property then they would receive a Saturday detention.

If they never show up at school then the school only considers it an unexcused absence.  Therefore it is doubtful that this will ever become a school punishment issue. It is only "skipping" if the student shows up on school property (thereby making the school legally responsible for them.)


What should I do about this year's ritual? (When it happens.)

Both boys are now 16 and in 11th grade. (Junior year.) Jentzen turns 17 on May 20, Nathaniel not until August 2.

** They still have the same jobs as last year.


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Jack

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"Okay, guys - you warned me it would happen, and that's cool, but you know what I have to do. I'm thinking the paddle and losing your keys - not as bad as losing your phone, right? Okay, how long should you lose your keys, and how many swats? I already know what I have in mind, but I'm willing to negotiate? 10 swats and a week without driving?"


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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Its a commemorative ritual with no evil intent, a celebration of a momentous happy event in their lives.  

No doubt the subsequent paddling is an integral part of the event, probably incorporating an element of re-bonding.

I'll play my part.  The paddling will be hard but delivered in a jocular spirit and there will be no other consequences.

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
David M. Katz wrote:I am bringing this BOTD back up for a specific reason.


I absolutely know that Nathaniel and Jentzen will do this again this year.  They both now have driver's licenses and access to vehicles. It WILL happen; the question is when. It always happens in the spring.



Yesterday (Tue 5/9/17) was the day.

I got the automated email about 2:00PM letting me know that Nathaniel was absent. I checked with J's mother and she had a similar email about her son. They both left together that morning headed to school. I told J's mother I would take care of it.

No one was surprised or, frankly, upset here. I would be more surprised if it hadn't happened. This "tradition" is very important to them.

If either boy were a struggling student or behind in classes there might be a difference. There are those days where it is not detrimental if a good student misses. For the past two years, the boys have planned this for a day where it will have minimal academic impact. I should have guessed this was going to happen as Nathaniel had a paper due today. He finished it over the weekend despite having prom and turned it in Monday. He's a great student but is prone to be a last minute sort of kid with due dates.

They were due home around 3:30. Unlike last year, I didn't text Nathaniel to let him know I know. J's mother left it alone as well. They know we will be notified and, unlike their freshman year, made no effort to prevent notification.

I see no need for "punishment" here but decided there would be a consequence albeit token. I am dreaming if I think we are going to stop this. I do think we missed it last year with a non-corporal consequence.

I set the paddle out on the table. One of the first things they do is come in and look for food. (Because it will have been a good three hours since their last meal.) They will see it and, they aren't stupid - they will know why it is there. Neither Shelby nor Lynn were expected to be home as Lynn had a SGA meeting after school and Shelby was going straight to work from school. Mop usually hangs with his GF if he isn't working so I knew I should only have the two "guilty " boys here.

Only one more year to go.

----------------------------

They either misjudged time a bit or didn't care but they got home early - too early. They walked in just a few minutes after 3:00. I was sitting nearby tinkering around on my phone. I looked their way, "Home early today?"

Immediately they freely admitted, "We took the day off."

"Yeah, I know, but you know I know."

Jentzen asked if his mom knew and I told him she did.

They then saw the paddle laying out and did look a bit shocked and addressed the issue immediately and began stammering about how they had planned things not to interfere with school, they always do it, etc. They were protesting and negotiating a bit. Finally J asked, "Are you serious?"

"Oh, I am very serious." (I will be accepting the Oscar for my 'serious' tone and expression.) I had already decided to basically make this a token response but they didn't know that.

Nathaniel asked if there was another way. I told them they could both lose driving privileges for the rest of the month instead. (I knew they wouldn't go for it.) Nathaniel sighed and looked at J and they did that 'entire conversation without saying a word thing' that kids do. Nathaniel then asked me, "Can we go ahead and just get it over with?"

"That was my plan." I stood up and headed to the table.

I had planned on letting them stay dressed but I guess years of experience were pre-programmed in them and both boys were dropping shorts and underwear before I could say anything. (Neither of them can be accused of being modest.) Oh well, they were bare. Why should I say anything now? Razz

They bent over the table side by side. I have always spanked them together if they were in trouble together.

I picked up the paddle and started with Jentzen since he was closest to me. I gave a very light swat. J was tense but immediately seemed to loosen up after he realized just how wimpy the swat had been. I moved to N and did the same thing. Each boy then got an equally as weak second swat.

I had pre planned my reaction and then told the boys they were only getting three and so to prepare for the last one. Jentzen was sort of giggly by now but the third swat was far from wimpy. I know it shocked J and N flinched when he heard the sound and heard J hiss. I then gave N his last (and very hard) swat. He yelped a bit and then turned to me and said, "Hey, that one actually hurt." I blandly responded, "Good."

I told the boys we were done and as they were pulling up their clothes I said, "I guess we'll do this again next year."

They both smiled at me and J said, "Yep, guess so."

I really couldn't be too serious about it all. Right, wrong or otherwise, I just didn't see this, as the kids like to say, as a big deal. I think it was the right response.

My kids and situation is unique and different and there are several circumstances that allowed me to be able to give this a token response. Admittedly, in many homes and with a lot of kids, a much more serious and real consequence would have been appropriate.

Jack and I shared a couple of brief emails about this and he is one with a totally different set of circumstances. He said he would have had to treat it seriously and he is right and I understand why. Jack also had an appreciation for our situation as well.

*As noted in some of the discussion above there will be no consequences at school other than an unexcused absence. (Hence why they have to plan their day and make sure assignments are done early if needed.) The boys finally learned to NOT ever show up at school. Leaving school property after showing up would earn them both a Sat. detention. (When they were in middle school the punishment for skipping was three licks.) Had the boys actually shown up at school and 'skipped' then my response would have been very different and very real.


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MemoryMan

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About right I would say, since the paddling is obviously an integral part of the celebration.

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Jack

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David M. Katz wrote:I really couldn't be too serious about it all. Right, wrong or otherwise, I just didn't see this, as the kids like to say, as a big deal.  I think it was the right response.

My kids and situation is unique and different and there are several circumstances that allowed me to be able to give this a token response.  Admittedly, in many homes and with a lot of kids, a much more serious and real consequence would have been appropriate.

Jack and I shared a couple of brief emails about this and he is one with a totally different set of circumstances.  He said he would have had to treat it seriously and he is right and I understand why.  Jack also had an appreciation for our situation as well.

When David first shared this with me, his response really bothered me (to the boys' behavior, not his response to me). I tried not to say too much about it, because I didn't want to offend him or make him think I was second guessing him. Yet it continued to bother me.

Part of it, I put down to the fact that I considered what he gave two high school juniors to barely even be a token. I put the rest down to differences in Texas and Tennessee (an unexcused absence IS skipping here, though it's no longer illegal).

This morning, the real answer came to me, and I realized something myself: as much as I try not to be, I'm still pretty authoritarian in some ways.* What really bothers me here is not what the boys did, and not the punishment that David applied, but the fact that the boys have been punished for this before, and that they continue the same behavior. I have no problems letting my kids have mental health days if they need them. To me, it's the same as an employee calling in and saying he has a huge test Friday and really needs to study, and can he skip work tonight, and just not showing up. What bothers me is not what the boys did, but that they're flaunting my authority.

I'm not sure if that means that I'm too strict or David's too permissive, or if we just have different home situations (but probably the latter, if you want my vote). What I do know is that these type of things keep jumping up and biting me in the butt, despite how old I am and how long I've been parenting... I just found it kind of interesting.


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db105

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Trailboss
I think it's not really flaunting the parent's authority, since it seems to me that David is basically tolerating it. If he put his foot down and really wanted to put an end to it, and they still ignored him, then that would be flaunting his authority. It's just that David has not really found it necessary to stomp out the practice, considering it basically harmless since it's only once a year and they plan it so that it won't cause real academic problems. In fact, I think it's even cute. Very Happy

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
I can get too excitted but as they failed to ask I'm going to treat this as a school offence and give them a paddling to match, 4 licks each. I hope this will be the last time

squarecutter

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Sherrif
Jack wrote:
David M. Katz wrote:I really couldn't be too serious about it all. Right, wrong or otherwise, I just didn't see this, as the kids like to say, as a big deal.  I think it was the right response.

My kids and situation is unique and different and there are several circumstances that allowed me to be able to give this a token response.  Admittedly, in many homes and with a lot of kids, a much more serious and real consequence would have been appropriate.

Jack and I shared a couple of brief emails about this and he is one with a totally different set of circumstances.  He said he would have had to treat it seriously and he is right and I understand why.  Jack also had an appreciation for our situation as well.

When David first shared this with me, his response really bothered me (to the boys' behavior, not his response to me).  I tried not to say too much about it, because I didn't want to offend him or make him think I was second guessing him.  Yet it continued to bother me.

Part of it, I put down to the fact that I considered what he gave two high school juniors to barely even be a token.  I put the rest down to differences in Texas and Tennessee (an unexcused absence IS skipping here, though it's no longer illegal).  

This morning, the real answer came to me, and I realized something myself: as much as I try not to be, I'm still pretty authoritarian in some ways.*  What really bothers me here is not what the boys did, and not the punishment that David applied, but the fact that the boys have been punished for this before, and that they continue the same behavior.  I have no problems letting my kids have mental health days if they need them.  To me, it's the same as an employee calling in and saying he has a huge test Friday and really needs to study, and can he skip work tonight, and just not showing up.  What bothers me is not what the boys did, but that they're flaunting my authority.

I'm not sure if that means that I'm too strict or  David's too permissive, or if we just have different home situations (but probably the latter, if you want my vote).  What I do know is that these type of things keep jumping up and biting me in the butt, despite how old I am and how long I've been parenting... I just found it kind of interesting.



Jack is there any element in your response that says "pour encourage les autres?" You have a household full of boys of various ages in your care and you cant be sending the wrong message. Does having more, and younger kids at that, lead you to tend to be slightly more authoritarian.

David M. Katz

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Marshall
Jack, I do not consider you authoritarian. I would describe my opinion of your parenting as strict, structured and consistent. By nature, as a parent, I lean towards permissiveness in many things. I tried on 'strict' for a couple of years after Nathaniel joined me and neither he nor I did well with it. (Admittedly my 'strict' was missing 'structured' and 'consistent' so that was part of the issue.) I think, in your situation, a more serious response would have had to have happened.

Three points:

1. We do not see this as flaunting authority any longer. I really think, by 8th grade, Ms. Coleman and I both saw this as more inevitable and as the boy's unique way of celebrating their friendship. That is why we tried to actually engineer this for the boys one year. Part of their ritual is that it has to be done 'without permission' and so they skipped that year anyway. I agree with Daniel and this has come to the point of being cute. (If anything older teens do can be seen as cute.) In it's infancy, we did try to squash it. Our goal now, frankly, and the boys now are wise enough to manage this, is that the ritual not negatively impact school in any way; academically or disciplinary. No amount of 'punishment' would likely deter this particular behavior. Both Nathaniel and, especially, Jentzen show us too much respect for me to believe that anything they do is meant in any way to undermine our authority in their lives.

2. Whereas I support schools and the education system in general I am not as staunch about school as most parents. I see it as necessary and important but it has always been hard for me to personally see school rising to the level of comparison with an adult's job. I also believe that 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 190 days a year is not necessarily needed for every student, especially students who are doing well academically and have a concept of initiative and time management. I am just going to say it: I am not sure school is always as important in a child's life as we adults sometimes want to make it. School is important but just not 'as' important as many assume it to be. So, okay, I am naive if I don't think my opinion of school doesn't rub off on my kids. If I don't give it the utmost respect then why in the hell would I expect my kids to? Sorry, I know that is radical but I might as well own it.

3. In regards to school being a modelling vehicle and training time for how kids respond to employment I actually agree with this. No, I don't consider school to be a kid's job but it is vital for teaching and molding skills that will be needed for the workplace. Jack's points of punctuality and attendance as it is related to employment are absolutely spot-on. I do think school is where that behavior is learned. However, there is a point where many kids learn this and can further separate the difference between a job and school. I am fully convinced that Nathaniel and Jentzen both understand the dynamics of the workplace and the behaviors expected there. Both boys are employed. Nathaniel is a JOAT for a local grocery store and has been there almost two years now. Jentzen works for a plant nursery/ garden center, also as a JOAT, and has been there just a tad over a year. Both boys are respected and liked by their bosses and have a solid record of being outstanding employees. Their attendance and punctuality records at their jobs are impeccable. Both of these boys probably have better time management skills than I do. They balance school, work, sports, extra-curriculars, church and the social life of a teenager and they do it well. The fact that their 'day off from school' for the past three years has involved weeks of planning and preparation sort of speaks to something positive. Two points to this point: Nathaniel was scheduled to work Tuesday evening and went in and was on time despite it being his 'day off.' Also, my procrastinating little academic spent prom weekend (yes, he went to prom) finishing up a paper so he could turn it in early so his 'day off' would not make it late.

So why did we (I) respond to the skipping at all? As the act is a ritual for them the 'response from the authorities' is also a ritual. And, despite the consequence being barely token, the idea of actions have consequences was still upheld.

A couple of final notes:

Nathaniel and Jentzen are closer than many brothers. Either will freely tell you that he loves the other. They will always have other friends and acquaintances and will have romantic relationships but none of that will ever compare to the unique thing these boys have. They relate on some very basic spiritual and primal level that I cannot understand fully. It must have been there since that very first time that they met in sixth grade and then planned their now infamous very first school skipping day. That first event seems to be what bonded the friendship.

I refer to Jentzen as 'mine' and I treat him as if he were my son. I have zero biological or legal relationship to the boy. I have always respected that his single mother is fully his parent and legal guardian but she has appreciated my involvement in and help with his life. I didn't like the boy at all when I first met him. He had been the evil kid who led my innocent little Nathaniel astray. (Time would reveal that the whole 'let's skip school and steal breakfast' idea was Nathaniel's invention.) I soon found Jentzen to be sweet, gentle and loving. He is the text book definition of a 'good kid.' He needed what I had and I needed what he had. I appreciated that he and my son had a very unique relationship. The boy sort of crawled in to my life and can now not be extracted. (Not that I would want him to be.) Jentzen has called me "Dad" for about four years now. It first sort of slipped out of him but neither of us made effort to correct it. I have had conversation with his mother about it and she says, "Well, you are his dad." I know what she means. So, yeah, he's my kid too.


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Adric

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Cowboy
From my reading of the circumstances of this tradition, it seems clear to me that this annual re-enactment is harmless, is carefully and responsibly planned, is not at all a challenge to anyone's authority, and deserves no punishment at all.

That said, it appears that the CP consequence (I won't call it a punishment) is an essential part of the tradition, just as it is essential not to ask for permission.  The paddling described had the flavor of the traditional "birthday spanking" where the only memorable lick is the final "one to grow on."  I would be inclined to make this part of the tradition even more memorable and significant by making all three licks more similar to the last one.  Licks that provoke giggles just don't quite seem appropriate for the occasion.

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Jack

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squarecutter wrote:Jack is there any element in your response that says "pour encourage les autres?" You have a household full of boys of various ages in your care and you cant be sending the wrong message. Does having more, and younger kids at that, lead you to tend to be slightly more authoritarian.

Square, that was actually dealt with previously, by David in his initial post on this matter. He didn't get quite that specific, but he did say

David M. Katz wrote:My kids and situation is unique and different and there are several circumstances that allowed me to be able to give this a token response. Admittedly, in many homes and with a lot of kids, a much more serious and real consequence would have been appropriate.

Jack and I shared a couple of brief emails about this and he is one with a totally different set of circumstances. He said he would have had to treat it seriously and he is right and I understand why. Jack also had an appreciation for our situation as well.

So I didn't feel I had to address that point.

I think part of the reason I do see this as a flaunting of authority is that I still remember the first time it happened. However, David's first point addresses that plainly, and the fact that I'm not there day to day might explain why it bothers me more than him.

I want to make it clear that I've made my posts not to criticize or disagree with anyone, but just because I found it interesting how differently David and I felt about the matter. However, there's no telling how I'd feel about it if I had his kids and his situation (and the reverse as well).

David - I do know exactly how you feel about David. Despite me having 40 kids now, when someone who's not living with you feels so close to you that that term slips out, or even just when they act like it ---- yeah, it's really special.

I know I've shared this before, but I remember one time when Mickey (still Misha then) came home with a friend. "Jack, this is (no idea who it was now). (So and so), this is my Dad, Jack. I felt three meters tall that day. I also remember when we were at a Scout function and Chandler introduced me as his Dad, then he realized what he said and had this horrified look on his face, like he was just waiting for me to disavow him. I'm not a person who could do that, and his smile when I didn't was all the reward I could have ever wanted.


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