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BOTD 06-08-2016 A Chip off the Block - A Memory Man Production

Does Lewis get the money?

No I'm keeping it

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Bransom Postmaster
A Chip off the Block
A Memory Man Production

Your 11yo son Lewis is a good natured but feisty kid who, unfortunately, has inherited your short fuse.  In fact it seems that his spankings for fighting have outnumbered all others he has suffered.

Lewis - 11
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Today there is an escalation; Lewis comes home from school bearing a note informing you that he has a two day suspension for fighting.  You angrily tear down his jeans and wear him out on the spot.

Later that evening you answer a knock on the door.  A man standing there holds the hand of a boy who appears to be about nine years old asks if you are Lewis's father.  Then he asks to speak to him telling you that his son Lee was being physically bullied in the schoolyard by two boys from Lewis's year and he wanted to thank him for intervening to rescue him.

Lee - 9
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When you call Lewis down the man shakes his hand and thanks him telling him it took courage to ignore the odds and take on the two bullies to rescue Lee; then he pulls out a $20 bill.  Lewis blushes and refuses to accept the reward mumbling, "Thanks but it was OK"

As they leave the man drops the bill on the hall table anyway.  The door closes and the pair of you are left looking at each other.  

You are angry with yourself over your knee jerk reaction and punishing Lewis unfairly; angry with Lewis for not trying to explain the circumstances; and furious that the school authorities had just banged a suspension on Lewis without bothering to properly investigate the circumstances.

What will you do now?

Can you dig it?

David M. Katz

I will firstly feast upon some crow and humble pie. All I can do is apologize to Lewis for acting like what I spanked him for. I can't unspank him but I can apologize. Lewis gets the twenty.

I call the school and tell them to lift the suspension or else they can discuss it with my attorney.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I'll eat humble pie and apologize. I won't tell Lewis, but he will have a "get out of jail free" card for all but the most major misbehaviors next time. He'll get to keep the 20.

Much as I'd like to call the school and demand they reverse the suspension, and that they properly supervise the kids in their care so that bullying doesn't happen, I am sure they will cite a "zero tolerance" policy. I'm not going to turn this into a vacation for Lewis, but neither will he be restricted to his room and hard labor as would normally be the case if he were suspended.


Oh Lewis! Why didn't you say anything? Am I that much of an ogre?

I am full of remorse and will endeavour to make this up to you in the hope that our now very frosty relationship will soon thaw.


Editor Extraordinaire
Like the others who have posted, I will apologize and make more of an effort to control my own temper. A parent has no excuse for punishing first and finding out the facts afterwards. It's past time for me to be the right sort of role model for Lewis. If I learn anger management strategies, I can also teach them to my son.

I'll call the school and attempt to have the suspension lifted, but I'm not sure if I'll be successful. I'm at least going to make the effort.

Lewis can decide what to do with the $20. A material reward for doing the right thing may make him feel less good about his actions. If he insists he doesn't want a reward, I'll help him figure out a charity to which he can donate it.



Several strands to this

Not sure why I should be angry with Lewis. What chance did he get to explain

I may not get the suspension reversed but I will be talking to his form teacher and I hope she can send me work Lewis can do to keep up with his classmates during the suspension if the authorities won't budge. I can of course rail to the Principal about the Schools no tolerance policies.

I will apologize profusely to Lewis for his unjust punishment especially  if I didn't hear him out and yes the $20 dollar bill is his.

We will however talk about handling things better than he did. It can hardly be snitching to call out two bullies in a lower form to the Supervisor on duty. May he could have seen these younger than him bullies off without a punch-up. Handling it on his own the way he did, however well meant, was not the right way really. I realize all situations are different but if it happens again I would prefer Lewis used the more peaceable options .

for the time of the suspension Lewis can read or do schoolwork and the odd chore during school hours. For the rest it will be same as usual here


I will take a deep breath and see about enrolling myself in some anger management sessions, then see if I can pass some of those lessons on to Lewis. I will also swear of spanking him, since it seems I'm more about abuse than correction.

Having said that, I'm going to sit down and have a long talk with Lewis. I don't know why he didn't tell me anything about what happened. He needs to understand that this is the reason you should behave most of the time. He has established a pattern of behavior, and the reason in this case doesn't matter nearly so much as the fact that he's continuing to do the same thing that's gotten him in trouble before. That's not necessarily right, but hopefully he can see the need to change.

And we're returning the money - virtue is it's own reward (though we will do something to reinforce his virtue - maybe his favorite dinner or something).

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

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