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BOTD 08-09-2016 Out to Lunch - A DMK Production

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Bransom Postmaster
A DMK Production

Warren is your fourteen year old son.  Warren is still subject to spanking but you have also been using restrictive punishments with him with good success.

Warren is currently grounded due to some repeated issues wit curfew.  Today is Saturday and Warren insists he needs to go to his classmate's and friend's house to work on a school project.  You are hesitant and suggest the friend come to Warren but the argument is that all of the supplies are at the friend's house and are hard to transport.  You know this to be true and you do know that the project is close to being due and so you allow the visit for the purpose of working on the project only.  You tell Warren as you drop him off that, when you come back to pick him up, you want to see considerable proof that lots of work got done.  Warren agrees.

Later you need to do some shopping and so you go to the mall.  You notice something at one of the food court restaurants:

WARREN - 14 (With his friend - not pictured)
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Neither Warren nor his friend know you have seen them.  You decide to wait until you have Warren alone to confront the issue as you don't want to embarrass him.

You go to pick Warren up later in the afternoon and he and his friend show you the project and it does appear that much was accomplished. When you get Warren to the car you confront the issue, "You are grounded so why did I see you at the mall today?"

"Danny's mom said we could go and get some lunch."

"Did they not have anything for lunch at Danny's house?"

"Yeah, but we wanted burgers and she didn't want to make them so she dropped us at the mall."

"Did you tell her you were grounded?"

"No, why should I? Did you want me to starve to death or something?"

Is Warren in more trouble?

Can you dig it?

Y Lee Coyote

Let's keep in mind that the most important thing was that good progress was made on the school [the boy's job!] project.  

It is not stated how much time was spent at the Mall.  If it was just for lunch and the pair returned home to work more on the project then I think it is all cool.  I wouldn't be so happy if they spent a couple of hour more playing at the Mall because that would be explicitly breaking grounding.  That's a reason for more!

And on second thought, if they had that much time at the Mall to play they would have been playing at home so that might not matter much.

Oh, there one more item -- cheekiness.  Depending on my mood I might take exception to that smartalecky answer.



I mostly agree with Y Lee. If it was only for lunch, and Danny's mom both gave explicit permission to go and stated she didn't want to be bothered making it, I don't see a problem--a lot of progress was made which was the point of being there in the first place.

If a kid came to my house, and it was meal time, and we were going out, I wouldn't have sent him home, or asked if he was grounded, or even if it was OK--I'd have brought him along and fed him. I think my "Third Degree" as related in the scenario is unreasonable, and while I'd probably have said something like "Don't talk to me like that", I pretty much earned his cheek.

Pi Beta

RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
I'd accept the reason for them going out to eat - he was after all the guest at his friend's house and not in a position as guest to determine the eating arrangements (even if he was party to influencing them!).

I'm not happy about his last remark but since it seems that they now have the project close to completion will restrict myself to suggesting that he might reconsider his reaction and hope to get an embarrassed, "Sorry!".


I'm with Pi The main point of the relaxation was to do work on the project and that appears to have been achieved.

However, the smart alec answer will ensure that he gets nothing else to eat tonight.


I would have a lot less trouble with this if, a) I'd caught them at Whataburger of something; and, b) if the mother of Warren's friend hadn't dropped them off, which suggests to me they're staying longer than for lunch. For that matter, the reason she took them to the mall was 'we wanted hamburgers'. She didn't want to cook hamburgers, not 'she refused to feed them.'

There are a number of alternatives that could have avoided this situation, including just calling me and asking. Warren didn't want to avail himself of them - that's his problem. On the other hand, this is hardly the crime of the century... I think a time out in the corner to think about how he could have better handled the issue is probably about right.

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


I fell torn Because like jack I'm not wholly convinced. I think I'd need him to be looking me in the eye as he explained himself. If I think Warren had had longer than a normal kind o lunchtime a the mall I will be extending his grounding. Im sure his friend was in on it even if the Mum was left in the dark


Editor Extraordinaire
In relaxing the grounding and allowing Warren to go to his friend's house, I put him under another parent's authority. I didn't consider the grounding important enough to inform Danny's mom of Warren's grounding. I provided a loophole, which Warren took full advantage of. From his point of view, I can see why he wouldn't have spoken up: 1) he didn't want to be a prig; and 2) he saw a golden opportunity.

I can't see the smart ass remark as too serious. Back in the day, I once suggested my mom could use her broom to give me a lift after she complained about the price of gasoline. I'd probably just reply in kind:

"I'll let you out of your grounding if you go play in traffic."




Stevie will increase the length and severity of the grounding restrictions a little...

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Stevie (the unwanted outcast)

David M. Katz

I agree with the consensus but I wonder if a cardiologist is in his future considering his lunch.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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