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BOTD 9/16/16 "They're Not Friends Anymore" An Anonymous Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
They're Not Friends Anymore
An Anonymous Production

You have two sons...

Roger, 10 years old:

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and Simon, who is 6:


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Roger is a quiet, somewhat introverted boy who seldom misbehaves and is rarely rambunctious; Simon, on the other hand, is a very outgoing and active lad who has trouble staying still at times. Up until now, the two very different siblings have got along reasonably well and seem to care for each other.

When Roger was Simon's age, his grandfather took him out and bought him a guinea pig as a pet with your permission - both you and your father knew that he was dying at the time (although Roger didn't). Roger had been very close to your dad, and was devastated when the end finally came; the pig was thus both treasured by Roger for the remembrance of his grandpa, as well as for itself.

Simon was saddened, of course, by his grandfather's death but at only two years of age, he barely remembers the old man and was not anything like as affected as Roger was...


Roger holding Arnold the guinea pig in happier days:

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The week before last, disaster struck. Roger had Arnold out to play on the floor of the playroom, when Simon came bounding in at high speed, regardless of his surroundings. Roger barked at him, telling him to be careful, that Arnold was loose, but was too late: Simon tripped up and fell heavily on the guinea pig, crushing the small animal and killing him instantly. It is completely clear that this was an accident and Simon was aghast at what he'd done to his brother's pet.

Simon was very sorry, and has apologised profusely to his brother over the last two weeks but Roger has not said a single word to him since Arnold was killed... he refuses to be in the same room with his brother; he spends most of his time locked in his bedroom... he's told all his friends that Simon is a murderer.

You have offered to replace Arnold but Roger was almost rude in his refusal: "I don't want another pet - it wouldn't be the same - you just don't understand."

Matters are going to come to a head this weekend... you, your spouse, and the two boys are due to drive 800 km to visit your spouses parents in another province for their 50th wedding anniversary... you are not relishing the thought of driving for two full days with your sons refusing to speak to each other... you can't leave them behind because your mother and father in law don't see them that often and are looking forward to their visit...

How are you going to handle this?

 (Spanking is legal in Canada for children between the ages of two and twelve - implements are not)


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David M. Katz


Marshall
The four of us are going to sit down as a family and talk this out. There may be yelling and crying but we are going to talk it out.

I understand Roger being upset but Simon has apologized and it is time to bury the hatchet.


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Jack


Admin
First of all, I'd remind Roger that HIS grandfather also happened to be MY father, so I understood exactly how he felt.

After that, he and I are going to sit down and discuss things (again). This was an accident. Yes, it could have been avoided, but Simon is only six years old. Roger might not behave like his little brother or understand why Simon does act like that, but Roger has still had problems in the past. So have I, so have all of us. With a ten-year old, I'm not going to play the 'everything dies' card, but I am going to remind him that he had a lot of good times with his grandfather, and a lot of good times with Arnold, and he needs to remember those, not let his anger at his brother ruin them. Also, his little brother loves and adores him, and he should try to forgive him and have some good times with him as well.

What i'm really worried about is that Roger feels guilty for not having stopped things or for having Arnold out. I hope I can talk him into letting this go, so he can move on.


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AFinch


Sherrif
Nothing to add to Jack and David's excellent answers.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with the others, but I'm going to go further. I'm going to get Roger another pet, perhaps a cat or dog from a shelter, and tell him that the animal needs him. I won't get another guinea pig, as I don't want him to think I'm 'replacing' Arnold. In my experience, no matter how much people protest they don't want another pet after a beloved companion animal dies, they invariably do. Just as Roger is learning that losing someone or something you love is painful, he must learn that it's not a betrayal to love again.

If I don't see Roger's grief progressing from anger and depression towards acceptance, I'll consider getting a recommendation for a therapist. Neither Roger nor anyone else in the family can go on like this indefinitely.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
I do agree with Kat. Replacement almost certainly won't work but a different type of pet very probably will. Rescuing it from a shelter should resonate with Roger as well. I'd also make it clear that whatever we get will belong to both of them and not just be Roger's.

However, it won't solve the problem of the upcoming weekend and the drive. Perhaps my spouse can also be persuaded to drive the trip and we can take both cars with a boy in each?

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MemoryMan


Sherrif
ivor wrote:I do agree with Kat. Replacement almost certainly won't work but a different type of pet very probably will. Rescuing it from a shelter should resonate with Roger as well. I'd also make it clear that whatever we get will belong to both of them and not just be Roger's.

However, it won't solve the problem of the upcoming weekend and the drive...................

I agree and I'm just going to wing it.  Two days stuck together side by side in the back of the car should go someway towards breaking the ice and we will be on hand throughout to help calm choppy waters.

If the situation hasn't resolved on arrival the grandparents will just have to show some understanding

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John Boy


Sherrif
If I didn't already I should have looked into some counseling for Rodger. With that being said I think we do need to find a way to hash it all out. No spankings and civil name calling will be allowed while we try and get through this together.

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kalico


Sherrif
Dittoing Jack and Katz... Not much else to add other than I do like Kara idea of another pet but I won't do that until he is ready.....



Hugs kal

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
David Katz wrote:but Simon has apologized and it is time to bury the hatchet.


As long as he doesn't bury it in some portion of little Simon's anatomy and all... Shocked

Stevie (the unwanted)

squarecutter


Sherrif
A lot of good ideas. Mostly though helping Roger let go is whats needed and I think playing the big brother card might help to remind Roger how impetuous a little six year old, however well meaning can be (not that ten year olds cant be as well!)

Simon is hurting, not just for causing the death of the guinea pig but also by Rogers reaction. The next pet (cat or dog probably, will be for both boys to enjoy and hopefully help heal the riift. I will not be tolerant of verbal or physical confrontatios on the journey

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