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BOTD 2/12/17 "Cultural Differences" A Beaver Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
Cultural Differences
A Beaver Production


Together with your wife, who recently gave birth to your second child, a baby girl named Lisa, and your nine-year-old son Tom, you live in Florida. This is Tom:

Tom - 9
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He is an aspiring archaeologist and a big fan of Indiana Jones, but also quite mischievous and thus no stranger to getting his bottom bared. Recently, he became a bit resentful towards you and your spouse due to the new family member and him not being the center of attention anymore.

This week, your family is welcoming yet another family member! It’s this guy, whom you just picked up from the airport:


Lukas - 10
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He is the son of your wife’s brother and this is the first time he is spending his school holidays with you on his own. Your wife is originally from Germany, and her brother lives with his family in the wonderful city of Munich, home of the annual Oktoberfest. Lukas is big into sports and looking forward to his time with his cousin and you in the Sunshine State.

Tonight, your wife prepared dinner for everyone. You asked the boys to set the table, while your wife starts feeding Lisa. Tom seems to be in a bad mood and only unwillingly starts helping putting the plates on the table, rolling his eyes along the way. Your wife made Sauerbraten with Spätzle, a traditional German dish, so that Lukas would feel at home. In the past, Tom liked the dish whenever your wife made it, but today is different: After dinner is served, he looks with disgust at the food and tells everyone that he is not gonna eat it because it looked gross. When you remind him of the work your wife had making dinner and that he always liked it in the past, he blows up and screams at you that he is “not gonna eat that crap”. You begin to lose your cool and tell him that he should watch his mouth if he does not want to get a spanking.

At this point, Lukas interjects and tells everyone seated at the table that his father always says that only stupid rednecks hit their kids. He adds that Germany has outlawed all corporal punishment in the year 2000. Before you have time to say something, Tom yells: “There you have it dad, you are a stupid redneck! Living with Mom and you sucks!“.

How do you handle the situation? Has Tom earned himself a spanking? What do you answer Lukas? And how will you handle discipline for the boys for the remainder of Lukas’ stay?


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Jack

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"Thomas, you may go to your room. Lukas, you may go sit in my office."

At 10, Lukas might not understand that the term 'stupid redneck' is not only insulting but judgemental. I'll also point out that it applies to his grandparents as well as me. As long as he seems moderately apologetic, I'll allow him to return to dinner.

I will then visit Thomas. I will apologize for threatening to spank him in front of his cousin, and for losing my temper. However, that doesn't excuse his rudeness towards his mother, nor his disobedience. I will, however, except an apology to me and his mother, and allow him to prepare a sandwich, if he doesn't want what we're having.

I can't believe that I didn't discuss Lukas discipline before he arrived (no idea how long he's staying, but assuming it's more than just a long weekend to justify the trip). I will either do that now, or tell him that Tom will be getting spanked if needed, and that if he (Lukas) gets in trouble, he'll just have to be grounded and miss our trips.

And frankly, while I'm probably tired from dealing with the baby, having a new kid doesn't excuse my obligations to the other one, so I'm going to go out of my way to reestablish some of our old rituals and spend some one-on-one time with Tom.


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18Smacked

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Cowboy
Tom's refusal to eat due to jealousy is going to take careful discussion in order to really get at the true problem. No child will instantly talk about such feelings, particularly a boy. It is pretty unlikely that he will be verbalizing his feelings about all this to me, and so it will take quite a bit of patience until I am going to be able to get him to recognize and address those feelings. It may even take a few days or him to consider what I say before he will accept my words and advice. Spanking in the meantime will not be effective, and it will be better to be patient and allow the boy to do his own thought processing. After he is able to see and accept his own jealousy, we can work on how he can stop the jealousy from bothering him.

As for Lukas- I bet that 70 % of the spankings I got as a kid were accompanied with a lecture (harangue) by my dad to "say the same thing, but say it nice." I may, as Jack says, need to determine if what Lukas has said is due to the long hours traveling, in which case, I will surely make allowances, or is it a case where he has not learned the art and skill of diplomacy?

I will have a long discussion with Lukas first, so as to determine what the problem is here. My hoped for goal will be to educate and instruct; I cannot hold him responsible if he has never been educated on how to properly talk about what may be a sensitive issue(s). After the boy has been educated and counseled, we will practice the skills with some role playing, etc. At some point, it may be necessary to incorporate punishment into the mix, or not, depending on how well the lessons are applied.

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AFinch

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Sherrif
I like Jack's solution very much.

ivor

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Marshall
Bearing in mind that Lukas is only 10, that English is not his first language and that he is only repeating something his father (who I presume is German rather than English) has said, it seems highly likely that he does not understand the significance of the phrase.

Of course it might just be that it hurts because it is correct...... Razz

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
Im going to send Tom to his room first andthen talk to Lukas at the table. I will tell him that I will respect anyones opinion when put respectfully. Thee term redneck is not respectful but I accept that the boy may only have been repeating his Fathers comment. I will also say that we will respect his Fathes clear wishes with regards to Lukas and deal with any misdeeds in a different way but Tom is our son and. it is just a pity Lukas has run into something of a family situation. I do want he and tom to get along

As far as Tom is concerned, i will say First that as this is Lukas's first evening here he has one final chance.and I will allow him to get things off his chest in here about the baby or anything else before hopefully we can get back to dinner where I expect him to be more pleasant to everyone. I will promise that even if it cant be just about him anymore I will make time to do things with him and that before long that baby will be looking to him for an example

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Stevie would not make this mistake because he would have taken physical punishment off the table immediately upon (or even before) Lukas' arrival...

This is a huge error, and I'm pretty sure that it will have permanently soured your relations with the boy. He will view spanking as a reportable and criminal incident of child abuse and it's highly unlikely that he'll be able to warm up to parents that hit their children. It's almost certain that the boy will report this to his parents, and he, or they, will likely demand that Lukas be returned home.

It's highly probable that Lukas' father took him aside and told him explicitly before he left  "Do not let that stupid 'redneck' hit you while you are staying with them" using the German equivalent.

I'm not going to deal with Tom because I'm just an unemphatic monster and all...

Padraig

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Trailboss
StevieWeeks wrote:It's highly probable that Lukas' father took him aside and told him explicitly before he left  "Do not let that stupid 'redneck' hit you while you are staying with them" using the German equivalent.
I doubt that a 10 y.o. German boy would know that term without being bilingual.

Anyway, it's tough situation and I probably will let my wife deal with Lukas while I deal with Tom by having a chat in the way already described above.

StevieWeeks wrote:I'm not going to deal with Tom because I'm just an unemphatic monster and all...

Will you please stop that. I understand the comment hurt but we all know you are nothing like that.

ivor

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Marshall
StevieWeeks wrote:
I'm not going to deal with Tom because I'm just an unemphatic monster and all...

Unless Stevie has found a different definition for the word to any I can track down, I don't reckon he is saying what he thinks he is saying.

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db105

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Trailboss
ivor wrote:
Unless Stevie has found a different definition for the word to any I can track down, I don't reckon he is saying what he thinks he is saying.

He means unempathetic... If that word even exists? Suspect

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StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
I shan't post again.

Padraig

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Trailboss
StevieWeeks wrote:I shan't post again.

you should post more, I think you wanted to write... Very Happy

Come on Stevie, don't let the bad mood win.

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