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17 February 2017 - Double Trouble Twice (Part Two)

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Jack

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(For the full background on this, check out Double Trouble Twice (Part One))

Sean (17) is best friends with your 15-year old Parker are best friends.

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Sean attends the local Christian Academy with your sons Zeke and John, and he's good friends with both of them as well, and with a number of other boys the same age, who use your house as their central base. Sean and his younger brothers have actually lived with you for a few short periods, and, because of problems he's had with his parents over the last year or so, he actually seems closer to you (and more accepting of your discipline) than his parents.

When your youngest son, Curtis, brings you a broken display piece from your library, you're not happy that it's broke, but it's pretty old and not especially well made, so you're not really mad about it, but you do want to know why he was in your library without permission. He explains that Sean and Parker asked his older brothers to come, and said he could come as well. Parker and Sean have permission to be in your library, but not to have anyone with them, so you go to talk to them and confirm what's happening.

When you arrive, you see that several of the tween boys are in the library, helping to adjust and build set pieces. You don't have a huge problem with that, though if you'd known it was going to happen, you might have suggested someplace besides the library for the boys to film.

You ask the other boys to excuse you, and you're talking to Sean and Parker. You feel like it could have been a misunderstanding, but that they should have kept a better eye on their helpers, to avoid exactly this kind of problem.

While you're talking, you are looking around, and your eye finally settles on one thing.


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That is your mint-IN-BOX Dragonzord, but no longer in it's box. You had helped the boys put together what they needed to do some filming, involving stuff from old Lego sets, borrowing some from their brothers, and the loan of a couple of pieces from your collection. You know for a fact that the Dragonzord was not included in that.

(Quick research shows that a mint-in-box Dragonzord sales for about $250, but a mint, not in box, sales for about $175).

While the actual lost value doesn't bother you too much, you are pretty upset over the lack of courtesy and consideration their use of it shows, especially considering how much help you gave them in finding what they needed. The lack of supervision of their little brothers, and the result of that, is just the cherry on top.

What do you have to say to the boys now?

(For reference, if you tell Sean's parents what's happened and that you are grounding/restricting Parker, they'll almost definitely follow your lead, but their idea of grounding/restrictions tends to be much stricter than yours, so it might be hard to keep them balanced. Also remember that taking screen time for these two is even more torturous for them than for most boys their age.


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David M. Katz

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Marshall
I think it has become obvious that Sean and Parker are abusing/taking advantage of the situation. I think it is more a matter of failure to think than it is a deliberate act.

There have been two days of instances of my property not being respected and they are old enough to understand this.

I replied to yesterday's BOTD that I would have a talk and it seems I did that and now I know what I need to know.

(Unless I missed it) I see nothing in either scenario that says the video is any sort of school/academic/team requirement. It seems to be for pleasure only. So, therefore, the project is now shut down. No more using the library, no more advances from me, no more borrowing things from me or help from me. I will also add 2 or 3 paddle swats to the project ban.

Since I am not a (total) ogre I will allow the boys to resume the project after a period of time (I am leaning towards a week to two weeks.) When production resumes, the library will be off limits and the boys will need to find another place. (Is there room in the garage?)


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ivor

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Marshall
Thanks Dave! You've saved me a lot of typing Smile

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db105

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Trailboss
My analysis is similar to David's, although my reaction will be slightly different. I'm not shutting down the project, but if possible I'll move it out of the library. I'll speak with Sean and Parker and explain why I'm upset with them, and I'll ask what they suggest we should do about it. My idea is to give them a paddling, possibly not too hard depending on their attitude, but I'm willing to listen to their ideas.

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Jack

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David M. Katz wrote:There have been two days of instances of my property not being respected and they are old enough to understand this.

Once again, I guess I should have posted this as just one BOTD. This actually took place in about 15 minutes. Curtis brought me the Batman display, I talked to him about what happened, and we went to talk to the older boys.

I got the younger guys to take a break, then I spoke with Parker and Sean. As I said elsewhere, they'd thought they could invite their crew (I didn't know they were planning to destroy and rebuild things while filming, so it makes sense from that perspective), and they asked the three younger boys (Curtis, Connor, and Sean's youngest bro, Ennis (9)) along so they wouldn't feel left out. I can't really fault them for that, though they made the decision, thus making themselves responsible for supervising the younger boys, which they didn't do.

Let me make it clear that I don't care that much about the toy. If I remember correctly, I bought a batch of toys a few years ago - a lot of it went for sale in the store, but some of it wasn't really saleable, so it went into group stuff for the boys. There were, however, a few pieces I really liked, so I kept them. The Dragonzord was one of those.

I started off telling the boys I wasn't upset about the lose of value. If I needed to get rid of all my toys to help them, I would. The problem was that they'd taken my property and used it without my permission. I understand that they thought they weren't hurting it, but that's why I hate the idea of 'it's easier to apologize than ask permission.' That's true, but it also means that you're probably making a decision without having all the information, as in this case, where there was a definite reason I hadn't opened it.

Also, the Dragonzord is a pretty cool toy, and it's on about the same scale as my Bandai Godzilla figures (actually, if you look at pictures from TV/movies, Dragonzord should only be about 1/3 Godzilla's height, so maybe not in scale after all, but close to the same size). If they had asked, I might have decided to go ahead and open it anyway. I'm a collector, but I do like to play around with it.

The problem I kept going back to is that they didn't ask.

While I think David has a point about stopping production, I actually consider something like this - something that the boys seek out on their own because they're interested, not because it's an assignment, to be more educational, so I didn't want to do that. I did think about some type of grounding or restrictions, but both boys were nearly in tears by the time I finished lecturing (they clearly should have asked permission, and they're both old enough there's not much excuse that they didn't, but they didn't mean any harm, and they were both upset that they'd caused it), and both almost demanding to be paddled as well as making restitution in some way.

I've known people who've lost jobs at retail places for just taking things off the shelf, even when they did it for store use. I did not consider this stealing, but, even after I talked to them and calmed down a bit, I felt something needed to be done.

I had in mind four bare swats. I thought that taking my stuff in this situation was serious enough to not offer boxers, and I wanted to add the fourth one for lack of supervision of the little guys. They suggested six, but I didn't think the situation was serious enough for that (six bare with the medium Lexan isn't really harsh for nearly adult-sized teens, but it's getting that way). We finally agreed on five each, agreeing they both deserved the same, because Sean, while older, doesn't really live here.

The two of them prepared themselves and bent over, elbows in the seat of a couple of chairs I keep in there, and took their swats back and forth. They were both crying before the fifth swat.

As for restitution - they're spending part of today and next Saturday straightening my book shelves, dusting figures, and shelving books.


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db105

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Trailboss
Sounds like it was dealt with reasonably. For me it's important that their intention was not bad, they were just irresponsible, and that they accepted their responsibility when they understood the situation.

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kalico

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Sherrif
I agree with Db ... I think you did the right thing and it all worked out.....



Hugs kal

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