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BOTD 02-22-2017 On Balance - An Ivor Production

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On Balance

An Ivor Production

You have gone camping in the mountains with your family for a few days.

This morning when you get up there is no sign of your 15 year old son Marty. You are not unduly worried as he is normally fairly sensible and you didn't tell him that he couldn't go and explore on his own. Having got breakfast for your two younger sons and still no sign of Marty, you leave the with your other half and go off to see if you can find him.

Eventually you come across him:

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There is a significant drop below, although it is not hundreds of feet. Nevertheless a fall would cause injury - possibly severe.

On balance what are you going to do to him when he comes back?

Can you dig it?


I will first consider how much caution and care he normally takes in his life.; Is he showing off for my benefit here? If so, I will talk to him about this, but I am not all that sure that any drastic action like spanking will be of any general benefit, to be honest. I think it is likely that he is doing what we see in the picture entirely for my benefit, and this is simply "showboating" all for me and only to see my reaction. I will therefore be very careful not to overreact.

David M. Katz

I really don't see that he is doing anything wrong. The scenario states that I did not tell him he couldn't explore.

I also didn't specifically prohibit doing potentially dangerous and stupid activities. (One would think I wouldn't have to say, "Please don't go balancing on things that you might fall off of thereby causing yourself great injury.")

I am not sure he knows I have seen him so he might not be showboating. I think the better answer for his actions is that he is fifteen and that he saw a cool structure and he decided to climb on it.

I will be careful not to startle him and will make sure I have his attention first and then call him to me.

We will then discuss not doing stupidly dangerous things but, beyond that, I see nothing here that warrants any sort of punishment.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


K Club


What do I do when I see this?

"Martin Andrew! Are you insane? I warned you it's easy to get sunburned up in the mountains, and you're running around without a shirt on? Did you even use lotion before you left? Get back to camp now and get some cover!"

Oh, you meant the cover? I'll probably walk out there and check the view.

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


I expect Marty knows that doing dangerous activities without permission is not allowed. The problem is that he probably considers that standing there is not dangerous. I'll come into his sight without startling him and call him. Then we'll have a talk about unnecessary dangers. No punishment, but I'll forbid him from getting on that exposed structure.

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