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BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point

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1 BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:21 pm

Jack

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Admin
These are your two sons


15-year old Connor and 12-year old  Andrew.


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About nine months ago, Andrew was caught shoplifting.  He stole 3 packs of cards that are part of a game he likes to play. Because of his age, the shop owner turned him over to you, rather than calling the police.  When you got Andrew home, you gave his bare bottom a thorough spanking with your hand, then gave him ten swats with the brush - one for each dollars worth he'd tried to steal.

About three months later, Connor borrowed some money from you.  It was a number of weeks worth of allowance, so you and he agreed on some extra chores he could do to work it off.  After getting the money, he kept putting off the chores.  You'd get on him, and he'd do one, then get distracted.  After a couple of months had passed, you got tired of dealing with it, and told him the rest of the chores needed to be finished by the time you got home Saturday.  When you got home, he'd done one more chore - barely putting him past the halfway point.  You told him you were tired of messing with it, so there were no more chores and no more borrowing money, and you were taking the rest out of his hide.

Remembering the one dollar, one smack you'd used with Andrew you told him he was getting twenty smacks with his Lexan paddle.  You started using it about two years ago, but you haven't had to use it often.  Connor seemed almost relieved to get it over with, and he bared himself without too much hassle - at least until the swats started.  Then he was howling and fighting, and you had to hold him down.  By the time you reached fourteen, he managed to fight his way off your leg, backed up to the wall, and refused to get up.

You told him he'd finish the next day.

After some thought, you told him that he had not paid back money, which is bad, but not illegal, like shoplifting is, so you'd decided to give him a twenty-five percent discount, meaning he had one swats left... Or, he could make dinner that night.

He was pretty happy to make dinner.

Today, you received your credit card statement.  There is an extra $130 in charges on it - all of them made to a Diablo PC gaming account.  You know there is only one person in the house who plays Diablo.  When the kids get home, you check Connor's account, and sure enough, the numbers match and his character record reflects all the purchases.

Connor says that Mom had used the card to by a Mario game, and she didn't clear the number.  He swears he hadn't meant to spend that much and that he'll pay you back.  

How exactly will you handle the payback?

For the record, except his phone, all the kids' electronics were mutual gifts to both of them that they share.



Last edited by Jack on Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total


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2 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:40 pm

db105

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Trailboss
I'll explain to him that using my credit card without my permission is exactly the same as taking money from my wallet without my permission: it's stealing.

He is going to get paddled and "return" the money with chores. If he doesn't do the chores on time he will get into further trouble, as standard when he skips chores.

Obviously the one dollar one swat scheme is not going to be applied. Also, maybe the lexan paddle is too severe.

Unfortunately, in this household we'll need to be extremely careful with credit cards.

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3 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:04 pm

Beaver

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Wrangler
For the next week, Connor will be banished to his room, which will be cleared of all electronics and other amenities. He is only permitted outside for school, meals, bathroom breaks, and to do the extra chores I am going to assign him to pay back the $130. I am sure that after a couple of days he will come to me begging for a spanking instead. Hopefully this will convince him that it's better to submit to the spankings than to refuse.

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4 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:30 pm

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
I'm not going to make him pay back the money...

His computer will be moved to a public space in the house and I will remove all the games on it permanently, most especially anything connected with Diablo. He has totally betrayed my trust and it seems that these games are to blame - he must be heavily addicted to be behaving this way.

There is one way to cure this kind of addiction... cold turkey. He is not going to be allowed to play computer games until I'm no longer supporting him. PERIOD, and I will be checking the computer on a regular basis to make sure that it's not being used for this purpose.

I'd remove the computer completely except that kids today need them to do their schoolwork...

I'm also going to change my credit card and PIN so he can't use it again...

Stevie.



Last edited by StevieWeeks on Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

5 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:33 pm

Jack

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Oops! I'm going to edit this back into the original, but I left a line out.

The PC and pretty much all the electronics except his phone, were mutual gifts to both Connor and Andrew.


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6 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:35 pm

Iconoclast

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Trailboss
Connor is going to get a job!

Iconoclast

7 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:36 pm

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Oh dear... I'm afraid that Andrew is going to be very upset with Conner and all...

The punishment still stands...

I can't afford to feed Conner's addiction...

Stevie

8 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:57 pm

18Smacked

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Cowboy
I will see if the game account he has can be "suspended" to prevent his playing the game until and unless I give the okay. Once that is done, and I tell him that, and he will get one paddling per week for a month with twenty swats per session. These will be given on a Friday evening so he can spend the weekends doing chores with a very sore bottom.

I like Stevie's idea of moving the computer to the den or wherever the family spends the most time, in order that we can most closely supervise his computer use. And, it will remain there- indefinitely. Furthermore, he WILL be given a list of chores which WILL be done to my satisfaction, or else there will be a paddling for that lapse of his responsibilities.

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9 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:45 pm

Y Lee Coyote

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Deputy
Coincidentally this article appeared in today paper -- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/opinion/sunday/video-games-arent-addictive.html

If there an addiction, then it is probably the gambling part of the game not the game. That's what needs to stop.

Conner needs to learn responsibility and to have discipline. We need to develop a balanced schedule for him so he can learn balance and responsibility.

Y.

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10 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:21 pm

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Um... I'm not sure I agree with the learned professors in that article... they appear to be defining addiction in a very narrow physiological sense which may well be true as far as it goes...

From my point of view...

1) Any children of mine will be abundantly clear regarding my feelings about theft and credit card fraud long before the age of fifteen. He has been indulging in both.

2) Any children of mine over the age of 12 will also be well enough versed in the family's finances that they will be aware that $130 USD is a pretty big chunk of our monthly discretionary income (i.e. after all the bills have been paid). His unilateral decision to spend this money means that the rest of the family will be adversely affected in some way or another; he will have been completely cognizant of this when he acted.

3) He did this on the sly so he knew very well that a request to spend this money would likely have been denied on the grounds outlined in (2) above.

4) He was either too stupid to realise that the theft would be discovered, or else the game was so important to him that he completely disregarded the consequences of his action... he is not a particularly stupid boy so it is most likely that the latter is true.

5) In spite of the realisation of serious negative consequences from stealing the money, he did it anyway...

In my book, he is addicted to this game... and he needs to break the habit before it gets any worse...

Stevie.

11 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:35 pm

David M. Katz

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Marshall
Iconoclast wrote:Connor is going to get a job!

Iconoclast

Yes he is. 15 yo can work in this state. He will turn over his entire check to me until paid back. Diablo is suspended until all amounts plus interest are paid.


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12 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:29 am

Jack

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Y Lee Coyote wrote:If there an addiction, then it is probably the gambling part of the game not the game.  That's what needs to stop.

What gambling aspect?


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13 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:36 am

Y Lee Coyote

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Deputy
Jack wrote:What gambling aspect?

Since the game is under $50 (I just looked it up) in my ignorance I assumed it was gambling.  Apparently that is incorrect in the literal sense.

I will hedge and note that if you have buy additional stuff to play that is sort of gambling (pay to increase your odds of wining).  If it is pay to play fees then it is outrageous.

I confess to being ignorant about this subject and searching did not help me.

Y.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

14 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:30 am

StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
DKatz wrote:15 yo can work in this state. He will turn over his entire check to me until paid back.

Stevie knows that he's going to be hated and reviled for saying this but...

Stevie does not think that a 15 year old child should be working. His job is school, and anything else should be secondary.

A fifteen year old with six to seven hours of school, hours of homework, household chores, and whatever else he's involved in has enough on his plate to manage without adding the stress of a job to it; not to mention that younger teenagers are far more likely to have accidents in the workplace...

This is why Stevie will not force Conner to repay his theft.

He will, however, be accepting the lion's share of the cutbacks in spending that his profligacy imposed on the rest of the family...



15 Re: BOTD: 3 April 2017 - The Tipping Point on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:39 pm

David M. Katz

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Marshall
StevieWeeks wrote:
DKatz wrote:15 yo can work in this state. He will turn over his entire check to me until paid back.

Stevie knows that he's going to be hated and reviled for saying this but...

Stevie does not think that a 15 year old child should be working. His job is school, and anything else should be secondary.

A fifteen year old with six to seven hours of school, hours of homework, household chores, and whatever else he's involved in has enough on his plate to manage without adding the stress of a job to it; not to mention that younger teenagers are far more likely to have accidents in the workplace...

This is why Stevie will not force Conner to repay his theft.

He will, however, be accepting the lion's share of the cutbacks in spending that his profligacy imposed on the rest of the family...




First of all, Stevie, no hatred.  You will not be reviled.

I both strongly agree with you and strongly disagree with you.

It all comes down to the child and his/her abilities and circumstances.  I agree that school is primary.

Some kids cannot maintain any sort of job and take care of school.  

However, some kids handle it well and seem to thrive on it.  I have raised / am raising five children.

Boy 1 - now adult:  Worked from when he turned sixteen.  He was an honor student and maintained his school work. He enjoyed his job.

Boy 2 - now adult - could not handle school and a job.  He did work over summer breaks and did odd jobs in the neighborhood but, when school was in session, he had to have time to focus on school

Girl 1 - now 17 - got a job when she turned sixteen because she wanted to buy a truck - which she has done.  She found that her job interfered with her social life and so she has cut back her hours to the bare minimum she needs to maintain her insurance and to get gas and buy her teen girl necessities such as makeup and clothes.  She is an honor student and does well in school.  

Boy 3 - now 16 - wanted a job and found one when he was fifteen.  He is beyond an honor student and is a G/T student in line to be valedictorian or salutatorian.  He works about twenty hours a week.  He has been with his job about a year and a half and makes good money and is well liked and respected by his employer. If there is a school project or activity he asks for time off.  He does a better job of time management than I do.

Boy 4 - now 16 - is not technically employed although he has had a 'regular' babysitting gig since he was fourteen. Frankly, I don't think he can handle school and work as he has to work hard to maintain the great grades he gets.  He wants to seek a job but I have discouraged it and told him to concentrate on school and to continue his sitting "jobs."

So, it is a mixed bag.  Stevie your point is valid for many kids and doesn't apply for others.

Most college and scholarship applications that we deal with are wanting to see some sort of employment history even if it is a part time summer gig. (Most will accept volunteer / community service as a substitute.)

Kids like to drive and maintaining a car and insurance is expensive.  I cannot nor do I choose to bear the burden of the cost of teen drivers on my own.  My rule is if you want to drive then you contribute to gas and insurance.

----------------------

Back to the scenario:

Connor needs to feel this loss in a real way.  The best way is for him to work his butt off and then have to turn over his hard earned money. I am not saying put the boy in a 'real' job but he can find something to do - odd jobs for neighbors, baby sitting, PT lot boy at a grocery, etc.

It won't take Connor long to earn the money plus interest but having to work it off (other than chores for me) will have the greatest impact.  After the debt is settled then he can decide what to do with his job.

And, as stated, until I am paid back plus the interest there is no Diablo.

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Stevie, be at peace.


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