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BOTD 5/27/17 "The Grudge Persists" A Stevie Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
The Grudge Persists...
A Stevie Production

You recently married your partner Sydney; it so happens that both of you had children from previous marriages... you had a boy, Thaddeus, who is 10 and 3/4 years old (you know better than to forget the 3/4 bit).

Thaddeus, 10 3/4 years of age
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Your partner, Sydney, brought his two sons, Nathan, 3, and Nicholas, 5, with him after his previous wife died in a car accident; it was a 'cover' marriage for both of them and there was no passion involved, although they were close friends and Syd misses her quite a bit.

Nicholas Graduating from Kindergarten
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Nathan, 3
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Two weeks ago, Nathan and Nicholas went into Thaddeus' room (they are not allowed to do this without permission in any case) and started playing with a model of the Titanic which Thaddeus had just completed, and had been widely admired by his friends...

Nathan tripped and fell with the model, falling heavily on it, smashing it to pieces. It was not repairable, and Thaddeus was very upset when he found the fragments. He angrily rejected a suggestion that you buy him another model and all:  "What's the point if they're just going to wreck it after I go to all the trouble of building it ?"

Sydney took the transgression seriously, and both of the younger boys spent the following day doing some serious time in the corner for entering their step-brother's room and playing with his things without permission. Both of the little ones were very contrite over their transgression, and they apologised sincerely to Thaddeus - who did not accept it with much grace.

This morning, Syd took a snapshot of Nathan in front of the refrigerator and, upon enlarging the photograph on the computer, noticed the following:

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You are not pleased with the fact that Thaddeus has used a word utterly forbidden in your family, and also a little concerned that he is still holding a grudge after a fortnight...


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18Smacked

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It is true that sometimes it sucks being a big brother and having rug rats in the house. Sometimes, even, those rug rats are more than a nuisance. But, as hard as it is to believe, those pains in the butts will grow up, and one day, you will be glad that you have them in your life. So, here, big brother had a prize model broken by his little brothers, and refused all offers to provide a replacement that would possibly exceed the original, if it were to be accepted.

I think punishment will be counter-productive in this instance. What I will do is to have a long talk with Thaddeus, and empathize with how he feels. I will tell him that I am keeping the offer of a replacement for the model open to him, and will be hoping that he will accept it. I will also explain that throughout life's journey (and he can take it from me- someone "older and wiser" than he is right now) we will frequently be hurt by others in a number of ways. And, when these disappointments and hurts happen, we have a choice of accepting the apologies, when they are truly sincerely given, or carrying a grudge. Now, the mature person- the "adult" approach- is capable of genuinely forgiving, and accepting a sincere and genuine apology. This is, in fact, one of the signs of a mature man. The question is, what will Thaddeus choose here?

I will be truly proud of my son can accept the apologies, and move on with his life. If he wants another model- even an "upgrade" from the one he had, we can do that, and I will keep it in my closet when it is finished, in an effort to protect it to the max. After a long talk, over a hamburger and ice cream sundae, I will ask my son what his decision will be here, and if he wants another model. I will make it very clear that I am hoping he will make a "mature" decision.


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AFinch

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Sherrif
18 Smacked saved me an awful lot of typing.

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with 18Smacked also.

Kat

handmade straps

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Wrangler
I think that Thad feels like some corner time is not enough punishment for sneaking into his, and then playing with and braking something that he sent hours and hours building. Even if it was broken on accident, because then shouldn't of been holding it in the first place. I talk with him, and find out what he thinks their punishment should have been, and then I exsplane to him why I gave them the punishment that I did. Instead of the punishment he thinks they should of had. I also tell him that calling names in writing is just as bad as saying them out loud, and that if it happens again. He will be getting the same punishment that he would if had called them that name.

Jack

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Admin
I'm going to start by reminding Thaddeus that he was a PITA when he was that age, but that I knew he wasn't trying to be hurtful, and that he was curious about things, and that he'd grow up to understand boundaries more. I'll give him a couple of examples that we can laugh about.

Maybe I owe him an apology. Maybe he didn't really understand what the results would be when I married Sydney, and what would be expected for him.

Is the boys going into his room a real problem for him - I mean a recurring one? Maybe we can install a lock for his room, with the understanding that Sydney and I both have a key and can use it at need/will.

I will remind him that the word he used is unacceptable, but since I doubt the littles would be able to read it, much less know what it means, I think he was either just blowing off steam or was reaching out to us to let us know how upset he is over the lack of respect he's been receiving. I don't see any reason to punish in this case, though I am going to let him know he's up on the boundaries of one right now, and he needs to find less negative ways to express himself or reach out.


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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Oh Dear!  How/Why have we allowed this resentment to simmer for two whole weeks?  We MUST have noticed the atmosphere and should have tackled it sooner.

But it is as it is;  we are not functioning properly as a family.  First I'm going to consult with Syd.  We need to agree both on a common discipline policy and how the associated penalties are to be enacted.  A policy that applies to all our kids.  

Afterwards we'll call Thad in and confront him with the photo.  Why did he take it?  What did he intend to do with it?  Does he REALLY feel that way about his step brothers? and why?  Then we'll listen to all he has to say, respond in a non censorious way and do all we can to pour oil on the turbulent waters.

Next we'll raise the issue of his use of that word, outline our newly agreed discipline code and remind him how lucky he is that it starts now and is not being applied to past deeds.  Then we'll call in the little ones to tell them about the new code and make clear to them the consequences of ever invading Thad's privacy in future.

Finally I'll renew the offer that Thad initially rejected.  If he accepts - fine.  If not then family dynamics will need to be closely monitored for a while.

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Padraig

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Trailboss
My brother and I once had a major fall out and we never managed to leave it behind us completely (mutual feeling). Though I still love him it's good he lives quite a distance away.

Hopefully young Thad will be able to forgive one day but some wounds simply need time to heal. Nevertheless, the letters on the fridge are a no go, and we will address it with him (verbally).

kalico

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Sherrif
I'm with 18 smacked and jack and anyone who is with talking through and warning.....



Hugs kal

David M. Katz

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Marshall
Is it possible that Thad arranged the letters as they are when the event happened and that they have gone thus far unnoticed? Perhaps the grudge is not there?

Anyway, I agree, this is a time for talking.

I will offer again to replace the model.


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Adric

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Cowboy
Jack wrote:I will remind him that the word he used is unacceptable, but since I doubt the littles would be able to read it, much less know what it means, I think he was either just blowing off steam or was reaching out to us to let us know how upset he is over the lack of respect he's been receiving.  I don't see any reason to punish in this case, though I am going to let him know he's up on the boundaries of one right now, and he needs to find less negative ways to express himself or reach out.

I'm with Jack on this one.  It helps that the younger boys likely do not understand the intended insult so no harm was done to them.  We will talk about the fact that he used an unacceptable word and warn him that he is on thin ice.  We will also talk about his resentment and look for ways to overcome it.

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