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Monday, June 22, 2009

I Could Use a Little Help

I got one of those phone calls today .. one you dread getting as a parent .. the "out of 750 kids yours is the one acting up" call ...

At first I was scared because I recognized the number on Caller ID as being one of Dawson's Boy Scout leaders. It was actually the wife of one. I was told that Dawson was not hurt or anything, but ...

apparently he had not shown up for his merit badge class this morning. When the leaders went to investigate they found him in his tent with a rattlesnake that he and two other boys (one of them being his tent-mate) had found and caught and put in his lizard carrier.  Yes, I said a rattlesnake!!!

Well, he's in trouble. The boys were told that their parents would be called, but that they would be given a second chance. If there are any more incidences they will be sent home. How humiliating!

Now, here's where I need some help. I am BIG about discipline being linked to the crime committed. I don't like to generally ground my kids or take away privileges that don't make sense. I want them to remember specifically the incident and the consequences attached to it. And I would like them to learn something from it.

So, here's my question ... how would you discipline him? I know that he is humiliated and upset at camp right now. That's just the way he is. I trust his Boy Scout leaders to discipline them appropriately while he is there. (He's being separated from his tent-mate). But, I do think he should be disciplined at home, too, for humiliating his family and for just being plain stupid.

So, comment your suggested forms of discipline. 

Right now I am leaning toward him being unable to play with any friends or anything, and losing his cell phone, DS, Playstation, etc., when he gets back until he researches (the old-fashioned way by going to the library and reading books) and hand writes me two reports: one lengthy one on the dangers of snakes and the other one on self-discipline and self-control. He hates to write and hates to do school work, so this should hurt him sufficiently. And, maybe he'll learn something in the process.

Any other suggestions??


  1. ok...this is kinda funny and ALL BOY!

    but.... I agree with the reports the only thing I would add is scripture references about self control and obedience....

    ask him how he felt about being separated and about the punishment and maybe write about how that felt as well and/or what he learned from that....just a thought

    love and miss you

  2. Wow. A rattlesnake. While that was very dumb of him (and by now I'm sure he's realized that) it wasn't like he was handling a loaded gun.

    I think maybe just the report on the rattlesnake and a few days without friends might be enough of a punishment.

  3. I think the research on snakes, although I am sure he was aware of the danger, being a boyscout and all, but I would have him write a letter to the troop leaders and apologize that they had to discipline him at all. I wouldn't take away the friends and such, he has been disciplined there and if writing reports is as horrible as you say then that is good. Writing the apology is just a way of taking ownership for his actions.

  4. Honey it doesn't sound like you need any advice at all. That sounds like the best way to go at it. I do like Lorens idea of the scripture reference.

  5. It might bring a new light to the situation to look up rattlesnake incidences and print them out. I do believe in the reports you have in mind for him to do but the cell phone and friend axing might be a bit harsh. He IS a boy (and in this day and time you can be greatful for that).

  6. Cheryl and I read and discussed this the other day - what would we do if Wes had caught a rattlesnake and was keeping it in a cage? My Dad and Mom actually had to deal with that. They were house parents at a Christian Children's home in the south. Some of the boys had caught and caged rattlesnakes and copperheads. They explained to them that it is illegal in many states (maybe most or all)to cage a venomous viper unless they have a special permit. It is too dangerous.

    Cheryl and I also recently watched a show about venomous viper bites. That might be too dramatic (it showed the injuries, and it was horrible), but it wouldn't hurt for him to be aware of the possible injuries. I had a friend almost die from a rattlesnake bite. Years later, he still can't walk right.

    When I walk in the country I frequently wear high top cowboy boots. If a snake strikes me, the boot is not close to my leg, so the venom should just run inside the boot and not my leg!

    I've visited here before and hope you don't mind me visiting again. This post caught my attention though! Your son sounds like a very nice boy, and as Loren (whose site I originally came here from) said, He is ALL boy. That is what you want!

    Also saw you will be in Cody, WY. I preached there for 9 1/2 years. Absolutely beautiful place. Try to eat in he Irma one night - the motel Buffalo Bill Cody built in 1902. Still has the original wild west flavor. They have good buffalo burgers there.

    I've just started a new mini-series on Family Fountain on Encouraging our Children's Faith. Please visit.


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