Ask…

Share your views on hot topics

Should Dad have sold his son’s Christmas present?

December 18, 2007

A school teacher has sold his 15-year-old son’s prized video game on eBay to punish him for smoking marijuana.

The father had managed to find the popular and scarce “Guitar Hero III” game and had bought it for $90.   

“I had finally got the Holy Grail of Xmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time. I couldn’t wait to spread the jubilance to my son,” the father said in a letter accompanying the posting on eBay.

“Then, yesterday, I came home from work early and what do I find? My innocent little boy smoking pot in the backyard with two of his delinquent friends.”

Bids for the game are reported to have reached $9,100 although it is not known whether any sale actually went ahead.

The case has attracted much attention in the blogosphere, with critics accusing  the unnamed Canadian father of publicly humiliating his son, and supporters saying the boy deserved a lesson.   

Who do you think is in the wrong — father or son?

Comments

The Son is getting off way too lightly.

Isn’t it against the law to smoke marijuana? At 15?

Are the police investigating? Should Dad go to jail as his son is a minor and Dad is responsible for his sons actions.

The son deserves a lot more punishment than it sounds like he is getting

Posted by Don | Report as abusive
 

This man was perfectly right to do what he did. The kid knows he did wrong and all wrongs are punished over christmas with a gift of a lump of coal, not an expensive game.
If the guy had not done this, he would have been guilty of condoning the illegal act. What sort of message would that be sending his kid eh. If a kid kills someone and you then pat him on the back for doing it. Wouldn’t the kid think it is ok the continue. Of course he would.
And kids these days are immune to most forms of punishment either because it is illegal to smack them or as it has not effect anyway. If the only form of punishment that is effective is to sell his highly sort after game, then that is what MUST be done.
Well done to that parent.

Posted by Tony U | Report as abusive
 

umm… considering all parties in this were anonymous, there was no”public humiliation”involved and subsequently there is nothing to argue about.

Posted by sarah | Report as abusive
 

If the boy cannot adhere to the rules and is willing to push the boat out, he is surely just as willing to suffer any consequences. At his age, his father still runs the house and the son should respect his father’s wishes. The father was right to serve that punishment too… nothing too harsh but enough to encourage the boy to re-assess his position and his actions.

 

Well done

Posted by mayur Shah | Report as abusive
 

The father is right to choose which ever punishment he sees fit within the bounds of the law. We as public have no right to interfere with the fathers decisions, whether we agree with him or not. We are only entitled to intervene when laws are being broken. Who broke the law? The kid. plain and simple.

Posted by anon | Report as abusive
 

I think the boy got off VERY lightly. The father was absolutely right to do what he did. Such behavior could perhaps be the beginning for more heavy substance abuse (or not ofcourse). By making an example out of this incident, the boy will hopefully understand that what he did was very wrong. The punishment was light and hopefully will teach the boy to refrain from smoking pot or suffer the consequences. Well done to the father!

Posted by Dr S Korsavva | Report as abusive
 

I wonder if the father discussed the matter with his son, armed with the facts about drugs and sensible warnings about the dangers? I rather doubt it. He’s entitled to punish his son, but it won’t do any good without sensible (non-hysterical and well-informed) advice.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive
 

The boy has done nothing wrong – i am a school boy and with my homies we smoke all the time – face the times: we are all twats

Posted by Andrew Devereux | Report as abusive
 

The father should lead by example.

Stealing back a Christmas present is a bad example.

It would have been preferable for the father to talk to his son about the incident, rather than rob him.

 

I think it is most appropiate. When children behave there are rewards and when they break the rules there are consequences. Good job Dad!

Posted by Terri | Report as abusive
 

Did the son know that the father had purchased the game for him?. If he did and the father has now sold it, then it will teach the boy a lesson – you don’t get rewarded for doing wrong.

I remeber when i did wrong as a young man at this age, my father took a leather belt to my back. Lessons are good to learn hopefully the boy will learn his. Good on the father.

Posted by Pete | Report as abusive
 

How can he be a school teacher and yet write “jubilance”, not “jubilation?”

 

The father is very wrong. Smoking weed is no big deal. If the kid had any guts he would take something of equal value from the father and sell it. This kid will never stop smoking weed because of a punishment. Know the kid will hide his habits from the father and dad will be all happy as he see nothing. The kid will get into all kinds of drugs as he now hates his dad. What a total idiot. This guy is educating our children? I would pull my kids from his class right away.

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive
 

Matt I think you are smoking something yourself.
Many kids receive sensible well informed advice regarding Drugs and still choose to ignore it. Dad did absolutely the right thing.

Posted by SherylLynn | Report as abusive
 

i would have punched my kid in the face and then sold his broken teeth on ebay

Posted by jack | Report as abusive
 

Hey the father has done a great scam. He got how many times the worth of the game. It’s brillant…would the rest of you like to buy a bridge? Even put your name on it.
When are you going to stop being sucked into these money making scams, did daddy give the PROFIT to an anti-drug society???

Posted by D.Read | Report as abusive
 

Pot smoker or not, this does not matter.
A gift is the property of the purchaser until gifted.
The rightness or wrongness of the punishment hinges on the words.
Communication of the dangers of pot smoking and any future drug use must be open and honest between father and son. It’s not easy, been there done that.
The easy part is taking the 9K profit and put it away for the kid’s post secondary education.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive
 

I dont know what planet these people are on, but Guitar Hero three going for over $9000? I work in a game store and I can tell you that is absolute nonsense…we’ve got piles of them and $90 is about right. Unless of course they’ve released a special version with a solid gold guitar or something…there’s certainly no shortage of copies.

Posted by Kev | Report as abusive
 

Of course he’s entitled to punish his kid. Personally though, if my kids are going to smoke pot, I would prefer them to be open with me, so I can monitor.

Posted by dave | Report as abusive
 

It isn’t a gift untill it’s given, so he didn’t steal back a gift.

Parents take things away from their children all the time as punishment, is this a story because the Dad made alot of money on it ?

Posted by TP | Report as abusive
 

dude! the guy made $9100. ‘nough said.

who cares if the kids smokes pot, doesn’t everyone?

Posted by vic | Report as abusive
 

I agree 100% with the father! I read that and thought good for him! They didn’t give out the boys name, so I don’t know how they thought he was publicly embarrased.. and really.. what if the father had. The boy didn’t seem too embarrased about it well he was smoking pot with his friends, he should take the responbility for the crime. I’m proud of this dad, good for him!

Posted by Angela Priest | Report as abusive
 

The father sounds waaay too uptight. Okay, he was mad that the kid was smoking pot, but don’t ruin his christmas because of it. The child wasn’t hurting anyone. Just talk to him about drug usage, etc. and explain to him not to do it again. sheesh.

Posted by Bas | Report as abusive
 

All the father accomplished was to ensure he alienates his son.

The father is apparently not interested in having a relationship with the boy, since he chose to steal from his own son, rather than communicate to him with a conversation of drug awareness.

This punishment is indicative of a father with a massive ego, who is revelling in the spotlight of his superiority over a 15 year old.

In fact, he is a very poor parent and a coward.

 

this father sounds like the worst kind of sadistic fascist! what planet is he living on ? only repressed neurotics don@t smoke a little weed from time to time (or Republicans, which is the same thing); get real, daddio! all your friend blow a little good grass occaisionally; the one’s that say they don’t are either terminally neurotic or lying through their teeth! when your kid leaves home that will be the last you see of him, if he’s lucky; and i hope he has the guts to take your car with him!

 

What a load of old cobblers!! Should’ve just kicked his ass!!

Posted by Mike T | Report as abusive
 

I wonder if this “father” drank alcohol before he was of legal age and what punishment he received for “breaking the law”.

He’s just taught his son a horrible lesson. Hide everything from the parent. Get away from the mean, vindictive hypocrite and don’t talk to him about anything important. “Break the law” often to avoid having to go home to his “parent”.

People need to get educated about marijuana and stop listening to people who don’t know what they are talking about.

I’d rather my daughter smoke weed than drink alcohol. Alcohol, the “legal drug”, kills thousands every year but you don’t see any kids selling their parents’ booze on ebay. Same thing. But the ignorant among us run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

There’s no denying it, he stole his son’s Christmas. What a Grinch.

He stole his son’s Christmas. Idiot.

Posted by stella | Report as abusive
 

who didn’t smoke pot at 15? Why is this a story? Why am I commenting? way to go Dad, hope your son doesn’t do something serious.

Posted by wow | Report as abusive
 

Parents are in charge of raising their kids. Part of that is setting rules and enforcing them. Enforcement by taking away treats is probably the best way to enforce rules. Who cares how bad the rule breaking is… a rule broken has got to mean consequences or there is no point having rules. Some parents give ridiculous gifts for passing a course with a certain grade, this father is only asking that his son follows basic rules of the house.

Posted by EnviroTO | Report as abusive
 

It is no ones bussiness how he wants to run his life and raise his family. That is the problem with the way people think and how Government is run. Govern the country and get the Hell out of peoples personal and private life ( or at least it use to be).Everyine wants to judge other people judge yourself ….

Posted by Jake | Report as abusive
 

The father crossed the line. It’s just weed, nothing more. I live on Vancouver Island and smoking herb is commonplace in these parts. On the streets, with your coworkers, parents, with old and young alike. Personally, if I had kids of my own, I’d much rather see them smoking herb than getting drunk.

I’m sure the son will learn a valuable lesson from all of this and that lesson is to do a better job in sneaking around. My parents found my stash at about that age and I was never careless with it again. They thought I’d stopped, I just stopped being such a heatbag.

Posted by Andre | Report as abusive
 

Well from a Canadian justice perspective–to the first responder to this article–a parent is not held responsible for their child’s criminal acts.

The father totally went overboard–if this is even a true story. I find it absolutely absurd that the father believed that his 15 year old was innocent–all 15 year old Canadian boys are pot smokers….or drinkers. I shouldn’t say all but I’d say about 70% of the teen population in Canada smoke pot. The father over reacted and in the eyes of most people I know appears to be an absolute idiot.

Posted by V in china | Report as abusive
 

HELL YA – the Dad is absolutely right to do so. Pot smoking at 15 years old!!?? Come on people, this is a no brainer, way to go Dad, way to step up and be a responsible parent… Those people who validate the child’s pot smoking is absurd, that is WAY out in left field, but they’re too stoned to think about this logically.

JUST WEED? Just weed that rotes brain cells, changes a child’s personality, and inhibits there growth, diminishes their future, and can lead to more heavier drugs & crime, this is fact people. Not to mention any criminal element – it’s illegal to smoke pot…

Posted by jlepine | Report as abusive
 

Come on people, wake up!!!!!
Does no one hold themselves accountable for anything anymore? “It’s ok, everyone’s doing it”. I see. Everyone’s jumping off a bridge to their death so it’s ok?

Look, Dad is teaching his son some personal responsibility, something that is sorely lacking in today’s society. It’s always someone/something else’s fault.

Did you know that the kids in my son’s grade eight class aspire to be welfare bums, smoking weed and watching tv all day? They think this is cool. These kids are the ones that will be running our country some day.
Perhaps you should consider this when you say that it’s ok, everyone does it and those that don’t are repressed neurotics.

I think Dad did a great job and I would do the same to my kids (and told them so). Make your kids responsible for their actions, quit mollycoddling them and teach them to be solid adults, that know they can achieve anything they want, if they set their minds to it. You won’t have to worry about your teens sneaking around, doing things you don’t want them to.

Posted by jewel325 | Report as abusive
 

It looks like jlepine has some experience with things that “rots” the brain and “inhibits the growth”. There are many, many people holding high ranks in our society that smoke “weed”. People, one would presume, who have a much higher education than non-smoker jlepine. What does that say?

It says one should investigate something more than saying weed will make them do harder drugs. That’s ludicrous and has never been documented. If it were true we’d all be heavy drug users because as someone so eloquently pointed out, all 15-year-olds smoke weed.

Posted by stella | Report as abusive
 

Every commission from LeDain to the Canadian Senate a couple of years ago says pot is much less harmful than alcohol. Even US President Nixon’s commission said the worst thing about it is that it might lead to tobacco smoking. I don’t know how anyone can be so ill informed to still believe some of the ridiculous things in some of the statements above. I’m confident more than half the premiers, provincial and federal cabinet ministers and judges in the country today were pot smokers. It’s the ones who were not who are dangerous. All that aside, one of the first rules of human resources management is praise in public, chastise in private. The other boys and students at the school will know and that is the boy’s world. The father drove a wider wedge between himself and his son.It was a foolish, grandstanding, move. I can’t help but wonder what kind of teacher the father is. I know he is he is more part of the problem than part of the solution for his son in this case.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

doesn’t anyone here have something more important to waste their time on? maybe reflect on your own parenting skills? i am a teenager as well, i started smoking hwen i was young and it wasnt a good idea but it didnt kill me. the worst thing that happened was that it upset my parents, if this kid has any respect for his dad he will stop. if not his dad needs to gain his sons respect, not sell his christmas present and blame his “delinquent” friends. remember that the son learned from his father, so maybe the father just sucks as a dad.

Posted by andrew garcia | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •