Blake’s Advice Column
My sister-in-law recently asked me for parenting advice. Our kids are about the same age, and she has been having issues with her preschooler’s behavior that I don’t have with my son. The reason her kid is out of control, is she and her husband don’t give him any limits. They don’t believe in saying “no” and try instead to “guide him to positive choices.” They never discipline him, even when he hits or screams at them, and as a result, he’s mean and disrespectful. Even though she asked, I don’t think my sister-in-law really wants my advice, at least not the advice I would like to give her. So what do I say when she asks? I tried loaning her a parenting book I’ve used, but it didn’t take.
From Danville, Illinois
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It sounds to me as if your sister-in-law has her hands full. However, if you want her to impose some discipline on the child, don’t advise her, but instead encourage that brat to act even worse. Here are some suggestions. Tell your nephew, every time he is served a plate of food from his mother that’s too hot or too cold, to throw it up against the wall. And if she gets mad, tell him to throw his drink too. Or, suggest to him to start telling his parents who they can and cannot hangout with. If they ignore that demand, tell him to start insulting everyone that comes over, and say that he is only repeating what his mom and dad says about them on a regular basis. Or maybe this idea. Recommend to him that he starts imposing a curfew on his parents. And if they come home after a time that the child predetermined, advise him to have the locks change, using their credit cards. But sometimes words aren’t enough. So, if that militant runt really wants to make a statement, instruct him to start wailing on his mom and dad with a belt, anytime he feels they are getting out of line. After a couple of those whippings, if you want to see the child again, you’ll probably find him at a local orphanage that your sister-in-law dropped him off at, as she tossed him out of her car without even slowing down. I hope this helps.