Do you pine for the good old days when kids did as they were told, always kept their room tidy, and loved spending their weekends helping out with chores around the house?
If you do, why not write to us about your situation and let our resident guru, Karl, give you some advice that will put you back in control.
Have a look below at this week's letters; you might find that your problem has already been solved!
Well, Bob, my advice is to give them so much freedom that they won't ever pester you for it again. Here's the plan: Take them for a drive into your nearest wilderness area, making sure that you end up at least two hundred miles from civilization. When you get to an area that looks like it's got plenty of drinking water and not too many bears or mountain lion, drop them off and tell them you'll be back in a week's time.
I've always hated to see those spoiled brats who throw tantrums in supermarkets because their mother won't buy them the latest goodies that they have seen advertised on television. Well, much to my horror, I find that I now have one of my own. What can I do? Denise L. WA.
The solution to this problem is to treat your young children in the same way that you would train the family dog, that is, you must exert strong discipline and do it immediately. It's not good enough to threaten them with retribution when you get home, because their still-forming brains won't connect the crime with the punishment. My simple method works as follows: Go shopping when the supermarket is relatively deserted (you probably do that anyway to avoid embarrassment); as soon as a tantrum erupts, rush the child to the frozen-foods section and bundle him or her into one of those glass-fronted freezers and lean against the door for about five minutes (or as long as requiredrepeat offenders may need quite long periods of internment). On emergence, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how quiet and composed your little shopper has become; in fact, he should be completely "chilled out". If he looks like playing up later on, the merest mention of: "I wonder if we need any ice-cream
" should settle him right down again.
There are two ways to deal with this problem, Charlene. You've probably already tried the first one, that is, continually telling your kids how different it was in your day: how you only ever had one pair of jeans at a time, and they had to be kept until they were completely threadbare; how you used to make your own toys out of twigs and empty tin cans; and how you thought you were really lucky if you were given a whole orange at Christmas time. In my experience, the average teenager will believe these stories about as much as they still believe in the existence of the tooth fairy.
This is a very common problem in female-dominated households; and it wouldn't matter how many extra bathrooms you installedyou still wouldn't get a look-in. No, the answer to your problem, Bruce, comes from the steamy jungles of South Americathe Tarantula! These monstrous, hairy visions-from-hell are actually quite harmless, but they're guaranteed to scare the daylights out of the average female. So, pick up a couple from your local arachnid merchant and, when you want to use the bathroom, just slip one under the door and wait for the scream. You'll be called to remove the beast and, with a bit of luck, the post-traumatic effects of the experience will mean that that particular young lady won't willingly use that bathroom again. A more permanent solution, of course, would be to set up a breeding colony of these Amazonian beauties behind the bathroom sink. Your furry friends will also come in handy for those occasions when the mother-in-law overstays her welcome.
Need a little time out?
Why not do yourselves a big favor, as well as giving the kids a summer they won't forget at:
Much more than a regular summer camp; here, your kids will find themselves immersed in an overwhelming mind and body experience.
The Kamp is also an historical adventure as it is based on an authentic German WWII Stalag for prisoners-of-war.
Here are just some of the valuable life-skills that will be learned:
So don't miss out, get your applications in early, and don't forget to enclose your signed legal liability waiver!
Check out some testimonials from satisfied parents:
Wow! I can hardly believe the change in my son's attitude. He's so much more pliable and willing to help out around the house. He does tend to flinch whenever I raise my arm, but, hey... that seems a small price to pay. Joe P. FL.
I was so impressed by the improvement in my kids' behaviour after last summer that I was going to send them again this year. Unfortunately, they both came down with some kind of illness as summer approachedpost-traumatic stress disorder I think the doctor called itoh well, maybe next year. Mary H. MI.
Gosh, the kids must have a good time at the Kamp. When I picked up my daughter, she and all of her new buddies were crying their eyes out and talking about food. I guess they were real sad to be leaving. She doesn't talk about it much, but I can tell from the strange look in her eyes that she thinks about it a heck of a lot. Florence W. PA.
I have seen an amazing change in my teen. He does not drift off like he used to. I think it helped alot. Bob R. Dallas.