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!

Dear Karl,
I've got a couple of young teenagers who are always whining about wanting more "freedom". They want to be able to stay out as late as they like, do whatever they want, and go wherever they want. How can I teach them that they are too young for all this "freedom"? Bob P. NH.

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.
Depending on just how obnoxious they have been, you might choose to leave them a tent, sleeping bags, a box of matches, and a Swiss Army knife. If you're a real softie you could even leave them a few cans of baked beans. This is guaranteed to teach them that "freedom" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Believe me, they'll thank you for it one day.

Dear Karl,
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 required—repeat 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.

Dear Karl,
My teenage children seem to think that money grows on trees. They're always wanting more clothes and other fashion accessories. How can I help them to learn to live within a more modest budget? Charlene W. CA.

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.
My preferred strategy is to arrange a surprise exchange holiday for your children with an Amish family for, say, six months. This will give them first hand knowledge of what it feels like to live in less salubrious conditions than those they are accustomed to. For more extreme cases, I recommend the Albanian exchange option.

Dear Karl,
I'm a father of three daughters, and between them and my wife I'm lucky if I get to see the inside of my bathroom for five minutes in any given week. I had a second one put in but it was quickly swallowed up by the bathroom bandits as well. Have you got any tips that will allow me to reclaim some quality time in front of the bathroom mirror? Bruce A. KY.

This is a very common problem in female-dominated households; and it wouldn't matter how many extra bathrooms you installed—you still wouldn't get a look-in. No, the answer to your problem, Bruce, comes from the steamy jungles of South America—the 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:

Karl's Kamp for Kids
where, sometimes, violence is the answer

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:

  • Comradeship—strong bonds are formed as the internees support each other in their mutual adversity
  • Discipline—sadly lacking in many children due to the politically-correct liberalism that is rampant in modern society. We're a little bit more old-fashioned here
  • Leadership—many of tomorrow's political and business leaders will have their natural instincts sharpened by learning how to prosper at the expense of the less fortunate
  • Ingenuity—the kids always keep us on our toes with their clever attempts at making contact with the “outside world”

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 approached—post-traumatic stress disorder I think the doctor called it—oh 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.

10 Rules for surviving your daughter's teenage years