Making parents feel guilty


Dear Editor,

I never thought I would see the day when I would take issue with Dr Tony Humphreys, but it has finally happened. I feel his article on behavioural control (E&L, March 12th) gives a very negative approach to parents. Well, what else would you call 27 don'ts and do's.

While the majority of these "don'ts" make perfect sense, an approach like this only serves to make parents feel defensive and guilty. is there a parent out there who can honestly say she has never shouted at her kids?

Maybe my children are unique in this but I have always thought it not unusual for children to decline to do what they are asked politely to do many times, until the parent finally loses patience and raises her voice. I wonder if it is even advisable not to shout sometimes. if their behaviour has made you angry maybe you should let them know.

I realise the limitations of a short article do not allow space for qualifications of advice, but surely shouting has its place occasionally as a hazard warning or as an indicator to the kids that they have gone too far.

Also I feel advice like being too strict" is utterly meaningless. The difficulty is judging just what is too strict, or too lenient either for that matter. As children do not come with a handy black and white instruction manual it is not always easy to know.

Raising children is not always easy, but as they reach the age of 12 the degree of difficulty rises dramatically, so any positive help is greatly appreciated. Yours,

(name and address with Editor)