A post I just read reminded me of a something I saw in a grocery store years ago. As I turned down the aisle displaying the fresh eggs I saw a boy of 2-3 in the cooler, running on top of cases of eggs. I kid you not!

I could not believe my eyes. A young lady in her mid-twenties was standing by the cooler wringing her hands and pleading, “Please Joey don’t run in there.”

Without actually hearing her I exploded “LADY, YOUR KID IS BREAKING THE EGGS!”parenting advice tough love setting boundaries

“I know,” she replied helplessly. “But I can’t get him to stop.”

“Well, I can!” I retorted without emotion, and I picked him up and set him on the floor.

“Oh!” Mommy whimpered. “You made him cry!”

“He broke the eggs!” I said and walked away!

Twenty five years later, I still can’t believe what I saw that day. I sometimes wonder where Little Joey is incarcerated today!

Yesterday there was a letter to “Dear Abby” in which a father asked for advice because his 7th grade daughter had become addicted to her cell phone. She was on it so much of the night, he said that she was not able to get up for school and her grades were going down. He told Abby that he knows he and his wife had spoiled her and now she was a “spoiled brat.”

“Please help us! We know if we try to control her phone use or take it away she will have a fit! What can we do?”

I love Abby’s response, “You created the little monster, now live with her!”

Abby, bless her soul, went on to tell him to limit cell use and if she has a fit to take away the phone.

I doubt if this milk toast of a father will follow through.

In my adolescent medicine practice I often asked kids if they thought their parents were stricter than the average parent, or less strict. Most said, “About the same,” but some said, “They used to be very strict, but since I got into high school they seem to have become easier. I guess they know I won’t get into trouble!

Another group of kids said exactly the opposite. “They used to be so easy and let me do anything, but since high school they treat me like I’m a prisoner!”

Guess which group of kids had been in trouble and which ones had not!

Parents, please, for your sake, the sake of your kids, and the sake of our country, be in charge of your kids! You are a parent, not a sugar daddy! Kids don’t need everything they want. They do not have the experience to be in charge. Love them enough to set rules and enforce them!