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Harker Heights Evening Star
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Sue Ellen

Dear Sue Ellen,

My daughter and her husband have a two-year-old son.  They don’t believe in spankings, time out or saying no to their toddler.  They believe a child can self-correct with gentle re-direction, and as a result, my grandson does whatever he wants to do.  I think they are making a big mistake, but they don’t want to hear anything I say about it!


Dear Teresa,

My understanding of the concept of a child self-correcting is probably not what your daughter and her husband would want to hear either.  It supports reinforcement of a child’s thoughts, and gently brings out the positives and negatives of a decision the child is about to make, or has already made.  I doubt you could engage a two-year-old in that process.  It would probably work for teenagers, unless they have been over-indulged their entire lives and have no concept of selfless interactions with others.

Some new moms and dads believe “self-correcting” of toddlers is good parenting.  Really?  So…one toddler walks up to another toddler and snatches the toy out of his hand.  The victimized toddler is going to mull over his best course of action before smacking the offending toddler and grabbing his toy back?  Be real.  That’s not going to happen.  Little kids need consistent structure and guidance.

As adults we have trouble with our own self-correction, but we are going to expect our children to “self-correct”?  Sorry, but I don’t buy it.  I’m thinking it is an excuse for parents to let their kids do whatever they want to do, and that is downright scary.   It’s worse than scary…it’s neglect.   Can you imagine a world where children grow into adults believing everything in their life is going to be just like they want it to be, and that if it isn’t…then something is wrong?  Oh yeah…we are already there.  It’s called entitlement.

Maybe we should teach grown-ups to “self-correct”.  When our adult children over-indulge their kids, we could tell them to “self-correct”. Do you think it would work? I don’t understand how some parents can believe their children will magically grow into contributing members of the community, with little or no effort on their part.

Parenting is not for sissys.  Tell your daughter and her husband to grow some backbone and to re-direct their toddler so when he becomes an adult he will be able to make good life decisions.

Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.


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