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It seems so simple to be able to raise a child to be a successful adult but it is not that so easy. Successful parenting starts when your baby is still in the crib. They have been fed/bathed with a fresh new diaper that you hope will help them sleep for a few hours. The baby tests the parentís resolve with loud screams to get us to pick them up.

Dr Spockís "Common Sense Book, Baby and Childcare" taught us how to survive after our babies were born. Your child will wail the first night for an hour; second night for half and hour and the third night for 20 minutes. If you pick them up they will go back to sixty minutes of constantly screaming. Go outside and shut the doors/ears to protect your sanity.

You somehow survive the terrible twoís with your childís first word, "No". They are nearly potty trained and for the most part sleep through the night.

Now the negotiations begin with your child using food as a passive aggressive way of defying your authority. You argue with them to eat their proteins/vegetables and they instead choose to eat cookies and sugar laden beverages before dinner.

Do not buy the junk food and teach your children to be respectful. If they do not want to partake of the food they should be asked to leave the table and try again in the morning. Mom, donít fret, as long as there is food in the fridge your child will not starve.

The meal is over and the children inform their parents that it wasnít in their DNA to help clean the table . A trip to their rooms for them to contemplate that you are thinking about renting out their rooms may help restore a proper work ethic.

Your in the Dollarama, in the village and your children demand that you purchase another set of sparkles for their collection. They have temper tantrums threatening to hold their breath/stamp their feet.

Just say no and quietly vacate the store and wait in the car for their arrival. Donít worry they will get the message and run to the car before you try to escape to your home.

Teach your children the meaning of the word discipline or they will be discipline problems in the school/community.

Do not allow your children to be victims and blame others for their problems My nephew, Adam, when he pooped his training pants used to complaign that: "his sister did it." He is 40 years old and he still blames her for all of his problems. Like the Garden of Eden story Adam blamed Eve for making him eat the apple.

I remember chaperoning a school dance where a grade nine female student passed out in the bathroom after drinking a bottle of cheap liquor on her way to the school. We called the mother and father to take home their delinquent daughter. Momís first response : "Who made my little girl drink?" I replied, "and swallow too. See you Monday morning in the Principalís office."

"Boys are just being boys." Too many parents try and explain away their teenaged sonsí obnoxious bad behaviour. Under age drinking and smoking marijuana while driving the family vehicle is a recipe for disaster. The parents grieve but it is usually too little/ too late. They forfeit their parental duties to the OPP officers to dispense the necessary discipline. 18/19/20 old males are not boys: They are young men.

Tough love works wonders for our young people. Parents have the right to expect reasonable behaviour of their children when they live in their home. Adult/ children who choose not to abide by the house rules should be encouraged to find alternate accommodations and then fend for themselves. The sages teach us that: "You can pay me now or you can pay me later."

Len Lesser is an education/career counsellor in Dorchester, Ont.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com