Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wild Girl

Dear Madrone, My mother's aunt's goddaughter Lena is wild. She's always running with the boys, and has a reputation. The father has tried locking her in her room but she is expert with a picklock and has no fear of heights. The mother prays constantly, and everyone berates her, but it does no good. Lena is the most defiant person I have ever met. What can anyone do? Concerned, Center Moriches

Dear Concerned, IF the child in question is under eighteen, berating, incarceration, deprivation and certain varieties of punishment are all worthy tools, as are heart to hearts, see how much we love yous and reverse psychologies. However the mistake is thinking that these are going to be effective in the short term. They are not.These are long term strategies. The truly wild child, if they survive, grows up and nine times out of ten, turns into a stricter parent than their parents ever dreamed of being. If you are talking about an over eighteen year old, there is nothing to be done. However,it is best to keep in mind that no rule of any sort requires that you fund activities that disturb you. God bless, Donna