Discipline dilemma - The Buffalo News

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Discipline dilemma

A couple of days ago, a neighbor sent their son and daughter over to play at our house. The son was charged with calling home from our house to let his parents know they had arrived safely. He forgot, and the parents soon called to summon their kids home immediately.

I was impressed by their zero-tolerance approach to discipline. I know all too many households -- ours included -- in which we practice something closer to 80 percent tolerance, on a good day maybe 70 percent.

I'm trying to picture the scene if it were reversed. Our kids have left the house for an hour or two. Our house is considerably quieter. I've requested a call to let me know when they've arrived at the neighbors' house, but frankly, I'm not demanding it. Did I mention how quiet it is over here?

If they forget to call, I'll probably suggest a punishment like two weeks without Ovaltine in their milk. That's sort of the parental equivalent of the two-week suspension that CBS and MSNBC decreed for New York talk show host Don Imus after his stupid remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

If Imus is fired, his employers lose a good chunk of revenue. If my kids' play date is canceled, I lose a nice chunk of free time. I guess that's what the Eagles meant by "every form of refuge has its price."

I hope it's not my children paying the price, but if they're off playing and I'm enjoying a contemplative moment, that sounds like a win-win to me.
-- Greg

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