In a live chat, Prudie offers advice on whether to report a co-worker who …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on May 10, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

A: Please intervene, although someone with such a punitive, manipulative approach to child-rearing would likely put you in a permanent time-out from your friendship for suggesting her parenting could be improved. Of course you know that critiquing the way someone raises her child is a minefield, so tread accordingly. Get together with your cousin for lunch without your kids and say that she has a remarkable child and you love spending time with both of them, but that sometimes you feel she could take a different approach with her daughter. You can hand her the book, Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott, which is a wonderful, slender volume on seeing the world through your children’s eyes and gently guiding them through life. Materials available at the Gessell Institute of Child Development would also give your cousin some perspective. Then, when you are together with your kids, and she tries to enlist you in one of her manipulative schemes, you can say, “Janis, this is the kind of thing I was mentioning. Chloe is just acting like a kid, and I don’t think she deserves the silent treatment.” There is a slim chance your cousin will reflect and reform. More likely, Chloe will spend years sorting out the damage done by her mother.

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