March 19, 2009, - 10:24 am

Advice Seeker of the Day

By Debbie Schlussel
You’d be surprised how many people e-mail me asking for advice–advice on their marriage, their boyfriend, girlfriend, kids, what have you. Usually I decline, saying that this is not my area of expertise and unlike “Dr.” Phil, Oprah, and the rest of the hacks in our pop culture, I’m not going to pretend I know how they should run their lives, unless they are public figures who make their lives our business or what they are doing has bad effects on our society, like Islam, baby daddies/mamas, and taking your young kids to see “Friday the 13th.”
But in this case, I just couldn’t resist responding because the real problem seemed obvious to me. I initially thought this was a set-up by some lefty or Muslim, trying to get me to say something they could use against me. But after looking into the sender, I actually think it’s legit. And I’m surprised. I think it says something about the state of parenting in America today. If I wanted to disobey my parents, my dad would tell me that it’s his house, his money, and if I didn’t like it and didn’t obey, I could go live somewhere else and that he was gonna cut off all funding of everything but food, hygiene, and school supplies. Or he told me he’d ground me.


But parents, today, just don’t have the guts to do that. It’s hard work and it’s mean, and some people just want to be liked, not respected. In many cases, today’s parents just wanna be friends with their kids. And that’s why we have a lot of the problems we have.
From a reader:

Hi Debbie!
I’m not sure if you’ll have time to read and respond to this, I know you’re very busy (Keep up the great work!), but I have a small problem I’d love for you to weigh in on. Recently a family moved in next door to me and I think they might be Arabs. I was prepared to ignore them, but recently my eleven-year-old son has started to spend time with their daughter. I have told him to stay away from her and he won’t listen.
My wife and I have been trying to think of a way to tell this family that they don’t belong in the neighborhood and that they should live somewhere else with their own people. We can’t think of a way that will not get them angry or violent. Since I’ve admired your no-nonsense approach to the whole Arabs in America problem, I was hoping you could give me a better idea of how their minds work, and how I could get rid of them so they don’t corrupt my boy.
Thank you and God bless

My response:

You can’t, won’t, and refuse to discipline your 11-year-old son, who won’t obey his parents?! That’s the real problem. If you can’t put your foot down with your own kid, your neighbors are not the problem, you are. You are putting a roof over his head, feeding and clothing him, and probably driving him to school. Yet, you can’t get him to listen to you? Again, this is the problem.
You wanted my no-nonsense approach. You got it. Put your foot down.
Also, just b/c they are Arabs doesn’t mean they are bad. Muslims are bad. They may be Christian and not Muslim.
None of that matters, though, if you won’t exercise your parental authority over your own kid.

So, was I too tough? Perhaps not tough enough.

19 Responses

Debbie as usual hit the nail on the head. There is no way on earth I could manage 7 kids if I didn’t maintain strict authority over each of them. And at least in my house my kids are scared of my or my husbands disappointment in them. That helps them tow the line and will hopefully serve them well in their respective futures.

MarySJ on March 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

Debbie, I’m glad you elected to address this parent and of course provide your no nonsense appoarch. You’re absolutely correct in how you dispensed your advise to these parents. Todays parents are more concerned with being a friend, instead of being a parent. And guiding their kids. My wife and I believe there’s a time when a parent more or less becomes a friend and is no longer acting like a full time parent. Usually when your child is in their mid 20’s and on their own per se. But the child seeks advise. Once I was on my own. My parents didn’t really interven in any decisions or choices I made. Unless I asked them for their advise. My dad would mostly say…I’m an adult now and it’s my decision to make. But if I wanted his advise, he didn’t hold back. And he always told me he loved me and would support anything I decided to do…even if he didn’t approve.
What’s unfortunate, is todays kids will follow in their parents footsteps. As kids get older they act more like their parents than the kid wants to believe. My children are lucky. Because my wife and I do not act or want to be their friends at this juncture in their young lives. Our kids are only 9 and 11 years old. And we want to guide them in to becoming mature and responsible adults one day. And that cannot be done if we act like we want to be their friends.
Parents need to understand that you have to lay the law down. And I told my kids enough times, that our country is a demorcracy, but our household is NOT a democracy. We told the kids, that me and their Mom are dictators for the time being and when they’re on their own. The are free to do as they want. We do this in a loving manner. And assure the kids we love them more than our own lives. But, we know better since we know how cruel life can be. And we make decisions based on the best interest of the kids and to protect them. There have been times our kids didn’t understand the decisions we made. And they (kids) were plenty mad and upset with us. But, again we did it in the best interest of them.
To this day we tell them their main responsibility is to be an excellent student. And that’s what they should be concentrating on. And then let us the parents worry about the other stuff. Good for you Debbie for telling these parents how it should be done.

Tenn Scholar on March 19, 2009 at 11:12 am

This guy needs to grow a pair and disipline his child. I think was a joke to be honest. The arabs next door are going to corrupt my child. Then he better move his family to the middle of nowhere. Build a compound and not let anyone in or out. But if he can’t control his 11 y.o, what is he going to do when he is 15 and 16.

Mark on March 19, 2009 at 11:51 am

You were right on target. Kids are supposed to do what their parents tell them to do, period, the end. I had to laugh at what you said your father would say if you chose to disobey. I remember threatening my mother that I would run away if I didn’t get what I wanted…she would offer to help me pack.

swq on March 19, 2009 at 11:56 am

So this lady wants to tell some arabs that they aren’t welcome in her community. Well what she should do, like any good american is go get the klan to help her out. Put a flaming cross on their lawn.
Or you know, not be a racist bitch and start taking people for who they are, not where they are from.
and schlussel, you are just as bad. How can you actually say that muslims are bad people. What the hell is wrong with you?

thesmileyemo on March 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm

EXACTAMUNDO!! You got that right, Debbie, and you’re not even a parent. Almost every problem my ex-wife has with our daughters is due to her inability to be a parent, instead of our daughters’ friend. I have told her more times than I can count that she’s their mother, not their friend. She can be friends with them after they become adults.

Yiddish Steel on March 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

That is actually very good advice. I totally missed the most obvious part of that e-mail question. Wow, you are good…a hottie with a sharp mind to match, sweet!!!

tita2juju on March 19, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I’m glad my sister isn’t like this with her three boys. When she lays down the law…she lays it down!

Squirrel3D on March 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Can I add that the parents should also be educating their son on WHY they object to the influx of Moslem culture? If the child is in public school, I assure you he is fed a steady diet of moral relativism. As parents, we are obligated to raise our children to be good citizens. That includes teaching them to recognizing threats to our way of life. Imbuing children with an understanding of the evils of Islam is giving them survival skills, for themselves and for our culture. Sure, some people will say Iím teaching my children to hate. I say Iím teaching my children to protect themselves by staying away from those under the influence of Islam until they are adults and, armed with knowledge and maturity, can confront the scourge of Mohammedism.

dm60462 on March 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm

It should be obvious that a family can’t be a democracy. Now a husband and a wife have to deal with other as equals since that’s the only way to manage a marriage. When it comes to the children though, the rules change. What parents say goes, period. Parents are not a child’s friend or peer. They are the authority figures and they are owed respect and obedience by the child. Its a parent’s expectation to have their child do as as they’re told. Children don’t know what adults know and they don’t have the wisdom to judge between what benefits them and what hurts them. That is not PC advice these days but the timeless reality of being a family will never change. Debbie has it right: in that I mean its time for adults to stop behaving like children and accept they are adults and the latter are children. After all, why are we grown-ups? That’s so obvious a point I think that my friend could have just asked the question and easily dispensed with the advice she had been asked to give.

NormanF on March 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm

And the parents should put some fear into him like this: let him know that ‘honor killings’ go both ways, not just women victims but men also. This is so serious, the young man needs to know this. He doesn’t need to be a jerk in social situations, but he does need to know that he absolutely must control his heart and emotions with conviction every day of his life. So it doesn’t end up costing him his life.

rickster on March 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm

But clearly, you don’t use your brain enough to realize that you can’t just rope all Arabs and Muslims in with fundamentalists and terrorists. The world doesn’t need more fear and hate, so stop spreading it.
Oh, and if you want to group assume all people of a faith are the same, how about Christians? By your logic, they all are child molesters.

thesmileyemo on March 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I am a bit surprised this was written by a man. I think your advice was great. However, I sincerely doubt this issue will be a problem since the girls’ family probably dislikes her “consorting” with their son every bit as much as he does. Also, in a year or two, when the poor girl begins to go through puberty, they will probably begin grooming her for an arranged marriage anyway. Not to worry!

Just say no to ICE on March 19, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Dear Debbie,
Stop! You are making too much sense. Can’t you see progressive parenting is all for the children. Read my biceps.
Fist bump,
Michelle Obama

FeFe on March 19, 2009 at 6:59 pm

When a majority of Congress voted for the largest spending bill in history without reading it, or having constitutional authority to do so, they became traitors and enemies of the people along with Mr.Soetoro aka Obama who signed it. They spit in the peoples face and on their oaths of office, defied our constitution and openly declared war on the American people by betraying our country to a Cabal of Communists, Fascists and the criminal families.
Elliot Spitzer should have been prosecuted and thrown in jail not just the loss of his position.
Our Federal Government has been taken over decades ago by a Criminal Cabal of Traitors and no longer exists as a legal and constitutionally subservient entity of the Constitution, individual States and the Sovereign People.
Our Federal Government has been taken over decades ago by a Criminal Cabal of Traitors and no longer exists as a legal and constitutionally subservient entity of the Constitution, individual States and the Sovereign People.
I do not need Elliot Spitzer to tell me that we are being screwed, I already know it.

ScottyDog on March 19, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I am sorry I posted the above comment on the wrong thread.

ScottyDog on March 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Fist Bump back atcha Michelle, that is a good one!
But get your ghetto back, it’s give me a pound dawg!

Mark on March 19, 2009 at 8:16 pm

These people are so damn racist. How are you going to hate someone before even knowing who they are? He wants them to leave the neighborhood because he THINKS they are Arabs. What a racist ninny. I hope when both of them turn 18 they marry and produce 15 children. I would love to see this fool’s reaction to seeing little brown kids running around his house.

secular_progrogressive on March 19, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I’ll bet the kid watches TV all the time, when he’s not surfing the web or listening to his MP3 player.
All dear old dad has to do is to turn off the kid’s cell phone or internet; he’ll get his attention.
But I’ll bet that it’s gone on like that way too long already.
I guess he needs to call SuperNanny (or whatever her name is)!

PersonOfTheBook on March 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

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