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Many of today’s kids are the objects of a tremendous amount of parental concern. This concern ranges from realistic to implausible.

A first-grade teacher struggles to cope with an unruly child from a chaotic home, because the school’s discipline policy forbids any “negative” consequences such as taking away recess.

Q: My 7-year-old son does well in school and sports and has a good number of friends. However, he often allows himself to be intimidated by other boys. He is a rule-follower and is more worried about getting in trouble than defending himself. I worry that other boys will see him as easy to pick on. Occasionally he complains about how other boys treat him. What words can I use with him to explain how to be confident in himself, his athletic abilities, and not allow himself to be intimidated by other boys?

Teens who act like the world should revolve around them and cater to their every whim, who overflow with disdain for adults, are products of their upbringing (a nod to the occasional child who is raised right and goes wrong).

A second-grade teacher writes: “I teach in a very competitive school where parents have developed a ‘mob mentality’ for bullying administrators and teachers. They have gone beyond helicopter parenting to Apache Blackhawk parenting.”

Q: My 23-month-old son does well with potty training when we’re at home. We use a “potty bell, and he goes every 90 minutes or so. When we’re away from home, however, he seems clueless. He pees in his car seat about 5 minutes into a trip and simply will not use a potty anywhere but at our home or at my mother’s (she watches him one day a week at her place). Would pull-ups be a bad thing to use when we leave the house?

Q: I home-schooled my oldest, an 8-year-old boy, until this year. He started third grade in public school in August. As a home-schooling mom, I was not a micromanager and don’t want to become one now, but the school virtually insists that parents help with homework. I want him to be independent. What are your thoughts on this?

It’s a fact that a good night’s sleep is essential to optimal performance, no matter the task. It is also a fact that America’s teens, generally speaking, don’t get enough sleep. Ergo, American teens, as a group, underperform in school.

As the old parenting point of view fell out of fashion beginning in the late 1960s, the vernacular that accompanied it all but completely disappeared. Today’s parents don’t say to their children the sorts of things parents said to children in the 1950s and before, things like “You’re acting too big for your britches again, young man.”

On the one hand, this may be simple curiosity. On the other hand, it’s possible that your grandson’s normal desire to know what female bodies look like has become intensified by something he saw in a magazine or a video.

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John Rosemond
John Rosemond, an N.C. author, writes on traditional parenting.
CharlotteObserver.com