Sparing the rod

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Dear Hillary,

How do you tell someone that they are making a rod for their own backs with the way the people next door treat their six year old?  This child is now utterly spoilt.  As far as I can see, whatever the child wants, the child gets, and that can be new clothes, make-up or even a mobile phone.  Can you believe that?  They just gave an six year old a mobile phone, and of course it has to be the one that takes photographs, not just a simple portable telephone.  We can see just what is going to happen in the future, but they don’t seem to be able to.  She has mixed parents.

Rod

Dear Rod,

I am not so sure who is most “mixed” here, Petal.  Most parents these days are “mixed” as in most child-rearing pairs you get one male and one female!  Most parents also get fairly “mixed” up with the vexed questions of raising children.  Ask around, nobody has the perfect answer to bringing up perfect children.  I also note that you can “see what is going to happen in the future”.  Lucky you!  Clairvoyance is a rare gift.  You should try and capitalize on it (it’s known as being a “Mor Du”).  You can try sending me the winning ticket number for the local lottery.  I am prepared to split my winnings with you, if your future vision is that good.  In the meantime, I suggest you stop snooping on what the neighbors are doing and tend to your own life.