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Your Kids Won't Suddenly Catch a Case of Good Behavior the Moment You Drop Them Off

Listen to the adults.
Does that even work?  I was walking down the streets of Berkeley when I overheard another parent talking to her child.  “Listen to the adults,” she said.  “Do what they say.”  Her child murmured something that sounded like agreement, but it got me thinking about how much I wasn’t in agreement with that statement.
I mean, first, did that parent actually think it would make a difference?  Second, was it simply a veiled threat?  Third, was it a new thing the parent was trying on?
Would it make a difference?  This question stuck with me for a long time.  In my opinion, no.  If the child hasn’t learned to respect her parents, doesn’t listen to them, doesn’t listen to teachers or other adults, then did this parent actually think these words would change a single thing?  Highly doubtful.  I thought about the number of parents who said that to their kids when they were dropped off at my house.  Would they listen?  I always reassured the parents their kids would.  I was usu…

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