DEAR ABBY: This is my first letter to you, although I have been reading your column for many years. I need an outside opinion.
I am a grandmother in my 70s and have just returned from visiting my daughter, her husband and their three darling children -- all under the age of 5 -- and I'm upset with some of their parenting methods. For example:
They lock the doors to their children's bedrooms at night because "the children might get out of their beds and roam around the house and we may not hear them."
If one child deserves punishment, all three are punished. And if one child says a naughty word, all three are given hot sauce in the mouth.
Abby, I know these parents love their children very much, but are these methods of disciplining them wise? Please understand, it is not my intention to interfere. -- GRAM
DEAR GRAM: Children's bedroom doors should not be locked. Should a flash fire occur, it would be a nightmare.
Punishing all the children when only one has earned the punishment is a good way to make siblings grow up to hate each other.
Children who use "naughty" words should not be punished with hot sauce in the mouth -- they should be taught the proper and acceptable word to use instead of the "naughty" word.