DEAR ABBY: I have a dear friend I look up to like an older sister. We enjoy visiting with her and her family, as well as vacationing with them. We sometimes camp out together, too.
The problem: She and her husband discipline our children right in front of us! I refuse to see our children humiliated, and when I try to defend them, it starts an argument among all of us. Now our children hesitate to do anything around them for fear of being disciplined.
Abby, my husband and I would never dream of disciplining another's child. We believe that parents should discipline their own children. How do we resolve this problem without alienating our friends? We don't want to sacrifice the friendship. -- MOTHER ON THE DEFENSIVE
DEAR MOTHER: Make it plain to your friends that should your children need discipline, you and your husband will administer it. If that doesn't solve the problem, then the only alternative is to curtail your visits with these friends. It's unfortunate, but your children's welfare must take first priority.