DEAR ABBY: When my children were young, I was a single parent. I always put my children first. We didn't have a lot of money, but we got by. If they asked for something we couldn't afford, we would discuss it. I'd show them the budget and the bills, and we'd find a way to get what they wanted.
They gave up snacks for six months so I could set that money aside to buy them bikes. We also decided we could go to Disney World -- if we didn't have cable for two years. If they wanted something, the answer was always yes, but I let them know we needed to figure out how to manage it. They learned to budget and save for things they wanted. I believe if you work toward a goal, you can achieve it.
My new husband disagrees with me. We attended a parenting class together and they agreed with him. This doesn't sit well with me. I feel that just saying "no" is showing them we have the control, but teaches them nothing. Am I wrong? -- ALREADY AT ODDS IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR AT ODDS: No. I disagree with your husband and the person teaching the parenting class. If your children are respectful, happy, willing and ready to work hard and sacrifice to achieve their goals, then you are a successful parent. If your household was harmonious until your husband entered it, you don't need a parenting class -- you need family therapy.