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There were 6 kids in my family and 5 in my uncle’s two blocks over from us, all of us in a blue collar neighborhood. My mother was very strict when it came to behavior from the time we were toddlers until we left the house, and woe to the kid who did not do well in school or who got into the least bit of trouble. My cousins did as they pleased with their mother looking to be their friend more than their mother. All 6 of us in my household did well in life and made our parent’s proud. 5 of the 6 graduated college, 4 with advanced degrees. None of my cousins ever amounted to much. Only 1 of the 5 graduated from high school. It used to irritate my mother when my Aunt would threaten her kids with “if you don’t behave I’m going to send you over to Aunt Louise’s”. Of course they wouldn’t behave and she wouldn’t follow through with even that threat. If she had, they surely would have towed the line with my mother. Parenting does make a difference.

My daughter’s 2 year old has already been trained to and is expected to say please and thank you. She gets time outs when she misbehaves. They limit how much TV she can watch and they read to her every day, more than once.