I’m very grateful that someone shared with me today a column in the Washington Post called On Parenting by their “parenting advice” columnist, Marguerite Kelley, who also appears on radio and TV, so her opinions are shared far and wide.
Her advice made me sick.
A couple wrote in about the trouble they were having with their 10-year-old adopted twins from China. Why are they so demanding? So oppositional? So emotionally immature? What are we doing wrong?
Ms. Kelley’s response? You need to be tougher with them! Don’t give in! More structure! Chores! They need to be more self-sufficient! That’ll whip these little brats into shape! Never once – NOT ONCE – does she mention the boys’ adoption, even though the parents disclose this right up front! I was absolutely stunned, though I shouldn’t have been. We got exactly the same advice about Casey with tragic results! The comments following the online post are equally ignorant, but I don’t blame them for being ignorant. This one comment really stuck in my craw: dear lord the kid is TEN and still throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants and when it’s bedtime?
What is even more troubling about this column is that it appears in a publication with the reputation and reach of the Post, which implies a certain degree of gravitas on those who write for the paper. Readers assume the advice is legit.
Ms. Kelley and her followers won’t like this but I’m sharing this post to you and will comment on her page so that people like her, with no qualifications whatsoever in adoption therapies, dispense bad advice to struggling adoptive children and parents.
P.S. Sorry for all the exclamation points. I’m really mad and you should be too!