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Public scoldings are mean

Dear Abby: Do you think it's right for parents to yell at their kids in front of company? I suspect that our friends feel they must show us they're "on the job" as parents.

The problem with these driven, overly critical parents is that their yelling not only embarrasses the children but also makes us, the visitors, feel awkward. I've been tempted to tell our friends, "How about praising your kids once in a while?" Am I right to keep silent? — Not-so-Honored Guest

Dear Not-so: No. Remind them of the admirable qualities you see in their children and urge them to praise them as well as criticize.

A parent yelling at a child in front of guests carries the same message as a boss who publicly reprimands an employee. It shows a lack of respect and that the person's feelings don't matter.

© Universal Press Syndicate