Looking For Some Parenting Advice

Bryan Dubois
Jul 26, 2010


This might seem like a departure from the usual subject matter I write about, but since politics is such a small part of our lives, it's high time we talk about something a little more light-hearted.

Wouldn't you agree?  

This post arises from a parenting quandary in which I find myself.  I'm wondering if all you discerning parents/readers out there can drop me a line of advice in the comments.

My wife and I have 5 kids.  A 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, a 3-year-old and infant twin girls. 

The twins, who I affectionately refer to as "the two headed baby monster" have been keeping my wife and I up at all hours of the night - changing dipes, feeding, burping...parents, you know the drill...  


Onto my question:

Our 3-year-old recently befriended an imaginary little girl named Mendala.  Mendala lives two doors away and needless to say, since they're both the same age they spend alot of time playing together.

Alaina and Mendala get along quite nicely - most of the time.  Today was an exception.  Alaina came up to me numerous times and complained that Mendala was being rude to her.  I laughed it off at first because Alaina is a pretty tough kid and she's not the type to let another 3-year-old push her around.  Plus it woulda been kinda awkward disciplining a child who didn't belong to me.  I told Alaina to simply tell Mendala to start playing nicely and that if it didn't work, to come back and let me know.

The girls continued to play with the wooden blocks in the family room while I worked in the kitchen.  Sure enough, 5 minutes later Alaina ran in and complained that Mendala wouldn't let her play with half of the wooden blocks.

I believed at that point that something had to be done, but I wasn't sure what.

So my question is:  Do you think it's ever socially acceptable to spank an imaginary child?



 What ? Are you serious? You spanked an imaginary kid?  Why didn't you just send "Mendala" home? You then could have told your daughter if she and "Mendala" can't play nice together then they can't play together anymore!


 I'm sure the imaginary kid will tell her imaginary parents who will report you to the imaginary children services. Who will report you to the imaginary police who will put you in an imaginary jail. Where your imaginary public defender will work out an imaginary suspended sentence with an imaginary court system that includes some imaginary community service. Wait a minute, that's not imaginary it's real life in Erie County.


Are you sure she is imaginary? Better call The Ghost Whisperer in to make sure

And when Jennifer Love Hewitt is to show up here, please let us know!


I agree with katelih. Also, I really think you should have been lying down on someone's (?) couch when you asked this question Bryan.

William Jeffers...

You need to create an imaginary friend and mirror the conflict.  Then ask your daughter for help and see how she responds in a role reversal.  That will tell you what she thinks the answer to the problem would be.  Then you need to make it clear that it was fun to pretend and you both know your friend doesn't really exist.  I am not big on imaginary friends at any age and would encourage you to try to get through this stage quickly.  As a parent there should be one guiding factor to help your decision process, and it is a simple one:  You are not raising children, but rather raising adults.  Keep the end goal in mind and best of luck.

Julie R.

Why didn't you tell your child that it wasn't very nice of her to throw her (imaginary) friend under the bus by being a snitch?  

Captain Gutz

I can't help you with this particular problem, but if you would have asked me what to do seven years ago, I would have told you to get a vasectomy.

hancrack me up

 Ever see "The Shining?" "Who's Tony?" "He's a little boy that lives inside my mouth".  -Danny Torrance

Same with Amy Lutz talking to Jodie in Amityville Horror.


I'd research your home for past activity. Your child may be clairvoyant. 

If that's not the case, if you spanked the imaginary neighbor the imaginary parents would call the imaginary "politically correct police" on you.