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Reader’s Comment of the Day: You need a man to sort out a teenage boy


In response to Laura Perrins: Argument over the remote control? Call the Old Bill, Kingbingo wrote:

I suspect the feminists would argue that women are every bit as capable of providing discipline as men. But this runs contrary to human nature, especially the nature of teenage boys. They will often find taking instruction from mothers emasculating, yet would respond to the exact same instruction from a father.

Men also just know how to talk to boys in a way they accept. I’m not necessarily sure exactly what the difference is, but probably has at least something to do with raw physical strength. If your father is telling you what to do he can always just ‘kick your ass’ if you decline to comply, that makes it easier to accept for a teenage boy. A mother can only repeat herself and become more and more annoying. Women also tend to frame their instructions as debates, “would you like to do this”, whereas a father would just very simply and in measured tones tell you he wants something done. The difference in the way this is received by young men is night and day.

I appreciate that no couple stays together for financial reasons, but we have ended up with divorce looking positively appealing: generous benefits and housing at the lower end of the spectrum and extremely generous divorce settlements at the higher end. As much as I might dream of the Government rewarding marriage and child-caring by making your £10,000 tax-free allowance fully transferable from a non-working spouse, just returning this country to neutral on divorce and separation would be a big step in the right direction.

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