Cathy - posted on 06/23/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )
MISBEHAVING children should be locked in their bedrooms - preferably with a padlock on the door - according to the latest TV parenting expert.
New Zealand's answer to the Supernanny, Nigel Latta, believes rationalising with naughty toddlers is like trying to talk to ''drunk rugby hoons with language skills of a chimpanzee'' and instead advocates keeping them under lock and key when they play up.
Latta also believes children should be ignored, left to fall over and learn that the world doesn't revolve around them because it isn't beneficial for parents to entertain their kids 24 hours a day and shelter them from every danger.
Latta, who is sure to raise eyebrows when his show screens here later this year, says parents have been scared into shelving their common sense by an age of self-help books and political-correctness.
"Parents are molly-coddling, bubble-wrapping and over-stimulating their children because they're terrified of letting them stew in averageness by letting them get bored," the father-of-two said.
"I have no problem with saying to my boys 'Go away and entertain yourself, I'm reading the paper'."
"And that's what they do.''
Latta, who spent time in Melbourne earlier this year filming an Aussie version of his hit series The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show for Channel 9, says parents should also toughen up when it comes to discipline.
While he doesn't advocate smacking children, Latta says plenty of people, such as himself, grew up in an era where smacking was common-place and lived to tell the tale.
"All this stuff about getting down to their eye level and explaining patiently what they've done wrong is just too hard and who can be bothered?'' he said.
"Rationalising with two and three year-olds is like trying to explain bad behaviour to drunken rugby hoons with the language skills of a chimpanzee.
"We should stop treating children like adults. Children shouldn't grow up thinking that the world is fair.
"Instead of trying to reason with them, I believe in throwing them in their room until they calm down. I even take it one step further and say put a padlock on the door and physically lock them in there. As long as there are no venomous snakes or firearms in the room what's the harm? The worst they can do is bang their head on a door or bump their head.''
Latta believes children should be allowed to make mistakes even if it means a few tears, bumps and bruises along the way.
"I want my kids to learn to live in the real world, to know that it can be hard and disappointing,'' he said.
"I want them to walk themselves to school, to ride their bikes - fast - and jump over gutters.
"And even have a pocket knife.''
Latta says the best advice he can give to parents is to "calm down and stop over thinking everything''.
"If you're worried about emotionally damaging your child then you probably aren't. I've worked with a lot of people who have done that and the big difference is they don't really give it much thought,'' he said.
"It shouldn't be so hard. I would just prefer people enjoyed it more rather than spending all their time worrying and feeling guilty about doing the wrong thing."