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Thursday, April 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 52.0° F  Light Rain
The Paper


Tell All: Spoiled Madison children
My friend treats her kid like God's gift

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Dear Tell All: What's the matter with Madison parents, who treat their kids as if the whole world revolves around them?

I have a teen and a preteen, and I feel like I've got things in proper perspective. I'm supportive and loving, but I don't indulge their every whim. Most importantly, I don't force the rest of the world to do so, either.

This is not the case with a woman in my neighborhood, with whom my husband and I occasionally get together. She has one 7-year-old son - I'll call him Junior - whom she always makes the center of attention. There's never a minute when just the adults can talk. Junior sits with us, and his mom keeps encouraging him to expound on his literary interests, his sporting activities, etc. I mean, I'm slightly interested, but not so interested that I want to spend an entire evening hearing Junior's wit and wisdom.

The worst night was when my husband and I had a date to go to a restaurant with this woman and her husband. They showed up with Junior in tow! Even worse, they complained to the waitress that the restaurant - which was clearly geared toward adults made no allowances for children. Does every place on Earth have to cater to Junior's needs?

Here's the capper: This woman expects my oldest son to hang out with Junior when they come to our house. If you know teenage boys, you know they don't usually want to spend their time entertaining 7-year-olds. But my friend just assumes that our sons will be best buddies, and my boy - who actually has manners - has been too polite to say he's not into it.

Until now, I've been too polite to say anything myself. What should I do the next time this happens?

Parental Unit

Dear Unit: The next time she comes over and expects your son to entertain Junior, let her know that his babysitting fee is $8 an hour. This woman needs a reality check. And the reality is, most people wouldn't want to hang out with this spoiled child unless they're paid to do it.

Do you have a question about life or love in Madison? Write Tell All, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. Or email

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