Situation: A 12-year-old girl is pet-sitting for a neighbor. Besides eating the neighbor’s food, she also made a mess in the neighbor’s home. When confronted, she lied to three different people. The caller asks for suggestions on how he should discipline his daughter.

Parent Talk Tip: Diane Moore suggests that the 12-year-old has demonstrated her inability to handle the responsibility of a pet-sitting job. The parents needs to communicate with the daughter what they intend to do to keep her accountable. The parents can present the problem as a trust issue and let the 12-year-old figure out how to make it right with the neighbor.

Diane Moore is a certified family life counselor and parent mentor with a private practice in Vancouver. Parent Talk is her radio talk show heard in Portland, Vancouver and Boise. Today’s tip comes from a conversation between Moore and one of the show’s callers. It has been edited for time.

Audio produced by Naylene Frunk

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