Readers write: Stages of parenting, US-Iran talks, thirsty California

Letters to the editor for the May 11, 2015 Monitor weekly magazine.

Danielle Meitiv walks with her daughter Dvora (l.), age 6; Rosie Resnick, 9; and her son Rafi, 10, after school in Silver Spring, Md.

Different stages of parenting
Regarding the May 4 Focus story, “What does it mean to be a good parent?”: What most parenting advice misses is the importance of age and stage when offering advice. Parent Effectiveness Training, for example, works well with teens but could be a disaster if applied at earlier life stages. Even then much depends on the safety of the general environment, the child’s intellectual age, and the child’s temperament. I was a foster parent providing short-term care for teens in trouble with the law, and I had to be aware of all the factors cited above. Many of these teens were in trouble because their parents treated them like children and not the emerging adults they felt themselves to be. Now, I think we are in trouble because we treat preteens and younger kids as if they were wise adults.
Katherine G. Levine

The actual crux of US-Iran talks
The April 13 One Week article “At the crux of talks: Can US trust Iran?” is interesting, but it ignores the unseemly side of the talks – the actual crux. Israel’s prime minister made it quite clear he will accept nothing short of Iran’s unconditional surrender and massive inspection. Iran cannot and will not accept Israel’s terms. The Republican-led Congress will not support any nuclear agreement that is not first approved by Israel’s government. The European Union will continue to sit on the bench and wait to be asked to dance. The failed talks will be justified with “Iran is not trustworthy.”
Paul Bonnifield
Yampa, Colo.

Thirsty California cattle
Regarding the April 22 online article “California drought: Can Captain Kirk save the West?” ( Stop blaming almonds. The biggest water user in California is livestock. It takes nearly 700 gallons of water to grow the alfalfa necessary to produce one gallon of milk, and 425 gallons of water to produce four ounces of beef. And cattle drink 20 times as much water as a human per day.
Tom Barlow
Burlington, Vt.

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