Today’s question comes from a reader who has a problem I cannot touch. The reason? Self-preservation. There are some questions that childless people are not allowed to answer.

I am childless, so I’m off the hook. The rest of you are welcome to share your opinions. Let’s see what “Tired of Tagalongs” has to say:

Recently there have been several letters regarding visiting teaching. My question involves visiting teaching, but it’s a lot more than that. Please help!

My visiting teacher has a five-year-old who is never out of her mother’s sight. The child does not go to Primary, but is attached to her mother like a remora. She goes to Relief Society; she goes to Sunday School; she goes to baby showers and other adults-only functions. She goes anywhere her mother goes. She even goes visiting teaching.

I’m sorry, but this doesn’t sit well with me. My two visiting teachers sit in my living room and expect me to share my life’s problems with them, but all the while there’s a five-year-old listening to every word I say. I would love to pour out my heart to them, but there’s no way I’m going to do it while that little child is sitting there, staring at me, open-mouthed, to learn my secrets.

I don’t have anything against children, but children don’t belong everywhere. This particular child has a work-at-home dad and a work-at-home adult sister and an on-the-premises granny who could be watching her while her mother goes to places where children aren’t supposed to be. So why is the child sitting in my living room being the third visiting teacher?

This is also true of Relief Society. There are discussions that children are not supposed to hear. What’s a five-year-old doing sitting with the adults, when there’s a perfectly good Primary program going on down the hall? And it sure puts a damper on a party when there’s a little listener there, riveted to the conversation. What makes a mother think her child is invited to every adult activity in the ward?

What can I say (or what can anyone say) to get Mom to leave the little tagalong at home? Enough is enough, and I’m biting my tongue to keep from saying the nasty things I’m thinking.

Tired of Tagalongs

I’m not going to touch this one, Tired, but there are lots of parents who read this column who are welcome to do so. Readers, if you have something to say about tagalong children, please send your comments to [email protected]“>[email protected]. Put something in the subject line to tell me the letter isn’t spam. And please, PLEASE DO NOT USE the convenient form on this page. Most of the letters that are sent using that form never arrive in my mailbox, so your efforts will be wasted.

Tired of Tagalongs is waiting to hear from you, and so am I!

Until next week – Kathy


“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.”


Haim Ginott

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