Reluctant Referees

A study shows that when children fight, their parents often freeze up and fail to intervene. Why?

A seasoned East Coast corporate lawyer (let's call him Jack) is accustomed to getting his way. But at the mention of his older brother, he becomes agitated and taps a table furiously. Jack's brother pummeled him regularly when he was a child, and though his parents were aware of the hostility, they never intervened. His mother told him that someday he'd be big enough to fight his own battles. "I don't know what she was thinking, and I don't know if my father knew," says Jack, 44, who hasn't spoken with his brother in years. "But it would have been great...

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