Sir: Diana Appleyard opens a fascinating and needed debate.

She points up the extraordinary lack of expertise of parents. Bribery - "if you stop you can have some sweets" - is a technique that does not work with any human beings, whatever age, except in the most simplistic of ways, and is certainly not a training for independent adulthood. A screaming child in a crowded supermarket is not shown another way of interacting by his or her parent initiating a blazing row.

John Harrison

Machynlleth, Powys