Responding to the letter from Leonard and Ruth McPhee (March 9) about the need for children to learn discipline: We could not agree more.

We have eight grandchildren, five of whom we are blessed to have live near us. Three attend St. Thomas Catholic grade school in Sanford: two boys (twins) in kindergarten and one girl in pre-K.

One of the boys had some early trouble getting his daily “green card” – good behavior – early in the year. But he recovered nicely because, along with his teacher, his parents worked with him to help him understand his responsibilities in the classroom. There have been few follow-up problems.

Young children understand the need for self-discipline and want to “help.” At our home, they make their beds without us asking. We often have the occasion to bring them home from school, and we ask them on the way: “What will you do when you get home?” They know the answer: “Hang up my coat, take off my shoes, put my school bag where it can be hung up and wash my hands.”

The challenge for us, as parents and grandparents, is to hold our children accountable for what they already know they should do. It is often easier to pick up after them than to hold them to their responsibilities in a consistent teaching atmosphere.

Our children and grandchildren are our greatest blessings! We do them a great disservice by failing to help them be all they can be! Even in the little things, like picking up after themselves.

In the same March 9 edition, columnist Bill Nemitz, with whom we do not often agree, made a quietly impassioned plea for our local panhandlers. We are confident our grandchildren would undoubtedly support his and Pope Francis’ request for their support.

Daniel and Gloria Rooney

Sanford