Is it Fine to Discipline Someone Else’s Child

Silence is not always a virtue. When we see that certain things are wrong, it is our duty to speak. Do you agree?
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Many of us have encountered children either at the party or the park who are usually out of control. These children can literally ruin the party by just throwing tantrums and screaming at the top of their lungs. But what do you do, you have invited the child and that child is ruining your party. No, you can’t do anything as you feel it is the parents who should speak up and discipline their child, thus you remain silent.

There have been such instances with me also. Once I took my daughter to the play area. A boy came by and started playing with her. When she said she does not want to play with him anymore, the boy hit my daughter hard. Hard enough to create a bruise. My daughter came crying to me and narrated the whole incident. But I could not say anything and remained silent as the boy’s mother and I were chit chatting. The boy’s mother is well aware of her son’s hitting habit, but in vain she did not say anything to him.

Another incident was that of a boy around six, pulling down his pants and peeing in the park. His mother did not say anything but asked the other ladies to scold him. When no one stepped up to talk to the boy, I did. I simply told him that he is 6 and if the children see him pulling down his pants then they will make fun of him. He did not say anything to me at that time, but the next day he came and told me that he went to the washroom rather than doing it in the park in front of everyone.

The other day, my friend and I were attending a community dinner. While we served our plates for dinner, a boy insisted to eat from my friend’s plate. My friend who was feeding her daughter did not like this interference as she did not know the boy or his parent’s very well. But what amazed her more was that the boy’s mother quietly stood at a side watching her son’s activities. Later she was heard praising her son that whatever he wants he gets it by hook or crook, even if it means intruding into someone’s dinner plate just to fish out some ‘paneer’.

Though all the above incidents have a boy, let me tell you one thing that girls are no less. There have been times when boys have been at the receiving end as well. This definitely is not gender-specific. Any child at any time can burst into a tantrum.

Agreed, when parents are present along with their children, it is their duty to guide their children. But what happens when parents are not there? Do you take the child’s rowdy behaviour and let him/her destroy your party? Can you simply leave them like a bunch of hellions just because their parents are not present? Should you step ahead and discipline that child …

Disciplining other parent's child can be awkward and at times touchy. It is synonymous with a can of worms ... really tricky as to who the parent is and how well you know the parent Click To Tweet

Every child is raised in a different manner as per the family’s values. By this, I don’t mean that my child may be at her best behaviour while the other parent’s child is not. Playing music loudly may be perfectly alright for one while for someone else it can be deafening. But the question here is that when do you ignore the bad behaviour and when do you intervene.

Pic Source: Shutterstock

I respect each parent set of values and discipline that they have given to their child. However, I feel it is fine to act as a disciplinarian in case:

  • Some child is in danger: Safety is the primary rule of parenting. If a child gets hurt and you are not able to say anything then it is embarrassing. If you can prevent it, don’t hesitate to step further and stop the child who can cause harm (even unknowingly).
  • When you see a destructive child: One evening my daughter’s friends had come over for a playdate. Initially, all was fine then suddenly the girls started jumping all over … on the furniture and were literally all over the house including my bedroom and study. If you witness such a behaviour, go ahead and stop them, because if you let this happen your child may turn back and say, if you let them do it then even I can do it. Or how come you let them do it, you never let me do it. Tricky … right?
  • If your house rules are being broken: If you have children peeking into your refrigerator (trust me I have had such incidences also) or in your personal space then be strict with them. Make sure that when they enter your house they understand your house rules and follow them for the time they are at your place.
  • When you see a bully: When you see a child who is mean or talking bad about someone or spreading rumours then that child could be a bully. These children should be definitely pulled up for their behaviour.

But how to discipline the other child is the big question. The aim while disciplining the child should be to teach him/her something worthwhile rather than making them feel bad. Remember while doing so don’t hit the child, don’t be too harsh as these are the parent’s authority and we don’t want to cross or question the parent’s control.

We should keep in mind that one day this awful child is going to be an adult and a parent too who might, in turn, set rules for the next generation. Thus it is important to intervene when the child behaves inappropriately as everyone including the future generations to come will benefit from the same.

It indeed takes a village to raise a child …

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 3-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

4 Comments

  1. Neelesh
    September 21, 2018
    Reply

    Correct. If a child behaves badly s/he has to be politely told that it’s wrong and not acceptable.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      September 21, 2018
      Reply

      Agree… Thanks for reading

  2. September 21, 2018
    Reply

    The child can be corrected with love n care and not with any stern action. Politeness can win the parents and child heart and they will accept on a positive note.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ilaenjoys #Blogchatter

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      September 22, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks for reading and yes politeness can win over both the child and parent…

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