Would You Discipline Another Parent’s Child?

boy-throwing-tantrumThis past weekend, I found myself heading out of town on one of those long bus rides made infinitely longer by a child who lacked discipline.  The child, a 10-year-old boy, sat behind me and proceeded to kick the back of my chair (incessant thump thump thumps) every 5 minutes for each hour (and there were long, long hours) we sat on the bus.  The child also whined, made fun of, and talked back to his mom throughout the entire ride.

What bothered me most besides the child’s spoiled behavior was the mom’s inability to discipline her son.   With every complaint, the mom would bend to her son’s will and try to appease him; when he threw a tantrum after not getting an ice cream cone, she gave up after 5 minutes and bought him a treat.  She couldn’t bear disappointing him or having him stay mad at her.  The child’s dad looked the other way, never saying a word either.

While I thought of a million ways I could discipline the child, I never said a word to the mom or to the child. Unfortunately, she was also a casual family acquaintance…and not having a child myself, I decided to avoid an awkward situation by choosing to grin and bear it.  This got me thinking how Parents readers would handle disciplining other people’s children.  I’m sure you’ve all been in a situation (whether it’s on a bus or a plane) when another parent’s child is driving you crazy.  Would you talk to the child directly or to the parent?  How would you handle any unbearable situation?

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  1. by Kaely

    On June 1, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Child of someone I know, even causally, then yes I would and do speak directly to the child in question if their behavior is somehow affecting me or my children or if they are in my home. On the bus or something similar I would ask a child I did not know to please stop kicking my seat.

    Talking back, whining, etc is not something I would engage over, nor would I think much about it. I occasionally tolerate less than desirable behavior in public from my children in order to avoid a bigger scene (tantrum) if I’m some place that a hasty retreat isn’t possible.

  2. by Jennifer Armsyrong

    On June 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I would first ask the parent to be responsible. If that didn’t work then yes, I would ask the child directly, escalating only as the situation warrants.

  3. by Kevin

    On June 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I have in the past spoken directly to the parents. If the action continued, I see the opportunity as a teaching moment for both parent and child.

  4. by ashley

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

    in that situation, i would have directly asked the child to stop kicking my seat. and if it didnt stop, i would talk to the parent. about the whining and talking back and their lack of parenting skills, its really not your business so its best to stay out of it especially since you dont have kids, it would probably just offend them. but i do think its ok to discipline a child that you do know if you see them misbehaving. children should know that adults are in charge wether their parents are around or not.

  5. by candyce

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

    my boyfriend and i live together he has a 2 year old and i have a 5 year old and together we have a 6 month old. the only thing we allow each other to do when the others kid isnt behaving is time outs. so if my daughter isn’t listening he can put her in time out but nothing more same goes for his daughter. its a thin line and its hard but i would never over step my boundaries and i would hope my daughters dad doesn’t let anyone do more than a time out with my daughter when she is with him. as for some random kid, no i wouldn’t not my kid not my problem..annoying yes but whatever.. these days you cant smack your kid on the hand without having to worry about going to jail lol i had to pick my own switch when i was little.

  6. by Carrie

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I have actually been at the other end of this spectrum. I am not tolerant of bad behavior, but a close friend of mine is a lot quicker to respond and has had children longer than I have. I respected her input and my children did as well. However, we are close and if someone else tried to discipline them that I didn’t know – I may get upset. I only intervene myself when I know the parent well. Even then, I hesitate because I may not know “the whole story.”

  7. by Amanda Gero

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Heck yeah I have! If my kids or someone elses are in danger or even in risk of being hurt. I have no problem tell a child to stop doing something. I don’t always have time to hunt down someone’s parents. If you are going to fail at disciplining your child…I will. Some parents just leave, but I don’t think my kids should be punished because your child isn’t being controlled.

  8. by Prudence

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Sometimes you have to step in – especially when it affects you and your space.
    One Christmas we decided to go on vacation with my husbands family. Their oldest was an absolute brat, and no-one would set any boundaries and limits. By day three I wanted to pull my hair out. Finally when she wacked my mother-in-law across the face I couldn’t hold it anymore. I had to put her in time-out and made her apologize- guess what grandma did to her – gave her a hug and said”i’m sorry”. There was no parenting in that family and they wonder why she’s such a case. Needless to say we will not be vacationing with them again.

  9. by Jess

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I have said something to someone’s child when they have done some physically dangerous to my child and the mom isn’t paying attention. I will not tolerate violent actions from one child to another… They need to know that’s not ok.. I’m not talking minor things though.. It has to be pretty big. I had a child chase my son down with a stick and stab him in the back with it leaving a decent scrape (my son was barely two at the time and this child was around 4). All my son was doing was running around with them because he likes to run. After I said something to him his mom came over and put her son in time out and apologized but I don’t think she was happy I said something to her son… If I hadn’t, he wouldn’t have stopped though and my son would have been even more hurt by the time I caught up with them…

  10. by Erica

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I would talk directly to the child in this situation. He’s 10 and completely able to understand that his behavior is rude. I wouldn’t be mean but I would say something like “hey (insert name or young man) I know that riding on a bus for a long time isn’t fun but I would really like it if you would please stop kicking my seat.” Usually they are so mortified that a stranger corrected them about thier behavior (because let’s face it they are aware that they are being bad.) they will stop and sit in silence the rest of the way.
    Also, I have two toddlers and we travel alot so if someone were to say that to my kids (after they look at me in horror that a stranger was talking to them) say something like “see I told you to stop kicking the seat/crying for not getting your way, it’s not nice.

  11. by Donna Cooper

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

    This is very tough!

    I have an 11 year old son with autism. I discipline my son. He has definite boundaries, and set rules, and if he challenges the lines, there are consequences. Firm and fair. Sometimes the root of the behavior is being an 11 year old boy, and sometimes it is autism. I’m always juggling and trying to decide which is which.

    However…because he has autism, there are often behavior challenges. Some days are worse than others, and some days can be frustrating. I cannot hide him in a closet, or not take him out of the house. I do so fully equipt with a DS and books to keep him occupied. But there are still “those days”.

    So my view of children with disruptive behaviors has changed significantly over the past 11 years. Sometimes parents need compassion more than condemnation.

    Totally depends…

  12. by Emily

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I discipline my neighbor’s children all the time. Even if the mother is sitting outside watching. She allows them to come in my yard. They climb on my hammock, squirt my dogs with water guns and most recently I caught them making a fire in my fire pit.

    If I was in the situation mentioned I probably wouldn’t have said anything since I do not know the child.

  13. by Michele

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I would’ve turned around and nicely said to the child “Oh honey, please don’t kick my chair anymore.” Then if it continued, I would turn around and ask the parent to please have their child stop kicking my chair. And if it continued after that, I would ask the parent to move to another seat because I couldn’t stand the kicking of my seat anymore.

  14. by Katherine

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I had to discipline another person’s children last weekend when a woman brought her kids to our apartment complex’s pool, though she didn’t live there. Her boys were at least five years older than my six year old daughter and they started out by taking her toys and spraying her in the face with their squirt guns. Since their mom just sat there and continued to sunbathe I went over and calmly told them that we don’t allow that type of behavior at our pool. About an hour later they took her toys again and when she approached them to get the toys back they pushed her onto the concrete. That’s when “Mama Bear” came out. I yelled at them to never put their hands on another child, let alone my own. What did their mother do… nothing. She just sat there.

  15. by Christina

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

    It depends on the situation but usually if it is something that directly affects me or my children I will speak to either the child or the parent. For example, an older child was making fun of my son in a store right in front of me and her parents were no where to be found. So I had a little talk with her about how her words hurt his feelings and that she shouldn’t say things like that. Another time a kid on the playground pushed my son down and kicked him and I told the kid that hitting is not OK and if he did it again I was going to speak to his parents. Only once did I have a parent object and my response was “If you don’t want other people to discipline your child, do it yourself”.

  16. by Tammie

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I would turn around and look at the parent and say do you mind if I say something?..Then procede to talk to the child and teach them why this isn’t the appropriate behavior..It is not always the parents fault..but in the words you choose to use..Say something to the effect..You are such a big boy and I know you know to act so much better than this ..What is wrong?..It hurts my back when you kick my set..would you like it if someone was kicking yours?..alway’s use reverse psychology on them..ask him would he think you were a strange woman if you were sitting in front of him whinning and hollering..don’t be agressive…It’s not our job to scare them but to teach them..explain why and talk to them in a manner they would understand.

  17. by Mick

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I would have most certainly addressed the kicking of my seat. And I would have made darn sure the mother was aware of my dislike of her lack of parenting on that issue. The talking back and such can be handled very simply without ticking off the parents with a simple “So & So…if your Mommy talked to you like that would you like it?” It addresses the child directly without accusing the Mom of anything. The problem with todays world is that we are all scared of each other and what people think. Its time to step up and discipline our children (within reason) and make respectable young people for our future. That said, all children have bad days, just like we do and we all give in at some point but it can’t be an every day thing.

  18. by Kelly

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    When my son was 2, we were shopping and he began throwing a tantrum, I tried ignoring him while finishing quickly, and an older woman walked up, and looking at him, said “Excuse me, your screaming hurts my ears,,,” my son stopped and looked at her, and quieted down. I took her cue, and continue to bring attention to the kid in question and their parents. Usually, when they suddenly become aware that “other people” are watching, they behave better. If the parents don’t like it, then I suggest they learn to respect others and teach that to their children. Harsh? yes, but even kicking the back of the seat is damaging to the property, not just very annoying.
    Parents that give in to avoid that bigger tantrum are just asking for that bigger tantrum to happen more often.

  19. by Harmommy

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hey it takes a tribe. I probably wouldnt disapline a strangers child directly unless they were in danger or did something to my child. But when im with friends with kids I do and vice versa. I know alot of moms get offended and defesive especially if the person doesnt have kids of their own so you have to treat each situation differently but I think its ok to at least say something to the parent if it is affecting you.

  20. by Christie

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    One phrase in your post frames my response: “…not having a child myself…” Trust me, I had FAR less tolerance for fidgety, whiney kids before I had two hard-to-manage, ADHD kids of my own. You don’t know what kinds of issues this kid might have, you don’t know what approaches these parents have tried to manage his behavior, and you clearly don’t know just how hard it is to manage a bored kid on a long trip.

    For all you know, this child might have been on the best behavior he was physically, phsychologically, and emotionally capable of in that situation. And as irritating as having this child on the bus was for YOU, I can guarantee you his parents were wishing they could go back in time and decide against taking this trip in the first place. OF COURSE the mom gave him the treat – she was trying to shut him up to avoid the glares and sideways comments from their fellow passengers. As someone with two hard-to-manage kids, it sounds to me like the parents were just trying to survive the trip.

    Should you have said something to the kid? Not unless you were willing to entertain an obviously bored child for a few minutes. (“Hey, Skippy. Do you like card games? Or maybe we could play iSpy?” The parents would have granted you sainthood on the spot!) But sitting there stewing while making all kinds of assumptions and judgements against this family when you have no freaking idea what their everyday lives are like? That’s seriously not cool.

  21. by Ona

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I have 3 boys ages 15, 17, & 20 so they are all pretty much grown up. But I totally agree with Erica up above. I work in a public store where there are kids that come in with their parents all the time an they start sreaming and sometimes the parents do something and sometimes not but my biggest concern is when the child is damaging products or climbing in and out of carts or not sitting down in them and that is when I WILL step in and mention something to the child that if they keep doing that they will fall out and crack their head open and also tell them that I have seen it and it is not pretty.
    Too many kids now days are so out of control and have NO RESPECT for others and it is about time we come together as a nation and help each other out within reason to teach people how to act in public and be RESPECTFUL of others around them.

  22. by Michelle

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I just have to say that I am a parent of a 2 & 3 yr old and I would NEVER think of disciplining a child that is not mine, especially if their parents are there! Yes, there are out of control kids and parents that don’t seem to mind, but that is none of my business; my business is my own children. In the case of the seat kicking, I might turn around and look at the parent, but I would never say anything. I think in our world today we have too many people sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. Not to mention the fact that a child dosn’t need every adult in the world telling them what to do, that only makes the situation worse. Also, I don’t intend to sound rude, but it always seems that people who do not have children are the ones that can tell you exactly how to raise children. The thing is that parents are sometimes stuck in between a rock and a hard place. My children are at the age where I am trying teach them that they can’t have everything they want, so yes, you will see them throwing a fit in a store from time to time…You get glares from people who just want you to shut your kid up and then if you did give in and give them something, you’ve got the others giving you glares for giving in. All I’m saying s that when I see this type of thing happening to another parent, I feel for them, I don’t step in and make it even harder for the parent.

  23. by Kara

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    If someone is being hurt or something is being damaged then yes I do. Still there are situations where you have to just grit your teeth and keep your mouth shut. There have been a few times when I’ve gotten after kids I don’t know. I’ve also gotten after my daycare boy in front of his parents and grandparents. When I was teaching I didn’t say anything, I thought the parent’s are here, it’s their responsibility to discipline their child. But after 10 years I’ve realized that most parent’s don’t. However, it’s never okay to touch or belittle a child.

  24. by alana

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    What ever happened to “it takes a community to raise a child”?
    I would ask the child to stop kicking my seat. If we don’t stand up for our rights what are we showing our children?

  25. by Amelia

    On June 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I would not necessarily call it discipline, but I feel that everyone should learn to be a kind member of society. As an adult such behaviors can, and do, lead to heated exchanges, and physical confrontations. I don’t feel that it is kind to ignore a child’s misbehavior. You are setting them up to expect everyone to complacently accept their behavior, and Travis not the way the real world is. I will point out what they are doing, i.e. being rude, name calling, damaging property, etc. And have a natural consequence, you’ll be told that you are rude, you will be removed from the situation (or other people will simply go away), or no one will want to play with you. I don’t feel the need to be a “disciplinarian”, however even children should learn to expect people to say something when they are doing something unacceptable. It would be wonderful if everyone always expected politeness from one another, even children.

  26. by Cyndi

    On June 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    While this might have certainly been a case of a lenient parent, it very well might not have been. I am the parent of two lovely boys, one of whom is diagnosed with Autism. I would ask all fellow parents in similar situations to take a moment to think to yourself ‘could this child be suffering from an unseen disability?’ My son looks completely typical and you might never know that he has a disability, but normal, every day interactions happen differently for us – so sometimes when an onlooker might think that I am spoiling him in the grocery store giving him a lollipop when he just screamed I know that the lollipop is the difference between getting home with groceries or leaving the store without food. So, before you judge and think ‘that parent should…’ please take the time to consider what the parent might be trying to handle that you can’t see (because you do not know them).

  27. by Amelia

    On June 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I would also like to add, I am a mother of three. Many of my friends have children, and we have an understanding. If a child misbehaves, whichever adult sees may speak to the child, and the person who’s house it is may decide what is unacceptable, with actual punishment being left to the parent to decide. I am very lucky to have close friends who have the same values as I do, and we have never had a disagreement on what was acceptable. But I would still expect my child to respect and obey rules in someone else’s home, no matter how trite, or silly, or unreasonable I might personally find them. It’s our job to teach respect, of the variety that we should all have for people, their things, and our planet in general.

  28. by Jerrica

    On June 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Ok, so this is a tricky one and I have stepped on many people’s toes but if someone child or grown person is disrespecting me by kicking my seat, steping in front of me rudely or what have you. I speak up. IDC if the parent has anything to say to me, never do I touch the child or use fowl language, smiply let the child know that I do not agree with their behavior and I will not tolerate it. Honestly this suprises every child or grown person I have told this to and I have had impeccable results!!
    No harm in standing up for yourself, but if it doesn’t directly involve you such as hearing a child sas his mother, that you stay away from.

  29. by Cyndi

    On June 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    i dont have a lot of patience and i dont let my own child get away with a lot of stuff i feel like their bad behaviors and manners reflect on me as a parent (i would like to think that im a good parent and in total control). growing up my parents were very hard on me. and till today i do not dare talk back to my mother. call me old fashion but i am the same way with my son. i can not stand tantrum and will not put up with it. So when it comes to other peoples kids i do not have sympathy toward them either.i understand it is not in my right to discipline strangers kids but when they are doing something wrong such as kicking my seat well that just not very polite. i would request that the parents do something about it because in all fairness i paid for the bus ride and its consider public area and everyone should be treated with respect thats what the parents would expect for themselves and their children. if the parents cant control their kid then i would directly tell the kid to stop kicking my seat and that its rude esp after your mom/dad asked you to stop. for me personally if someone said something to my son depending on the situation i probably wouldnt have a problem. most adults dont just pick a fight with children for no reasons. maybe its the way i grew up but i remember everytime an adult punish me or yelled at me i was doing something i shouldnt.

  30. by Jessica

    On June 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    At my daughters 7th birthday party I stepped out of the living room and into the kitchen to assemble the “goodie bags” It was a moment later I heard one of the little girls yelling “You’re a discusting lesbian! You’re a nasty lesbian!” I charged into the living room and hit pause on the TV I VERY sternly said the following “Do you know what a lesbian is?” They all shook their heads no. Then I said (filled with adrenaline, empathy and embarassment) “A lesbian is the word to describe a woman who loves another woman. It is not gross, it is not discusting, it is not bad. We have a friend in this room who lives at home with her two moms who love her and her sister very much. You will NOT use that word as an insult in this home again. Do you all understand?” They all shook their heads yes and sat silently the rest of the night.
    I then pulled every parent aside as they showed up to pick their girls up at the end of the night and told them what happened and what was said, how I responded etc. Not one single parent was upset with me and they all said they were shocked it happend and not sure what they would have done. I simply did what came as an instict to me and what I would have wanted someone else to do if it were MY daughter sitting in that room with same-sex parents and kids tossing that word around.
    We all have to learn the hard stuff in life somewhere and by someone…

  31. by Ellie

    On June 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I have learned over the years as a woman who worksin behavioral education that the kids who have these behaviors have learned them somewhere adn it’s usually not to far from home. Most of the time honestly the parent themselves is to self-absorbed in their blackberry or chatting away on a cell phone.. the child is literally just baggage and they are not even aware of what the kid is doing. The parent is NOT going to say anything or if they do and the behavior doesn’t stop you can BET they are the inconsistant parent who won’t ever follow through with the request or GOD FORBID give a consequence AND follow through with it!
    SO YES…I do speak up. Tactfully, politely and consistantly. Someone out there has to teach our kids how to do onto other as they would have done to them… and it’s sure as heck not the space-shot liberals out there who are afraid to “squash their child’s spirit by telling them no”.

  32. by Michelle

    On June 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    A child needs boundaries from their parents. They also need to know that society / public will have its own boundaries too. (IT has long been our society’s disease to ignore violent behavior for fear of being intolerant to other’s feelings and we need to stand up against violence more than ever.) It is a life skill and as they get older they’ll have to realize that teachers, police, bosses, etc. will have consequences waiting for poor behavior their whole lives. The kids who don’t learn that will normally have an extremely difficult life whether they have special needs or not. What parent wants that for their child; unless they haven’t learned it yet either.
    Face it: parents are learning with the children, sometimes voicing it is all it takes. It’s not like they come with their own personal handbook. LOL. Being polite and simply saying something regarding the action that is directly affecting you and/ or your experience is certainly your right and responsibility. There is an expectation for the parent to carry out some kind of discipline, but ultimately you can show your disapproval by moving or go to whomever the authority is in the scenario and get their assistance.
    People get mad,(more embarrassed) but all in all, the child will benefit from the knowledge that others are watching and they can affect the child as well. If they family involved are friends they will respect that or ask you about why you chose to say something, if they aren’t, then it is still a life lesson for that family to cope with until they learn the consequences for ignoring it.

  33. by M. M.

    On June 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I hate to say it, but in this day and age in p.c. America, too many people don’t do what just needs to be done. They worry what others will think, or mostly something along those lines…or that they are going to get a lawsuit. Mostly selfish reasons. If you are in a situation where another parent is not doing their job adequately, it is your responsibility to say something. Everyone has to learn that we each have our own space and boundaries, and being rude, violent, or even just inconsiderate has consequences. If the parents are not on the ball with dealing with it, I have no problem saying something esp. if it’s crossing one of my personal boundaries. I would definitely be as kind, considerate, and nonjudgemental as possible, but something still needs to be said, definitely.

  34. by Erica

    On June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I do and would discipline another child but only with words or time out and only if it is a universal no no being committed. Like child hitting, kicking others. It’s great to have outside reinforcements in the form of other people to help you teach your kids right from wrong. Sometimes the lessons are retained longer if reinforced by others in a positive way.

  35. by Erica

    On June 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I actually have less tolerance for other children’s rudeness & temper tantrums now that I am a parent. I used to be able to sleep through a infant crying on a long bus ride just like yours or ignore screams from a bratty child. I understand that there can be mental defects such as autism or mental retardation, but otherwise bad behavior is the parent’s fault. ADD & ADHD included, it is a behavioral condition, not a free pass to be a lazy parent. Group shame can do a lot to make even the worst parents to do something. I have verbal disciplined a few friends’ toddlers because they were either hitting their moms, endangering themselves or pets. Not yelling or meanmouthing the child mind you, just a simple stopping the kid in their tracks and a stern explanation of the bad behavior & a warning of the consequences they would be facing. I’ve had both good & bad reactions. One kid cried because he wasn’t used to people telling him no, but he did stop doing it! But more importantly, his mom stopped letting him and I didn’t have to say another word. The moms who didn’t mind were usually worn out (parenting IS tough!) & appreciative.

    In this case, I would have gotten out of my seat to face the parents & child in from the aisle. I would have explained to the child that it is rude to kick another person’s seat. I would have then told the parents that I understand that it is a long ride, parenting is hard etc… BUT that it is a long ride for everybody & they are being inconsiderate of all passengers. And that if do not discipline their child that I WILL say something EVERY TIME. Also, the key part is to say it loud enough for most of the people (if not the whole bus) to hear you. Making a scene WORKS!

    If you want to be less confrontational at first, you could have pulled the parents aside on a rest stop to say everything nicely. Maybe if they feel like they know you (a little conversation goes a long way!) they won’t let the kid kick your seat.

    I don’t know why some people think that being on vacation gives them a free pass of having to discipline their kids, but it doesn’t and ruining others’ vacations shouldn’t be tolerated by others. I’ve done & seen both approaches on my 1 – 10 hour bus rides as a professional tour guide.

  36. by patt

    On June 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    one time i was in a grocery store, and heard this child screaming the whole time, it just so happened that I ended up in the check out line behind them, he was still acting up, I looked at him and said that he needed to stop, because it wasnt nice..the child looked at me,he was maybe 3, got very quiet and the mom looked at me an said “Thank you”, obviously she had been trying to make him stop and he wanted no part of it till I said something..then he was fine. As for the boy kicking my chair, YES, tell him to stop.

  37. by Billie

    On June 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I would deffinatly say something…. I would expect someone to say something to my child if they were acting inaproperatly. If I was one of those parents that look the other way when child is miss behaving then someone should show me a picture of a Teen behind bars. If we don’t correct our kids then socitey will and that’s not always a great route.

  38. by stacey

    On June 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    To be the perfect parent 24/7 is a difficult job…and discipline….its relative to one person’s judgement….but then if someone over disciplines they may be on cnn….people need to be more tolerant and others need to be more attentive!

  39. by Julie

    On June 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I like the old adage: It takes a village to raise a child. It totally depends on the situation, but in most cases, it can’t hurt to address a child’s behavior. Maybe it’s the teacher in me or the fact that I realize that my own children are more well behaved for others than they are for their Dad or me.

  40. by Wendy

    On June 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I’d definitely address the child. “Please stop kicking my seat” or something to that effect. In a situation like this one, I don’t think it matters whether the child has adhd, autism, or what-have-you.. they still need to know that being inconsiderate of other people is not ok. And if the parents aren’t going to say anything, I am. Even kids who don’t mind their parents tend to listen to a stranger, or other non-parent when they say something. And if the parent HAS already said something, all the better.. I think having another adult back the parent up goes a long way when it comes to a kid minding them. And if the parent wants to pitch a fit about you speaking to their kid in that tone, too bad. They’re only hurting themselves by teaching the child they don’t have to listen to anyone else.
    I don’t know if what I’m saying makes sense to everyone, and I’m not trying to offend anyone. Its just what I believe due to my own experiences.

  41. by Michele

    On June 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    As a mom of a 10 year old, I would turn around and address the child! A 10 year old should know better than a 5 year old, and shoulod know to respect others space. I think I would address the mother by herself if she is a “friend”, ask her if she needs a break, that perhaps I could keep the child busy for a bit. I understand the means to avoid a public tantrum, but if a child is disciplined from the beginning, a look is all I need to give my daughter in public when she starts acting up. Otherwise I have to agree with Wendy in the post before!

  42. by Gemma

    On June 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I would never Discipline Another Parent’s Child i would hate it if someone did it to my own id feel like they where trying to say somthing about my parenting skills so i dont agree with it i wouldnt want to manipulate another parent dont agree at all.

  43. by Li;

    On September 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    When it affects my child, my property, my money, and when they are at my house or in my yard, yes I will. At a movie, there were 30 or so junior high kids who were there as a birthday party group, with maybe two adults. They talked, laughed, ran up and down the aisles, in and out of the seats, texted each other, threw stuff at each other (hitting other people with chewed up gum, snacks,popcorn, etc) and made so much noise that my husband and I couldn’t hear the movie. They would not stop, and talking to the adults did not work because they had no control over the kids whatsoever. I talked to the birthday boy, who told me to “f” off, so I got the manager, who kicked the whole group out. They were ruining it for the rest of a full theater of paying patrons but nobody else wanted to say anything. Oh and it was a rated R for violence movie, just what they needed to see! I had paid good money to see the movie and I wasn’t about to let them ruin it for me and everyone else there.

    In the bus instance I would try to gauge what was going on and I may or may not say something. However, if it is a very long trip, I would probably ask the boy nicely to stop. If not, I would try to find another seat myself. If that didn’t work I would then talk with the parent. If you paid for a seat you have expectation to have a reasonably decent ride.

    That said, I can understand the arguments of parents of special needs children (believe me) but when my daughter is having one of “those” days all bets are off and we stay the heck home. I am not about to inflict my flipping-out child on the general public and just expect that they should be understanding.

    You can’t expect people to tiptoe around your special needs kid and give him special consideration when it suits you, but the rest of the time demand that people treat him just like any other kid. My daughter is who she is and sometimes she is very annoying and I don’t blame people for the looks, whispers, stares, or for coming up and saying something to me.

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