A few weeks ago, my husband and I were watching the premier of NBC's The Slap, when I thought to myself: Is it ever acceptable to discipline someone else's child, and where do you draw the line on having other people discipline your own kids? Eek! Touchy subject!
My husband and I were floored when the young boy, Hugo, of The Slap, was struck across the face by a non-parental figure. My husband's hot blood boiled him up enough to say, "If Hugo's dad was Latino, he would be pounding the snot out of the person who just hit his child!" I believe that kind of visceral reaction my husband expressed is probably what most parents, Latino or non-Latino would experience. Right? Well, one thing is for sure—you never know how you will truly react in a certain situation until you face it.
I'm ambivalent about my own feelings regarding how third parties may discipline my children. I'm referring to family members, close friends—even strangers. It's just natural for humans to react to children in different ways, and therefore, I'm wary of the way someone may try to discipline my children.
My 3-year-old, Hudson, will sometimes kick my brother-in-law's dog when we are over for a visit. Kicking a dog, or any other animal for that matter, is unacceptable behavior. I'm fine with Hudson being disciplined in a situation like that, but my husband, on the other hand, didn't appreciate the way my brother in law spoke to our little boy.
My hubby felt his approach was completely inappropriate, and the chisme which ensued in my familia was just epic and draining! Ultimately, my husband chose the "high road" and had a heart-to-heart with his brother in law about it. In the past, Hudson has been appropriately disciplined by family members, but never by anyone outside of our family.
I have my moments where I doubt my own ability to discipline effectively, more so than my husband. I really hate confrontation, but my husband has no issues with this. I think about how I don't want anyone judging my kids, so in turn I refrain from judging other kids. Parenting is hard enough, and I recognize it's not realistic to think that our kids won't be subject to different authority figures disciplining them.
In the meantime, I'll work on finding a balance between standing up for myself and taking constructive criticism. There are a lot of ways you can parent the wrong way, but there is certainly no "right way" to parent, and neither my husband nor I have all of the answers.
How you deal with the idea of someone else disciplining your child?
Check out how Latina Mommy, Yesenia Almonte, deals with her oldest son dropping the f-bomb.
Toddler Discipline Tips
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