Disciplining another parent's kid

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )


I work in a shoe store and used to be the sales lead in the children's department. Before I had my daughter, I wasn't one to say much to the kids if they were misbehaving. But now I do find myself getting irritated more than before when I see kids throwing things and yelling and crawling under the display table (which knocks down this big poster that goes around the table's edge like fifteen times a day) and it's hard for me to not tell the kid to get up off the floor and stop tearing things up. (That example with the table happened the other day, three boys were crawling around underneath the table and knocked it down for seriously the third time that day, and that thing is NOT easy to put back up when there's only one person at the front and STILL kids rolling around on the floor underneath...)

So anyway, back to the article, I would probably have done the same thing. I'd wait for my girl to stand up for herself, and then I'd step in when things got nasty. But that's only if it's not physical. If that shit were to get physical you better believe I'd be in there in a flash. I was five or so and got attacked by some other bigger girl in the ball pit at a McDonald's. She scratched up my face pretty bad. All I remember is her on top of me and the balls caving in and it was kind of traumatizing. So yeah, I'm not letting anything like that happen to my kid.

So...your thoughts? Did this mom do the right thing? What would you have done if put in this sort of situation? What would you do if you were the mom whose girls were ganging up on another girl?


Elfrieda - posted on 03/20/2012




I didn't know it took "mom balls", whatever those are. :P

I wouldn't use the word "discipline", but I "direct" other people's kids all the time.

"Don't run here, this is a place for babies who are just learning to walk."

"Pick up that wrapper, please. The garbage can is right over there."

"Look with your eyes, not with your hands. Only touch one cookie."

"Do you have a frog? Wow, let's find a nice home for it. I think it's scared when so many kids play with it. Let me show you the right way to pick it up. We don't want to hurt it, right? I wonder what kind of house a frog would like?"

"Close the door, please."

"Oh, no, look what you're doing! When you twist the branches like that, it breaks the twigs. You need to find a bigger tree to climb. Tell me if you need help getting up."

I don't consider it to be really crazy of me. It's very inefficient and a bit cold to ignore other children and focus only on one's own child. Parent the child that's in front of you, that's my opinion.

I hate it when my son steals a toy from another kid when the other kid's parent is right there, and instead of saying, "No stealing" and taking the toy back, or telling my son to bring another toy to replace the one he took, or just letting them work it out on their own, the parent tells the child, "You have to share."


You're teaching your child to be a victim? And you're making it an "us vs. them" situation. Now I've got to haul my lazy self out of my nice grown-up conversation with someone else and run over to make things right? The other parent was right there, why can't he or she sort out a toddler problem alone? Does it really take two adults to fix it? So annoying.

[deleted account]

All the time. I have an obligation to protect my child and other children. I will definitely not sit by while someone else's kid is misbehaving, particularly if their parent is there and isn't doing crap about it.

[deleted account]

Yes I would say something. Half the time it's a parent who is not watching her kids, but rather texting, playing on her fancy smart phone, or simply off in la-la land.

I've said things in a matter-of-fact way in the past. But I'm happy to say it's really only been a handful of times. Nothing in recent years.


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Hope - posted on 03/21/2012




I do it all the time. If I can a potential accident happening I will nicely tell the child to stop or be careful because they could get hurt. Has for children being mean to my boys, I sure do tell them off, I a careful with my choose of words and tone of voice but yeah I tell them to stop. It is just second nature to me because I was a child care worker. I even find my find my self correcting or helping the kids at my sons childcare center. I wouldn't call it discipline, just gentle reminders.

Mother - posted on 03/21/2012




UGH.......some kids are so mean. I would have done the same thing. Her friend was absolutely justified to correct such behaviour.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/20/2012




I have done it before, a time or two the mother WAS there, doing nothing about it.

I will not stand by and watch any child be degraded or bullied. I will say something. I am not mean about it but bet your bottom dollar I would be saying exactly what the lady in the article did.

We are the adults. Some kids are not taught how to treat other's, while home. I guarentee they think about what they were told when another adult speaks up and puts them in their place. I think it is very important to stick up for the innocent, especially when other's are not or the child is not sure what to say or do.

I do agree with holding off until it escalates a bit. It is a good approach to allow your or another child to feel it out for themselves too. As soon as it gets "mean" I am there, I don't care who's kid it is or if they are there or not.

I have had mother's give me bad looks and I have had them tell me not to worry about it. Unfortunately, that is not a very good response to give me at that time. They end up with an ear full too.

I have absolutely zero tolerance for rudeness, disrespect and utter cruelty. Regardless of who it is coming from. I do however applaud those that give it back two fold when they are pushed into a corner (so to speak).

I teach my kids to stand up for themselves, I don't mean to fight but to tell them, it is uncalled for and they won't accept it. Then to walk away. If it continues to go and tell an adult.

However, if it is just simply kids being kids and they don't want to play with mine but are not being rude or mean about it. No, I wouldn't say anything. I would jump in and play with my kid myself.


Jaime if it were me in your position. I would be letting the kids know that it isn't a good idea because the poster falls. I would tell them that it is very hard to put back up. If they give you attitude. I would repeat but it would be more like "Do NOT go under there please. It is not allowed in the store". ;) I couldn't handle that. I'd be telling them immediately that they cannot climb under the tables.

Celeste - posted on 03/20/2012




I agree with the other ladies. If other kids were bullying my kids, whether verbally or physically, you bet I'll step in. Or, another child's safety is in jeopardy, I'll intervene.

Now, if it's something that's just annoying, I won't say anything.

Isobel - posted on 03/20/2012




Though I held back the other day at the bicycle store where a 5 year old was waiting in line to buy a bell for his bike...he rang that freakin thing every 2-5 seconds and my head nearly burst. I must admit he wasn't "misbehaving" BUT there's no chance in hell I would've let my kid do it.

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2012




I reprimand other peoples kids all the time. I don't care what they think of it haha,.Especially if their kid is hitting my kid or making his nose bleed.

Isobel - posted on 03/19/2012




I do it all the time, I find that it is better received if it is followed by a friendly look and an "I'm sorry, just what I do at home", and a shoulder shrug

Lacye - posted on 03/19/2012




I've done it before. If it is a situation where the child could possibly hurt themselves or some one else, I would say something.

Becky - posted on 03/19/2012




If it were my kids being picked on, then I would definitely step in and protect them. If it were another kid, I like to think I would, but I'm kind of the like the author of the blog - a bit of a wimp when it comes to confrontation - so I'm not sure if I would or not. My husband would. He has no qualms about disciplining other people's children if need be. He's asked other kids to watch their language around our boys and tells the kids at church to get down off the stage.

I will discipline - only verbally or with redirection - kids of family and friends if I need to. Particularly if it's a safety issue, like a little one putting a small object into their mouth. But I generally avoid disciplining strangers' children, unless, like I said before, their behavior was adversly affecting my kids.

One of my friends was here for my son's 4th birthday and they stayed for supper afterwards. I guess she'd had a rough morning and she said her nerves were shot. Anyway, my boys were being loud and exuberant, as they often are, and she kept shushing them. That pissed me off. If they're being mean, not sharing, using inappropriate language, etc, by all means, correct them. But don't shush them in their own house!

Lady Heather - posted on 03/19/2012




You can bet your ass I would say something. That is awful. Somebody needs to call these kids out. Somebody needs to tell them it's wrong. I have had to parent other kids when their own parents aren't present. I try to let my daughter assert herself but she is quite shy. The jerks know it and they will walk all over her (literally). I fucking hate jerks and maybe me calling them out will have an impact. I know it would have freaked me out as a kid if some strange adult told me off.

Some people say that kids will be kids but I think that is shit. I was a kid once and I wasn't mean to the others. My daughter isn't mean. I'm pretty sure all kids have the potential to be nice people.

Amy - posted on 03/19/2012




I have reprimanded someone's child once and yelled at another kid. I am a retail manager and at my previous company I went into the fitting room to check on the associate. There were two boys in there about 6 and 8. Well the 6 year old kept hitting the 8 year old and every time he hit the 8 year old he would hit him with a belt! I couldn't believe it, and the mother was completely oblivious to everything because she was too busy trying on clothes, after I saw the kid get hit with the belt for the third time I took the belt away and told them both to sit on their hands. I also told them if either of them got off the bench again I was going to tell their mother she needed to take them into the fitting room with her. I was shocked and appalled that a child would whip another child with a belt! Normally I don't discipline kids at work because it sets me up for a whole host of potential problems if a customer decides to contact my manager.

The last time I yelled at a kid we were at the mall play ground, which I absolutely hate going to but my son loves. He climbed up the side with his 2 year old sister and they were sitting at the top of a slide/hill. This boy about 6 climbed over top of my son so he was in between my son and his sister, at this point I jumped up from my seat because my son was trying to keep this kid from hurting his sister. The little boy shoved my son down the slide, climbed over my daughter and then proceeded to shove her down the slide backwards. I was livid and I normally am not like that. He is so lucky that his mother got to him before I did because I honestly don't know what I would of done.

If I felt a child was being ganged up on I would definitely say something especially if I didn't think there were adults around who would intervene. What kind of example would I set for my children if I walked away from a child being picked on, I mean don't we teach our kids to find a trusted adult? If it were my kids it happened to however I would tell them to stay away from the girls because obviously they aren't nice kids to play with. If it continued after I redirected my children to do something else I would definitely say something.

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