thread: "parenting" someone else's child

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    2,075

    "parenting" someone else's child

    I was at the park the other day and observed some other children playing.

    Two little boys were the larger than life type and shooting and using swords in their play. They were also pushing some other kids around and not sharing. Let's call their mum "parent a".

    Another little boy was trying to play on some equipment. His mum is is "parent b".

    Now parent A is with some friends chatting, drinking coffee, having a grand old time, seemingly oblivious to her children's behaviour. Parent B is quietly watching her son.

    Children of parent A are being mean AGAIN to parent B's child, but she is letting go and letting the kids play. Well this little boy has had enough and pushes one of the other boys away.

    Now parent A sees this and gets up off we bench, marches over and tells parent B's son off and lectures him on how it's not right for him to do that. He says her children have been mean. So she tells him he just needs to say "stop I don't like that". Which he does. Parent B meanwhile let's it all go.

    Now as an outsider this made me think. Did parent A have any right disciplining in a sense another persons child? More so because her children were the main problem.



    Do you let kids just be kids at the park or would you get involved?

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    Melbourne, Vic
    4,338

    Omg if I was parent B I would be ropable! I usually don't get involved unless my child is getting upset and depending on the situation too. If they are being physical I will tell them not to hit my child and if they are being mean I will take my child away and loudly announce not to play with children that don't know how to be nice.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    on a journey called life, finding our way home
    629

    I dont usually get involved but if parent A said this to my child I would defiantly not be able to bite my tounge.

    I would have taken my child away from those children before this happened, I think its ok to say to someone please dont hit or something like that but I would definatly not have said that to another child

  4. #4
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Mar 2008
    Vic
    4,806

    Yep, pretty much what shellbell said. I can't believe parent b said nothing!

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    Why didn't Parent B do something sooner? I'd have gone over and asked if everyone was having a fun time playing, what was up etc. I have no qualms in nicely interacting with other children, and kindly reminding them to play nicely. Parent A should probably have been watching her child a little more, but she may have needed that break, who knows. All she saw was her child being pushed, I don't think it's unreasonable to say please don't push, and when Parent B's child said her child was being mean, I think suggesting he say stop is a good one. Dunno, if I were Parent B I would have checked the situation a little sooner. I think it's important to teach kids good conflict resolution as well as keep them confident; so I wouldn't swoop in and take DD immediately away from the situation, because that teaches her nothing about being an individual, but I also would teach her to let children know what she does and doesn't find okay.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    2,075

    Hmm see as an outsider watching I thought parent B may have said something to parent A, but she let it go.

    It made me think though, is it better to let children go and sort things out themselves. To me parent B was letting her son sort things out in the sense of boys are boys they'll work it out. Is it good for them to fight their own battles?

    For myself I would have probably just taken my child away from the situation before they reacted and told them to play away from those boys.

    I know I would have gotten annoyed at parent A though if she had confronted my child like that.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    It depends how Parent A reacted. If it was with anger or intimidation then that's not on. But if it was her just telling the boy not to push, it's not nice, and if something is happening he doesn't like he should say stop, I don't see a problem. Kids need to know IMO that they can be held accountable (to a reasonable extent) for their actions by the entire community, not just mummy and daddy. It teaches them that the consequences of their actions reach further than their own mother or father watching them at the time. Pushing is the way this little boy dealt with being teased. Seems like he didn't have any other tools, and Parent A did suggest an alternative which he then used. I believe in the village approach to parenting. I would have been monitoring the situation a little more carefully, and as I said, as Parent B, would have walked over and started playing and chatting with all kids involved to see what was up. Also I would have taught my child other skills they can try when they're feeling out upon. As long as Parent A wasn't angry or threatening, I don't see a problem

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003
    Ubiquity
    9,922

    I daresay she probably didn't notice that her kids had started it. Probably an honest mistake. I'm sure we're all guilty of not observing 100% when at a park.

    As for the reaction, I don't think yelling is parenting. I think it's losing control. I'm not saying I haven't yelled, just that I don't think it's a finer parenting moment. And if someone else yelled at my child I would probably parent them on my views on yelling in a calm way. I'd also expect my child to apologise (I don't believe in tit for tat, although sometimes it's hard not to wish I did!). But I wouldn't have allowed my child to be treated that way. And I would have told my child the same thing that he needs to say stop. And if that didn't work I would end up leaving.

    I'm a crazy person, I believe it takes a village to raise a child. But I also think there's room for misunderstandings. And I think sometimes we get caught up in the mama bear stance that we forget they are only children, and the other parents are learning just as we are. And judging them for their child's behaviour or worse judging their child for their behaviour only makes for a bigger divide in our "village". Calm and resolution (but also standing up for oneself in a non aggressive way) are all equally important and good examples to set for our children.

    Perhaps Mother B was shy or had a language barrier. Or maybe she was having a bad day, and was absorbed in her own thoughts. But I don't think it was neglectful or anything like that.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Jul 2006
    Melbourne
    4,895

    Why didn't Parent B do something sooner? I'd have gone over and asked if everyone was having a fun time playing, what was up etc. I have no qualms in nicely interacting with other children, and kindly reminding them to play nicely. Parent A should probably have been watching her child a little more, but she may have needed that break, who knows. All she saw was her child being pushed, I don't think it's unreasonable to say please don't push, and when Parent B's child said her child was being mean, I think suggesting he say stop is a good one. Dunno, if I were Parent B I would have checked the situation a little sooner. I think it's important to teach kids good conflict resolution as well as keep them confident; so I wouldn't swoop in and take DD immediately away from the situation, because that teaches her nothing about being an individual, but I also would teach her to let children know what she does and doesn't find okay.
    Totally agree with this.... As the parent 'b' I would have stepped in sooner

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Nov 2007
    Country Vic - West of Ballarat
    1,568

    When DD goes to playgroup there is one little girl there who is VERY dominant and bossy. I have had instances where she has been mean or pushed DD and I will always say to her "xxxxxxx don't do that, it isn't nice to push etc", normally when I speak up the mum will then call her daughter over and talk to her about her behaviour but I don't like to step in immediately as DD needs to be able to stand her ground and learn how to manage the situation - even though she isn't quite 3 - it is still an important lesson for kids to learn.

    However when DD starts getting upset or was being ganged up on, I then go over to DD and support her and tell her that we will go and play with some of the other girls who are nice to play with.