This and That

Wonder Wednesday: Disciplining Other People’s Children

Posted on: September 7, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the sad incident when my son got teased by his friends. This made me wonder about the fine line between disciplining other people’s children and protecting your own child.

When my son was getting made fun of his daddy just went into the playground, picked him up, and carried him away from the situation. He chose to ignore the boys and focus on getting his son out of there. Was he right not to discipline the boys? Is it not his place to tell other people’s kids what to do or how to act? Or should he have stopped their taunting? Should he have told them that they were being mean and hurting our little man’s feelings? Should he have found their parents and told them to discipline their kids?

It’s a hard predicament. I have been in a situation when another adult tried to discipline my child and I know how I felt. Outraged and defensive. I completely felt that this person was out of line. But this person was a stranger…would it have mattered if I had known the person?

Hubby and I are very good friends with the parents of these boys so does that make this decision easier or more difficult? Does that mean hubby had the okay to discipline them because he has known them since they were babies? Or does that make the situation trickier because if he did cross a line then his/our friendship with their parents could be affected?

But what about protecting our son? Shouldn’t hubby be able to protect his child from taunting? Or is teasing just apart of childhood, of growing up and every child needs to learn how to handle it?

Later hubby said it took a lot of self control not to discipline these boys but in the end he felt it wasn’t his place.  I am not sure what I would have done if I had been there.

What would you have done? How would you have handled this?


1 Response to "Wonder Wednesday: Disciplining Other People’s Children"

You are right that this is a delicate situation. Kids can get caught up in a cycle when it comes to teasing and perhaps a simple “hey, that is enough” from an adult will break that cycle. The adult did not discipline but simply stepped in and interrupted and a lot of times that is all that is needed. But I will also say that when it is your child being teased it is so hard to be calm and rational – dad, you handled this very well.

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