Disciplining Someone Else’s Child: Should You Do It?
Wed, April 21, 2021

Disciplining Someone Else’s Child: Should You Do It?

It’s a known fact that being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It might not be a traditional job, to be exact, but it does involve a lot of hard work, money, time, and effort / Photo by: Iakov Filimonov via 123RF

 

It’s a known fact that being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It might not be a traditional job, to be exact, but it does involve a lot of hard work, money, time, and effort. Kids can be difficult at times, especially when they are in their toddler years. Expect many moments of running around and screaming. It could be very stressful, but parents know that at one point in their parenting career, they would have to go through this baptism-by-fire sort of ritual.

There are also moments wherein you might end up tempted to spank your unruly child, although you’d have to be careful since child protection laws are everywhere. However, letting your children do what they want all the time will be catastrophic when they grow up. They’ll have no real understanding of what is right and what is wrong. The worst-case scenario is that they end up as bad people. Discipline is a big factor in raising children, but how about disciplining another person’s child?

According to Verywell Family, a website that delivers content on family life and other social issues, an adult intervention can be necessary when it comes to children. And this is more applicable when there are already some risks involved with a child’s actions. We may have had that experience of seeing a young child being so uncontrollable in a particular setting, like a party or in the playground. This problematic child might begin to hurt or bully other children around them, and such behavior is supposed to be unacceptable. That child’s parent might not be there at the moment, but are you supposed to step in? When can you actually intervene?

 

When to Intervene

Many parents have varying opinions when it comes to disciplining other children. Just by the sound of it, some parents would rather run to the hills than intervene with another person’s child. For etiquette’s sake, some parents say that it would be better if the real parents would be the one to discipline their child. But in certain circumstances, it could be unavoidable to step in. There are some limitations to disciplining another person’s child, and it should be followed as much as possible to avoid a heated argument or conflict with other parents, whether they may be understanding enough or not.

In an article on the What To Expect website, an online portal that gives advice on family and social matters, there are certain moments you’d have to consider before stepping in and reprimanding another person’s child. You may want to ask the following questions:

- Are the parents of the child in question present? If ever they are, what are they doing about the situation?

- Is the child familiar to you? If so, do you think their behavior needs to be disciplined?

- Will there be other kids affected if you do not step in?

- Are you familiar with the child’s parents? If so, do you have permission to reprimand their child?

- Will there be an effect on that child and your child’s relationship?

Many parents have varying opinions when it comes to disciplining other children. Just by the sound of it, some parents would rather run to the hills than intervene with another person’s child / Photo by: lopolo via 123RF

 

For all these questions, the most important and vital part would be the safety issue. Any parent will understand that the first and foremost priority is the well-being and safety of a child in any setting. If there is already a safety issue, do not wait any longer and step in.

Such intervention should be done when a child is already doing the following:

- Aggressive behavior that can physically or emotionally hurt another child.

- Loud noises that are already disturbing people in a particular area.

- Behavior considered destructive, like knocking things over, tearing things apart, and the like.

- Hurting animals or pets.

If you are the host of a particular event, then it is automatic that you have the right to reprimand and discipline any child. Let them know that you will not be tolerating actions that can negatively affect other children.

 

Dealing With the Parents

When it comes to the parents of the misbehaving child, all you need to do is to inform them about the discipline you did with their child. As much as possible, if you can talk to the child in an authoritative but calm way, they’ll be able to understand the whole situation and stop acting badly. The parents would have to know what the child has done and how you acted on it. This will make the parents of the child understand the situation. Just make sure that you do not go overboard and start giving unsolicited advice. Always remember that every parent has a different style of parenting, and what could work for you might not be applicable to another.

If you are in such a situation, just make sure that you keep your cool and proceed with caution. You don’t want to be offending another parent for someone else’s actions.

When it comes to the parents of the misbehaving child, all you need to do is to inform them about the discipline you did with their child / Photo by: Ian Allenden via 123RF