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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Talking to Other Children

When is it okay to talk to someone else's child? I don't mean "Hi! You're so cute!", but rather, "Please don't hit my kid."

My dear friend, Colleen, called me last night to tell me this story.

Colleen took her just-turned-2-year-old to a class at the park district. While waiting in line for a piece of equipment, a 3 or 4-year old boy run up to Colleen's little girl and pulled her down from behind. Colleen's daughter cried and the little boy asked why she was crying. Colleen explained to the child that he knocked her down, that it scared her daughter, and also that it wasn't very nice. Suddenly, the little boy's mom appeared and Colleen explained the situation. Instead of apologizing, the mom said "I don't appreciate you disciplining my child!" Colleen said she apologized and the mom walked away.

What say you, moms? Is this appropriate? Again, when is it okay to say something to someone else's child, especially in a situation when the mom/dad isn't around?

Nathan is a big kid. He could easily knock a 4 year old down. In fact, he did. Now, he's one and isn't exactly reasonable, but I find it necessary to correct his behavior. If he takes a toy from another child (this has seriously happened twice with me --- he's so easily diverted), I make sure I give it back to the child, apologize, and tell Nathan that it's not his turn. I don't know if I'm "doing it right", but I like to think I'm making an effort to raise a child who's not the jerk. I so hope it works.


Kristabella said...

I think you should do that always, especially if the parent is oblivious and doesn't say anything.

I was at the park with my niece and this little brat started throwing rocks at her while I was pushing her on the swing. And my niece was just smiling, trying to be nice to this boy. So I told him to stop. And when he didn't, I slapped the rock out of his hand because his mom was on the phone on the other side of the park, not paying a lick of attention. And I didn't care if she got mad because if that rock hit my niece in the face, I would have been LIVID.

Becca said...

You handled it perfectly. The mother was either embarassed or an idiot, neither was your fault.

AJU5's Mom said...

First, the kid ASKED why the little girl was upset. It is polite to answer those requests. Second, this wasn't a grey area. I think ALL parents agree that it is not nice to pull/tackle/whatever another kid, especially one you do not know (friends can play this way, but only if both agree to such behavior). So, she was definitely in the right!

Anonymous said...

If I had been Colleen, I would have told her that her child ASKED why my child was crying, and I was answering not disciplining. If I was pregnant at the time, I *may* have said "well, I don't appreciate your child being a bully!" but I'd probably just think that part for a few days.

I think you're doing the right thing correcting Nathan's behavior, and when he gets older you can begin using these other children as examples of what *not* to do.

Anonymous said...

I would have done the same thing as you. The other mother was obviously embarrassed, so she used her hostility to cover it up.

You're a FAB mom with a FAB family!

Shannon said...

I totally agree with what your friend did. The mom didn't want her disciplining her child because the mom obviously has issues with discipline. She probably rarely disciplines her child and constantly tries the whole "reasoning" approach with the child. Consequences people! These kids need consequences. Anyway, I hope your friend didn't worry too much about it.