Reprimanding Someone Else's Child



dog fight, bully

Leave my baby alone!

Confession time.

Anyone who's been reading my posts for a while knows that my 5-year-old son has had a few problems with bullies. He's only in kindergarten and he's already had a black eye. The details of that specific occurrence are murky--as murky as the details of every incident that has followed--but there's been one consistent thing about all of them, a kid named "Owen."

Well last week, after I wrote a page long letter to Owen's parents essentially saying, I can't take it anymore and if you don't handle your child...blah, blah, blah...I lost it when at first I got no response. I'd talked the teacher's ear off the night before as well as another boy's parents too. It seemed to me that all of the responsible adults were trying to fix the problem--all except Owen's folks. Figures.

So on the following morning when I dropped my son off and caught a glimpse of Owen already at his desk, it happened before I could stop myself.

I kneeled down and got too close for comfort. It was a scene from the Sopranos.

"Owen you are NOT to wrestle with or be physical with Lorenzo in any way." I could tell the kid was intimidated/guilty/shocked because he wouldn't look up at me. "Lorenzo, do you hear this?!" I turned back to my son. He too was surprised.

I got back in Owen's 6-year-old face. "Owen, AM I CLEAR?" the bouncer in me said. "Keep your hands to yourself."

Owen nodded a pitiful little yes.

It was weird how I felt after. Guilty and relieved. Another mother watched the entire exchange (also in shock), but I was glad she was there in case Owen started screaming for his life or accused me of something more than what happened.

In the days that followed, my son mysteriously had no problems with Owen. I wondered about my tactics though. Would any other mother do this? Yes, it turns out.

Mom Salazar6pack wrote this in response to another question--and it sure made me feel sane.

"One time I snatched up some kid after school that was picking on my kid (I think they were in the 2nd grade), I grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled his face to my face and told him to leave my kid alone or I was gonna come back and spank him next time. LOL. It worked, he never picked on him again.

Is there ever a circumstance where you would reprimand someone else's child?

behavior, bullies, elementary school, kindergarten


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pixxy... pixxydust

well it is not like you beat the kid. I mean all you did wuz tell him not to mess with your kid. Obvesouly his parents must be bad parents cause I know if I got A note I deffinatly would be talkin to the one that wrote it. so no you have to protect your child. maybe that is all that child needed someone to show him what is right and wrong poor kid has crack heads for parents.


Just the other day at my husbands bball game a little boy(3) who has often tried to pick on my daughter(2) pushed over and threw her on the bleachers floor, then he proceed to laugh hysterically, while I was consoling my daughter  another mother(a friend of mine) pulled him to her and told him that she was going to laugh at him next time he got hurt(she didn't see him push my daughter over) and that it was not nice to laugh at people. This child's mother did absolutely NOTHING!!! I was livid, I about jumped her case but I did not want to make a scene in front of my husbands co-workers and boss so I let it go, but if that damn kid lays another finger on my daughter I swear to it I will have his hide!!! Sad thing was that another friend of mine  and I were close enough to have stopped the boy, but it happened too quick and now my daughter has the entire right side of her little face bruised :(  I really think some people just don't care how their kids treat other children :(

Zanny Zanny

You handled the situation perfectly, in my opinion..  I may have done the same thing, myself.. I reprimand other people's kids all of the time.. There is nothing wrong with telling someone else's kid to knock it off, or reminding them that their behavior is inappropriate..  If their Mother isn't going to tell them, or teach them, who will??

DivaG DivaG

I have an understanding with one of my friends' sons that I don't tolerate violent behavior.

When he was 5 and my son was 2, I yelled at him for pushing my son down in a store. When he was 8, he was visiting my home with his family and I saw him punching his younger sister; his mom and dad didn't act so I did. I told him that we do not fight in my home no matter what he does at his own house.

My kids never have a problem with him, though I hear plenty about him from other moms in the neighborhood and even his own mother. I always tell them that he is helpful with me and respectful when I am around. In fact, he and I get along very well and he often goes out of his way to say hello to me when we see each other.

It's good that you told Owen what you expect of him; often all a child needs is to get a clear idea of where the line is so they don't cross it again. ;-)


kitte... kitten_shuga

I have certainly said something to lone children at the park when they are doing something that directly affects my son. I am also guilty of being the "do it back to him" mom when the scuffles of childhood leave me with bruised up son more than once or twice.

3rdty... 3rdtymsthecharm

Some times you have too.  I've had  it happen to my kids as well.  my middle one was being awful and I was trying to deal with her little brother who was trying to get out of the cart and her older sister who was day dreaming.  Finially this man walks up and picks up Jessie and puts her in the back of my cart.  I just smiled at him and said thank you.  then we left.

drewpsma drewpsma

I have done the same thing-  when my son was in the 4th grade there was a kid that would not leave in alone-  talked to the parents, the principal- that was a joke! 

I took matters into my own hands and to this day this kid is extremely nice to my son-  all i did was say I was going to spank him

Tessa... TessaBianca

You should NEVE NEVER EVER EVER threaten a child. Especially one not your own! There are more appropriate ways to handle this. Get the principal involved. It is their job to see that your child is safe in school. If that gets no results, there's always the school board.

Bear777 Bear777

I think you handled it perfect.  You did not threaten him in any way, simply told him in a firm tone not to hurt you son.  We have the right to keep our children safe. 

Dabru... Dabrutiful1

I just had this problem last week.  It was with some girls pickin on my daughter. I asked the "supervisor" of their afterschool program to speak to no avail.  So I went to the group of girls.  They are really nice to my youngest and try to get her to turn on her sister.  I went to the group of girls and asked them why they were pickin on her.  When they didn't have a good reason....I let them know I wouldn't tolerate it any more!  My daughter has also been given the go ahead to "call them out" when and if they continue.  Most of the time bullies are only verbal...when called out they usually creep into a corner and do nothing.  They're gonna learn one way or another...if you back a cat up in a corner, they come out scratchin!!!!

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