Mom Confessions: I Scold Other People's Kids

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hushIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

If a child comes in my house and starts breaking the rules, I'll scold them if their parents refuse to. I treat all children the same. I demand respect as well as give respect.

Case in point: My sister-in-law's daughter started swinging these heavy glass objects. Her great grandmother and great aunt told her to stop, but she kept doing it, and her mother was in another part of the house. So I sternly told her to put them down and said if you can't listen, you need to stop playing with them.

The girl threw them, screaming, and ran to her mom. Her mom told her, it's okay, you can play with them, and got mad that I scolded her child.

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Should moms be allowed to scold another parent's child?

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Do other parents (not a caregiver or babysitter) have the right to discipline your kid when you are not around -- either in someone else's home or a public place, or when the incident involves their own child?

We all have secrets -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

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111 Comments

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joy2b... joy2bamom

YES!  If a child is endangering themselves, some one else, or harming property and the parents either don't see or don't seem to care....SCOLD!

BabyDio BabyDio

Your house, your rules.... with in reason. I would try working with the same disipline as the parents use in thier own home with them first. If that doesn't work, I would try an alternative method.... with in reason.  I would also go as far as saying if thier child can not obey the rules, they are not allowed over anymore, including in laws. In your case it seems maybe the SIL was out of line.  Parents and children need to respect other people home. That being said, I wouldn't be very pleased if someone spanked my daughter as a FIRST resort, but if they used the methods I do and it still didn't work, I would hope they would take matters into thier own hands.  The worst thing you can do is leave empty threats I believe.

Lelan... LelandsMommy

If the mom is not around then I will scold the child verbally.... If the child is lift in my care (as in I'm the babysitter) then the kid has to follow my household rules. If they don't then they would receive the same age appropriate punishment as one of my kids... which is usually time-out. I usually will not scold a child in their parents presence (that's the parents job),but if they don't do anything then I will say something.

madam... madamekatekate

It's a tool we should use with caution.


I know some mothers who go about scolding others children like theyre trying to raise them. And that does make me upset. Correct what needs to be corrected and move on!


I think it's perfectly fine when a child is doing something dangerous (let's be honest. Glass and swinging have not and will never mix well!) and the mother is either away or refusing to discipline. It's not because you're trying to nitpick the child or keep things perfect--it's a safety issue! Even if the glass didn't break, what if she had swung it too high and it hit her in the head knocking her out? I bet her mother would be so upset that someone HADN'T made her stop.


My daughter is only 14 months so there isn't a lot of "disciplining" just yet. Of course she gets firm no's, occasional pops on the hands, and short time outs but she's only just learning. However, if I'm not around and she's doing something she shouldn't I do not mind that someone stops her. Even when she's older I think it will be acceptable so long as they don't yell, hit, or hurt my child. That being said I would be LIVID if anyone spanked her. That kind of punishment is something that is the PARENTS responsibility and if someone I barely knew did that, my child would not be alone with them ever again. But I would not mind correction as long as there were good reason to it and it was tactfully handled.

aeneva aeneva

I do not spank or otherwise hit my children as a form of discipline and I would never place them in the care of anyone who thought that was okay.  That being said I have and would "scold" or discipline in other ways if the parent was not around to see the incident happen and I would hope the same to be true of my children when in someone elses care.  We spend a lot of time on "play dates" with family who has children the same age and if one of my children is in another room with a different adult and does something that needs disciplined then that other adult has every right to do so.  Just as I have the right to discipline their child.  Now if I am in the middle of handling a situation my way and someone else steps in then that is way too much for me.  If the child is in my home and messig with my stuff that I don't want them to touch and the parent says nothing I will also make it clear they are not to mess with that particular thing and hopefully the parent steps up then.  If they don't then it is my house and I will discipline when it is my property they are messing with.

JPsMo... JPsMommy605

I do not "scold" but I discipline.  I have a neighbor who would often come over with her kids and then just ignore them - I gave her a chance to discipline her kids, and if she didn't, then I did.  I found the situation was the same at her house - as soon as I came over, it's like she never disciplined them, and if she tried, they ignored her.  I don't think she knew what she was doing, so she expected me to show her.  I tried, but unfortunately, she lost her kids to foster care last month.


In public, I do not scold other kids unless their behavior affects me or my son, and then I will discipline just as I would my own son.  If the parent does not respond, I will walk away from the situation without further comment.


No one has ever tried to discipline my son when I'm around - stare, sure, but I don't care.  Most people can see that I have the situation well in hand and I've never even heard so much as a "Well I never..." peep.

dstei... dsteiner23

I even scold stranger's kids in stores if their parents aren't making them behave.  Kids needs some boundaries and discipline and if their neglectful parents won't do it, I will - verbally only.  I would never spank or swat another person's kid.

AMsMo... AMsMommy212

If I know the kid/parent really well (like my Best-Friend and my god son) I will say what i think needs to be said if she isnt dealing with the problem, I dont care where we are.. I dont want to listen to his whiney ass.. im going to tell him to stop.


Kids I dont know very well, I would only say something if they were about to damage property or hurt themselves or somene else.

Cafe... Cafe MichelleL

I think it takes a village to raise a child. If I see a friend's child getting out of line in a way that I think the parent would be upset about-----I remind the child, scold if I have to. Teens and toddlers the times when I think this happens most.

three... threeBoysMommy

we are all parents and if something is being done in our house that isn't the normal for us then yes you have the right to say something to the other child..... now if you are in that child's home, then no you don't have a right to say anything. If you are both at a grandparents house and the child was told to stop doing whatever and then still does it without the parents taking note then yes you have the right to say something since they were already told to stop. In my house unless someone is bleeding or going to get hurt you cant tell on the other sibling... my nephew came for a visit and said.... so and so isn't listening to me... I said you are a child and they don't have to listen to you..... his mother and my mother in law got offended by me saying this... OH well my house my rules.... you don't like my rules keep your kid under control!!

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