Tertia’s post

I tried to just comment on Tertia’s blog, but my browser was having a moment and refused to let me do so.  The gist of her original post: Is it okay to discipline other people’s kids?  Why or why not?  Under what circumstances?  It got me thinking…

If your children are in my house, I expect them to behave even better than they would at home.  When we’re home, Mega knows what he can and cannot do.  He may not always stick to it, but he knows when he chooses to go astray that he will have consequences.  When we’re out, he doesn’t know what he can and cannot do, so he plays it safe.  Now, in all fairness he is only 2, so I don’t know if this is something I instilled in him, or if it is just his little personality.  Either way, if he didn’t act this way, I would still be uber-vigilant in other people’s houses so that he wouldn’t do anything to deface, destroy, or otherwise damage their things, or hurt himself, for that matter.  However, I also understand that I may not see everything, and what may be acceptable to me may not be acceptable to you.  Having said that…  Don’t discipline my child if I am right there.  Tell me.  I say that for a few reasons.  First, like I said, I may not have seen him do it.  Or if I did, maybe there was something else going on and I didn’t feel like it was a big deal.  For instance, you see Mega take something from your kid.  You snatch it back.  Maybe you missed the part where your kid stole it first.  In that case, I still would have told Mega that we need to share, and that next time, he needs to ASK for his toy, rather than snatch it.  Second, Mega is very young.  He is easily intimidated and his feelings get hurt when people discipline him.  If he doesn’t know you and you discipline him, he’s not going to listen to you.  He’s going to cry and have no clue why you did what you did because he is too busy running for Mommy and wondering why this strange person is in his business.  Once you tell me what he did, I will willingly correct him, or explain to him that we don’t do “xxx” in other people’s houses for whatever reason.  Don’t yell at my son unless you know me VERY well and you know PERSONALLY that I trust your judgement and that my son is comfortable with you.  Don’t you dare lay a hand on him to physically punish him.  That goes pretty much for anyone.  🙂  It’s bad enough that most parents don’t spank because they are afraid of the repercussions, so really, leave that up to me and DH.  Don’t make me have to go to jail because you hit my baby.  Seriously.

I think it’s great when parents share ideas, strategies, coping mechanisms, etc. but discipline is a hard road…  Every child is different and what works for your kids may only intimidate mine.  We don’t use that tactic in my house and I would like to keep it that way.  Give me the first chance to correct my children’s behavior and then if it still isn’t what you think it is, we need to talk.  I’m not saying either of us is a bad parent, but clearly we need to lay out what we feel is appropriate and what is not before a friendship is damaged or ruined. 

In short…  I agree that it takes a village.  However, the parents are still the chieftains where their young are involved and the village needs to respect that.

P.S.  And yes, I am a little blog happy right now because the novelty has not yet worn off!  HA!

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