Disciplining Other People’s Children

disciplining other peoples childrenHave you ever seen children acting up in the grocery store…and not just acting up, but being downright obnoxious? What do you do? It takes every fiber of your being to just walk by when you really want to go over and discipline them. You reason that it will help the child and the parent to learn a lesson in effective discipline strategies.

Is it okay to discipline another person’s child?

As tempting as it may be, it’s not appropriate to discipline another person’s child except in 2 situations.

1. If the child is in danger – then of course, you should intervene swiftly and without hesitation

2. It can also be appropriate to discipline another child if he is under your “watch” – BUT it must be done with extreme care.

In a situation where you are hosting a play date or babysitting another child…

  • Ask the parent, “Are there any particular rules you have for your daughter?” Or you might say – “I’m sure the kids will have a great day – but how would you like me to handle discipline if they act up?” Gauge the parent’s pulse and temperature on how they handle discipline. Naturally, if the other parent’s form of discipline is outside what you believe to be appropriate or respectful – keep to your Positive Discipline strategies.
  • Talk with the kids about your house rules and the consequences for not following the rules:
  • Example: Not playing gently with the toys – lose the privilege to play with the toys.

    Example: Hitting, fighting – the play date will be over and we’ll try again another time.

  • Ask the children to repeat back the rules and the consequences so everyone is on the same page.
  • If necessary – calmly implement the consequence without lecturing. In the case of mishandling the toys – simply say… “I see you chose to lose your privilege of playing with this game today.”
  • If you do have to implement a consequence – share that with the other parent so she/he hears your version of the story.

About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.