Would you discipline another parent’s child? And how would you feel about another parent disciplining your child?
We asked five mums on their views on disciplining other people’s kids.
Lisa Cullen – mother to Scott aged three years and Emma aged four months.
“I would direct them or distract them with something else, if they were doing something that is dangerous, for example. I think the actual discipline is down to the responsibility of the parent or guardian. If my little boy were doing something in someone else’s home that was unacceptable, I wouldn’t have a problem if another parent asked him to stop doing whatever he was doing, or to distract him. I know as a parent, that I would like to be told what my children were doing if they were in someone else’s care and misbehaving, but it would be up to my husband and I to discipline him.”
Sinead Kinsella – mother to Dylan aged three years and Sam aged four months.
“I would only discipline the children of my relatives, such as my nieces and nephews in the absence of their parents or guardians. This would be discussed with my siblings and their husbands. I would, in turn, allow them to discipline my children too, when I am away. I feel it is every parent’s responsibility to decide if/how children are disciplined. I would let my relatives know how I discipline my children and I would expect them to do the same, as children will sometimes take discipline differently from certain people.”
Louise Ringwood – mother to Hannah aged five and Ryan aged one.
“No. I would not discipline other people’s kids, unless the kids were putting themselves in danger or any other child in danger by the way they are behaving. I would also intervene if I witnessed threatening behaviour or bullying going on in front of me. I think in those circumstances, and if my child was bullying or threatening someone else, then there should be an adult to prevent them from continuing to act that way, even if it is not the parents or guardian. If it was a minor thing, but happening regularly, I would let the parents or guardian know what was going on. I would hope that they would deal with it how they see fit. I would also like to know if my child was the one causing trouble and I wouldn’t take offence to being told so. That way, I could deal with it and nip it in the bud quickly.”
Lydia McCarthy – mother to Ella aged eight years and Daniel aged five years.
“I would only discipline other people’s kids if I knew the parents or guardians well, or if their behaviour was causing a disruption and putting other kids in danger or harm. I don’t think it would be my place to step in when a child is misbehaving in public. If my kids were misbehaving, I would want to know that whoever was minding them at the time would discipline them, or at least let me know that they misbehaved so as I can deal with it when I come home. It is different when it comes to family, I would discipline my nieces, nephews, cousins etc if they were misbehaving. I would feel more comfortable doing so than if it were kids of my friends or my children’s friends.”
Nicola Bradley – mother to Mark aged nine years.
“I wouldn’t feel right disciplining other people’s children. I wouldn’t like others disciplining mine. I don’t think it would be someone else’s place to discipline my children. However, if I found a child to be badly misbehaving, I’d have a chat with them and explain to them that how they are behaving is not right and if they continued they wouldn’t be allowed to continue with what they are doing. If I thought the child was hurting other children or putting them in danger, then I would take them to one side and explain that they have hurt their friend and they need to apologise and maybe give their friend a hug or say sorry. If they continued misbehaving, then I would probably take the issue up with their parents or guardian.”
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