Who’s right to discipline?
Yet again I’ve had strangers pass comment on my children. This time however my 2 year old was being a little bossy.
Now I’m not a helicopter parent, I do allow him to play in the park or at an indoor play centre with other children and I don’t hover to ensure everything that he does is by ‘others standards’.
The other day we happened to be at an indoor play centre with some friends and my little guy was playing on a climbing thing which had slides and a ball pit and various other child friendly things.
My little guy was happily playing with other children (some we didn’t know, but hey I’d rather he make friends with other children than be shy) I was sitting approx 10 meters away watching him happily play with an older boy whom I’m guessing was approx 4 or 5 years old.
Now let’s be honest with ourselves, boys can be rough, they can be boisterous and they can be bossy. Gosh girls can be also but I find girls more bossy than boisterous. Anyway, my 2 yo was playing with this older child at the top of the climbing frame and another child was climbing up when my 2 yo said ‘you can’t come in my castle’. He and the little boy he was playing with them laughed and ran away. Now I would have thought that at some time or another any child would say such things. I didn’t see any harm in it and the older boy whom my little guy was playing with was saying the same thing. I don’t know who instigated it but they were both saying it.
I was watching from afar and could see that my little guy wasn’t being rough, nor hitting, nor pushing it being ‘hands on’ in any way.
I saw an older man approx 55 walk towards all 3 boys shaking his finger. I thought best I’d go intervene. As I was walking over the older man said to me ‘is this your kid?’ I responded yes. He then said in a quite abusive tone ‘he is being bossy, either you stop it or I will’.
My response was quite civil and I said ‘sorry, they were only playing’ I then smiled and walked away with my 2 yo. I could have reacted in a very different way and now I kinda wish I had of told this old ‘bleep’ where to go and mind his own business. If I had of reacted that way though I would only be stooping to his low inappropriate level.
Now I’m not sure what planet this guy came from but in my planet, I’d never say that to another parent nor would I threaten to discipline another child nor would I discipline someone else’s child. I find it down right rude that a stranger thought he had the right to say that to me or anyone and also think that he had the right to act upon it.
I went and got my son from the climbing thing and took him back to the table and asked him what he was doing. He said just playing, the friend that I was with and her children said he wasn’t doing anything wrong from what they could see.
What was this mans problem?
Who in their right mind would think its ok to disciple someone else’s children? Especially a strangers child?
I wonder how he would feel if the roles were reversed and I decided to act the way he did. I wonder what his reaction would be?
This is a very busy indoor play centre and I have been there previously with my children many times and have never had any issues up until this day.
Now I’m the first to admit, kids will be kids and I try not to be a helicopter parent but under no circumstances would I allow my child to be a bully or to hurt other children. I do monitor and watch my child’s every move but I certainly don’t panic and I do allow him to make his own choices. After all I do want my children to be well rounded and be able to make their own positive choices.
My child has been picked on and bullied to an extent previously but as most adults know, kids will be kids. I didn’t intervene, I simply chatted to him about it. Children push boundaries it’s their way of expressing themselves and working out each other personalities. If my son was being aggressive or hitting or touching the other child perhaps I would have been a little more cross at him and more understanding towards the grumpy man. Instead my 2yo and the older boy were simply playing and said the other child wasn’t allowed in their castle. I’m pretty sure other children have said similar if not worse.
This isn’t where it stopped though. As I was walking back, an older woman decided to say to me as I passed her table ‘your little boy is so naughty, so so naughty’. I just gave her a look of ‘mind your own business’.
So where does the issue start and stop?
Does this strange man or strange woman have the right to speak to me the way they did?
Was my 2 yo out of line?
Is it their right to discipline other people’s children?
How would you feel if you or your child were spoken to in this way?
Would you disciple another child that wasn’t yours?
Email me – I’d love to hear your stories. firstname.lastname@example.org