Author Topic: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?  (Read 7385 times)

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MrTango

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2012, 09:28:52 AM »
My policy is no different for children then adults.  So if I'd ask a an adult to stop doing something, or to please move, or to not yell, etc, I will also ask a child.  As far as I'm concerned people out in public are all equal, regardless of age.  I especially think if a child isn't being directly supervised by their parent that is a communication to the larger world that the parent considers the child old enough to be treated like a regular member of society, just like anyone else of another age group.

The only issue I have with this is that children are not adults.  They are generally not yet capable of understanding the risks/consequences of their actions the way adults *should* be able to.

For example, if I saw a kid doing something dangerous, I'd probably do (or at least say) something to stop them.  If I saw an adult doing something dangerous, my concern would be to ensure that they aren't going to hurt anyone but themselves and then move on.

Well by then its a safety issue and not an etiquette issue.  

I was really just referring to bothersome stuff - blocking doorways, yelling or singing too loudly indoors, kicking a seat, etc. I would ask an adult or a child to "please stop" equally.

Good point.

Danika

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 10:55:10 AM »
Did anyone see the show they had -- on one of those hidden camera shows where they purposely put kids into a diner situation and told the kids to be obnoxious and run around the restaurant to see if the other patrons would stop them? I think it's what would you do or something like that. None of the adults really did anything or spoke up, except for a couple of people who were teachers, interestingly enough.

Yes! I saw that. And I wasn't sure what I would have done. Probably said nothing and just been horrified.

Who should one direct their comment to when the child is misbehaving and the parent is right there - the parent or the child?

For example, DH and I were on an airplane and the kid in the seat behind me kept kicking my seat. It wasn't a small tap. He was actively, roughly and repeatedly kicking my seat. For minutes on end. The kid looked to be 7-9 years old and his father was seated beside him and awake and did nothing. This was before I had kids, so I didn't feel comfortable saying anything. I used to be very non-confrontational. Now, I'd definitely say something but I don't know if I should say to the father "Please, stop your child from kicking my seat" or just say to the kid "Stop kicking my seat."

pearls n purls

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 11:14:42 AM »
At apartment complexes I've lived in in the past, sometimes groups of kids would run in front of my car without looking. After I parked, I would calmly remind them to look before running out in the parking lot.

A few weeks ago a 3 and 4-year old were running up and down an aisle at the grocery store, screaming their heads off.  It had been going on for a few minutes before I needed to go down that aisle.  I didn't see any parent it sight, so as I walked by, I asked them where their parents were.  (I figured that was safer that to ask them to stop screaming.)  As it turns out, their mother was in line to pay and didn't seem care that the whole store had to listen to her kids scream for several minutes.

Hmmmmm

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2012, 11:21:24 AM »
I agree with the poster who said if I would ask an adult to stop a behavior then I would also with a child. 

Scenario 1
At a playground and one child is continuing to cut in line on the slide and to the point of pushing kids out of the way and the "in charge" adult is not paying attention.  I will say "You need to wait your turn." and I'd wait there to assure he did.
At a supermarket meat counter a woman is waiting in front of me but another comes later but jumps in with "I am" when the attendant asks who's next.  I will speak up and say "No, I believe other lady was next and I was also here before you."

Scenario 2
Kids are in a store pulling things off a shelf creating a mess.  I will say "Please leave that alone or I'll call a manager."
Young adults are using apples to practice juggling at a supermarket. (Yes, I actually witnessed this) I will say "Please don't do that.  I don't want to buy bruised apples." 

Scneario 3
At a neighborhood casual pizza restaurant and young kids are playing chase around our table.  I will say "Please go sit down or go somewhere else as I don't want you running around our table."
Same restaurant on a crowded Friday day and a group waiting for a table decides to congragate practically on top of our table and become extremely loud and using profanity.  I will say "I'm sorry, but would you mind giving us a little more space?  We can't hear our conversation."

I'm not addressing actions that can cause physical harm as those are no longer etiquette related.

bah12

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2012, 11:22:59 AM »
Safety is one thing.  If the safety of me, the child, or anyone else is compromised by the child's behavior, then I directly interfere.  Otherwise, I act towards the rude child the same as I act towards a rude adult.  If the situation warrants, I'd say "something."  Like 'excuse me' me if I was bumped into or they were blocking an isle, etc.

It is not my job to parent other people's children any more than it is my job to teach manners to adults who don't have any. I don't really see that dealing with rude kids is any different than rude adults.  And now that I think about it, I run into rude adults more often than children it seems.

TootsNYC

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2012, 11:23:50 AM »
I almost *always* go directly to the kid, esp. if the parent isn't there.

And I assume that they are nice people who wouldn't want to do something that upset someone or bugged them, etc. But that, because they are so young, they simply don't have the depth of knowledge and experience.

And so I don't say, "please use your inside voice," I say, "Could I ask you a favor? When someone is young, like you, their voice is really piercing--it carries really far and is louder to listen to that you think. So when you squeal, it actually hurts some people's ears. And it makes it hard for the grownups to listen to things. Can you try to remember not to squeal?"

This weekend, I stopped at kid (about 8?) at the church Christmas party who was walking across the room with a candy cane in his mouth. And I said, "Can I ask you a favor? I want to ask you not to walk with something in your  mouth, and here's why. It really bugs all the grownups. All these grownups have really good imaginations--you think kids have all the imagination? Ha! And when they see the thing in your mouth, they immediately start picturing you falling, or someone waving their arm and bumping the candy cane, and then it scrapes the roof of your  mouth, or punctures it, or maybe even it goes up in your BRAIN, or it knocks a tooth loose, or even if it just makes you cry! And then they get all antsy. So it would be nice of you to take it easy on them and not walk with something in your mouth. And especially don't RUN!"
  He said, "OK," and took it out and walked off.

In the case of the kid kicking the airline seat, even if the parent is right there, I directly say, "I wonder if you don't realize exactly how thin these airline seats are--when you kick the seat, I can feel it almost as strong as if you were actually kicking me. And it shakes my seat a lot, which is really bugging me. So I wanted to make sure you knew, and ask you if you'd stop kicking the seat."

And I smile and use my friendly voice.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2012, 11:45:30 AM »
In my office, I feel it is my turf, so to speak.  On the few occasions when children are acting a nuisance and not in danger, I have no problem imposing order: Do not pull on the vertical blinds, stop running and screaming, etc.

Once, exactly once, I had a parent complain: "What do you expect me to do?  They are two years old." 

"I expect them to sit next to you, and be quiet.  I have people taking tests and your children are disturbing them."  Mom couldn't make them sit down, but I could.  And she didn't say anything else to me.
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MrTango

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2012, 11:52:19 AM »
In my office, I feel it is my turf, so to speak.  On the few occasions when children are acting a nuisance and not in danger, I have no problem imposing order: Do not pull on the vertical blinds, stop running and screaming, etc.

Once, exactly once, I had a parent complain: "What do you expect me to do?  They are two years old." 

"I expect them to sit next to you, and be quiet.  I have people taking tests and your children are disturbing them."  Mom couldn't make them sit down, but I could.  And she didn't say anything else to me.

To the bolded: I would probably have said "If you cannot keep them still and quiet, then you will need to take them out of here."

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2012, 12:22:15 PM »
I think my experience with other people's entitled kids has kind of burned me out on dealing with kids other than my own. Not saying my kids don't act entitled cause they do but at least I can send them to their room and don't feel like I'm overstepping boundaries when I lecture them. 

And I will say recently I've met some nice kids that aren't entitled cause their parents won't let them get away with it.  But in past years we were the house kids wanted to play in. I have no idea why cause the other kids had video game systems, bigger tv's and more games and toys than mine did but whatever the reason, they'd come over and then they'd want to stay till dinner time.  No parents calling to say "Hey could you send my kids home for dinner?" I'd get dinner on the table and say "Okay it's our dinner time, you better be getting home now."

"Oh no, it's okay, my mom said I don't have to be home till 7:30!" Some kids would stay and say "Hey that smells good, I like that!" like they were hoping to be invited to stay for dinner if they stayed long enough.  And some kids seemed to think that if you invited them over or let them in, your pantry was open even if you didn't say "Help yourself". 

One little girl poked holes in our basement screen (one of the little rectangular windows just above ground level) because we wouldn't let her inside while we were painting our living room and she whined "It's so hooooot! I'm going to overheeeeeat!"  Mind you, she lived one block over and could have easily walked home in less than 5 minutes.  When she did that, DH marched her up to her house (or rather her grandparent's side-it's a duplex) and told her grandmother what she did. 

On the other hand, this girl did respond to some gentle manner correction.  For example, she used to barge into the house if she knew we were home.  I asked her politely to please knock and from then on she did.  But my boys started to tire of her bossiness and eventually stopped inviting her over.
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learningtofly

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2012, 12:27:09 PM »
I've gotten better about parenting other people's kids on the playground.  I was worried about mama bears, but then I realized that most of the kids who were misbehaving didn't have parents at the playground.  They were playing basketball or watching a baseball game.  Most of them listened.

We did have an occasion when two of us needed to tell a girl to stop blocking the slide and to not call our kids names.  The rest of the parents were pissed as well and then we saw an old man struggle to get out of a lawn chair near the playground entrance.  This girl was 8 and her sister a little older.  Someone had sent grandpa to watch them and he could barely get out of his chair.  All I could think of was shame on the parents for sending an old man to the playground with their rude kid.

CaptainObvious

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2012, 12:36:09 PM »
I almost *always* go directly to the kid, esp. if the parent isn't there.


This weekend, I stopped at kid (about 8?) at the church Christmas party who was walking across the room with a candy cane in his mouth. And I said, "Can I ask you a favor? I want to ask you not to walk with something in your  mouth, and here's why. It really bugs all the grownups. All these grownups have really good imaginations--you think kids have all the imagination? Ha! And when they see the thing in your mouth, they immediately start picturing you falling, or someone waving their arm and bumping the candy cane, and then it scrapes the roof of your  mouth, or punctures it, or maybe even it goes up in your BRAIN, or it knocks a tooth loose, or even if it just makes you cry! And then they get all antsy. So it would be nice of you to take it easy on them and not walk with something in your mouth. And especially don't RUN!"
  He said, "OK," and took it out and walked off.

And I smile and use my friendly voice.

I wouldn't like this at all. Maybe his Mom has no issue with him walking while eating a candycane? I don't think that giving a child a great big long lecture is appropriate. You could have asked him not to, and if he questioned as to why, maybe then you could explain why. You didn't even ask before you gave him a lecture.

onyonryngs

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2012, 12:40:48 PM »
I almost *always* go directly to the kid, esp. if the parent isn't there.


This weekend, I stopped at kid (about 8?) at the church Christmas party who was walking across the room with a candy cane in his mouth. And I said, "Can I ask you a favor? I want to ask you not to walk with something in your  mouth, and here's why. It really bugs all the grownups. All these grownups have really good imaginations--you think kids have all the imagination? Ha! And when they see the thing in your mouth, they immediately start picturing you falling, or someone waving their arm and bumping the candy cane, and then it scrapes the roof of your  mouth, or punctures it, or maybe even it goes up in your BRAIN, or it knocks a tooth loose, or even if it just makes you cry! And then they get all antsy. So it would be nice of you to take it easy on them and not walk with something in your mouth. And especially don't RUN!"
  He said, "OK," and took it out and walked off.

And I smile and use my friendly voice.

I wouldn't like this at all. Maybe his Mom has no issue with him walking while eating a candycane? I don't think that giving a child a great big long lecture is appropriate. You could have asked him not to, and if he questioned as to why, maybe then you could explain why. You didn't even ask before you gave him a lecture.

I agree.  I can see telling a kid to "Be careful," but there's a difference between watching out for someone and lecturing someone who isn't your responsibility.    But I am having some flashbacks of A Christmas Story and everyone chiming in with "You'll shoot your eye out."   :)

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2012, 12:47:36 PM »
This weekend, I stopped at kid (about 8?) at the church Christmas party who was walking across the room with a candy cane in his mouth. And I said, "Can I ask you a favor? I want to ask you not to walk with something in your  mouth, and here's why. It really bugs all the grownups. All these grownups have really good imaginations--you think kids have all the imagination? Ha! And when they see the thing in your mouth, they immediately start picturing you falling, or someone waving their arm and bumping the candy cane, and then it scrapes the roof of your  mouth, or punctures it, or maybe even it goes up in your BRAIN, or it knocks a tooth loose, or even if it just makes you cry! And then they get all antsy. So it would be nice of you to take it easy on them and not walk with something in your mouth. And especially don't RUN!"
  He said, "OK," and took it out and walked off.

This would have annoyed me as a parent.  I don't have a problem with my kid walking with a candy cane in her mouth, and if you told her that I would have told her that different people have different rules, and we don't always have to follow other people's rules.

Morticia

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2012, 12:50:06 PM »
We were in the airport waiting for our flight a few days ago. We were sitting in the corner of an "L" shaped seat configuration, facing perpendicular to the wall. Our carryon was in front of DH's seat, directly against the wall. 2 families travelling together sat down around us, distributed their stuff, and began to play a game. One of their little boys was not playing, and while DH was using the facilities, came over, and went to "climb" our luggage. He had actually lifted his foot and was looking around. So I said, "please don't climb on our luggage." It was only then that a parent told him not to. I figure I was golden.
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Moray

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 01:02:13 PM »
I almost *always* go directly to the kid, esp. if the parent isn't there.


This weekend, I stopped at kid (about 8?) at the church Christmas party who was walking across the room with a candy cane in his mouth. And I said, "Can I ask you a favor? I want to ask you not to walk with something in your  mouth, and here's why. It really bugs all the grownups. All these grownups have really good imaginations--you think kids have all the imagination? Ha! And when they see the thing in your mouth, they immediately start picturing you falling, or someone waving their arm and bumping the candy cane, and then it scrapes the roof of your  mouth, or punctures it, or maybe even it goes up in your BRAIN, or it knocks a tooth loose, or even if it just makes you cry! And then they get all antsy. So it would be nice of you to take it easy on them and not walk with something in your mouth. And especially don't RUN!"
  He said, "OK," and took it out and walked off.

And I smile and use my friendly voice.

I wouldn't like this at all. Maybe his Mom has no issue with him walking while eating a candycane? I don't think that giving a child a great big long lecture is appropriate. You could have asked him not to, and if he questioned as to why, maybe then you could explain why. You didn't even ask before you gave him a lecture.

Agreed. No lecture or long speech was needed. More to the point, it was probably counter-productive in terms of making any lasting impact beyond "Ok, I'll play along so this person I don't know will stop talking to me and I can go back to my mom."

I can pretty much guarantee that the 8 year old wasn't as willing a recipient of your advice as you think. Kids pick up on condescension (even the well-intentioned kind!) pretty easily and tend to tune it out.
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