Author Topic: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?  (Read 7348 times)

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Bexx27

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 01:02:30 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 with Captain Obvious. While I am generally in favor of speaking to/correcting other people's children when they are doing something dangerous or disruptive, I see this example as overstepping. It's never occurred to me that walking while eating a candy cane is likely to cause my child injury and I would have no problem with her doing so.

(FTR, a few minutes on google turned up no reports of children hurting themselves while eating candy canes. But I did find a facebook group with the intriguing name of "Licking a candy cane until it's sharp. Then stabbing someone with it!" It has a rather alarming number of "likes."  ;))
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TootsNYC

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2012, 01:18:46 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 didn't think of it as a lecture. I thought of it as an explanation. I tried to deliver it that way as well.

I think kids deserve explanations, and I think it makes them more likely to act safely in the future.

And given that this was at a function sponsored by *my church,* and my church gave the kid the candycane (liability issues), I think I have the right to *ask a favor* of the child. As one of the organizers, I don't care that you will let  your kid run around with a candycane in his mouth. It's our event, and I'm partially in charge.

(Some other place, where I didn't feel I had a stake in things, I probably wouldn't say anything.)

Because I did not "correct" this kid or state any sort of rule--I just asked him to do all us nervous grownups a favor.

I take those differences in terminology very seriously.

onyonryngs

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2012, 01:24:41 PM »
I didn't think of it as a lecture. I thought of it as an explanation. I tried to deliver it that way as well.

I think kids deserve explanations, and I think it makes them more likely to act safely in the future.

And given that this was at a function sponsored by *my church,* and my church gave the kid the candycane (liability issues), I think I have the right to *ask a favor* of the child. As one of the organizers, I don't care that you will let  your kid run around with a candycane in his mouth. It's our event, and I'm partially in charge.

(Some other place, where I didn't feel I had a stake in things, I probably wouldn't say anything.)

Because I did not "correct" this kid or state any sort of rule--I just asked him to do all us nervous grownups a favor.

I take those differences in terminology very seriously.

I always thought "candy cane injury" was an urban legend.  I've never actually heard of an actual injury.

While you might not think of it as a lecture, it does seem that there are some of us who do so it would be good to take that in account for future occurrences. 


Aeris

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2012, 02:11:55 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 didn't think of it as a lecture. I thought of it as an explanation. I tried to deliver it that way as well.

I think kids deserve explanations, and I think it makes them more likely to act safely in the future.

And given that this was at a function sponsored by *my church,* and my church gave the kid the candycane (liability issues), I think I have the right to *ask a favor* of the child. As one of the organizers, I don't care that you will let  your kid run around with a candycane in his mouth. It's our event, and I'm partially in charge.

(Some other place, where I didn't feel I had a stake in things, I probably wouldn't say anything.)

Because I did not "correct" this kid or state any sort of rule--I just asked him to do all us nervous grownups a favor.

I take those differences in terminology very seriously.

I guarantee you that came off to the recipient as a lecture. As did every one of your other examples.

If this had been my kid, I would have been really irritated with you for lecturing my child extensively over such a minor issue, even if you arguably had the right as organizer to establish a rule. I would have been particularly irritated that you had filled my kid's head with scary talk of candy-canes *piercing his brain* - an image no parent needs their kid mulling over, especially as the chances of it actually happening are infinitesimally small.

If you have the right to tell a kid to change their behavior (either because they are being disruptive generally, or because you are in some position of authority), show them enough respect to just tell them the behavior that needs to change and be done with it.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2012, 02:27:26 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 didn't think of it as a lecture. I thought of it as an explanation. I tried to deliver it that way as well.

I think kids deserve explanations, and I think it makes them more likely to act safely in the future.

And given that this was at a function sponsored by *my church,* and my church gave the kid the candycane (liability issues), I think I have the right to *ask a favor* of the child. As one of the organizers, I don't care that you will let  your kid run around with a candycane in his mouth. It's our event, and I'm partially in charge.

(Some other place, where I didn't feel I had a stake in things, I probably wouldn't say anything.)

Because I did not "correct" this kid or state any sort of rule--I just asked him to do all us nervous grownups a favor.

I take those differences in terminology very seriously.

I think it would be fine to ask someone to stop walking with a candycane as a favor to you, or to ask participants at an event you organized not to do so, assuming your role gives you the authority to set behavioral rules. But I think your explanation is way over the top and comes across as condescending for a couple of reasons.

1. You're phrasing it as if you're speaking for all grown-ups. No where in this entire explanation do you say that it bothers you personally or even that it's a liability issue for the church. Instead, you place it all on this nebulous group of "all grown-ups" who need to be protected from their own vivid imaginations. "They" imagine these horrible things. It makes "them" nervous. You didn't even include yourself in that group of nervous adults, as if it doesn't bother you, and you're only speaking up to protect "them." Obviously there are grown-ups (including many on this board, and likely the kid's parents) who don't see anything wrong with walking while sucking on a candy-cane. If you want to ask him to stop, then why not ask him to stop because it makes you nervous or on behalf of the event organizers (assuming you have the authority to do so)? Why act like you're asking him to join you in a secret conspiracy to protect these silly other grown-ups from these dreadful mental images?

2. Your explanation was way too detailed and over the top. I think an 8-year-old is capable of understanding "Would you please not suck on your candycane while you walk? It makes me nervous because I'm afraid you'll get hurt if you fall with it in your mouth or if someone bumps into it." If the kid can't figure out how falling on a candy-cane could hurt him, he can ask (or he might just decide to humor you, even if he thinks it's silly). I certainly don't think he needs the hyperbole of "it could go into your BRAIN." In fact, I think such hyperbole would make him more likely to dismiss you as a crazy paranoid person to be mollified and ignored than a reasonable person with legitimate concerns. The excessive explaining comes across as extremely condescending to me, and also as a lecture due to the length.

WillyNilly

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2012, 02:30:13 PM »
I hate to dogpile Toots, but I have to agree your examples came across as lectures (and actually quite condescending) to me.  If I were the kid I'd stop listening to you well before you even got to your point.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2012, 02:33:57 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 didn't think of it as a lecture. I thought of it as an explanation. I tried to deliver it that way as well.

I think kids deserve explanations, and I think it makes them more likely to act safely in the future.

And given that this was at a function sponsored by *my church,* and my church gave the kid the candycane (liability issues), I think I have the right to *ask a favor* of the child. As one of the organizers, I don't care that you will let  your kid run around with a candycane in his mouth. It's our event, and I'm partially in charge.

(Some other place, where I didn't feel I had a stake in things, I probably wouldn't say anything.)

Because I did not "correct" this kid or state any sort of rule--I just asked him to do all us nervous grownups a favor.

I take those differences in terminology very seriously.

I think in this instance it would have been better for the adult handing out candy canes to tell the children they had to sit down to eat them before passing them out - maybe confined to one area while a story was being read or something.  That way everyone, including parents, knows the rule before they get the candy cane.

Personally, I wouldn't have given a second thought to a child walking around while having a candy cane.  Once I as the parent have been informed of that rule I can make sure my little one enforces it.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2012, 02:50:47 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't have given a second thought to a child walking around while having a candy cane.  Once I as the parent have been informed of that rule I can make sure my little one enforces it.

This is exactly why I see a problem with Toots asking the kid not to eat the candy cane while walking.  It wasn't a rule -- and Toots points out the she didn't tell the kid it was a rule -- and I'm not clear that it was the church's preference.

If I had been told of a rule about eating a candy cane while walking, I would enforce it.  But if there's no rule, and it's just the preference of one of the church volunteers, I'm going to trust my child to be able to walk and eat at the same time.  I'd be really annoyed that anyone told my child that an action that doesn't even register on my radar is something that "bugs all the grownups."

Auntie Mame

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2012, 03:17:26 PM »
Hmmm, I don't have kids myself, but I do have kids in my life I don't hesitant to correct if I see them breaking what i know to be a big deal rule (hitting someone for example or demanding something without a please).  The hitting will get an instant timeout and an apology and the demand will get a "Want to try rephrasing that?' with a raised Auntie Mame eyebrow.  However, this small group of kids are kids of very close friends and I have at some point (sometimes several points) in their lives babysat them.  My friends thank me when I see something they don't and enforce consequences. Again, these are children I have known a long time and I have been established as one of the village by their parents.  I know the rules, they know I know the rules, and they know I speak for Mom and Dad when I enforce the rules.

That said, I would never never correct a kid I didn't know, barely knew, or just met.  The most I've ever done is call attention to dangerous behavior "Hey there, be careful, that's not safe" which get their parent's attention, or loudly saying something like "You kids okay?" if I see them fighting.  Or "you need to go back to mommy and daddy now" if a child I don't know is in my space. 
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2012, 03:26:41 PM »
The only time I really intervened when a child I didn't know was running around in public was at a KMart.  His mom was nearby, in fact she was halfway down an aisle and he was running in my direction so I stepped in his way so if he didn't stop I could gently stop him if necessary but it wasn't. He just stopped and looked up at me and his mom caught up (she saw me step in his way), grabbed the little boy and thanked me for helping. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Auntie Mame

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2012, 03:29:48 PM »
The only time I really intervened when a child I didn't know was running around in public was at a KMart.  His mom was nearby, in fact she was halfway down an aisle and he was running in my direction so I stepped in his way so if he didn't stop I could gently stop him if necessary but it wasn't. He just stopped and looked up at me and his mom caught up (she saw me step in his way), grabbed the little boy and thanked me for helping.

LOL, I've done that as well.  When I spot a jail break and a frantic running parent I'll step in front of the kid.
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bah12

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2012, 03:34:18 PM »
There's a big difference between "parenting" kids who are in your care, or who you have a close relationship (approved by parents) with and "parenting" random kids you see in the grocery store, at the movie theater, at a party, etc.   All safety instances aside, it is absolutely not your place to correct other people's behavior...regardless of age.  If you wouldn't correct an adult, then don't do it to a child.  Parenting is the responsibility of the parents and as we've seen on this board, everyone parents differently.    Yes, it's unfortunate that some parents don't properly supervise their kids or teach them how to behave properly.  And as frustrating as it may be to see, it's still not ok to step in and take over the parents' job.  If the kid is being really disruptive, then find the parent or other authority figure (if necessary) and have them handle it.

***all "you's" are general***

snowdragon

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2012, 03:38:05 PM »
I will correct a child who is getting in my stuff, even if the parent objects. I will also correct a child who is doing harm to myself or the kids I might be with. Other than that I ignore them.
 But if I kid is trying to play with my computer, craft stuff, or purse, I am not stopping to search for a parent, nor am I putting up with the idea that "they're not bothering anyone" when this is going on. This is as much bothering me as is kicking, hitting,hair pulling or anything else one miht think of. If it affects me or my family or my stuff, then I'll say something, beyond that - they are their parents problem.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2012, 03:47:48 PM »
There's a big difference between "parenting" kids who are in your care, or who you have a close relationship (approved by parents) with and "parenting" random kids you see in the grocery store, at the movie theater, at a party, etc.   All safety instances aside, it is absolutely not your place to correct other people's behavior...regardless of age.  If you wouldn't correct an adult, then don't do it to a child.   Parenting is the responsibility of the parents and as we've seen on this board, everyone parents differently.    Yes, it's unfortunate that some parents don't properly supervise their kids or teach them how to behave properly.  And as frustrating as it may be to see, it's still not ok to step in and take over the parents' job.  If the kid is being really disruptive, then find the parent or other authority figure (if necessary) and have them handle it.

***all "you's" are general***

I was about to disagree with you, until I reread the phrase I just highlighted above.  In the cases where I did discipline, it has always been for behavior that I would have addressed with an adult behaving similarly (yelling, disruptive).  And when I have addressed issues with children, I am always ready to take it up with the responsible adult.  To my surprise, however, most parents keep their head low and avoid my glance, or they use what I am saying as a cue to address their child themselves.
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SiotehCat

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2012, 03:58:15 PM »
I don't parent any kids but my own and I don't want anyone parenting mine.

For kids that are misbehaving in public, I try to stay as far away from them as I can. If I have to alert management or an usher, I will do that.

If you try to reprimand or lecture my son about something that you don't like, but isn't necessarily wrong, I will approach you and tell you to never speak to my child again. An example of this is Toot's candy cane example.