Author Topic: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?  (Read 7451 times)

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Fleur

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2012, 04:30:09 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'm sorry, but I don't agree with this. If a child runs over my feet in a shop, as has happened, I am going to speak up. I actually don't know if we do disagree, as I would also do the same to an adult though I have never been disturbed by an adult in public in that way. The other side of parents being allowed to parent is that they actually have to parent: if they don't, they don't get to complain when others step in (I'm not counting Toots' candy cane example, but more something disruptive)

misha412

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2012, 04:41:48 PM »
If a child is about to harm themselves or harm someone else, I have no qualms about saying something to them or blocking them. If they are trying to get into my belongings, hitting me, or are being rude or obnoxious to me, I have no qualms about saying something to them.

I do not consider that "parenting" the child. I am addressing their actions to them at the moment it is happening. I do not care if their parent is three steps behind them. A child should expect another human being to address them if they are doing something that is harmful.

Now, if a child is being obnoxious and running about, I will not say a word to that child, until it becomes a safety issue. I will give the glare of death to the parents however. On occasion I have said something to a parent if their child is disturbing a gathering.

On one occasion, I did help a parent out with a runaway toddler. A mom had her kids at the mall's play area in the food court. One was about 2 years old. Mom was busy with a smaller baby and thought the little one was occupied in the play area. Well, zippy, zappy, blink of an eye. The little one is out of the play area and scooting through the arrangement of tables around the food court. Mom is trying to get up while dealing with a baby only half dressed. I was sitting at a table and saw what was happening. I put an arm out and caught the little one. I took her back to mom who was glad someone had got her. If that is "parenting" I am guilty.

WillyNilly

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2012, 04:46:03 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 disagree.  I think sometimes the Village needs to step in, if only because sometimes adults don't fully realize the impact of actions either.

Here's an example, from years ago in my life.

I went to a basketball game.  This was a Big East team and even though they were bleachers, they were assigned seats.  I went with a season ticket holder, so he really wanted and expected us to stay in our seats.

One or two rows in front of us was a group of about 5 or 6 boys, about 10-11 years old.  they had an oaktag sign supporting the team (or a player, i can't remember).  When ever there was a basket made or that team member made a basket everyone would cheer and the kids would hold up the sign.  Over their heads.  Directly in our line of vision.  There were adults around, but I wasn't sure which adults were with the kids, or their relation to them.  I spoke directly to the kids: "hey guys, could you do us a favor?  We're fans too and when you hold up your sign you block our view.  I know its tempting but please don't raise it above your heads.  you can block your own vision but not ours."

The kids totally 'got' it and a woman sitting near by overheard and later I saw her address a kid by name and remind him about lifting the sign.

I think that was a bit of 'parenting' on my part - to an adult I probably would have been a bit more blunt (or honestly an adult might have had long enough arms the sign didn't bother me, and I would have left it to the people behind me).  But I don't think it was inappropriate.  I think the kids and the adult all appreciated I had enough respect for the kids' intelligence to just deal with them directly. I think the adult simply hadn't realized the sign would be in the way, so its not like she was being irresponsible or ignoring an issue, she didn't realize there was an issue to be dealt with until I said something.

MrsJWine

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2012, 04:52:56 PM »
If it affects me directly, I say something to the kid. If it doesn't, I keep my mouth shut. If there's imminent danger to the child or to someone's property, I say something. There are gray areas between each of these categories, but 99% of the time it's pretty clear-cut to me. I've also welcomed it on the few occasions it's been my kids.

I know some kinds respond well to a certain look, but most kids of my acquaintance don't. In my experience, small kids are completely oblivious to most social nuances and cues. I need to be firm and direct with them instead of sitting there, stewing.


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misha412

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2012, 05:00:14 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***

Sorry, I have to disagree with the bolded statement above. When an adult is being rude and obnoxious to me or someone in my company, I will say something and tell them their behavior is not welcome. If a child is interacting with me and doing the same, I will wait a bit to see if a parent intervenes. But I will not sit there and take it just because the parents are absent or oblivious. I will say something to the kid.

Aeris

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2012, 05:06:27 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***

Sorry, I have to disagree with the bolded statement above. When an adult is being rude and obnoxious to me or someone in my company, I will say something and tell them their behavior is not welcome. If a child is interacting with me and doing the same, I will wait a bit to see if a parent intervenes. But I will not sit there and take it just because the parents are absent or oblivious. I will say something to the kid.

bah12's very next line after the one you bolded was "If you wouldn't correct an adult, then don't do it to a child." I'm confident she was referring to 'correcting behavior' as correcting behavior that doesn't directly affect you.

I haven't seen anyone advocate staying silent and just putting up with a behavior from a child (or adult) that is directly affecting you, and yet I keep seeing posts that appear to be arguing against this as if someone had been advocating it.

Micah

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2012, 05:09:19 PM »
Within our close group of friends we basically do parent each others children. If one gets too rough, breaks things, doesn't share, etc whichever adult is closest will put the child in time out, tell him/her off or separate them from the group. That said, we know each other very well, our kids see a LOT of each other and at any given time there could be ten kids running around so it does take a 'village' so to speak.

I don't like it when strangers get involved though. My son is five and quite small for his age (about the size of some three year olds). Only a few weeks ago I was at an Op shop that has a fenced yard with a child proof security gate. The gate is there because a play group runs from that location once a week and is normally left open when it's not playgroup. My son wanted to go to our car to get his money to buy a  toy he wanted. I was standing at the shop door watching him and as he got to the gate, a lady coming through the other way slammed the gate shut, nearly hitting him, and full on yelled, "No! Don't go through there!"

She really upset my son. He's shy at the best of times and being yelled at by a stranger for doing something he knew he was allowed to do made him distraught. If she had stopped him and asked nicely, "Are you allowed out there? Where's your Mum?" He would have answered her politely and articulately and I would have had a chance to speak up, "He's fine, I'm watching him."

It took a great deal of restraint not to say what I was thinking  >:( :-X
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Fleur

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2012, 05:18:33 PM »
Within our close group of friends we basically do parent each others children. If one gets too rough, breaks things, doesn't share, etc whichever adult is closest will put the child in time out, tell him/her off or separate them from the group. That said, we know each other very well, our kids see a LOT of each other and at any given time there could be ten kids running around so it does take a 'village' so to speak.

I don't like it when strangers get involved though. My son is five and quite small for his age (about the size of some three year olds). Only a few weeks ago I was at an Op shop that has a fenced yard with a child proof security gate. The gate is there because a play group runs from that location once a week and is normally left open when it's not playgroup. My son wanted to go to our car to get his money to buy a  toy he wanted. I was standing at the shop door watching him and as he got to the gate, a lady coming through the other way slammed the gate shut, nearly hitting him, and full on yelled, "No! Don't go through there!"

She really upset my son. He's shy at the best of times and being yelled at by a stranger for doing something he knew he was allowed to do made him distraught. If she had stopped him and asked nicely, "Are you allowed out there? Where's your Mum?" He would have answered her politely and articulately and I would have had a chance to speak up, "He's fine, I'm watching him."

It took a great deal of restraint not to say what I was thinking  >:( :-X

I am a little confused by this story, why did she thin she could tell him what to do? Did she think he was part of the playgroup?

misha412

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2012, 05:37:31 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***

Sorry, I have to disagree with the bolded statement above. When an adult is being rude and obnoxious to me or someone in my company, I will say something and tell them their behavior is not welcome. If a child is interacting with me and doing the same, I will wait a bit to see if a parent intervenes. But I will not sit there and take it just because the parents are absent or oblivious. I will say something to the kid.

bah12's very next line after the one you bolded was "If you wouldn't correct an adult, then don't do it to a child." I'm confident she was referring to 'correcting behavior' as correcting behavior that doesn't directly affect you.

I haven't seen anyone advocate staying silent and just putting up with a behavior from a child (or adult) that is directly affecting you, and yet I keep seeing posts that appear to be arguing against this as if someone had been advocating it.

Her first statement was that there is no reason to correct anyone's behavior regardless of age. The second statement does not modify that assertion. She is basically saying she would not correct anyone's behavior, child or adult. I disagreed with that assertion.

bah12

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2012, 06:05:34 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***

Sorry, I have to disagree with the bolded statement above. When an adult is being rude and obnoxious to me or someone in my company, I will say something and tell them their behavior is not welcome. If a child is interacting with me and doing the same, I will wait a bit to see if a parent intervenes. But I will not sit there and take it just because the parents are absent or oblivious. I will say something to the kid.

bah12's very next line after the one you bolded was "If you wouldn't correct an adult, then don't do it to a child." I'm confident she was referring to 'correcting behavior' as correcting behavior that doesn't directly affect you.

I haven't seen anyone advocate staying silent and just putting up with a behavior from a child (or adult) that is directly affecting you, and yet I keep seeing posts that appear to be arguing against this as if someone had been advocating it.

Her first statement was that there is no reason to correct anyone's behavior regardless of age. The second statement does not modify that assertion. She is basically saying she would not correct anyone's behavior, child or adult. I disagreed with that assertion.

Actually, that's not what I'm saying at all. Please don't speak for me.  I said that children are no different than adults when correcting behavior.  I don't go around telling adults how to behave, regardless of how boorish it may be and it's not ok to do that to children who are not under your direct care.

And yes, the caveat is that the behavior doesn't directly affect you and is not a safety issue.  The discussion here has been correcting children's generally rude behavior when their responsible adult doesn't do it.

Sophia

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2012, 06:06:50 PM »
I hate and loath the "It takes a village" idea.  If there are active parents then the village is completely unnecessary. 

But, I think it depends on whether or not the behavior effects my child or innocent children.  If it does, then yes I will correct another child.  If it doesn't, then I won't. 

I don't think it needs to cross into safety.  For instance, if a Monster_Child threw food at my Angel_Child and the parents ignored it you bet I would step in and use my mad Mommy voice to tell Monster_Child that you do NOT throw food, and even more important, you do not throw food at someone else.  If the parents had a problem with that, I really do not care. 

bah12

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2012, 06:10:21 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 disagree.  I think sometimes the Village needs to step in, if only because sometimes adults don't fully realize the impact of actions either.

Here's an example, from years ago in my life.

I went to a basketball game.  This was a Big East team and even though they were bleachers, they were assigned seats.  I went with a season ticket holder, so he really wanted and expected us to stay in our seats.

One or two rows in front of us was a group of about 5 or 6 boys, about 10-11 years old.  they had an oaktag sign supporting the team (or a player, i can't remember).  When ever there was a basket made or that team member made a basket everyone would cheer and the kids would hold up the sign.  Over their heads.  Directly in our line of vision.  There were adults around, but I wasn't sure which adults were with the kids, or their relation to them.  I spoke directly to the kids: "hey guys, could you do us a favor?  We're fans too and when you hold up your sign you block our view.  I know its tempting but please don't raise it above your heads.  you can block your own vision but not ours."

The kids totally 'got' it and a woman sitting near by overheard and later I saw her address a kid by name and remind him about lifting the sign.

I think that was a bit of 'parenting' on my part - to an adult I probably would have been a bit more blunt (or honestly an adult might have had long enough arms the sign didn't bother me, and I would have left it to the people behind me).  But I don't think it was inappropriate.  I think the kids and the adult all appreciated I had enough respect for the kids' intelligence to just deal with them directly. I think the adult simply hadn't realized the sign would be in the way, so its not like she was being irresponsible or ignoring an issue, she didn't realize there was an issue to be dealt with until I said something.

Yes, but in this example, the signs were blocking your view.  They directly affected you.  I'm sure you would have asked adults doing the same thing to do you that same "favor". That is not the same as telling a child (or an adult) to correct their generally rude behavior when it has nothing to do with you.  Which is what I'm referring to.

MamaMootz

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2012, 06:15:21 PM »
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."

I like to think that I'd have been one of the people addressing the kids, but more than likely, I would have spoken to the manager about the disruptive family or requested that we be moved and giving the parent the Icy Glare.

On the airplane, though, I'd have had no problem turning around to the kid and his parent and saying, "Your child is kicking my seat. Can you please get him to stop?" I've had to do that a few times on planes myself and most of the time the parent helped out. I've had to stop DD from kicking the seat in front of her in her younger days and I've apologized to the people in front of us.
But if it's either say something to the kid/parent or endure a 5 hour flight being whammed by little feet, I'll take say something to the kid/parent every time.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2012, 06:23:08 PM »
I have always thought the "It takes a village" was referring to how, if a kid acts up in public, someone who knows him might not correct him themselves but they'd let their mother or father know what the kid did when they weren't watching so that the parent could correct them.

Make the kid realize that even when they're away from home they had better still behave themselves cause word may somehow still get back home. 
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MrsJWine

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2012, 06:30:18 PM »
I'm okay with "it takes a village" in some ways.

Like, if my kid is acting up, and I'm not available for whatever reason, I believe other people totally have the right to correct her and/or protect property. I don't get to be all mad about that if my attention has slipped, or if we're in a place where it's okay for them to run off and play (like at church; all the kids run and play together, but every once in a while a parent has to tell them to get off the stage at the front of the sanctuary). If a kid is turning around and distracting my kids and us during church, I get to tell her to stop.

However, it's not something I should count on, especially out in public, away from good friends. If I'm at Target, and my kid is climbing the magazine display while I look at makeup, I don't get to be mad at people for not corralling her for me.


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