Author Topic: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?  (Read 7664 times)

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kherbert05

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2012, 06:59:12 PM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.
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CaptainObvious

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2012, 07:22:25 PM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

CakeEater

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2012, 07:34:18 PM »
I'm perfectly happy to tell other kids to wait at the top of the slide, don't push my kid etc at the park for example. I do have to reign in my teacher impulses, though.

When I taught at a small private school with pretty strict standards, staff were expected to stop kids in public if they weren't wearing their uniforms properly. The principal had no problems walking up to a family at the shopping centre and telling the kids to tuck their shirts in, or ask where their school shoes were if they had others on, but I could never bring myself to do that. I walked around in public with my eyes firmly on my own feet while I was at that school.

Softly Spoken

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2012, 07:38:14 PM »
I wanted to thank everyone for their responses. I really really want to ask people to please try to respectfully share their differences of opinion. I don't think criticizing other people's etiquette choices is productive. I am interested in hearing people's personal anecdotes, as all experiences and feelings are valid and help give us perspective.

It seems that my use of the word "parenting" has caused a little *ahem* disagreement among a few people. I wasn't really asking about "parenting" a stranger's child as much as how to deal with misbehaving children. I personally don't think basic rules of civilized society are only to be taught to children by their parents - though it is nice when parents make the effort. I would say it falls under the parents job description, but I don't think a stranger is overstepping their bounds by reminding a child when they interact with them.

Of course parenting is for parents - hence the name. ;) But I would suggest that while only parents (or guardians to be PC I guess) can parent (if you define parenting as discipline/control/ethically guide etc.), a child can learn from anyone.

IMHO that is where the idea or perhaps the real spirit of "it takes a village" comes from - a child learns how to get along in the big outside world by going out in it and interacting with the other people they have to share it with. ;D

Slightly new thought/direction on the issue: I have observed an interesting phenomenon with dogs - they have a "cut off point" for puppies that make breaches in dog 'etiquette'. Basically, young puppies get away with almost anything because they don't know any better and are given a certain amount of slack. Then the grown-ups decide that it's time for the puppy to grow up and learn manners and start biting their heads off (not literally but verbally! ::)) when they go over the line. So a puppy that had free reign over the food dish is suddenly chased away and basically told by the older dog that "I'm in charge so I'm eating first." Or a puppy that enjoyed jumping on his older friend's head is now pushed away for playing too rough.

Obviously we aren't dogs, but we are responsible for showing kids what is and is not acceptable behavior. The first thing that comes to my mind when a parent excuses their kid's behavior with "s/he doesn't know any better" is "well, why haven't you told them?" ??? In the grown-up world, "ignorance of the law is no excuse."

I'm sure this is a very individual/case-by-case thing, but how would others here usually decide that it is time to stop "humoring the puppy" and start trying to teach some etiquette?
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Scuba_Dog

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2012, 07:39:38 PM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

I don't.  I thought what she said was perfect.  I committed it to memory for the next time I see something like that happen.

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CaptainObvious

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2012, 07:44:45 PM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

I don't.  I thought what she said was perfect.  I committed it to memory for the next time I see something like that happen.

That is great, differing opinions is what keep the forum active!

Micah

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2012, 07:48:57 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?

I have no idea why she thought she could tell him what to do, especially in that manner. Playgroup wasn't running that day, he was the only child present. Playgroup only runs on a wednesday, this was a friday and the gate was propped open so anyone could come and go.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2012, 07:59:06 PM »
I see your point, OP.  In that case I'd say that teachers and relatives and other adults in the child's world can shape their views of it.   I know my grandparents influence and that of my aunts and uncles had an effect on me. My aunts didn't talk down to myself and my cousins, they talked to us as though we were adults too, which always got through to us more than when adults were condescending. 

My mother used to whine "Why is it when someone else tells you something you listen but when I say it, it goes in one ear and out the other?" well cause she was usually being long winded, lecture-y and condescending and half the time talked out of both sides of her mouth. Ie "Stand up for yourself, be your own best advocate!" but when I stood up for myself against bullies, "Well you don't have to be rude!"  ::)

Once my bff came to visit, she noticed the boys were, despite being told otherwise, using a different cup everytime they wanted a new drink.  She stopped them by saying "Do you realize that every time you use a new cup, it means more detergent and dish soap your mama needs to use to wash them, and a higher water and electricity bill, which means less money your mom and dad have to spend doing fun stuff with you?" The lightbulb went on over their heads and they've gotten better about that.
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Lynn2000

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #68 on: December 12, 2012, 11:13:50 PM »
Interesting thread. I don't have kids and don't have much experience/comfort with them. Setting aside safety issues, I would only correct a strange child (heck, probably even one I knew) if their bad behavior directly affected me, like stepping on my feet or messing with my stuff. And by "correct" I would mean--"Hey, stop doing that." Just whatever it took to make them stop, without a view towards actually making a long-term impression.

In other words, if I were at a restaurant and children were running around making noise, I would either ask the staff to do something about it, and/or finish up my meal in a hurry and leave. I would not try to alter the children's behavior if they weren't actively running into me, and I wouldn't go looking for a parent, either. That's just my own personal opinion, because I'm not at all comfortable with kids. My dad used to be a teacher, though, and would probably say, "Boys," in a stern tone (assuming they were boys of course). That "teacher voice" never dies! :)

I'm not sure about the "time to stop humoring the puppy" age... Given my personal preferences as stated above, the age doesn't really matter that much. Like, if a baby crawled over and started messing with my stuff, I would stop them. Maybe saying, "Hey, stop that," wouldn't work, but I could take my stuff away from them and put it away somewhere. I wouldn't let them mess with my stuff at 8 months because they're only 8 months, but stop them at 8 years because "they should know better." It's still messing with my stuff, and that needs to stop. I'm sure my exact methods would vary depending on age, but my goal would be the same.
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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2012, 11:22:23 PM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

So you don't think that if a child does something life endangering that you should do something if you are not responsible for that child?

For the most part I haven't experienced situations where a child was misbehaving so this is all conjecture but I wouldn't interfere if it didn't directly effect me. But if they were doing something that could get them killed (and entering an alligator enclosure falls in that category) I would like to think I would do something.

Lynn2000

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2012, 11:40:33 PM »
Zoos seem to be havens of weird kid behavior. I remember being at a zoo once, looking down over a railing into some kind of enclosure--gorillas, perhaps. It was an L-shape and these two families on the two sides got into an argument because one was letting their toddler sit on the concrete barrier, with only a bit of railing to hang onto to prevent them from falling. The other family didn't think this was safe and called over something like, "Better hold onto your kid better!" and the first family was like, "I'll hold my kid however I want!" and they went back and forth a couple of times. I think a zoo employee showed up and intervened somehow.

It was rather uncomfortable for everyone else there, and I'm not sure if it was really the best way for either side to handle it. But I did feel like the one family must be genuinely concerned, to call out to total strangers in a crowd and risk making a scene.
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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2012, 11:50:17 PM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

So you don't think that if a child does something life endangering that you should do something if you are not responsible for that child?

For the most part I haven't experienced situations where a child was misbehaving so this is all conjecture but I wouldn't interfere if it didn't directly effect me. But if they were doing something that could get them killed (and entering an alligator enclosure falls in that category) I would like to think I would do something.

I agree that it is okay to say something in that case because the consequences of not saying anything are so much worse than the consequences of saying something (the boy gets mad or embarrassed and his feelings hurt).

Auntie Mame

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2012, 01:28:27 AM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

So, it's better to watch a kid get eaten by an alligator and the alligator get destroyed?  Not in my world.
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mmswm

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #73 on: December 13, 2012, 03:54:13 AM »
I was a middle school teachers for the better part of a decade.  That teacher "look" never dies.  I've been known to shoot that look to misbehaving kids in public. It's surprisingly effective without ever actually saying anything.  Of course, if safety was in question, I would not hesitate to step and and correct a behavior that could result in injury or death, but that goes for children and adults.
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Fleur

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2012, 04:20:19 AM »
I will correct kids that know me without going to their parents. If I went to the parent instead of correcting the parents would think I had lost my mind.

Strangers I treat kids like I treat adults. If you are doing something that is spoiling my enjoyment (Like kicking my chair) I'll speak up. If you are doing something that puts me, mine, or some other innocent in danger - I will speak up. 

Example I ordered a teenager to get back on the proper side of the barricade at the old alligator exhibit at the zoo. He smarted off that his life wasn't my business. I told him I don't care about you - I don't want a poor alligator destroyed because he ate you - after you offered yourself up as a meal. The look on the zoo employees' faces as they tried to keep from cracking up while kicking the family out were priceless. (This was shortly after that girl climbed into a merekat exhibit, was bitten, then the animals were put down because her parents didn't want to force her to get rabies shots).

Loren has caught on to why I raise my voice (not yell but teacher voice) when these things happen at the zoo. Someone usually responds to protect the animals. She started doing it to. Last trip she told a kid to stop tormenting a wild bunny in a very loud voice. This was followed by the standard rabies warning**.

**We have a wild life refuge/former farm. The kids are going through a lets catch the lizards and cool looking bugs phase. We have a strict no alligators (not even babies), no snakes (all 4 poisonous kinds native to Texas have been found on the land) and no mammals (rabies) rule. We don't do the you have to get 13 shots in your belly thing, because that isn't true anymore. We do say mammals can have rabies. If you get bit or touch a sick one, the doctor is going to have to give you medicine including a shot to make sure you don't get sick too.

I don't know who Loren is, but when she is under your care, you can discipline her however you want, but I think you were totally out of line speaking to the boy.

Why was she out of line? He was out of line and nobody was doing anything about it. I can't believe the zoo employees said nothing, but it was a good job that someone did. Actually, I can kind of understand it: when I worked in retail, I wasn't allowed to discipline ill-behaved children, though sometimes I longed to say something to the most egregious cases. But if someone else stepped in, not a parent, I would be giving them a huge mental thumbs up. I get very tired of the idea that allowing kids to run wild and inconvenience others is a 'parenting choice' that has to be 'repected'. It isn't. It is a parenting cop out.