Saturday, May 17, 2008

Don't Yell At My Kid

Or yell at me about my kid in front of my kid.

A friend told me in a blog comment that this happened to her. A hopefully well-meaning adult admonished her to control her child. If it's the child I think it is, she has special needs and is already way more under control than someone with a medical or psychological background would expect.

A few weeks ago, our 4-H club was almost split up by one mom. She has the dangerous combination of less-than-perfectly-behaved children, the conviction that nothing is their fault, and the belief that she has the right to discipline other people's children with the parents present. Her son was hurt--not bad, no bruises or broken skin--while playing, and she starting screaming at every other child present.

The appropriate way to handle this, in my opinion, would be to tell her own child to suck it up. There's no way every single kid there was in the wrong except for this one. They are all good kids, so if someone gets hurt I chalk it up to rough play, maybe ask the perpetrators for apologies.

If she really thought the other kids were purposely hurting her son, the appropriate thing would have been to talk to the parents alone. It later came out that her son had a lot more fault in the matter than had been apparent at the time. Anyway, I only yell at my kids when they are in danger or they have done something truly terrible, so my son was a little baffled by the whole scene. Now he has no respect for this adult, and I am beginning share his sentiment.

If you are a disciplinarian type with other people's children, stop it. Discipline is only effective when it comes from the base of a loving relationship, and there's no way a mother can be fair when choosing between her own child and someone else's.


Lisa Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Author said...

Oh, I LOVE YOU! and I appreciate your son's chivalrously defending my daughter in the incident.