Blogger Constance Hall has spoken out about the rights and wrongs of disciplining other people’s children.
Constance isn’t afraid to voice her opinion on all things parenting, and is already known in the community for several other viral posts – and now, in a new post on her blog, Queen of Constance, she’s opened up about the tricky topic of disciplining kids that aren’t your own.
In the piece, entitled ‘When to Step in’, Constance shared two examples, explaining how she had navigated awkward encounters like this in the past.
Admitting she has a ‘soft spot for the naughty ones’ and has even given a ‘high five to the little sh**’ when friends’ children are being mischievous, there’s a time and a place when sometimes Constance believes a parent should intervene.
The blogger explained how a few months ago her son had encountered a problem on the playground, a little girl was ‘stomping’ and ‘throwing things’ and after already kicking him once went on to throw sand in his eyes.
Constance described as, ‘he came over to me in tears and told me that she had thrown sand in his eyes and as he said it his mate came running over crying his eyes out too, she had slapped him’ and felt it was her time to intervene.
After carefully looking around to find a parent with no luck, she walked towards the little girl and asked, ‘Hi sweetie, do you think that you could chill on the kicking and sand throwing? My kids are all a bit sad coz they really wanted to play up here with you’.
And it worked – Constance recalled how, ‘Her eyes narrowed. She responded with a poised statement. “Fine… the boys can play there” and she pointed to a tiny patch of mud. The boys were happy with that and I felt like the negotiator of the year.’
However, sometimes, as Constance goes on to point out, there are factors you can’t understand as to why a child might be acting out – for example, when her own daughter was upset and another parent shouted at her.
‘A couple of weeks ago my Billie-Violet was having a really hard time… So I grabbed her bike and took her to the park. She merrily rode around
getting a bit of colour in her soul again when a little toddler walked
in front of her bike – and she knocked him over.’
In this instance the toddler’s parent let rip on Billie-Violet, in Constance’s view making the situation much worse – ‘she was mortified, the toddler was fine he ran off giggling, thankfully toddlers are made of rubber but his dad stormed over to her and yelled, “You’re a stupid little girl, you shouldn’t be riding around here!”‘
‘My blood boiled. Fierce warrior mum kicked in. I gave him a mouthful about yelling at kids you don’t know. Billie-Violet buried her head into me crying, yet grateful that I had her back.’
The mother of four concluded that, ‘I realised that day my main gripe with disciplining kids who aren’t yours is that you don’t know their story. You don’t know if this is something they do all the time or something that was a pure accident.’
Her views have divided readers, with comments from mums all over the world voicing what they think is appropriate.
One reader wrote: ‘I think it can be a positive thing when other parents discipline children. I want my children to know that I am not the only person they have to listen to’ whilst another said: ‘This is something that I really struggled with. It used to send me into a frenzy of anxiety, the thought of taking my son somewhere, another kid upsetting him and that kids Mum not being around to sort it’.
Do you think it’s okay to discipline other peoples children? Tell us in the comment box below!