Telling off other people's children.

(26 Posts)
FreckleyGirlAbroad Sun 01-Dec-13 15:30:22

My friend came over yesterday with her dp and dd who is 5 and is also my god - daughter (just a title, no religious meaning at all!). Gd has become quite a handful and I now have a 10 week old baby. I don't know if it's because we have the baby so I'm feeling more sensitive but I had to tell her to stop doing things a couple of times (bouncing the exercise ball all around the room when ds was having a melt down, touching everything in a shop).

How does everyone else feel about telling off other kids infront of their parents or how it feels vice versa.? I once remember going camping with some friends and I had to say something to one of the little boys then felt I had to instantly apologise to his mum in case I had stepped out of line. She said she doesn't mind at all when other adults have to discipline her kids as it helps the kids see that mummy is not the only one who can discipline them and she is not the wicked witch who does all the telling off.

Now I'm going to be surrounded by children more and more, I'd love to know what people think on the subject.

Aeroaddict Sun 01-Dec-13 15:35:09

I think unless it is someone you are very close to, it is not usually a good idea to tell off other peoples children when there is a parent there. The only time I would do it is if the behaviour is putting the child or someone else at risk of harm. It's a different matter when you are looking after other peoples children without a parent though.

star15 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:39:41

I would only tell a child off if i was close to the child's parents.

I have had to do it, with a friend who's little girl decided to play on my curtains, told her twice to stop it and her mother just sat not saying a thing which annoyed me more.

StandingInLine Sun 01-Dec-13 15:42:52

I've only done it once with a friends son. She'd gone into the shop whilst we all waited in the car. Her toddler had wound down the window whilst in his car seat and caught him just as he was reaching out and opening the door. We were parked on a main road and if the door had swung open it could've hit any oncoming traffic. I panicked and shouted for him to leave the door alone. I wouldn't usually do this and know his mum would've told him off if she'd been there, but I was alone. I remember his little face well though ,he just sat there his bottom lip quivering and tears streaming down his face sad felt like a right bitch.
When we're out with the kids (the same friend) we sometimes tell each others kid off as they seem to listen then ,lol.

AuditAngel Sun 01-Dec-13 15:45:08

When we have visitors at home, if the child is doing something against he house rules I would tell them X is not allowed here. If it were a matter of safety, I would be more direct, and have been, such as when I caught a nephew trying to climb up a book shelf. It does help if the child is used to boundaries.

Another nephew was playing with a delicate shell lampshade. I explained that we do not play with that and asked him to come away from it. He responded by squeezing between the lampshade and a glass panel we had just discovered was not safety glass and was awaiting replacement. He was then told to come out. He chose not to, so I removed him from the situation and put him in another part of the hall. E sat on the bottom stair, DS tells him "you are on the naughty stair" my brother was fine about this (he had watched me doing it) but his psycho (ex) girlfriend told people I had slapped her son and dumped him on the naughty step which was to be honest both what the brat deserved and what I had wanted to do but had restrained myself

PrincessFlirtyPants Sun 01-Dec-13 15:47:50

I don't like the idea of telling someone else's child off. If they are ignoring the child's behaviour then I might say something.

SIL told me that when I have children she will smack them if she thinks its necessary. hmm

CoffeeQueen187 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:56:50

I tell my friends children off when they visit. My house my rules kinda thing. She also tells mine off when were at hers.

I don't have a problem with it if it's someone I'm close to. Normally, if my friend tells my children off for something, I will back her up (if I think she's right to tell them off) and visa versa.

I wouldn't tell a strangers children off though, or someone I don't know very well.

clam Sun 01-Dec-13 16:04:21

I think it depends how you do it. "Come out of there, lovie, it's not safe," or "we don't do that in this house, I'm afraid," is fine. "You're a badly behaved little brat, how dare you?" is not, obviously (on many levels!)

Preciousbane Sun 01-Dec-13 16:14:16

I would say gently, kind of like what Clam has said

I have fallen out with SIL because she hit DS about 18 months ago, DH is desperate for a reconciliation. She is probably coming for new year, tbh it is make or break and he is going to speak to her beforehand. DS was 10 when it happened so not happy either.

Apparently she doesn't see why it's a problem angry
He needed telling off tbf but not hitting.

FreckleyGirlAbroad Sun 01-Dec-13 16:15:19

That's pretty much what I was thinking. I would only do it if the parent was a very close friend, like my gd's mum, and even then it's fine in a gentle way, not an out-and-out bollocking. But if it was a spontaneous shout because something was dangerous, who knows!! And not with strangers children!

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 01-Dec-13 16:18:10

Clam has it right. You can give them directions/instructions in a to-the-point way (even if the instruction is "Please stop throwing the lego all over the floor.") but it's not on to start berating them or shouting at them.

You can generally steer behaviour with positive instructions and children are usually better behaved for people who are not their parents anyway.

SilverApples Sun 01-Dec-13 16:25:38

I do. I don't rant and yell, but if a child is doing something dangerous or being a PITA, I do talk to them, but more along the lines of clam's suggestions.
If the parent is there, I'd probably ask them to deal with it first.
If the parent dislikes it, it doesn't bother me much.

lljkk Sun 01-Dec-13 16:28:03

I dunno, I don't think of it as telling off. I don't scold or badger, I just tell them that they must stop and I make sure that they do. And I'm a soft wuss according to most MNers. No need to "tell off" in the way I'd fishwife at my own.

Farahilda Sun 01-Dec-13 16:30:51

It was the mark of close friendship between me and another mother (sadly now moved away) that when looking after each other's DC "I can tell them off like they're my own".

That's rare.

In you own house, you can enforce house rules (initially by appeal to parent to deal, then by removing child from object or vice versa, but not by giving punishments). Out and about, it's intervene only when there is a clear safety risk.

Seb101 Mon 02-Dec-13 13:43:25

I'm very wary of telling other people's children off; even close friends and family. I have a friend who will constantly reprimand my child, with me sitting right there. If I'm present then it's my decision whether or not my child needs telling off. I don't appreciate my friend telling her off for things I'd choose to ignore. To be honest it's starting to effect our friendship. If parent not present then that's different. But if they are I think it should be their decision 100%. Even if they are in your house, It still doesn't sit well with me. But that's just my opinion.

NoComet Mon 02-Dec-13 13:49:21

I judge the parents of children who can't accept being told off by other adults very harshly.

DD's slightly cheeky DF is always welcome, because she is happy to be told when she pushed her luck.

rrreow Mon 02-Dec-13 15:18:24

I wouldn't discipline a child that wasn't my own. However, I wouldn't shy away from asking them to stop something, telling them something isn't allowed etc in accordance with the same rules I apply to my own child.

MumofYuck Mon 02-Dec-13 15:24:09

I agree with clam's approach. I think it also helps if you have been seen saying the same sort of thing in the same way to your own child.

e.g. not:

'Oh DS1 darling, please stop pulling the cat's tail, he is in a teensy bit of pain.' vs 'DO NOT PULL THE CAT'S TAIL OTHER CHILD, IT HURTS HIM'.

I do the whole 'firm yet reasonable' thing with all my friends' children and so far no-one has given me evils. Although I did yelp 'NO' in panic once as a random toddler was about to land on a baby at a rhymetime. The mother of the toddler told me off for telling off her child hmm I didn't tell him off FFS, the word no is not a telling off! I refused to apologise for it too, which pissed her off grin

OddFodd Mon 02-Dec-13 15:26:13

I do but in a very 'please don't do that/my house, my rules' way.

I wouldn't say anything in a shop if I were there with her parents unless they were otherwise engaged and I was close by.

I don't know if you have older children but I also remember that children seemed massive and slightly alarming when I had a new baby.

PeanutPatty Mon 02-Dec-13 15:40:21

I'm the same as Clam.

If the parent is present I expect them to parent their own child really and I expect them to allow me to parent mine. However some people cannot help themselves with correcting the behaviour of other children before the actual parent even gets a chance to sort out a situation. That pisses me off.

NeveroddoreveN Mon 02-Dec-13 15:55:12

If the other child is hitting/biting etc then yes I would. I also told off a child at soft play who keep holding the door open to see what was going on (his parent's sat idly by allowing him) which kept luring my friend's toddler to make a dash to escape. He was holding the door open to let her out every time, despite us asking him not to. I think a lot of slightly older kids don't understand fully the implications of smaller kids and for safety it is more important to be firm here.

hardboiledpossum Mon 02-Dec-13 17:47:17

I wouldn't for touching something in a shop, especially if parents were with you. if bouncing a ball, I wouldn't tell them off I would just ask them to stop. I would only tell off for aggressive behaviour.

Lavenderhoney Mon 02-Dec-13 17:58:11

I had to the other day. The little boy was repeatedly slapping and kicking my ds who was bigger and older than him. The other boy was under the illusion the slide in the oark was his and couldn't be used by other children , and had already given my dd a shove.

Ds, who is 6 and showed remarkable restraint whilst being pulled about. I looked at the mum who stared away. I went over and said " now then, we don't hit people, let go of x please, the slide is for everyone" he carried on hitting. His dm carried on ignoring from a few metres away.

I said " let go, now, and stop hitting, YOUR MUMMY would say the same"

And finally she came over and whispered " x, darling, please be good" and he punched her. Lovely.

Ds was shock

So yes, if you are nice about it, its fine. Shrieking like a fishwife probably won't helpsmile

MERLYPUSS Tue 03-Dec-13 11:09:29

I tell other kids off itf they dont do our house rules - Don't do that we dont do that in our house etc.
I sushed a child out of the kitchen at play group one. 'But my mummy is there' 'Yes, but there are hot things in there too and mum will beout soon'. I expect my kids to be told off if they misbehave in other peoples houses.

shirleycat1 Tue 03-Dec-13 14:25:32

I do it. I don't shout and I'm not mean, but if a child is doing something unsafe/mean to another child/something like that I will tell them in a nice way not to. Also dropping litter, I am more than happy to tell kids to pick it up. I would hope other adults would do the same to my kids if I wasn't around and they were playing up. Raising kids is everyone's responsibility in my opinion and I think it's crazy that so many people have said they wouldn't say anything.

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