We’re getting to the stage in our house where we’re having regular playdates, on top of going to groups and kindy meetings.
And I’ve gotta tell you, I’m feeling challenged.
See, I know my kids are no angels. But when they act out, I’m on – no matter where we are. Bad behaviour is bad behaviour and I don’t want them to learn that they can get away with it when I’m not in the immediate vicinity.
But where I’m really having a tough time is when other people’s kids act out – and their parents do nothing. Be it a temper tantrum, throwing toys or food, being mean or rough to other kids, or being rude to adults, I’ve seen it all in the last few months. And I’m getting to a point where I really can’t ignore it any more.
MetroParent.com has some suggestions I thought were helpful:
Most parents subscribe to the belief that they absolutely do not correct or discipline another child unless the child’s behavior is particularly egregious.
“You have to be so careful,” says Carla Wheeler of Harrison Township. “People are very sensitive about their kids. They take it really personally if you say anything to their kids that could come off as critical. We all know this. I’m even like that myself.”
That’s why parents choose to focus only on their own children unless there is something going on that reaches emergency-status. But there are times when that’s just not possible.
“Rule No. 1 is have fun, and ‘fun’ means fun for everyone,” says Laurie Gray, an Indiana attorney and the founder of Socratic Parenting. “Any bullying, exclusion, destruction of property is easily characterized as ‘not fun’ for the person being bullied, excluded or otherwise disrespected, and it’s more effective to redirect the kids to something that is fun for everyone than to just keep saying, ‘Don’t do that’ or ‘Stop it.’
“Rule No. 1 empowers kids to stand up for themselves and others. And it’s a rule they can take with them and use at school and other activities,” she adds…
Wheeler says it comes down to some simple dos and don’ts: “Don’t be reactive. Don’t jump to conclusions. Do protect other children. Do make calm corrections.”
It’s tough for me to keep all this in mind. I’m really focusing on building good relationships with the other parents so that if stuff does come up, I can mention it to them, or that if they’re not around, I can handle it an have them trust I’ve done the right thing.
How do you handle this tricky territory?