Saturday, April 25, 2009

Debate: Scolding other's children

I would like all of you who come to this Blog to openly debate on the topic "Scolding other's children*".

I've always been on the 'against' side. And thankfully nothing had happened so far to make me move to the 'pro' side until yesterday.

I've always believed in telling the parent about how their kid was behaving and how they should talk to their child about it. Same way I expected others to do the same. But yesterday, at Betu's daycare something happened that I broke this rule of mine and went ahead to scold the child right in front of his mother. The other kid pushed Betu in the splash pool right in front of us even when his mother was telling him not to continuously. If I had not grabbed Betu by his hand on time, he would have totally been in the water but thankfully he went down inlt till his knees. I took BetU out of the pool and bent down to the other kids level and on the top of my voice shouted at him.

Me: why did you do that?
Kid: *no answer*

Me: How many times did your Mumma tell you not to do that?
Kid: *no answer*

Me: How many times?
*the kid tried to look away*
Me: look into my eyes and talk when I am speaking with you.

Kid: 10 times
Me: Then why are you not listening to her?

Me: If I push you in the pool would you like it?
Kid: No
Me: so he (referring to Betu) wouldn't like it too. Nobody would like it. So you will not do it again.
Kid: ok
Me: Now go to your Mumma.

The kid was slightly shaken up after this and I could see my scolding did have some effect him. He has become totally immune to his mother's scolding.

This kid has the habit of troubling other kids and laughs when he sees them in discomfort or not liking what he does. He is just a bit too bratty and I know there are kids who are like that and its normal. But at times it gets too much and today was the day when I felt I had to intervene.

But I know for sure that if Anirudh had done something like that I would have done exactly what I did with the kid myself. There would not have been any need for other parent to scold my child.

I have also seen other parents who react badly to other parents pulling up their kids even when they know that their child has done something wrong and take their side. I find that very wrong. I agree no one would like their child being pulled up but then we have to see the reason and how the other parent is handling it.

I still stand by my rule as I had mentioned above and will not say anything to other's kids directly minus such situations.

Now you tell me what are your views on the same. What would you do and what you won't do? How would you do and how you won't? Any real life examples would be great too.
~~ Keep Smiling! ~~
Sent on my BlackBerry®.


  1. I never have....but in similar circumstance as yours, maybe I will. At least a firm word or two if not a full-fledged sermon!
    But at times it does good for the child. When he's become immuned to the Mom's scolding, an outsiders scolding can do wonders, as was in your case.

  2. I have also never scolded other kids. I usually separate the kids in such circumstances.Like there is a kid who comes to play with Ansh, & if he bullies, I just ask him to leave-polietly.
    But the circumstance that you are talking about is quite different & perhaps I would have done the same thing as you did.
    How did his mom react?

  3. You were totally right to do what you did. but what I don't understand is why the kid was threatening to push Anirudh in.. hello. is this kind of behaviour allowed in the daycare?

    what did the mother have to say?

  4. You did the right thing, then the priorities were different- betu had to be saved! I think, like you, one should avoid scolding other people's children, I generally say 'no' smilingly when they are upto some mischief and their moms have not noticed. In malls when they are chewing something they shouldn't or demolishing something. I make a horrified face and wag a finger at them and most of the time they stop whatever they were doing! So you simply made one exeption to the rule you have adopted and that was very much warranted!

  5. principally i am with u on this, i dont like scolding other's kid but sometime we tend to loose patience...

    like yesterday there was this girl (3+) sitting in her mumma's lap and eating chocolate, ojas went up to her to ask for it and before I could tell him come back the girl pushed him with both the legs and then started crying herself and the mother didnt even bother to say sorry forget abt the girl. I actually lost it for a minute and thought I would shout but luckily didnt

    I think what u did was right, its ok to do it once in a while when the situation demands I guess.

    BTW how did the mom react when u scolded him?

  6. I never ever discipline/yell/pullup other people's kids - I just think that its not my place. I always have that fear that I never know how my kids will turn out to be and that might come back to bite me.
    Whereas D never has any problem disciplining other people's kids and when he does that I feel like disappearing then and there! I always end up telling him that we never know if our kids suddenly start doing that. Even though I wouldn't mind a reasonable adult correcting them, but I would definitely not like it if they turn back and say," did you not yell at my kids for the same thing, how did you let your children learn that behaviour?

    In your situation, I really don't know what I would have done. But I can see myself telling the mother off for the child's behaviour. May be a glare or a 'can't you see what he is doing and you are just standing there'?? or something like that.

  7. I don't have kids. Thank god. But I think you did right, circumstance or no circumstance. I'd prolly have added something very threatening and un-adult like if it was me... maybe even pushed him back! :D

    I think parents these days don't really mind (as in monitor their behavior) their kids all that closely, the way my folks did. I know there are parents who do, but I have been a victim of bratty kids too many times to say with some assurance that these genuine parents are very few and very far between.

    Just few nights back, at 1:15ish am I hear this "thunk-thunk-thunk" and shouting and screaming to pass the ball. PASS THE BALL AT 1AM???? Who allows their kids to play anything this late at night? I hung half off the balcony and told them sternly to quit playing, we need to sleep, its 1am, go home! One boy in the group goes, Hum toh khelenge! Neat, huh? When I threatened to come down and go speak to his parents, he wasn't fazed in the least, gave me a sneer and turned back to play. I, of course, was apoplectic... and very incoherent in my threats to pulverize him.

    I have many more stories. Kids need to be disciplined but perhaps the parents MORE.

  8. When parents lack either the will or the power to teach discipline to their childre, I am not going to wait and watch... I am told I shud be nice and not interfere but I am not ready to wait for another decade to wash away my guilt for not doing the right thing at the right time


  9. you did the right thing. I have a philosopy that you will not like. I believe that kids belong to everyone and so, if a kid is misbehaving, i usually tell them (politely, of course) that a child as nice as them is not expected to behave that way.
    Once, these children abt 7-9 years old were playing football in the same place where the swings are for younger children. There is no space there for football, yet the continued to play. The ball missed the younger children quite a few times and then once, it almost hit a little girl on the next swing. I stopped betu's swing, called those kids "Come Here. Which part of this ground looks like a football field to you? Can't you see there are younger children here? What will you do if one of them is hurt?" The other mothers stopped doing whatever they were doing and starting staring at me. Guess some of them disapproved of what i was doing, but i didnt care. (already told u my philosophy above) and one of them, after the kids had left with their heads down, told me "Hope they listen to you. These kids don't listen to anyone."
    They did listen to me. I have never seen them play football on that stretch whenever i am around.

    Obviously, this means that other people have access to correct my son too.. blame it on the upbringing.. was brought up by my 2 neighbors, the grandmother and assorted old people who did not think there was any reason to doubt that all kids belong to everyone.

  10. without a doubt you did the rite thing.If you see the safety of your kids or any other kid at stake i think it's fair to jump in and take the kid by the ear.

    just today a lil boy (7 yrs)strayed into the gym and started using the equipment.nobody bothered to ask him what he was upto,but knowing that he could get into trouble i literally had to scold him to leave the place.

  11. I am really glad you did that. In your situation I think it was the right thing to do.

    I am not comfortable scolding but a good talking to maybe yes, that too only if I know the mother of the child. Like for example, when I told the daughter of my friend that it was not nice to make ugly faces and clicking noises or to hit her parents when she angry, coz Naren was also picking up on it. I gently told her that it was making her look bad and that she won't have any more playdates if she continued with such behavior.

    I don't think I would do it to some strangers kids, unless of course they pose some kind of danger to my child.

    I hope Betu wasn't shaken up much.

  12. I agree that we should not scold others kid but under no circumstances would I wait to stop other kids if its harming Aryan in any way. When I go to park , I see some really bratty kids who enjoy troubling younger ones in simple ways like sitting on slide and not letting younger ones go etc. I usually tell them politely or divert Aryan to something else. But once one kid tried to push him on the slide and I firmly(call it scolded if you want) told him not to do that. The parents were not there and I could have waited to let him push and tell the parents later.

  13. :-P Typo .." The parents were not there and I could not have waited to let him push and tell the parents later."

    So I would say that you did the right thing

  14. My mom owns a preschool, and so I have some experience in this. Kids have to be disciplined, a lot of times parents don't know how to, or don't want to which makes them bratty.

    I think some sort of discipline coming from whoever is warranted. If it isn't your own child, or you don't know the child well, then it may be the same thing you said, but I think the variance of tone is of critical importance as you never know what other troubles you may get into.

    But the answer still remains - yes, if a child is endangering another child, something MUST be said.

    Im glad Betu is fine. :)

  15. If another child pushes or hurts my kid intentionally, I would scold him in a word or 2 like "STOP THAT!" or "NO!".
    I'm with you on this one.

  16. Well it depends on the kind of mischief kid is committing, here this one looks lil trivial to me, but your anger seems to stem out of his previous acts.

    So again, shouting at kids never solve a problem, it only scares them. That's bullying. Tomorrow he'll do that the same thing with kids younger than his age.

    My solution to such issues is Politeness!!

  17. I agree with howdoweknow and hence am open to others advicing anush as well

    all in the kid's interest finally

  18. sometimes kids realise something only when someone other than the family point it out to them...

    The kids here are quite aggressive...there were a few times i had to intervene because the matter was getting out of hand...but then it never happened like art says, all in the interest of teh child...

  19. I have never scolded another child - but have to admit that I came dangerously close the other day... And would have done the same in your situation.. It is sad though to see children behaving this way..

  20. I guess you did the right thing. He sure would think twice/thrice before messing with other kids again. Sensible parents, if they see their kid is growing up to be a bully should try mend that before it too late.

    No parenting experience. Hope I am thinking right!