Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lets talk

Play-date etiquette. After doing some disciplining of other peoples kids (which makes me uncomfortable because I wonder if the parent is pissed at me for doing telling their kids what to do and then think that if they are pissed at me I should be pissed too because their kid was out of line....) I'm wondering if there are any official or unofficial rules about play dates and disciplining other people's kids.

I'm of the mind that if my kid is about to hurt himself, please do whatever it takes to stop him. (Yelling, grabbing him and hand-swatting are all acceptable in a physical danger-type scenario.) If I'm not paying attention, which happens a lot, please also feel free to force my kid to share, give something back, or stop doing some other undesirable behavior. What if I'm watching Jack do something and I don't see it as a problem, but you do? Do you tell me? Do you talk directly to Jack? Do you grit your teeth and ignore it? What if I look like I'm paying attention to Jack's behavior and am choosing inaction when actually I'm not paying attention to what he's doing and wouldn't at all mind someone else pointing it out or stepping in? What types of behaviors would cause you to interceed? If someone gets too involved in your parenting would you say something to them? Would you say something if you think they aren't involved enough in their own child's behavior?

Even if you don't often (or ever) comment, please weigh in! I think the more minds that help me suss this one out the better.


melaniet42 said...

Interesting that you post this today. I had to deal with one such situation at My Gym today. Jillian is going through a non-sharing, pushing/hitting phase. She started to push/hit another girl; I stopped her before the blow landed, scolded her, and talked to her again about taking turns (we're learning this one quickly, but painfully). Then, in the ball pit, she and this other girl were playing. Her mom and I were talking about disciplinary issues; I griped about the pushing/hitting phase, and she griped about her daughter pulling hair. I looked down and what appeared to be the girls laying down in the balls together and we both noticed that her girl had a handful of Jillian's hair. I let her speak to her child, since Jillian wasn't expressing displeasure yet. When that yielded no results, other than this girl grabbing a second handful of Jillian's hair and twisting them, her mother started to gently pull her off of Jillian. Jillian started crying/screaming and I quickly grabbed the other girl and removed her from Jillian. The mother didn't seem to mind that I stepped in and "helped" her end the situation, disciplined her child, and there were no more issues today. However, I did keep a closer watch over Jilly when she was playing near the other girl for the rest of class.

emk said...

I feel confident that any of our group moms could deal with B and I'd be fine with it! (So there's your permission.) It's definitely a tricky thing, though-- especially when there's a big difference in age between the kids involved. I think we have to be prepared when our kids are the younger ones that there might be some rougher play that we're used to seeing. Parents of older kids might not be thinking about (or remember) what it's like to have a small fry and thus be a bit more unaware. But, above all, I think you do what you have to do for your kid's safety, but either try not to sweat the small stuff, or be very up front with the other parent about behavior that's going on and making you nervous.

Oh...and....HOORAY for removing comment moderation!! ;-)

Husband said...

Wait, no comment moderation? Muhahahahahhahahaha!

I feel paranoid and neurotic in spades about this sort of thing as well.