If my child is up to no good, I want you to tell me
If you see someone's child misbehaving, doing something wrong or engaged in a potentially dangerous activity, just use your parental instinct to gauge whether or not it is a good idea to let their mum and dad know about it
As the saying goes, “It takes a whole village to raise a child”, and I for one completely agree that sometimes us parents may need an extra set of eyes to help make sure that our kids are staying out of trouble.
I am trying my best to make sure that my daughter knows right from wrong and that she treats everyone with respect (or learns to walk away from those who don’t deserve it), but I won’t deny that she’s bound to step out of line at times and ruffle a few feathers, because kids will be kids — but parents should also be parents.
When I bring my threenager on a playdate and if someone’s child smacks my kid across the head with a toy out of anger, I would want the other parent to do something about it — stop him from repeating the action, apologise for the physical injury inflicted on my kid, and just acknowledge that what their child did was unacceptable.
So if the tables were turned, I would want to know too so that I can immediately correct my child’s behaviour and make sure it never happens again.
If my preschooler is happily running around the playground but then another kid prevents her from using the slide or says mean things to her such as, “This is my playground, not yours, go away!”, I would want the other parent to step in, instead of of just sitting back and allowing their child to become the much dreaded playground-bully.
Because if my child were to treat someone else unkindly like that, if I was made aware, it would give me the opportunity to remind her to share the space and play nice with others.
When I’m at my multi-storey car park and see several Primary school students wildly chasing each other up and down the levels, engaged in a game of tag, and dodging the oncoming traffic, I wonder if their parents would want to be clued in about their kids’ shenanigans — because if my child is doing something dangerous and potentially life-threatening, then I definitely would want to know about it!
No parent wants to hear that their kid is misbehaving or doing something they shouldn’t be — but no parent wants their child to get into trouble or do things which can potentially harm themselves or others either.
Honesty is the best policy
Even though you might feel that you are being nosey or kay poh for snitching on kids to their parents and for not minding your own business, there are certain times when some parents might really appreciate someone stepping in to point out what their kid is doing is wrong and dangerous so they can prevent something bad from happening.
Being honest is also better than harbouring any resentment towards a child and her parent for any negative behaviour you may have experienced or witnessed, and then complaining or gossiping about it to all your friends, or even posting snide cryptic comments on social media, instead of addressing the issue maturely.
Yes, my child isn’t perfect, but you know what? Neither is yours. No child is. That is why they need their parents to step in and teach them right from wrong, to gently guide them along the way and grow up to be a decent human being with good values.
However, if you are not sure whether or not to tell another parent about their kid’s questionable antics, just put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think:
Would you like to be informed that your child is bullying someone else or is perhaps the victim of bullying?
Would you appreciate being told that your kid is practising unsupervised amateur parkour from the school rooftops?
Would you want to be made aware that your child was approached by the police and brought into questioning without you being present?
Although there’s no need to tattle tale on a child for every tiny matter, you can use your own parental instinct to gauge whether or not their mum and dad should know what’s going on with their kid.
So if you ever see my child up to no good, please just politely let me know — I would want to know.