Have you ever encountered a friend or family member who took it upon themselves to discipline your misbehaving youngster? Find out how you can control the situation whether you're there or not...
The issue of a stranger stepping in to discipline your child is a real divider among most parents.
Some would be furious that another person interfered and crossed a line to discipline their child, while others accept it as a part of life and growing up.
With this in mind, we bring you some things to remember regarding the topic of others disciplining your child.
Setting boundaries and communicating about discipline
If you are comfortable with having others discipline your child, then it may be because they are a member of your family, a friend or childcare support worker whom you trust and have built a bond with.
Even so, it is still advisable to set the boundaries on how others discipline your child and mete out punishment. This way you still remain in control of the situation.
As a parent, I have often heard that our daughter behaved wonderfully at a friend’s place, and yet have had her misbehave under our own roof.
This suggests that she knew not to cross the line when in another’s company.
Even so, we as parents would always ask other parents if there had been any trouble or discipline issues to ensure that communication was a two-way thing.
We would also outline what was and what was not acceptable; what we would expect if our daughter was staying under our roof and, if things got bad, for the other parents to call us.
We wanted to take discipline in our own hands, and the way we achieved it was by telling others to call us if anything got out of hand.
This way strangers didn’t overstep their boundaries, and we still remained in charge.
We also encouraged our daughter to tell us what happened while she was away at a friend’s to ensure nothing untoward had happened or no discipline matters arose.
We would also tell her what we would expect of her being in others company and her limits, but also, if she needed to call us immediately, to do so.
More on this topic on the next page…