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Lynda Loveland: Disciplining other kids???

Posted June 27, 2012

Lynda Loveland

The video of the woman on the school bus being verbally abused by kids has me thinking a lot lately. Thinking about kids and respect and discipline.

What those kids did was reprehensible. I think we’ve all thought about what we would do if we witnessed it happening. That’s an extreme case of misbehavior, if you can even call it that. (It’s far too mild of a description, but you get my drift.) But it brings up a question: Is it OK to discipline other people’s kids when they’re misbehaving?

I know some parents who get bent out of shape if anyone else “corrects” their children. They want to be the sole disciplinarian.

I get that, to a point. Discipline starts at home. But … parents can’t be around their kids 24-7 and kids aren’t perfect. I don’t have any problem correcting kids in my house. And I definitely don’t have a problem with other parents correcting mine.

If my kids screw up, they should be called on it. If safety is an issue, then it’s a given. You hope you’ve instilled right and wrong in your children so they can make the right choice, but again, they’re kids and they’re learning.

It gets a little trickier if you’re out in public, say a mall or restaurant. If a kid's behavior is really bad I would say yes, put on your disciplinarian hat and say something. But what if it’s just bad and not really bad? It’s a fine line.

You can’t be a parent to everyone, or can you?

Lynda is the mom of three an co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here to find her on Facebook.


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  • KLW Jul 2, 2012

    Our neighborhood pond is adjacent to another neighborhood, and children from that neighborhood come over and vandalize our neighborhood's property, throw the drainage rocks into the water, etc. Our HOA dues have to pay for any repairs or things that have to be replaced. Several times I've asked them nicely to stop and I get cussed at or flipped off. I would have never even thought to cuss at or flip off an adult when I was a child!! I would have never been so disrespectful of property that doesn't belong to me in the first place either.

  • treefrognc Jun 28, 2012

    Okay, meant not right there. Sorry about my typing skills.

  • treefrognc Jun 28, 2012

    At the playground, if they are being mean or playing unsafely and their parents are right there, then yes I do say something. But I also have picked up a child who fell and was crying as well. I'm and equal opportunity disciplinarian and comforter.

  • Glass Half Full Jun 28, 2012

    Whenver a parent leaves a child in my care, I advise them I will treat their child as I would treat mine, and I do. However, in public, it depends upon the situation. Teenagers unaccompaned in the mall, absolutely; screaming kids in a restaurant, I say something to the parent; kids who have broken free of their parent and are running amok, I correct. I had a kid run out the end of an aisle in Walmart and nailed themself hard into my cart. Kid just stood there looking at me. I said "excuse you". Kid still stood there looking at me. I walked away.

  • snowl Jun 28, 2012

    It depends on many situations/circumstances. Sometimes just asking the waiter to move your dining party to another table far away from the misbehaving child is enough to send a message. I find most young parents are very good at keeping their little ones behaving in public places. I don't like it when parents are too harsh to little ones. That does not work for anyone, and makes me feel sorry for the child, actually.

  • NiceNSmooth Jun 28, 2012

    lol...funny My two cents - If I'm out and I see some kid acting crazy/bratty and it affects me I look to see if the parent is around and say something to the parent!!! It is not the kids fault it is the parents so talking to the child is a lose of time... address the cause not the symptom.

    I am one of those parents that NO ONE had better tell my child anything - but understand I take a strong role in disciplining my children so I would say it would be a shocking event if my kids were to act up in public.

  • kimsstressed Jun 28, 2012

    I don't mind saying things to other people's children, especially when they are being mean to other children.. There are some children that act outrageous when their parents are not right next to them and they need to know it's not acceptable.. When I see them acting like holy terrors in a store or something like that, I'll say, would your mom want you to do something like this?? Then I'll say, well maybe you should find your mom before I do... :) They usually get the point.

  • iriemom Jun 28, 2012

    I certainly don't beat up on my kids, or other peoples', and I'm harder on my kids - but I will gently correct other peoples' kids. If we're in a well-known group of kids, I'll intervene more quickly, or involve the parent. It can be difficult to figure out who the parent is in a public situation, but if I can figure out who the parent is, I'll speak to the parent first unless there is imminent danger, IMO. I've found that what freaks me out doesn't faze other parents. (Did I just make up a word there? "phase" just didn't seem to fit.)

  • jedichick Jun 28, 2012

    I don't see why not. What really drives me crazy if a kid is doing destructive things and acting in a manner unfit for being around others, and if I say something, the parent usually asks if I have kids and when I say no, they say then I have no right to say anything because I don't know anything about being a parent. I know that a kid shouldn't be acting like that, isn't that enough??

  • NoHopeNoChange Jun 28, 2012

    If a parent is not parenting, then I will step in and adjust the child. Nobody wants to have kids running around in a restaurant or store like they have been struck by lightning. If the parent is too busy talking to her friends, looking the other way, you can beleive that I will say something. I hate kids that act like they have no manners when they are out in public. I have been run into way too many times to put up with it.