Recently I was in a store in the middle of the toy aisle. While looking around and as my kids asked for every thing they saw, I kept hearing a little girl say to whom I presumed was her brother, to "stop it." As she repeated this her voice was accentuated with a whine.
Her verbal pleas became heightened and she was crying, asking him to stop.
I looked over and saw that he was punching her. Not just a soft push like siblings can do, but a real closed-fist punch.
I have no patience for this kind of thing.
I could see the kids down the aisle but didn't see any parents. They continued to fight, or I should say, he continued to punch.
So, I sauntered a bit closer and gave the much older and bigger brother a stare and raised my eyebrows at him. He looked at me and scooted away from his little sister.
I went back to shopping and the cries started up again. I looked over and he was back at it. I could see in my peripheral vision that he was looking around to see if anyone saw. There were still no parents around so I went back to the kid and said,
"Do you hear her telling you to stop?!"
"Then please STOP." I said.
The little girl cried, "Yeah, stop it. It hurts."
He just shrugged his shoulders and slumped back down and played with toys that weren't packaged.
I went back to shopping but I would occasionally look up to see if they were still there. I caught him a few times as he was trying to slap her. He stopped mid-way when he caught my eye and reluctantly brought his arm down. The girl kept flinching every time he moved.
A little while later as I was in the check-out line, they ended up behind me. The girl was trying to tell her mother what he was doing. She wasn't paying attention and blew her off when she said, "Well, quit bugging him" like it was her fault.
Unfortunately that may be the reality of that home.
In my mom's generation and heritage, it was OK to discipline other's children. Maybe not every one's but certainly in the neighborhood. I remember my grandma yelling some thing at kids on her street and they ran away. Then I saw the mother of the kids bring them back to my grandma and say, "Apologize to Mrs. Hernandez for having to yell at you! You better behave from now on!"
Before every school year or the start of a new class at church, we tell the teachers that we won't be offended if they have to discipline our kids. Or they are always free to come and get us if they are disruptive and we'll handle it. We will never be offended.
I know, love and trust every one that teaches our kids so I know they'll be fair. We don't catch all of the things they do but if and when we do, we are quick to act. We have one that can quickly get out of control so we have to always be on our toes. It's just the nature of bi-polar disorder and it is so hard.
I know it's a touchy subject but my questions are...
How do you feel about disciplining other people's children?
Do you feel more or less comfortable if they are your friends?
Do you do it at all? Do you mind if it's done to yours with fairness?
linking to Take it from me