This is one of those posts that has been sat in my ‘drafts’ folder for a little while, so if you’re reading it, I’m giving myself a pat on the back for actually doing something with it. You may have to bear with me at times, as I’m not entirely sure where it will go. My point is this. Who, if anyone, should discipline your child?
Now I’m not talking about nursery or school staff. Nor am I talking about any other kind of caregiver when you are not around, because of course, they then have the right to, within reason, take on your role.
I’m talking about every day. When YOU are WITH your child. Whether you’re out and about. In a soft play area. A playground. A restaurant. A friend’s house. Do the people you are with, or around, have the right to speak to them in a way, that should be reserved for the parent?
My opinion? No.
Plain and simple. Here’s why (and I’m talking collectively, for all of us as parents)…
I am his parent. He is my child. It is me that brings him up. It is me that teaches him right from wrong. It is me that chooses how he is spoken to. It is me that knows my child. It is me who can understand his actions. It is me who can assess the situation. It is me that can then decide if he should be spoken to abruptly, sharply, or in a gentler approach. I am his parent. It is me who should decide. Therefore it is me, who should discipline.
Children can misbehave for any number of reasons. Usually, in my (almost) four years of experience, it’s because they are either tired, feeling unwell, excitable, or they are just pushing the boundaries. Each circumstance usually has a certain way that we as parents choose to handle them. That is OUR choice and OUR way of parenting.
It is not for someone else to step in and raise a voice and shout unnecessarily at our children when we are present and should be allowed to handle the situation ourselves.
There could be a reason why our children behave the way they do and the interference of someone else, may cause an issue down the line. It may create issues involving their confidence. It may cause an outgoing child to feel inferior or embarrassed. It may make them more nervous around other grown ups that they once felt comfortable.
It is our place as parents to choose how to handle an occasion of unacceptable behaviour and no one else’s. If our children do something that another adult considers unacceptable, give us the chance to do something about it before making a comment, or raising a voice. If we don’t witness it, then tell us and we will do something about it in the best way we see fit. To me, this is completely logical and it maddens me to witness many occasions where this has not been the case.
We are the parents, so let us parent in the best way we know how. Our way. Not anyone else’s.
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