Who Should Discipline Your Child?

Who Should Discipline Your Child?

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.



This post is linked up to some of the following fabulous linkys:




  1. 17th October 2016 / 7:08 pm

    Agree, I do it at home, I do it for others at school – I don’t wish to do it in Starbucks in my time. I think it’s all about rights and responsibilities #marvmondays

    • Jaki
      17th October 2016 / 10:35 pm

      Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. 18th October 2016 / 9:17 am

    Completely agree with this. It infuriates me when someone tries to discipline my child and I’m sat right there! We aren’t soft with our children but then again we understand that they ARE children, and we give them some leeway. I often feel judged by others who are tutting at them in public when thy are a little excited or not sitting as still as others, but it hardly merits screaming at them. I hate seeing children being shouted at, especially in public, and if anybody was to try the same with my children I’d be raging! #dreamteam

    • Jaki
      18th October 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Oh it’s not just me!! Relief! I think maybe we should be braver and say something if and when it happens. I don’t know how or why people think they have the right. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. 18th October 2016 / 10:26 am

    Well said. Parents need to lead in discipline and others need to follow for that child – a consistent message has to be most important.

    • Jaki
      18th October 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Completely agree. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  4. 18th October 2016 / 2:38 pm

    Oh I am totally with you on this. I have a couple of friends who tell my child off when I am there and it really frustrates me. It undermines my authority and actually, if I thought they needed telling off, I would have done it myself. #TwinklyTuesday

    • Jaki
      18th October 2016 / 7:54 pm

      Yes!! This!! What makes them think they have the right?! It’s so infuriating. So pleased it’s not just me who feels like this. X

  5. 18th October 2016 / 9:05 pm

    I totally agree. Nothing I dislike more than when someone tells my child ‘off’. Now she isn’t an angel all the time, and sometimes she does push it (show me a 21 month old who doesn’t) but I totally agree that it’s me that will tell her, and decide how she needs to be told. Some people just like to get involved too much. #dreamteam

    • Jaki
      19th October 2016 / 8:18 pm

      I think some people have no clue and probably have no clue how much they irritate us when they do it. I’ve bit my lip on many occasion but I think next time I might have to say something. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Chilli Regina
    19th October 2016 / 9:57 am

    I agree with you. Parents are the one who raise, teach and discipline their child. Others can contribute by talking to the parents, not the child. I hate it, when someone tells me, what is best for my kids. How would you know that, now?!

    • Jaki
      19th October 2016 / 8:16 pm

      Infuriating isn’t it? Clearly it riles me enough to feel the need to write about it! 😀 Thanks for commenting and connecting over on Facebook 🙂

  7. 19th October 2016 / 8:33 pm

    I insist that if people want to spend time with my children then they play by my rules. Consistency is definitely key and I don’t want my girls getting mixed messages.


    • Jaki
      20th October 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Good for you. I completely agree. Thanks for reading.

  8. CaptainKirt
    20th October 2016 / 12:02 am

    I do hate to see parents that negotiate with their children sometimes even trying to bribe them into good behaviour. Nothing ruins your day like out of control kids whilst you’re trying to go about your business.

    • Jaki
      20th October 2016 / 5:58 pm

      I agree. It’s not much fun being the one trying to handle the kids while they have a tantrum either! 🙂

  9. RachelSwirl
    20th October 2016 / 12:40 pm

    i find it so difficult as I am teacher through and through and when I see children being silly I have to bite my lip lol.

    • Jaki
      20th October 2016 / 5:59 pm

      Well when you’re with kids for a living I can imagine it must be hard 🙂

  10. 20th October 2016 / 1:39 pm

    I can see where you’re coming from with this, and agree that I would be very angry if a stranger started shouting at my son. But then, I usually make sure that I’m around to keep an eye on him just in case he does do something that he needs quickly reminding isn’t nice, or kind, or allowed, etc. A lot of parents don’t do that, especially in soft play centres or parks. The amount of times I’ve seen a kid push another or smack another when their parents are sat across the other side of the place not taking any notice! In that situation, if a child did that to mine I would gently say “Hitting (etc) isn’t kind, it could hurt” – obviously in no way would I shout, but if no other adult is taking responsibility then I’m not going to let the kid just start smacking others.

    Similarly, when I’m with my friends and their children I’m very often the one holding hands with all the kids when we’re crossing the road, as they do tend to flock to me. In that situation I’ve got no reservations about reminding a child to not step down into the road until I’ve said it’s safe to cross, or telling them to get back up on the pavement if they do so.

    It’s all dependent upon situation, obviously.

    • Jaki
      20th October 2016 / 6:02 pm

      I think if there is no sign of the parent then yes you would be within your rights to stop them hitting out. I was specifically talking about when people tell children off when their parents are right there. This I feel is the parent’s job and not that of someone else. But yes I agree. Situation dependent. Thanks for reading 🙂

  11. 20th October 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Totally agree it should be the parent only that disciplines and if someone has a problem with your child’s behaviour they should talk to you not them about it so you can deal with it as appropriate. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely X

    • Jaki
      20th October 2016 / 6:03 pm

      You’re on my wavelength!! 🙂 thanks a million x

  12. Yvonne
    21st October 2016 / 9:49 am

    Well said, we don’t know what is going on in other peoples lives, their little one could be feeling poorly, be having a hard time at school or have social anxiety issues. I would be angry if a stranger disciplined my child, they should speak to me first and I will deal with it. I am not saying that as a mum who is a big softy either, my kids don’t get away with much – apart from when they are with daddy, who is actually a big softy lol! #coolmumclub

    • Jaki
      21st October 2016 / 5:37 pm

      Exactly. It’s even more annoying when the other person isn’t a parent so they don’t really have a clue what they’re doing. It’s just unnecessary interference in my opinion. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  13. 21st October 2016 / 3:08 pm

    As a barmaid, I have seen all too often parents bring their children into the pub then act as though they aren’t there. Meanwhile, their little darlings are running around shouting and screaming (and bear in mind it’s not a pub with a play area) and bothering people. I’ve seen children trying to climb out of the windows! And sometimes, someone does have to step in for that child’s safety when their parents just shrug and let them get on with it.
    Having said that, I do agree that unless it’s a safety issue its not really up to anyone else to discipline someone else’s child.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

    • Jaki
      21st October 2016 / 5:40 pm

      That just sounds like horrendous parenting! I could never do that. It saddens me so much when children get ignored. It’s a likely chance that they’re acting up like that to try and get their parents attention! I agree with you if they’re safety is concerned and their parents are doing nothing then of course you should say something. Some people need to go on a crash course in parenting! 🙂

  14. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    21st October 2016 / 4:39 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this. I’ve only had this on a couple of occasions, but if I’m right there, I find it incredibly rude that anyone feels they need to step in to tell my child off. Like you’ve said, there are always any number of things going on that might change how you handle it, none of which a stranger has any idea of. I do think people like to weigh in on other people’s business!

    That said, so often in soft play (and only soft play!), you have that situation with a naughty child where there is no parent in sight. They’re causing havoc and everyone is looking around to try to identify who they belong to! In that situation I think it’s perfectly acceptable to have a quick word (although I’m clearly far too soft, as my ‘words’ always go unheeded!)

    Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Jaki
      21st October 2016 / 5:43 pm

      I agree with your last point completely. If no one is around and the naughty one needs telling, then yes absolutely. I think I’d then try and keep an eye out for their parents and have a word with them aswell. There’s always one at soft play isn’t there? I hate soft play – but that’s a whole different blog!! 😀
      Thanks for hosting – love this linky xx

  15. 21st October 2016 / 10:58 pm

    Yes to this! Thankfully I haven’t had it happen to me yet, but I would not be happy if someone disciplined my child in front of me. I sometimes have to take a deep breath if my own mum does it, because whilst she does have my girls occasionally and of course then I would expect her to discipline them. When I’m there she does tend to do it over silly things and I always think ‘pick your battles’! Thanks for joining us at #SharingthrBlogLove X

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:57 pm

      Oh I’m a big fan of the ‘pick your battles’ option! And yes, I know exactly what you mean. Thankfully my Mums quite good like that, but there are others we see regularly who aren’t!! 🙂

  16. 22nd October 2016 / 9:55 am

    I would be horrified if someone disciplined my child. I don’t discipline other people’s children. However I would expect others to stop my child being hurt or hurting another. #fortheloveofblog

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Agreed 🙂 so many different circumstances could change the reaction. Thanks for reading x

  17. 22nd October 2016 / 1:28 pm

    I agree completely with your sentiment and I would never try to discipline another person’s child, shout at them or anything like that. I wouldn’t expect anyone to do it to my daughter either. However, the line is a bit blurred because I similarly wouldn’t stand by silently watching as another child hurt my daughter or her friends without any sign of the other parent. An example of this was at a playgroup yesterday. An older child & her brother were driving round on a toy motorbikes and kept ploughing into the other children. I was keeping an eye on her because I didn’t want her to hurt my daughter. But the inevitable happened and she drove directly at my daughter, knocked her over and then hit her again-and-again as her brother kept bumping into the back of her to keep moving. My poor 21 month old didn’t even have a second to stand-up until I moved the few steps to pick her up. I didn’t shout or say the other girl was wrong, but I did ask her to be more careful as there were other younger children and she could hurt them. Not that she seemed to listen. It would have been nice to see her mum or dad come over and say something at that point instead though. My daughter was quite upset. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:55 pm

      I agree that if the parent isn’t around then something needs to be said. This was aimed at when I’m sat right there and someone takes over before I’ve had the chance.
      Playgroup and soft play is always a nightmare I think. Kids get so exciteable. Mine nearly got knocked over several times yesterday by older kids who have no sense of self control. I hate soft play!! Lol. Thanks for reading and commenting x

  18. 22nd October 2016 / 2:39 pm

    If we are out with friends and my kids do something they shouldn’t my friends don’t have time to tell them off cause I am already telling them off lol. I never tell my friends kids off, I talk to the parent and they then talk to their child. It is not my place to do so.

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:51 pm

      Completely agree! It’s usually the same for me but there have been occasions where people have just stepped right in to do my job before I’ve had chance. So annoying. Thanks for reading 🙂

  19. Claire
    22nd October 2016 / 8:36 pm

    I would be furious if someone yelled at my son, I agree that you can gently ask another child to stop hitting etc if their parent isn’t around but yelling is never appropriate. My friends and I tell each other’s kids off if they misbehave in a group playdate but always gently and will always tell each other if we’ve had to while the other mum was distracted. We’d never yell though, yikes, I can’t believe some people do things like that. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:49 pm

      Sadly they do! Half the time its people without kids who have no idea whatsoever! Most infuriating! Thanks for reading and commenting:)

  20. 22nd October 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Great post. I think it can be really confusing to a little one having too many different people trying to discipline them. I agree, it should be down to those in the parental role as a general rule.

    But not all parents will discipline their children. I have told other children to stop pushing or hitting when it has become necessary, but only when a parent is clearly not going to say anything. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam xx

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:47 pm

      I think that’s the problem these days. Some parents don’t parent properly! Some just let their kids run riot – thankfully I’m not like that so don’t appreciate it when people step in & try and do my job. It is a tricky one with many different circumstances possible. Thanks for hosting 🙂

  21. 22nd October 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Totally agree with you here. I bite my tongue so much if someone tells my child off when I am right there! Thank you for linking up to #justanotherlinky

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:44 pm

      Infuriating isn’t it?! Maybe we shouldn’t bite our tongues from now on?! 🙂 thanks for reading.

  22. 23rd October 2016 / 10:32 pm

    I do agree with you. But I also do feel you should make the PARENT aware if there child is misbehaving. Well only if it’s affecting your child of course. Sometimes parent’s just don’t take any notice. A few weeks ago, this little girlie yanked a handful of my daughters hair out, and her mum was at the other end of the park on her phone. Her daughter must have only been about 4. I didn’t tell the child off, but I did tell the parent.

    But yes totally, who are you to discipline someone elses child. Apart from at school or nursery.
    Great post. Sorry for the long comment :p

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:35 pm

      Long comments totally welcome! 🙂 I think I did mention I would like to be told about it if I’m not there when it happens. I’ve seen occasions when some people have raised a voice at my little one – almost before I’ve had chance to few with it when I’m right there with them. This is where this post idea originally came from 🙂

  23. 23rd October 2016 / 10:52 pm

    I agree if the parent is sat there. Although if the child is hurting someone and it’s clear that they need to be told that’s not suitable behaviour but the parent isn’t stepping in, I would point it out to the parent. If they then took no notice (as has happened in soft play), I would say something about what the correct behaviour is and maybe they should think about whether they should be doing it.

    I’ve also told off friends’ kids when they’re in the building/room but busy doing something else. We’d all do it for each other and are happy to because we know how we discipline and how strict. Mostly it’s just a word and not raising of voices. I’ve also stepped in when I’ve been the one leading an outing, or they’re in my house and aren’t taking notice of their mum. I’ve stated that they’ve had their chance with their mum, and I’m setting the rule in my house. Quite often they behave just from a reminder from someone else other than their parents, whose words can often be like background noise to them.

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Definitely circumstance dependent. Soft play seems to be coming up quite a bit in these comments – funny that! Every parent’s nightmare!! 🙂 thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  24. 24th October 2016 / 9:55 am

    I tend to agree but have to admit in certain situations I do step in and say something. Usually soft play when a child is being far too rough or aggressive around my child and their parents are oblivious or ignoring the situation. In that situation I’m going to tell that kid off and then point it out to the parents. It does cause friction sometimes! Interesting post! Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG 

    • Jaki
      24th October 2016 / 5:30 pm

      I think that’s the difference. If the parents aren’t around then yes, I would say something. This post was more aimed at a situation whereby I might be sat there and they take it upon themselves to tell my child off. It’s all circumstances depending really 🙂

  25. 25th October 2016 / 8:14 am

    I agree in almost all situations except if my child is being hurt. If we’re out and another child physically or emotionally upsets my son I’m afraid I will say something to that child. I won’t shout or scare them of course but I’ll tell them to stop and what they did wrong. This is more difficult if their parent is watching but I stand by it because I’m always going to protect my child. Similarly, if my son hurts or wrongs another kid and I don’t see it then I’d understand another parent telling him off.

    Regarding any behaviour not related to the safety or security of my son then yes I completely agree, absolutely none of my business x #bloggerclubuk

    • Jaki
      25th October 2016 / 4:56 pm

      I think it’s completely circumstances dependent. I think it’s knowing where the line is. Thanks for reading and commenting:)

  26. Jaylan - Diapers at Dawn
    25th October 2016 / 9:50 am

    I agree that the parents should be the one to discipline, but there has been occasions when my friends have told my boy not to do something and I’m fine with that. I trust them and I agree with the way they parent so have no problem if they tell my son not to do something or correct him if he is doing something wrong. I definitely wouldn’t like it if they raised their voice towards him, but none of us would do that! x #CoolMumClub

    • Jaki
      25th October 2016 / 4:53 pm

      Good to know you’re surrounded by friends that you trust. That’s always needed. Thanks for reading.

  27. 2nd November 2016 / 6:25 pm

    Completely agree, it drives me crazy when someone else tries to discipline my child, especially when they weren’t paying attention themselves and it was actually their child that caused the issue in the first place!
    Congrats on getting this published on HuffingtonPost x

    • Jaki
      3rd November 2016 / 12:10 pm

      Thanks so much ad again, thank you for sharing the posts on Twitter. Much appreciated. x

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