Monday, November 17, 2008

Should your discipline other people's child?

Should your discipline other people's child?

My answer is a definite no if the discipline is physical. New Zealand passed a law known as Anti Spanking law. Nobody is allowed to spank a child, be it your own or somebody's child. You can go to jail if you do.

Different people have different parenting style. What is wrong according to you may not be wrong to another. Unless you know the child's family really well, if the child's action can be overlooked, and his behavior doesn't hurt your children or property, it is better not to discipline the child there and then. Just wait until you see the parents, then tell the what the child has done, and leave it at that. Do not recommend to the parents what to do. The parents may not agree with you and you lost your friendship because of that.

Sometimes, an underlying problem might be identified, and the parent might be happyl to you for telling them. They will be grateful to you for helping them.

However, I see chiding or reprimanding is okay if the child's behavior warrants it. Tell him to stop because he is hurting your child, pet or property or public property is okay, but you must tell him gently. But it is important to maintain a good relationship with the child's family that you inform the parents that you have verbally disciplined the child because you felt it was important. If the parents disagree with you, you must apologize and under no circumstance should you repeat the discipline.

I am a teacher, sometimes a child can be very unruly and would not listen and is disruptive. No matter how much I want to physically discipline him or her, I know I must restrain. I might raise my voice or withdraw a privilege I normally give him. A good system is to give him or her "chances" and explain to him the importance of "consequences. If the child persist to be naughty, I write a note to the parents and arrange for a conference to discuss the situation. In most cases, the parents are very pleased to have an opportunity to talk with me and desire to work as a team with me.

Recently, a very disruptive child actually told me about the trouble with members of her family. By having that one to one talk with her, I found out that this poor child had her blanket taken away from an abusive relative of the family. I managed to get her a duvet and some pillows and deliver them to her house. This child became very well behaved and has very good rapport with me.

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