Can You Discipline Another Person’s Kid?


I was at the playground and a kid took a toy away from MY kid. I didn’t know what to do. Can you discipline another person’s child?

This one is often up for debate, but I say YES! If their grown up is not stepping in, you can. You can’t yell at other people’s kids, or berate them, but you can be an advocate for your child. That is how I describe it when asked. Do not think of it as disciplining someone else’s kid – think of it as advocating for your own. A different perspective makes the situation look very different.

Yes, of course, you want to advocate for your own child. How you do this is important. Stick to the facts and use a calm and clear voice: “My child was playing with that, can you please give that back to her?”

Full disclosure: I often hope that the grown up will step in and take over the talk with their child. If not, I will say, “Please give that back or I will have to take it back. That belongs to my child.” You want to be clear and calm. Not nasty and frightening. You do not want to spook the other child, but you also want your child to know that you will be there for him; that you will right the wrong.

Remember, you are not disciplining another person’s child, you are advocating for your own.

How have others handled this situation?

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Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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