What Would You Do? Should You Discipline Someone Else’s Child?
What would you do? If you were babysitting your nephew, niece, cousin, or somebody else's child, and they did something you know their parents have told them not to do, how would you punish the child? Do you punish the child? To add to this scenario, let's say your kid is there too, egging it on or joining in, what do you do now? Do you punish them both? Do you let it go? Do you punish only your child?
It is a tough situation to decide how to discipline another person's child. For one, you have been trusted to watch them and make that tough call, but also it isn't your child and you don't want to make the parents mad and you want to respect their parenting. Second, if you are like me and don't want people to discipline your child, then it is a dilemma on being a hypocrite or doing what you think you should. In today's society spanking and discipline are mostly frowned upon, so doing it, in general, is a tough decision, let alone to another person's child.
Recently I was put in a tough situation watching my nephew and son at the same time. I am the last person who should be watching a 5-year-old and a 4-year-old, but it was my uncle and parental duties. These two go from one extreme to the other. They either get along great and are little angels, or they bicker, fight and egg each other on. It can change in a millisecond. When they get rowdy, their listening skills go out the window. They are good kids and don't do anything bad, just things they know they shouldn't like jump on the couch, yell at each other, or have issues sharing their games. They are typical kids.
In this particular situation, both boys were doing belly flops on the couch, which they had been told previously not to do. While I would love to join in, I know they are not supposed to not be doing it. This is where the dilemma lies. After telling them to stop, they both look at me and do it anyway. My child, I can put in timeout, but what do I do with my nephew?
I have never been the most responsible or reliable person to watch kids, even my own. I know I am protective of mine, so I find it hard to decide what to do when someone else's kid is doing something they shouldn't be doing. Is it best to let the parents handle it after the fact, or is it better to do it myself in the moment? What would you do?