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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Other People's Kids

I do love children for the most part. My own children drive me a little crazy now and again. I think compared to most of my friends I am a bit more strict than they are, and I never noticed this until I started hanging out with them more when their children were around.
I posted about discipline (the way other people discipline) a while back and how it didnt actually affect me, how I parent or how it doesnt affect my own children. I have come to the realization that perhaps I was wrong on that assumption.
I was right to say that in the moment a way that a person decides to discipline their own child, or not discipline does not affect any of the above, however, how that child then acts towards *other* authority figures and children in general does affect all of the above.
Dont get me wrong, I do love my friends kids.. I am just starting to notice that some of them (mainly the girls) do not treat my sons so well. They can play nicely for hours but then can turn on a dime, uttering hurtful things and a whole bunch of sassyness.
I honestly try to respect my friends and their parenting style, and for the most part my closest friends and I follow the same style...the difference comes in expectations. Some parents have different expectations for other children. And that is not a bad thing, if we all had the same expectations the world would be quite boring and we wouldnt be able to learn from eachother.
That is where I am a little more strict or harsh, I guess. I expect K to fall in line after he has been given 3 warnings. If he does not comply we leave. Immediately.
He doesnt have a chance to rectify his behaviour. I feel he is given ample warnings and ample time to fix what he is doing.
On the subject of other children....I am not sure how to handle them.
For the most part I am hands off when it comes to my friends children, but there have been more and more times when I have been in a situation where these children disrespect me, or my authority or disrespect my children. The problem with children is that for them to learn something it has to be immediate. But going to find the mom to deal with the situation makes the learning opportunity disappear. And then I wonder, what should I do?
Talk to the child directly? Treat them as I would my own? Some of my friends use gentle discipline, and so talking would be preferable, however, some of these children do not practice "gentle discipline" themselves and just get saucy and rude.
I can usually let it slide off my back, but as keenan gets older and these girls get cattier, it will take all my strength not to say something to them directly. But the question remains, should I?
Is it in my right to correct a girl when my son's feelings are hurt? Would the same happen to him if he was the one hurting feelings? I would hope so.
I just feel like K is a very sensitive boy and the older we get the more comments he receives from girls. It's not that these girls are picking this up from anyone in particular, or that their parents are to blame...that is not the case at all.
Girls get this mentality where they get catty. Bottom line. They form cliques and groups and clubs. People are denied entrance to one and allowed entrance to another, solely based on membership. (this happens in the adult world as well)
So what is a mom to do?


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