When another parent disciplines your child it’s very easy to get frustrated. After all you are the child’s parent so you know best! The fact that someone else has tried to discipline your child may come across offensive as they are forcing their agenda onto your child and you may not agree.
However, it’s usually more common for others parent who feels the urge to help out, that dish out some discipline and it’s usually not done in a malicious way.
Here’s what to do when another parent takes it upon themselves to discipline your child
When Another Parent Disciplines Your Child
1. Don’t take it too personally
Most parents are just doing what comes naturally to them. Parents are parents and they want to provide guidance to as many children as they can.
Sometimes it can just be an instinct to say, “sweetie, get down from that chair or else you’ll hurt yourself”. Try not to take secondary parenting as a sign of disrespect as it seldom is. Instead, mirror the other parent’s sentiments if it is something that you would say and do anyway.
2. Don’t react immediately.
Usually, the first thing you will want to do when another parent disciplines your child is to jump down their throat and instruct them to save their discipline efforts for their own child.
Try not to overreact when it happens the first or second time. Doing so will confuse your child and not provide a good example. Instead, if it happens too many times, especially in front of you, pull the other parent aside and politely and sternly remind them that you have a particular way of doing things and would appreciate it if they respected your discipline framework.
In this way you are not angrily reminding them that: “It’s Not Your Child”, (which they already know) but instead you have brought to their attention the fact that the way they discipline and the way you discipline are different.
This needs to be respected at all times or else you won’t stand for it.
There is always a fine line between wanted help and unwanted help and to ensure everyone is aware of these lines you should communicate your feelings correctly. This will help to avoid any unwanted hassle down the road.
3. Take it as a compliment!
As parents, we are so rushed off our feet with 101 things to do before bedtime that sometimes having someone come in and provide some extra guidance can be a breath of fresh air.
If you change your perspective you can easily see this abrupt evasion as a welcome break!
Think of it, this person is actively taking their time out of their busy day to help you discipline your child. (let’s face it we all could do with some extra help from time to time)
Instead, draw some clear boundaries so they know what lines not to cross but give them a bit of leeway whilst you do other things.
Its easy to go off the rails and berate the other parent for giving advice that isn’t exactly the same as what you give. While you should always correct other parents if the advice is completely unwanted, sometimes it’s advisable to give your child another perspective.
Some children are very stubborn and will not listen to your direct request, but may benefit from another parents experience. This is very true if your child is a friend with the other parent’s child.
If a parent is passionate about discipline and it aligns close to your version of parenting then let them do the hard work for you!