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Correcting a Stranger's Parenting Tactics? - Page 2

post #21 of 129
Remember the saying, it takes a village to raise a child?

I read half the replies. IMHO, I don't see anything wrong with very calmly and politely saying, "Hey, I noticed you were having a little trouble with your daughter just now. When my son gets like that I try ______. I'm not saying you need to do that, I just thought you might like to have another trick up your sleeve. Man, parenting can be pain in the butt sometimes, can't it?" I've taken that approach with a few people. I think that if you approach it from the "hey, just trying to help" instead of the "I'm a better parent than you!" point of view people don't get so offended.

Me, personally, I would love to hear another parents advice if they knew of a way to make my life easier. I don't see why people get so angry about this. Maybe if it were approached with a holier-than-thou attitude. I don't go around thinking I already have all the answers, and if I were that parent at the soccer (?) match I would have loved a little extra help.

~Nay
post #22 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin
Remember the saying, it takes a village to raise a child? Me, personally, I would love to hear another parents advice if they knew of a way to make my life easier. I don't see why people get so angry about this. Maybe if it were approached with a holier-than-thou attitude. I don't go around thinking I already have all the answers, and if I were that parent at the soccer (?) match I would have loved a little extra help.

~Nay
I think that's what I meant. I don't think I am the better parent at anything! I welcome advice when I can, and I wasn't implying I knew it all. In fact just today I was visiting with all my Aunts (mothering veterans) and they told me a thing or two... I welcome wisdom
post #23 of 129

Holding back for "ammunition" later

Hi there. I lurk on this forum a lot. I don't have children yet, but I do have close relationships with my 12 nieces and nephews and was a nanny for a number of years. I have been so tempted a gazillion times over to say a thing or two (or three or a hundred) to two of my four sisters when it comes to some of their discipline tactics. I hold my tongue though. For one, I am the youngest sibling, not to mention that I do not have children of my own yet. So they would totally snap if I said a word. Sometimes I just want to scream, "Obviously this isn't working, so TRY SOMETHING ELSE!" It's the repetition of failing approaches that drives me (and dh) the most insane (not to mention the borderline neglect). And, frankly, these failing approaches are often just unkind. (And I remember one of my sisters taking great pride in the fact that she has never read a parenting book.) However, like I said, I never say a word -- and this is family!

My thought is that there will come a time when I have children of my own, and I know for a fact that these two particular sisters are going to be really forthcoming with all their "helpful" (unsought) advice and treat me like a total idiot, despite my experience and education. I figure that is the moment when I can let fly! And, boy, will it feel good!!!!!!

To those who think that the "everything wrong in the book" phrasing of the OP was out of line or elitist, why in the world do you attempt the possibly-more-intensive GD approach if there aren't some child-rearing tactics that are more effective than others?? I see strangers dealing with their children's behavior in a less than ideal fashion all the time. I never say anything to them, but there is no doubt I sure would like to. Everyone on this forum wants their children to grow up feeling like a whole, respected person, and the GD approach is the best means for that, IMO. What's wrong with wanting that for other people's children, even a stranger's? It might not be appropriate to say anything in most circumstances, but we should all feel some regret that we can't do so when it might help a parent at their wit's end to possibly see some other discipline options that would be a whole lot more nurturing for that child.
post #24 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Hi there. I lurk on this forum a lot. I don't have children yet, but I do have close relationships with my 12 nieces and nephews and was a nanny for a number of years. I have been so tempted a gazillion times over to say a thing or two (or three or a hundred) to two of my four sisters when it comes to some of their discipline tactics. I hold my tongue though. For one, I am the youngest sibling, not to mention that I do not have children of my own yet. So they would totally snap if I said a word. Sometimes I just want to scream, "Obviously this isn't working, so TRY SOMETHING ELSE!" It's the repetition of failing approaches that drives me (and dh) the most insane (not to mention the borderline neglect). And, frankly, these failing approaches are often just unkind. (And I remember one of my sisters taking great pride in the fact that she has never read a parenting book.) However, like I said, I never say a word -- and this is family!

My thought is that there will come a time when I have children of my own, and I know for a fact that these two particular sisters are going to be really forthcoming with all their "helpful" (unsought) advice and treat me like a total idiot, despite my experience and education. I figure that is the moment when I can let fly! And, boy, will it feel good!!!!!!

To those who think that the "everything wrong in the book" phrasing of the OP was out of line or elitist, why in the world do you attempt the possibly-more-intensive GD approach if there aren't some child-rearing tactics that are more effective than others?? I see strangers dealing with their children's behavior in a less than ideal fashion all the time. I never say anything to them, but there is no doubt I sure would like to. Everyone on this forum wants their children to grow up feeling like a whole, respected person, and the GD approach is the best means for that, IMO. What's wrong with wanting that for other people's children, even a stranger's? It might not be appropriate to say anything in most circumstances, but we should all feel some regret that we can't do so when it might help a parent at their wit's end to possibly see some other discipline options that would be a whole lot more nurturing for that child.

: !
post #25 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin
Remember the saying, it takes a village to raise a child?

I read half the replies. IMHO, I don't see anything wrong with very calmly and politely saying, "Hey, I noticed you were having a little trouble with your daughter just now. When my son gets like that I try ______. I'm not saying you need to do that, I just thought you might like to have another trick up your sleeve.



I might not have the nerve to say it like that, but I would probably try to do something to ease the tension while things are going on, or maybe after the fact (even as much as just comforting the mom afterwards, because I've been in her shoes where I just wanted my child to shut the heck up at that very moment).

From what I experience, many people will share their opinion of what you are doing no matter what. If you find a way to do it in a positive, empathetic manner, I think you are doing a service to the world. I have a much greater tolerance for my 2 year old walking alone, not holding my hand, and I have people jumping all over me about it all the time, even chastising me at times. I try to take their comments at face value and understand that they are concerned for my child's welfare and have a different standard of behavior. Plus I do examine what I'm doing and decide if maybe I'm making a mistake, and sometimes I might decide they are right.

Oh well, JMO, of course.
post #26 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I don't intervene really. I'd be offended if someone stepped in and said "Maam you shouldn't let your kids go outside in the rain without a coat." or etc so I try to think about the shoe being on the other foot and such. I might try to be a positive example though. I understand how frustrating it can be to witness people being hurtful and demeaning to their children.
OT- My babydaddy had that happen to him once! By a pediatrician! He said, "Well I'm her father and I can tell if she's cold. Thanks anyway." Or something like that. I think oftentimes dads get unwanted advice. It may just be my perception because I almost never do. I think I put out the "don't mess with me vibes".
post #27 of 129

what the???

Where am I? I thought I was on a GD thread on mothering? Why are people giving you greif for this SunRay? I have no idea!
It breaks my heart everytime I see children belitteled and treated with disrespect.
I like to post my frustrations like seeing things like this here on mothering becuase orginally many of the moms came here becuase of similar parenting styles. I have no idea why you are not getting the support you came here to get!
So, let me say, hugs to you and that sweet child, a prayer for that mama so she might find more constructive parenting, and while I wish I could help by offering advice, I will offer a listening ear when mamas want to vent a situation if I do not have advice.
What the heck moms? Where is the support, all she is saying is it is sad when parents belittle their kids and don't you wonder if we should do or say something? I certainly can relate to that!
Do I say stuff? I worry that it will just make the parent more emotional and the parent will take it out on the kid. My DH will say something, but that is part of his job, and he takes it seriously. If the mom or dad really looks like they are just getting frustrated I try to show a commpassionate smile, if they have already gone to far, I make a point of showing my disaproval, and get my DD out of the area. I know not too proactive, I like it when my DH is around I feel much better, and he does it so well, and people never argue with him.
post #28 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunRayeMomi
this is the first time I saw an interaction like this between the mom and daughter so that's probably why I was so shocked.
Quote:
The mom just looked to be at her wit's end.
If this is unusual for the mom, I might have stepped in and stuck up a conversation (not about parenting) with her just to distract her. Maybe given her a grown up to vent on instead of her kid. SOunds like she was having a really bad day, and could have used a friend- not someone stepping in and telling her how to parent.
post #29 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by loverlaydown
I wouldn't care if you are a child psychologist or the damned garbage collector.
and that's not at all elitist. the "damned garbage collector", who is clearly on the opposite end of the spectrum. nice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loverlaydown
Again, take care of yourself and your own needs. I guarantee-life is easier when you do that
hey, that's great advice! go ahead and take it!
post #30 of 129
How about an honest show of hands here...Who among us has honestly NEVER witnessed a parenting tactic in a stranger and then come home and said to your DH "man you wouldn't believe what I saw this woman do to her kid at WalMart". After seeing a mother treat her child so awfully, who hasn't called up a girlfriend and said "So I saw this mom and she yelled out to her little 2 year old, 'Fine get run over and die if you want'!" I'm sure we all have. Parenting is a hot topic button and we all have passionate feelings about it, and I think it's perfectly acceptable to voice those passionate feelings(after the fact) instead of letting them sit like a stone of ice in the pit of your stomach. I've had discussions with my dh and my girlfriends about parenting scenes that rubbed me/them the wrong way and I don't think that makes me "elitist" or "judgemental". I think it makes me a passionate person who is sometimes utterly shocked at the brutality used by many moms and dads. I would never interfere, and neither did SunRae. So to answer your question, SunRae, YES I have seen parenting tactics that I vehimently disagree with. I've seen things that make me want to cry. But in those situations, I think about what I would do were I in that exact situation, then I hug my wonderful son and remind him how very loved he is.


Rigama
post #31 of 129
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by loverlaydown
I wouldn't care if you are a child psychologist or the damned garbage collector.



and that's not at all elitist. the "damned garbage collector", who is clearly on the opposite end of the spectrum. nice.



Quote:
Originally Posted by loverlaydown
Again, take care of yourself and your own needs. I guarantee-life is easier when you do that



hey, that's great advice! go ahead and take it!
Yeah that!!

Quote:
How about an honest show of hands here...Who among us has honestly NEVER witnessed a parenting tactic in a stranger and then come home and said to your DH "man you wouldn't believe what I saw this woman do to her kid at WalMart". After seeing a mother treat her child so awfully, who hasn't called up a girlfriend and said "So I saw this mom and she yelled out to her little 2 year old, 'Fine get run over and die if you want'!" I'm sure we all have. Parenting is a hot topic button and we all have passionate feelings about it, and I think it's perfectly acceptable to voice those passionate feelings(after the fact) instead of letting them sit like a stone of ice in the pit of your stomach. I've had discussions with my dh and my girlfriends about parenting scenes that rubbed me/them the wrong way and I don't think that makes me "elitist" or "judgemental". I think it makes me a passionate person who is sometimes utterly shocked at the brutality used by many moms and dads. I would never interfere, and neither did SunRae. So to answer your question, SunRae, YES I have seen parenting tactics that I vehimently disagree with. I've seen things that make me want to cry. But in those situations, I think about what I would do were I in that exact situation, then I hug my wonderful son and remind him how very loved he is.
...and that!

I think some of the replies here were downright nasty to the OP...especially by one poster in particular...

I hate when I see someone treating their child like sh*t in public. If I saw true abuse, I would intervene definately...if it were the situation you described, I probably wouldn't have... or maybe I would have engaged the mother in a conversation not about discipline. I might have said something like "wow, it looks like your patience is being tested today!" (light-hearted with a laugh or something)... then asked about something, anything so that she would calm down and not focus on being mean to her daughter "by the way I love that purse, where did you get it!!" (or something similarly cheesy but effective lol)

The rules change though when people are in my home or my space. I would think nothing of saying to someone "we don't allow that kind of behavior in our home" if I saw someone berating or hitting or whatever their child. I might not have control over people's parenting, especially in public, but in my home I can choose what I allow and won't.
post #32 of 129
This is such a tricky situation. If this is a stranger, you don't know whether she will gratefully hear you out, or whether she will be embarrassed, blame it on her daughter, and make her daughter suffer even more once they're in private.

By intervening, you can do more good than harm, or more harm than good. It's impossible to predict which.
post #33 of 129
Here are my thoughts on it. OP...you mention you are a child psychologist...the counseling technique you are describing is called "confrontation" I believe. I think in a therapeutic setting this is used sparingly within the context of "rapport" with a client.

It doesn't sound like you have sufficient "rapport" with this mother to "confront" her on her parenting missteps. It seems to me that you can build a relationship of rapport with her and model other ideas, but that a direct "confrontation" will be ineffective, and possibly counter productive.

(BTW: I'm not a counselor; my ex is so I got to learn a lot of lingo and theory while I supported her through her PhD.)
post #34 of 129
Most people weren't nasty to the op. We've all been frustrated by seeing parents treat their kids in a less than stellar way. Of course we're entitled to our opinions, but as mothers I think we owe it to ourselves to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We know how hard we try, how hard it can be, and how it feels when we are criticized as parents based on a single instance or act or bad day.

Having a child act difficult in public is very stressful because lots of people are not understanding of that. Why add to the judgment mothers experience? That's why I think it's likely she could have been just desperately (and yes, ineffectively) reaching for random methods, and probably (unfortuantely) infusing it with patience and intolerance. I think people reacted strongly to the op because it sounded like she was conetemplating saying something to the mother, her op did sound somewhat judgmental, and there seemed to be little original indication that she was trying to be understanding.

If you truly wanted to help, perhaps you could have helped distract the child, or commiserated in some appropriate manner that might ease the stress off her about diffusing the situation immediately so as not to upset people. Unsolicited advice is just plain rude, imo. And I don't think using the 1-2-3 approach or threatening a removal of a privilege (however rudely and angrily it's done) is quite enough to intervene unless she's a close friend with whom you could maybe bring it up in a tactful manner.
post #35 of 129
Oh, these situations are hard! Because you do know her I would consider saying something. I would try to break the cycle as it starts by interupting with something about my own parenting struggles "Goodness, there are some days - I can barely hold it together when my dd hurts me." Then something you find positive about her child "Your dd is such a sweet girl and seems to try so hard when she makes a mistake." Then make the assumption that she wants to be calm and loving with her dd "Shall I take your dd over to play with mine and give you a chance to catch your breath?"

I've tried this tactic several times, by comiserating with the parent, letting them know they have a great child and giving them a few minutes most have come round. I don't *think* I have offended anyone but I have saved a few kids from an earful
post #36 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut
Most people weren't nasty to the op. We've all been frustrated by seeing parents treat their kids in a less than stellar way. Of course we're entitled to our opinions, but as mothers I think we owe it to ourselves to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We know how hard we try, how hard it can be, and how it feels when we are criticized as parents based on a single instance or act or bad day.

Having a child act difficult in public is very stressful because lots of people are not understanding of that. Why add to the judgment mothers experience? That's why I think it's likely she could have been just desperately (and yes, ineffectively) reaching for random methods, and probably (unfortuantely) infusing it with patience and intolerance. I think people reacted strongly to the op because it sounded like she was conetemplating saying something to the mother, her op did sound somewhat judgmental, and there seemed to be little original indication that she was trying to be understanding.

If you truly wanted to help, perhaps you could have helped distract the child, or commiserated in some appropriate manner that might ease the stress off her about diffusing the situation immediately so as not to upset people. Unsolicited advice is just plain rude, imo. And I don't think using the 1-2-3 approach or threatening a removal of a privilege (however rudely and angrily it's done) is quite enough to intervene unless she's a close friend with whom you could maybe bring it up in a tactful manner.
:

In response to some of the pps, yes, this is a GD forum, and yes, we can come here to vent about some of the things we see when we are out and about. However, coming here and venting is different than giving someone unsolicited advice. No matter how much you sugar coat it as trying to be helpful, I think that most people can tell what you are trying to do. And yes, I believe that GD is the most effective way to discipline, but not everyone agrees and I have to respect that as long as they are not yelling at/spanking my children. I would much rather lead by example. Again, JMO.
post #37 of 129
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for the Replies

Thanks everybody. I think MOST of you understood my questions and I got lots of thoughtful replies to them, so thanks There were just a few that didn't seem to understand me. I want to apologize for implying that I am a psychologist (I'm not although I read a lot of psych books). I was trying to make a point to a particular poster that kept attacking me. She has been attacking other peopl in other posts as well. My point was that she didn't seem to want to learn anything from her MDC experiences, she just wanted to come in and impress all her advice on everyone but not listen to others' experiences. And just as I expected, even if I feigned to be a pychologist she still felt she had all the answers. Anyway, I say troll to her and thanks again to everyone else.

If I seemed incompassionate to the mother, I will state again that I have not nor will not be saying anything to her. I didn't have the guts to think of something tactful at that time. So I kept my mouth shut and pretended I didn't want to crawl out of my skin. I've been seeing her every Saturday for months and this was my first indication that she was at a loss; just an "off" day I think

You girls are all giving me some great advice here and the next time I come across a situation like this with anyone, perhaps I can impliment some ideas I got from you. But some of you think minding your own business is the way to go. Right on, that's what I did. My original question was more or less asking for opinions. I got 'em! Thanks again. I knew I posted on th right board after all. It's what I expected from fellow GDers
post #38 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut
Having a child act difficult in public is very stressful because lots of people are not understanding of that. Why add to the judgment mothers experience? That's why I think it's likely she could have been just desperately (and yes, ineffectively) reaching for random methods, and probably (unfortuantely) infusing it with patience and intolerance. I think people reacted strongly to the op because it sounded like she was conetemplating saying something to the mother, her op did sound somewhat judgmental, and there seemed to be little original indication that she was trying to be understanding.

If you truly wanted to help, perhaps you could have helped distract the child, or commiserated in some appropriate manner that might ease the stress off her about diffusing the situation immediately so as not to upset people. Unsolicited advice is just plain rude, imo. And I don't think using the 1-2-3 approach or threatening a removal of a privilege (however rudely and angrily it's done) is quite enough to intervene unless she's a close friend with whom you could maybe bring it up in a tactful manner.

Exactly!!!
post #39 of 129
I wouldn't step in unless someone was in danger.
post #40 of 129
I think that in some situations, I might try to offer a bit of sympathetic advice, but generally I'd say nothing. And, that's because of my past experiences with ds1.

DS1 was a lovely child. He was (and is) good-tempered, intelligent, creative - just a delight to be around. But, he was (and is) also very high-spirited. When he was younger, I was working a very high-stress job in a brokerage back office. At the same time, my ex and I were having huge problems, and he was doing absolutely nothing around the house or earning an income (I eventually discovered that, in addition to his other issues, he was hooked on cocaine). My health was completely trashed - two courses of antibiotics in two months, after not having taken them in two decades...days of fever-induced delerium, bronchitis...and still working full-time, as we needed to pay the rent. I was getting about 20-30 hours sleep a week, due to severe insomnia.

Anyway...that's just background. I was at the end of my rope and could barely function. I was doing all the breadwinning (the ex had a job,but the money all disappeared), all the childcare (including picking ds1 up from the babysitter's, when my ex was home), all the cooking, all the housework - everything...plus dealing with my ex.

DS1 went with me everywhere when I wasn't at work. And, sometimes, when he was just being a kid, I'd blow my top and scream at him. Then, I'd feel terrible for screaming at him, and scream at him even more, because feeling like crap made me even more frustrated, and...vicious circle. On a couple of occasions, someone would look at me and say something like "oh, it's tough when they're that age, isn't it?"...and I'd say "yes"...and take a breather, and be okay. And, once a guy screamed at me from his window as we were walking by (I was carrying heavy groceries, and ds1 was dragging his feet and I just couldn't cope...again) that I shouldn't talk to the kid like that. And, I hate to admit it, but I cursed the guy out and then blew up at ds1 again, because I was so mortified about being yelled at and wanted to get home and out of public.

So...that was all beyond embarrassing to admit to. DS1 had a rough time with me sometimes. But, when I got called out over it in public...it was worse. I didn't need more stress. I couldn't handle more stress. And, that guy, despite the fact that his intentions were probably good, just added more heat to an overloaded pressure-cooker. Yes - I was out of line, and being too hard on my son. But, having a stranger butt in didn't make things any better - it just made it worse.

I did finally realize that my attempts to make things work with my ex were just adding a ton of stress and grief to both me and my son. Once he was out of the picture, my health bounced back, and I started behaving like a rational human being again. But, during that time, someone who had no idea what was going on jumping in didn't help at all.
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