So... I have a friend who is one of those people who claim to be into Gentle Discipline but whose children really appear to just be... brats. I hate to pass judgment on how she disciplines her children, but in everyone else's dealings with them, they're impossible and are considered neighborhood terrors. Yes, yes, we can't fully understand their unique situation and there may be other factors involved I just don't know about.
But we attend church with these kids and in that case don't always have the option to just walk away from the children.
When children that are not your own are threatening, hitting, kicking you, what's the best way to respond?
Im sorry you are dealing with this. I've been there, and it is really hard.
Some child hitting me...wow! I don't know. That has only happened to me once and it was a swing directed right at my face. My instinct was to catch her hand and say VERY firmly, "I am not going to let you hit me." I'm not sure if this was my finest GD moment but it was the only time in my entire life that anyone has ever tried to hit me and I was kind of shocked.
General misbehaving, yea, I agree with FF (as usual) that I would gently and in a "we've all been there" way return the children to their parents. Or, in a tight, understanding community, I have happily and with great effect just disciplined the child the way I thought best.
Troll? Here's me...
I'd think in church you could use something along the lines of 'what would Jesus do'? Other than that, I would avoid contact with the kids. At the very least, once they display inappropriate behavior, tell them why you disapprove and break contact for the rest of the day (i.e., this conversation is over, and move to other side of the room).
" rel="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/familybed2.gif"> DD1 12/05, DD2 12/08
Computer Engineer- I write better in 1's and 0's. ;-)