Dealing with other people's out-of-control children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-04-2014, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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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? 

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#2 of 5 Old 04-04-2014, 12:14 AM
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I usually say, looks like we need to go find your mom/dad, and then I gently but firmly return them to a parent. I say, "I think they need you for a bit. Having a hard time calming down". Or something else reasonably non judgey sounding.

Im sorry you are dealing with this. I've been there, and it is really hard.
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#3 of 5 Old 04-05-2014, 02:50 PM
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Some child hitting!  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. 

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#4 of 5 Old 04-05-2014, 04:28 PM
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I say very firm "Do not hit my body" and physical move them away.
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#5 of 5 Old 04-13-2014, 11:28 AM
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I had a similar experience with a couple of little boys when I was backstage with a group of kids for a dance performance. They kept hitting, pushing, and spitting at other kids. One of them pushed me a few times. I had one little boy go get a drink of water and use the bathroom as many times as I could. The other kids stepped as far away from him as they could. Other than telling them to stop, and physically moving them away, there wasn't much else that could be done. It was exhausting.

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).

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