How Do You Discipline Their Kids?

Posted on April 30, 2011
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 The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and you can finally get out of the house.  What a great time to get a bunch of kids together for a playdate.  Maybe you're really brave and are willing to take your kids and a few others down to the park, or maybe someone just came over to play in your yard.  You're excited to finally have the kids be doing something outside of the house.  All is going well until the kids start acting up a bit.  Maybe you've got some five year-olds who won't stop with the potty talk, maybe it's nine year-olds who think it's cool to spit everywhere and you're grossed out.  Maybe the kids keep running around the house and you're getting worried they are getting too close to the street.  Either way you suddenly have a dilemma:  You know how to discipline your own kids, but what do you do if it's your child's friend who is causing the problem? Here are my three simple rules for keeping the kids in line and your sanity in one piece.

1. - Is it worth addressing?

-sometimes a behavior you don't like, especially in smaller children, can be handled through a simple sleight of hand - just by changing their situation!  Maybe it's time to have a snack, or there is a new game for them to try.  Remember, the younger kids don't stay fixated on one thing for too long.

2. - Can it be handled through your own kids?

-If the kids are running too close to the street, get on your own child that they have to stay in the backyard and that he'll be headed into the house if he can't play right.  If your child complains that it's his "friend" who is running around in the wrong places, tell him that he "knows better" and then ask them both to stay in the backyard.  The friend will get the message without having it directed at him.

3. - If you have to say something.

-Your best bet to handle a situation where you absolutely have to address another child is to do it quietly and privately.   You don't want to embarrass your child's friend in front of your child.  Your goal is to change the situation and not make it worse.  And you don't want to give that child ammunition to talk about you when he heads home.

The biggest thing to remember is how would you want this addressed if it was your child at another house?  We have some friends who I have an agreement with - they should get on my kids just like they would their own if they are acting the wrong way, or doing something they should not be.  In other situations, where you don't know the children as well (or the parents), just remember, the playdate will be over soon, and you don't ever have to have another one if you don't want to.  Sometimes it's better to bite your tongue and wait it out than deal with the aftermath of dealing with other parents.  Unless you are close friends, it can become complicated quickly.


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Comments (1)

  • Marisol

    July 29, 2012 (5 years ago)

    Setting limits with all the children the moment they show up really helps. Tell them what is expected (take turns, hands to yourself, work things out together, etc.) & what the consequences are if they are not adhered to. Ten years ago there were a pair of siblings who played with my children. All that summer they spit everywhere.....except in my home. As soon as they showed up, I told them that if either of them spit anywhere in my house, yard or sidewalk, they would be sent home and THEY would tell their mother why. I only had to do it once....they continued their spitting habit everywhere else...including their home.