Should You Tell Off Someone Else's Child?


Friday 30 January 2015

Should You Tell Off Someone Else's Child?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind of Cartman trying to assert "my authoritah" but I am shocked that some people won't even approach a child if they see them doing something stupid/dangerous/darn right wrong.

There have been a couple of incidents in the past year that have really got me wondering why some people prefer to turn a blind eye to bad behaviour rather than stand up to it. 

The main event in question happened last summer holidays in Legoland. Yep, more fool me to brave such a place at peak season. As we have annual passes we don't try and attempt the hour long queues and opt for the playground and building zones. In the imagination zone you can test your building skills by making a tower from Duplo and simulate an earthquake. We arrived to find two older children standing and wobbling on the machines. 

I don't like telling other people's kids off. I would rather I told my own children off than another adult doing it, but I appreciate that that can't always be the case. I stood and looked around for a parent. Other adults in the building didn't appear to be associated with the boys. No one was telling them what they were doing was silly. They could have hurt themselves, broken the machines but most likely it was going to encourage younger children to do the same. They would me more likely to hurt themselves. 

I spoke to the boys and asked them to get down. They weren't apologetic, more defensive. Why should they? Eventually they both got down with a few grunts of discontent. One left, and another went to his Grandma who had watched the entire thing. I was pretty annoyed at the situation. Annoyed that the kids were questioning why they couldn't stand on the Lego machines, but even more annoyed that not one adult in there had said anything to them. Not even those that were looking after them. 

I know that standing on an earthquake board isn't the end of the world, but if no one actually tells a child that they are doing something silly/dangerous where does it end? Do you stand by whilst another child hits a classmate? (Yes this happened too and yes I did say it was wrong.) Do you turn a blind eye if you see someone shop lifting? Do you say anything if a large group is taunting a child? 

Surely as adults we are role models to all younger children around us. If we are too scared to tell a child they are in the wrong for fear of upsetting them or their parents, where does that leave us?  

What would you do? Have you confronted other people's children or do you take a step back and hope that their parents will say something?

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