Is it OK to Scold a Child That is Not Your Own?

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I recently joined the mommy group and was  eager to go on our scheduled playdates.

Our group recently had a playdate at a small and serene park, perfect for the little ones. The children that belong to the group are some of the most well-behaved children. I can honestly say, only my oldest child, has ever had a meltdown during the playdates. (Sidenote: She usually has a slight meltdown everywhere we go, particularly when it’s time to leave. I will have to blog about that another day. SIGH) The mothers of the group always seem to be “in control” of their children, which makes these meet ups so enjoyable!

While at the playground, a little girl, who was not a part of the group, took a liking to my big girl. She wanted to know her name. She wanted to know if she had a sister. She wanted my daughter to follow her wherever she went. I allowed my LO to play with the girl for quite a while. Meanwhile, I had yet to see who the girl’s mother was; I guess I expected her to introduce herself, seeing how I was following our daughters around the play area.

My LO and the little girl ventured on to one of the bigger and popular slides on the playground. My daughter sat down at the top of the slide, but was hesitant to actually slide. Noticing that a couple of kids were behind her wanting to slide as well, I stood at the bottom, encouraging my LO to slide. Her “new friend” was immediately behind her and began lightly kicking her in the rear and back. The little girl’s mother then emerged, from wherever she was hiding, and stood  next to me. She saw the initial shove and chose not to say a thing. I stood there thinking, “PLEASE go down the slide before mommy loses her cool on your little friend AND her mommy!” The kid just would not go down the slide! I felt helpless! I could not run to her rescue and climb up the playset to help, which would have left my infant in the stroller by herself. The little girl shoved and kicked my LO again and I had had enough! I quickly scolded her by saying, “Honey, do not kick her” and then again, “Please do not kick her!” Seconds later, My daughter made it down to the bottom of the slide. Do you think that little girl’s mother scolded her or apologized to me on behalf of her daughter? Well, the answer is no. I could not believe that she would allow the situation to continue without at LEAST giving me an apologetic look.


When I am in public with my children, the last thing I want to happen is for someone outside of our family to have to correct them. As a parent I do my BEST to keep my little ones “in line”.  Am I a perfect disciplinarian? Are my children the most well-behaved? No and absolutely not. However, if they offend someone or someone’s property, I at least offer my apologies and proceed to let my daughters know that their behavior was unacceptable.

Have you ever had to scold someone’s child? Has a total stranger ever scolded your child? How did you react?

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