Karen Alpert is a mom and the author of a parenting blog called Baby Sideburns. On May 24, she wrote a lovely post of the type that parents don't see too often: one in which she actually thanks, rather than rebukes, a stranger who reprimanded her (Alpert's, that is) kid at the playground when she was momentarily busy taking care of something else.
Alpert's young son was playing on the monkey bars while she was on the other side of the playground tending to his crying friend. Meanwhile, a little girl was also trying to use the monkey bars, but she was just learning, and Alpert's son kept rushing past her and sometimes even knocking her off. And apparently, this little girl's mom had the audacity to tell Alpert's kid to frickin' quit it. But was Alpert mad at this other adult when she found out what had happened? No, she was not—in fact, she was glad there was another responsible adult around to address the situation.
So no, I wasn’t there, but does that give you a right to discipline my kiddo? Does that give you the right to talk to him sternly and tell him to knock it off? Does that give you the right to act like you are the person in charge when he is actually MY child?
Ummmm, yes. YES IT DOES.
I didn’t get the chance to say this today, but THANK YOU. Because if my kid is acting like a douchenugget and I’m not around for whatever reason, you have my permission to tell him to knock that shit off. I’m not saying you have the right to touch him in any way or yell at him uncontrollably (only I’m allowed to do that), but please feel free to tell him to stop being a jerkwad if he’s not waiting his turn to do the monkey bars. Or if he’s walking up the slide. Or if he’s throwing wood chips. Or if he’s saying bad words. Or being a bully. Or doing anything that he shouldn’t be doing that’s bothering someone else.