Is it appropriate to discipline your friend's children if you are watching them at your house? Along the same lines is it o.k. to tell a child (not your own) "no" if you are at a play date and the other mom doesn't see what happens? Should this be something that you discuss with your friend prior to the play date?

asked 14 Nov '09, 22:19

Melissa%201's gravatar image

Melissa 1
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I agree with Artemis regarding the guidelines for types of discipline. The way I see it if it were my daughter, I would hope that someone would say "no" and stop her from doing things that may be dangerous. There are two other points,

1) I would like my daughter to learn that not every home has the same rules and it is respectful as a guest to follow the rules of the home you are in. Plus when she's at school or an organized group we'll both have to expect that she will be disciplined by someone else in those environments.

2) I would feel that I'm setting a bad example for my daughter if she brings friends over and she is expected to follow rules and receive consequences if she doesn't, but her friends are held to a different set of rules.

Finally, as others pointed out I would certainly discuss any issues with the other child's parents, and try to discuss rules with the parent (particularly if I thought they may not be universal) before the playdate.


answered 15 Nov '09, 16:36

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Tammy ♦♦
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edited 15 Nov '09, 19:29

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I would say that it is OK to discipline another child when you are watching them (perhaps even part of your responsibility?), but I would also tell their parents when they came to pick them up, especially if it was for a major infraction. You should have the same definition/implementation of discipline though, and that may warrant a prior discussion.

At the playgroup I attend, all the moms are OK with having another mom say "no" - we've been together for 2 years now so we all know each other fairly well though.


answered 14 Nov '09, 23:18

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I would say that it is not only okay to discipline a child you are watching but your duty to do so. If my child was acting in a way he/she shouldn't, I would expect the person who is watching them to discipline the child appropriately.

I agree with Kate that you ought to set up some ground rule between parents of the sorts of discipline allowed. For example, I would allow spanking in my house, but other parents might not. So, unless I knew that they approved of spanking, I would not implement that form of punishment. (I also think that even if it's done at home, it probably shouldn't be done elsewhere.)

If no guidelines were defined ahead of time between parents, I would consider the following forms of discipline to be universally accepted:

  1. Time Out
  2. Removal of privileges (no TV or participation in a game)

The following would not be universally accepted:

  1. Requiring the child to perform chores
  2. Any sort of corporal punishment
  3. Yelling/Shouting

I also agree with Kate that major infractions should be reported to the parent.

In addition, I intend to firmly instruct my children to follow the rules of the house where the play date is. It's important for children to learn to respect the authority of anyone caring for them.


answered 15 Nov '09, 04:07

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accept rate: 11%

I think this is between you and the other parent. I also think you should make it a point to discuss this before a problem has a chance to come up. If they don't want you to speak harshly to their child, then don't. If they approve of you using corporal punishment, you may.

As a last resort: if they either restrict or require any punishment you don't agree with, simply don't agree to watch their child. However, some brief frank discussion should avoid this since this is probably a friend of yours already with whom you have an understanding and mutual respect.


answered 15 Nov '09, 20:31

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accept rate: 15%

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Asked: 14 Nov '09, 22:19

Seen: 3,560 times

Last updated: 15 Nov '09, 20:31