To Protect or Turn the Other Cheek?

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javacodeman

Inactive User
I'm in a quandary as to how to best handle the situation described below and experience by me last night. Before I detail the situation, I would like to detail some of what I believe to be guiding principles:

Our children need us to stand up for them when they cannot themselves (i.e. someone intends harm on our children, we stop it if we can).

Our children need to learn to put other's needs first.

The situation:
We're sitting down for dinner with guest from our church with our three year old daughter. They have a two year old boy that is, well, a two year old boy. Throughout the night, he is spitting on her (rasp-berrying a fine mist all over her) and hitting her. Of course my daughter take objection to this by crying or screaming, but not retaliating. I take her aside and tell her that were the child mine, he would be disciplined. The boy's parents, however, take nor firm disciplinary actions, only politely scold him and make him apologize over and over.

What could I have done differently? I feel like I should have told the parents how I felt, but I'm not sure. I am confident that we have a lot of love and a lot of discipline for our children and are raising them very well--I'm just not sure how to interact with non-disciplined children when their parents are there and they (the children) are abusing my children.

Suggestions?
 

Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
I'm in a quandary as to how to best handle the situation described below and experience by me last night. Before I detail the situation, I would like to detail some of what I believe to be guiding principles:

Our children need us to stand up for them when they cannot themselves (i.e. someone intends harm on our children, we stop it if we can).

Our children need to learn to put other's needs first.

The situation:
We're sitting down for dinner with guest from our church with our three year old daughter. They have a two year old boy that is, well, a two year old boy. Throughout the night, he is spitting on her (rasp-berrying a fine mist all over her) and hitting her. Of course my daughter take objection to this by crying or screaming, but not retaliating. I take her aside and tell her that were the child mine, he would be disciplined. The boy's parents, however, take nor firm disciplinary actions, only politely scold him and make him apologize over and over.

What could I have done differently? I feel like I should have told the parents how I felt, but I'm not sure. I am confident that we have a lot of love and a lot of discipline for our children and are raising them very well--I'm just not sure how to interact with non-disciplined children when their parents are there and they (the children) are abusing my children.

Suggestions?
Tough situation and uncomfortable for sure. I would have really put it to the parents myself (as kindly as possible of course) that if the childs behaviour was not modified they could not play together.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Blueridge Baptist;

Tough situation and uncomfortable for sure. I would have really put it to the parents myself (as kindly as possible of course) that if the childs behaviour was not modified they could not play together.
Kind of difficult to do when your at the dinner table and this happening..

I would have told my daughter to sit either on the other side of the table away from the boy or moved her to sit on the other side of me, placing myself in line with the spitting and hitting child, the parents would have been mortified had the child spit on or hit YOU as an adult..and would have corrected the behavior immediately. (They probably would have said "you don't spit on /hit adults" to where you could gently say, "you shouldn't spit on anyone, whether they are adults or not.")
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
If this took place in your home:
Talk directly to the boy and tell him that you don't tolerate that kind of behavior in your home...and that if he does it again he will be excused from the table and his dinner will be thrown away.

If this took place at their home:
Talk directly to the parents and tell them that if they aren't going to discipline their child that you will have to excuse yourselves from the dinner and be on your way...as you can't condone the type of behavior that is going on (both the child's behavior and the parents behavior in not disciplining).
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I would definitely speak to the parents either way and tell them that you will not tolerate your child being treated that way by their little boy, especially since your child is a girl. I, too, would separate the children for the rest of the evening.

The parents of the children with whom my children play and I have an understanding. If my child steps out of line, they have the right to speak to my child in a kind way, then the parents come and talk to me, and I discipline my child. (Believe me, the double dose from two sets of parents really helps the bad behavior, even when they are small.) The same goes for their children in my home.

The fact is, since we are in the body of Christ, and at least in my church, we vow during the child's baptism to be there to support the family who is raising the child. While we don't have a right to discipline another's child, we should kindly help the parents. Perhaps they are at their wits end and need a little guidance.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
This is what I have done even in front of parents who are not Christians.

I look at the kid sternly. And tell the child within earshot of the parents that if he was my child I would hand him his hiney because I love him and God doesn't want him to act like that. That usually scared the child and taught the parents. Surprisingly I have not had any back lash and my kids are grown.

If I saw a child being disrespectful to a mother and even a dad a few times I chimed in and would say.... If you were my kid you would have it coming for talking to me that away. You need to learn respect.

I am scary to kids but they also know I love them. It must be the beard.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
JBaldwin;

The parents of the children with whom my children play and I have an understanding. If my child steps out of line, they have the right to speak to my child in a kind way, then the parents come and talk to me, and I discipline my child. (Believe me, the double dose from two sets of parents really helps the bad behavior, even when they are small.) The same goes for their children in my home.
This has always been the understanding with other parents as well.
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
If this took place in your home:
Talk directly to the boy and tell him that you don't tolerate that kind of behavior in your home...and that if he does it again he will be excused from the table and his dinner will be thrown away.

If this took place at their home:
Talk directly to the parents and tell them that if they aren't going to discipline their child that you will have to excuse yourselves from the dinner and be on your way...as you can't condone the type of behavior that is going on (both the child's behavior and the parents behavior in not disciplining).
:agree:
My theory is "My house...my rules!" And in similar situations, I have had children sitting in the corner staring at the wall for a few minutes, "...until you think you can behave yourself properly."

But, that's the way my folks were, so I guess I got it from them.
 
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