Disciplining Other People’s Kids

I was on a playdate the other day, and I did something that I try to avoid; I intervened in an argument between Ari and another kid. I always feel strange when I’m telling another person’s kid what to do. It doesn’t seem right, I didn’t give birth to this child, I don’t tell him/her what to do on a daily basis, what makes today any different? Why should I have the right to tell this kid to cut it out?


Back to the playdate. It was a situation in which both kids weren’t sharing a coveted item, and something needed to be done. Afterward, I asked the kid’s mom:

“I’m sorry, is it okay that I did that? I didn’t mean to tell your kid what to do.”
“No!” She said sincerely “I’m glad you intervened, I have a lot of friends that just sit there and don’t do anything, and it really bugs me. Thank you for doing that.”

I felt a little better about it after that. But I have to say, there is a fine line. Here is when I think it’s appropriate to step in and intervene in a conflict between your child and someone else’s:


1. When there is a physical fight.
2. When there is a verbal disagreement that doesn’t appear to be working itself out on it’s own.
3. If your kid does something that you don’t agree with/allow him to do at home.

Essentially, unless the kids are beating the crap out of one another or verbally abusing each other, let them work it out on their own.

It really bugs me when someone tells my kid what to do if it’s not necessary and doesn’t help the situation at hand.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox.

How do you feel about disciplining other people’s kids?