Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Naughty girls.

Good morning!
How are you?

I'm good. I'm enjoying the first slow day of the summer holidays. We've got nowhere to go and no schedule to keep. So far the only thing reminding me that time is passing is the requests for more toast and more toast.

Indi and Jazzy are doing illustrating lessons on the computer, Pepper, Bren, Pierre, Liam and his kids are in the shed processing garlic and I am sorting photos and stirring my strawberry jam pot.

You guys were so wonderful and helpful with the title question I asked you the other day, so I thought you might help me with something else.

How do you deal with other people's kids when they misbehave on your watch????

The other day I took a whole lot of kids to the playground. They played for a while and then they noticed a young guy cleaning up the place. He was collecting rubbish and tidying up. They kept playing and watching him and giggling and I kept knitting. All of a sudden they erupted into laughter. I looked up to see one of the girls tipping a bag of our lunch rubbish all over the ground. There were food scraps and tinsel and bits of wrapping paper and confetti and glitter that we'd been careful to collect. It was a real mess.

I was horrified. I apologised to the man and asked him if he could get the girls to help him clean it up. He said no and that he'd seen worse and that it was his job and that he'd do it.

I turned to the girl who had done it and had no idea how to deal with her. She is not my kid. I gave her a bag and told her to get the big bits. I told her she had behaved badly and wrongly and disrespectfully. I told her that one day it might be her cleaning for her job and how would she feel if someone did that to her. I probably went on about it too long and then when I got them in the car to take them home I went on about it some more. To be honest I had no idea what to say or do though and I'm pretty sure that I made no impact on her.

So how do you discipline other people's kids? Is it my responsibility to teach them right from wrong? What would you do in that situation?

The photos are of the Rainbow Eden's Eve I am knitting. Oh how I love this wool. I wanna eat it. I am staying up waaaaaaaaaay too late watching each colour blend into the next. Love!

Oh and for those who asked, I bought the wool off a woman who was having a destash, she had bought it off a destash a while back and I have no idea where it came from before that.

Have a fabulous Tuesday y'all. XX


  1. That woman and the woman before her must have had wrought iron willpower, because I'd be willing to take up knitting again if I got my hands on some of that stuff.

  2. An extremely touchy subject. I would say she heard you enough to at least not repeat the offence in your presence and although she might not like you for a time you've probably been a good long term effect. I tended not to accept responsibility for children who couldn't be disciplined politely and taught my children why I didn't think those people were good company for us. Enjoy all your times of nothing doing and the toast making. We all need a good relax sometimes (most of the times!). Cherrie

  3. It sounds like you did great in that difficult situation. If you were given the responsibility of looking after someone else's child, then they should be respecting your rules/expectations. (coming from 10 yrs nannying for sometimes difficult children/parents!)

    If they have a problem with that, then they shouldn't be asking you to look after them. I can't get over the girl doing that though!!

    Loooovving the rainbow top - so beautiful Kate!XX

  4. Tricky situation. In our mums group (which is almost like family these days) we have become quite comfortable with correcting each other's children's behaviour - it's usually something along the lines of "we have a rule in this house - no hitting the cat" or whatever. Sounds like it was absolutely fair to have that conversation and to ask her to pick up the rubbish - respect for others and kindness are pretty uncontroversial values.

  5. Ouch - but I think you did just right.
    I think if someone trusts you to look after their child, they need to trust you to appropriately guide their behaviour.
    And you also had a responsibility to your own girls to demonstrate that it wasn't acceptable.
    I'd also mention it to the parents - not in a 'your girls are naughty' way; but in a 'just thought you'd like to know I had this discussion with them' type way. Then it's up to them to either be ok with it, or reinforce the lesson.

  6. Such gorgeous wool, no wonder you are knitting up late, I would too!
    As to misbehaving kids, I tend to let the whole group have a spray, not just the badly behaved one who isn't mine as I find the mob mentality means they can all be prone to out of character behaviour and egg each other on. After many years of tip toeing around behaviour from other kids that I wouldn't put up with from my kids, I don't worry now about telling them how it is - I say things like "I don't think your mum would let you do that at your place so please don't do it here' and " if you can't play nicely I think it's time for who ever to go home" etc.
    I usually tell the mother if its something I have got really mad about (in case the child says something to them later) like 'I had to get mad today so whoever probably thinks I'm an ogre"
    And then If it happens with the same child a lot I just don't have them over to our house much.
    Sorry for the longggg comment! Have a great day!

  7. Glad to see that wool being knitted up or I'd have to come over and steal it from you. I am never comfortable disciplining other people's kidlets, even those of my closest friends who have specifically said to do so. I would have done the same as you (including going on about it perhaps too long) I would mention any particularly bad behaviour such as this to the child's parents and hope that they can deal with it appropriately.

  8. I can't bear littering so I would have asked her to apologise to the man and let her have a spray about it too. Not in a nasty way but in an educational way which, from the sounds of what you wrote, you did. They won't know right from wrong unless you tell them!
    I would tell her that I'd be letting her parents know too just because if I didn't and she went back saying 'Ruth was nasty to me today' they might get the wrong idea! I think most parents would be happy for you to have boundaries whilst looking after their child. It shows you care :)

  9. When I have kids in my care, it's my rules - I would treat them as I would my own. Lucky for them I'm not into hitting or humiliation, but I'm happy to dish out a lecture, especially when they show a complete lack of respect for others - like this girl did.
    BUT what I have real trouble with is when kids are naughty in their parent's presence and their parents don't do anything about it :(
    That's a hard one, because it's not my responsibility.
    I think you did very well - and if it were my child in your care I would hope you would do the same.

  10. Pretty black and white situation really. the little one was being a brat and disrespectful- I would want someone to correct that if Busy ever did it. its not like you yelled and screamed that would be wrong but you just explained it. As far as I am concerned if they are on your watch they are like your kids. Same with my house my house rules. It annoys me when people come over and let their kids trash Busys toys then leave without helping to clean up.... we are teaching them by modelling and I think if you see them do something wrong and no one else says anythign or is around to do so then it is up to you. You did good. xx

  11. I'd react the same way that I would hope another Mum would, were she on watch and my kid misbehaved. Calm, firm, clear. We had two extra kids here yesterday. I informed Marcus that if he wanted to join us for muffins he'd need to clean up the mess he made. He had told me was making the mess so he could watch me cleaning it up! It took Marcus ten minutes before he got his muffin. He does think I'm a witch but he still didn't want to go home.

    Mwah ha ha haaar....

  12. oh yep - the village raises the child in my opinion. As an ex teacher I have no trouble raising my eyebrows at any misbehaving child anywhere in my eye sight - my partner has to put up with me eye telling off kids in public everywhere. I believe that as a community we have to not only support other adults but provide a community boundary that is held up for all to see. In the old days people were fine with complete strangers telling their kids when they had crossed the line and also giving them some encouragement when they did wonderful things. I think that is my way - so go with it- although I agree with the group spray comment. At that age there is a bit of responsiblity coming into it to - do not be complicit when you know the behaviour is not ok. so please, if you see my boy in the street (hmm not likely for now) please smile if he is lovely or frown and do some eyebrow work if he is steppin over the line! community community community - or we will come to a terrible demise!

  13. That's such a tricky one. I really get uncomfortable at having to deal with other peoples kids when they are naughty, it's very touchy subject. I often feel I let my own kids down because I might let the other kid get away with something that I wouldn't allow them to do, but I guess when they are in your care, you do have a responsiblity. If it were my child I think I'd be happy for you to have told them it was wrong & ask them to tidy the mess, thats exactly what they'd expect from me.I would be really cross to if one of my boys behaved that way with someone else..urgh, difficult. Your rainbow vest is wonderful!

  14. I think you did exactly the right thing.
    The only other thing you can do is defer to a 'higher power' .... THEIR mother.
    Inform them that you will be speaking with their parent about their behaviour and that they will have to answer to THEM.
    If the parent then responds in a half arsed way, I'd think twice before having that kid over again.

  15. Very difficult, I think I'd ask the child why they had done it.... I would ask them how they would feel if I went over to their home and did the same thing, I probably would have expected my children to start picking it up if she wouldn't and for them to tell her it was wrong, peer pressure helps, I would also explain that she wouldn't be invited out again if she didn't start clearing it up now, but I would be reluctant to invite her again anyway. Love the wool....

  16. Everyone seems to have the same idea, so you must have done the right thing! How about when the misbehaving child is a stepdaughter? And a teenage one? Gah!
    Love the wool too!

  17. You did exactly what I would have done, except I would have thrown in a few, "DO you think your Mummy would be Happy with the way your are behaving?" comments and threaten her with telling her parents. How ever if her reaction was as you say it was then it may not have any impact! Once had one of my son's friends spit in his face, that was a really hard one! Chalk it up to experience and don't invite her out again?

  18. Hey lovely, I reckon I would've done the same thing ---I'd probably still be yarping on about it... My brother, his wife and boys stayed with us recently..the smallest (2 1/2) repeatedly threw his dinner on the floor, despite my pleas for this to stop and warnings that he would have to stand outside the door and watch the others eat theirs...Guess where he spent the remaining time left for dinner? My brother and his wife said nothing ..the whole time to stop the behaviour or manage it...HUMPF... I agree..the village raises the child. Your girls will definitely remember and I think the other girl will too. You did good. Merry Christmas. P

  19. I think you did well telling the girl off as you wouldn't want her and the other kids to think that is an acceptable behaiviour. The only kids I had to look after so far were around age 3, so I don't have much experience with telling them off, however I had to stop a little boy (and my daughter, who followed his example) from throwing things in my house as it was getting dangerous and took them outside to play. Ironically enough another little boy behaved wonderfully when he was with us by himself, but when his mum is present he turns into nasty little pushy break-every-rule brat and I don't agree with her ways of disciplining him (she just tells him off and forcefully drags him into "naughty corner", which is any random place). So we've been avoiding them, which I feel bad about, but I don't have a better solution - maybe I should've talked to her about it, however it is hard to discuss parental views with someone one doesn't know very well without offending.

  20. I would do what you did in your situation. The older I get the more confident I am in expressing how I feel about situations, I've done it a few times at school when I see other children do the wrong thing but they know the rules and shouldn't be breaking them. Just like the children you looked after they know the rules and I'm sure that they wouldn't get away with it with their parents so why should they do it with you. You did a great job Kate. xo

  21. I think everybody agrees you did just fine, Kate---but explain something to me: two knitters had possession of that magnificent yarn and then destashed it? Good golly! I'd have framed it if I couldn't bring myself to make it into something---even a potholder would look amazing with that yarn to work with!

  22. I wonder if the yarn is a Gradual Gradient from Jolly Jumbuck in Western Australia. http://www.jollyjumbuck.net/store/WsDefault.asp?Cat=GradualGradientYarn

    As to the naughty girl. I agree with the other comments. I'd also make sure that the Mum knew you'd had to have a chat to her daughter about her behaviour.

  23. I would have done the same thing you did in that situation. You were the adult and you saw a child being rude. And remember, your own children were watching how you managed it. Rules of behavior are rules of behavior no matter whose children are misbehaving. It's stickier when the other parent is there and doing nothing. As I get older I tend to jump in then, too.
    I LOVE that you are stirring your strawberry pot while we are looking at a white Christmas. It's cold, snowy, icy and gray here. We missed the lunar eclipse because the sky is so low you can touch it. Merry Christmas!

  24. Oh this is one of the things I like least about being a parents. First off I would have made the child apologize to the man, second I would state to the child they made the mess they clean it up, and third explain that because of their actions I would let their parents know and they may not be able to go with you in the future.
    If my child was to behave badly with another parent I would hope they would let my child know that what they did was disrespectful.

  25. I am pretty strict when it comes to bullying and being disrespectful. I agree that I would have made her apologise to the man! A bit of helthy shame won't hurt her!!! You did the right thing in trying to explain it to her though without yelling. Did you tell her mother?

  26. Its a hard question!
    I hate when ppl (mostly relatives) discipline my girls when i am right there, but if i leave them in charge, then i would want them to discipline my children how they know i would!

    Virtues like Respect are far to important to let incidents like that slide!
    And having them behave like that around your children without any consequences sets a bad example for your children too!

  27. Oh man, I have no idea what I would have done in your situation - I don't even know what to do when kidlets are misbehaving when their parents are around lol, it doesn't help either that I generally don't like other people's kids... ;)

    Stealing a mo to run around to my fave peeps & wish them a very merry Christmas... so I thought I'd come here too.... :p

    Have a great Chrissy Kate, looking forward to sharing 2011 with you too.


  28. Sounds to me as though you did the right thing. You can't ignore that sort of behaviour, and it wouldn't be fair on the child or the other children who witnessed it, OR the young bloke who was the cleaner, if you did ignore it.

    I think it's entirely appropriate to say to another kid "Your parents wouldn't like you doing that if they were here, and I don't like you doing it while you're with me." As well as the actual lecture about respect and why she shouldn't be doing it in the first place, obviously!

    (and I probably would've gone on about it a bit too long as well. I can't abide bad behaviour).

  29. Easy - I treat any child in my care the same as my own child. If the're naughty they get told off the same as I would my son and if ther're hurt they get a cuddle ect All my friends know this and I have never had any one say anything - not to my face anyway :)

  30. hmmmm, I would treat someone elses child as I would hope mine would get treated. When I was a kid I remember being horrified when I was told off by someone else other than my parents so I try to be nice. I think sometimes when the parents can't seem to get through to the child someone else might be able to, but it must be loving and kind.

  31. Hmm, I'm a bit of a nazi mum...I would have got ALL of them to help the man, lined ALL of them up to apologize and then taken ALL of them home...no moe play. Then I would have informed ALL there parents so that we ALL could be a united front against it. Power to the parents I say!!! Its is hard but sometimes you have to be firm to kids in your care, they need to respect you....I alwasy try to establish some firm grounding just incase we are ever in a dangerous situation..ie..the beach.

  32. wow, just reading all of the comments re: the litterbug. i have been in this same situation this year. i have a friend whose children are really disrespectful towards me, my family and home and i have stopped having them over. i need my energy for my own children and often when these other kids come over it all ends in tears anyway so i find it really easy to say no thanks when they ask to come over. i really like their mother but can't stand that she does nothing to keep a lid on their challenging behaviour, i feel like slapping her! oh god, did i just say that out loud..

    love, love your knitting, it's gorgeous.

    merry christmas to you and your family kate, and best wishes for a wonderful and exciting 2011.


  33. OH!! pretty rainbow I love to watch you grow :)

  34. Greetings from Colorado! I'm bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you present here and can't wait
    to take a look when I get home. I'm amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I'm
    not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!
    Look at my webpage - discover


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Visit my other blog.