Is it okay to discipline other people’s children?

So is it ever okay to discipline other people’s children?

I watched Good Morning Britain this morning where there was an image that has come out of a pensioner putting a child in an arm lock on a train as he was misbehaving.

Is that really acceptable behaviour from either party?


No of course the child shouldn’t be misbehaving, but it is most certainly not up to someone else to start disciplining them to that extent.

Of course, if children are being naughty and are old enough to be on their own without their parents, they should be treated like any adult. Asked to stop doing whatever it is that they are doing, and going through the necessary steps if they continue to ignore the requests.

Having a 2 year old, it made me think that it is actually never okay for anyone to discipline your child at any age.

It is the parents responsibility to decide on which course of discipline to take depending on how naughty they child has been – no one else’s.

Even grandparents I think should naturally take a step back. Of course, if they look after their grandchildren then you want them to follow the same rules as the parents, to ensure consistency. But they are family, so that is acceptable.

Although I wouldn’t be happy if my parents shouted at little man whilst I was there witnessing it. That is my job.

It is most certainly up to us as parents to discipline our own children on all occasions. It is us that teaches right from wrong, and shows them how to behave. As parents, that is a huge pressure, but one that naturally has to fall with us.

I would definitely want to know if that was my child on the train misbehaving so I can ensure he never does it again – but from the staff on the train and not from a member of the public taking it upon himself to teach him right from wrong.

So maybe the man on the train should back off and think how he would feel if we started man handling his children….

Not very nice is it?

Busy Working Mummy XOXO


Run Jump Scrap!

12 thoughts on “Is it okay to discipline other people’s children?

  1. Personally i don’t think its right to go this extreme. If someone where to put an adult in an arm lock they would get done for assault. Just because its a child doesn’t mean its allowed.

    When it comes to Agent M, i would definitely want to know if he was misbehaving when i wasn’t there and if its bad then the adult in charge (if he were at a friends house for example) has more than enough right to tell him off but to get physical i would go mental.

    My dad once smacked Agent M in front of me and i lost it. He was a toddler and decided he didn’t want to go in his car seat so he went ridged. My dads response was to spank him (“it never did you any harm” *eye roll*) and i was horrified. He was warned that if he smacked him again he wouldn’t get to have him. He never even gave me the chance to see to Agent M before be smacked his butt


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  2. So glad you wrote this post as I’d been having this conversation with myself recently. I recently had to tell someone else’s child not to do something as it was endangering the child’s safety as well as mine and the parents were nowhere to be seen. I do think that parents should be doing the disciplining but sometimes you can’t wait for a parent to appear. I also wouldn’t stand back and let another child push my child if the parent was present but doing nothing. The reaction of the man on the train was totally extreme but I would have politely asked him to take his feet off the table if it was becoming a nuisance to me or fellow travellers however the difference is that I would have gone to get staff or moved seat if his behaviour had become too unbearable or obnoxious. #twinklytuesday xx

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  3. I agree it should be down to the parents. I’m afraid i am someone who’s makes a comment to a child and/or a parent if i think something isn’t right. It’s normally in an extreme case but i do really feel that it takes a village to raise kids not just parents. I’m like you though, i’d really want to be told if my kids where being brats to other people so i, myself, could deal with it right! Very interesting subject! #TwinklyTuesday

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  4. I think parenting is a village. We’re all responsible for each other. If we’re at the park and one of my kids is doing something that may hurt someone and I didn’t see, please say something to them. Please tell them pushing isn’t okay. But absolutely do not put your hands on my child (though, restraint if need be – ie a child who runs into the road continuously and a parent isn’t around/can’t get to them as quick,, sure – grab their hand and hold on tight. Manhandle? not ever.) Sometimes parents aren’t around, or they didn’t see what happened. Sometimes kids need gentle reminders on their behaviour.

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  5. I tend to not speak to other people’s children about their behaviour. I feel that’s it’s their job to raise the child as they see fit. If they were injuring my child in some way, I would probably say something indirectly like, come here then you don’t get hurt, or something similar to that. It’s a tricky emotive subject this one isn’t it.

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  6. I think that this is very situationally dependent. When my brother’s kids are here or when we had a gaggle of kids on my daughter’s birthday party I was OK with using my dad voice a few times to get kids to stop doing something, but wouldn’t think to scold anybody at the park or somebody else’s house unless there was a pretty good reason. #bestandwort

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  7. It’s a tricky one isn’t it. If I’m there than no way should you be speaking to my child before me, family or otherwise. If you think I’m doing it wrong, discuss it with me. If I’m not there than I would definitely want to be told about it but I suppose it depends on the situation. If he’s going to hurt himself or someone else and no one is in sight then sure, say something, but be polite, but mindful that you’re not the parent so could scare him and do not lay a hand on him. And however bratty and disrespectful he is being do not put him in an arm lock! #bestandworst

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  8. Completely agree! Nothing annoys me more than when someone starts to,say something to my little one in front of me if he’s been a little bit misbehaved. It’s one of my biggest pet hates! I may have to write a post on a similar wavelength and share with those who do it – maybe they’ll get the hint!! 🙂 #bestandworst

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  9. I don’t think discipline should involve any kind of action that wouldn’t be acceptable for the child to copy and undertake themselves – no matter who is doing the disciplining. We take that stance in our house that we model the behaviour we expect, so from that we don’t hit, ‘bite back’, physically restrain or even shout. I would be really unhappy if anyone else disciplined my child – especially in a way that I don’t agree with. I DO think it is acceptable for other adults to explain that their behaviour isn’t nice, or show them the right course of action if the parent isn’t nearby (eg in a soft play center or similar) #fartglitter

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  10. The trouble is we don’t know the full story I guess so we can only go on what the press have reported – however I thought that what the man did was unacceptable the physical side was not necessary but I do think that sometimes someone needs to speak out rather than ignoring bad behaviour, especially from a child/teenager who should know better. Thanks for linking up! #bestandworst

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  11. I completely agree with you! Zach spends 3 days a week with my mum and of course she should be able to tell him off if need be but when I’m there, she leaves it to me. I would hope that if for some reason I wasn’t doing anything about his behavior, then the person would just talk to me rather than do anything directly to Zach. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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