Do you have the right to discipline someone else's child?

I guess the answer to that question really depends on the circumstances. Even though I much rather not have to deal with something like this, for example, if I was ever caring for a child who was disrespectful--like in this mom's case--I would probably say something to get his attention so that he would know that what he did was wrong. 

First of all, I think it's my responsibility to do so if the child's under my care and secondly, I also think it would be a good lesson for my children to see that I don't tolerate disrespect from them or from any other child. Then again, this all depends on the kind of disrespect or misbehavior going on. 

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Another thing to be careful with here is what kind of disciplining we're talking about. I would never ever dare spank a child who's not my own nor would I punish him in any way, I don't think. I would probably just let the child know that what she did was wrong and I would then make sure that her parents found out about what happened as soon as possible. I would expect the same if the roles were reversed.

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Luckily, I've never had to deal with the unpleasant situation of having to discipline anybody else's child nor have my children ever been disciplined by anyone else. Thank God! But this may be because my children are still too little and I'm usually always with them, which means that if there ever was an opportunity in which they needed to be disciplined, I'd be there to do it myself. 

I'm obviously not counting my family, our nanny, or my children's teachers in this group because I don't have a problem with them disciplining my kids if they're disrespectful or out of line. This, however, is not the same for strangers or even acquaintances. Then again, this also means that I better make sure my children are well behaved and well mannered so as not to have to be disciplined by anybody other than me. All parents should do the same.

Would you discipline somebody else's child? Have you done it?

Image via Andy M Taylor/flickr