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Author Topic: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?  (Read 3250 times)

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Offline BlueMaiden88Topic starter

Sometimes, I am shocked by the level of cruelty, meanness, and outright nasty behavior that even young humans are capable of.  There are occasions where I wish it was still socially acceptable to yell at your neighbor's children or in extreme cases, give them a good slap for their horrible behavior.  Too many of them are ABSOLUTE MONSTERS.

Today, I went to have a prescription filled.  In the waiting area, a little girl kept putting her feet on the seats, kicking people, kicking their chairs.  Her mother left her there while she shopped for some things and waited for her own prescription to be filled.  An old woman asked the child to stop kicking her because it hurt.  The little girl kept kicking her.  The old woman moved.  The kid repeated it, moving to an old man, then a young woman.  Finally, everyone was clumped together like they were scared of a 7 year old.  She got on the seats and put her feet in people's faces.  They just moved.  When she did it to me, I slapped her legs out of my face and told her that she needed to learn to honor her personal space.  She said, "Only my momma can tell me what to do."  I took her by the arm and marched her over to where her mother was inspecting vitamins and told her what the girl had been doing and how she behaved when asked to stop and when forced to stop.  The little girl got yelled at and pinched.
Afterwards....
As I was walking home from Walgreens, I saw familiar neighborhood children playing on the sidewalk. A rare occurrence. Everyone keeps their little angels cooped up in safe, air conditioned rooms away from germs and bugs, and children have developed an affinity for glowing screens for entertainment. So, I was happy to see kids outside playing, throwing clods of dirt at each other. My feelings soon changed when I realized that they were ripping apart a bird's nest and the dirt clods they were throwing were fistfuls of the nesting material.
The pit of my stomach sank when one of the kids started to fling little blue projectiles at the others and they landed on the pavement with a hollow splat. I felt sick when I heard them scream, "EW!! IT'S MOVING!" and stomp a tiny baby bird, nearly ready to hatch, until it was unrecognizable paste.
I rarely involve myself with other people children, but I wouldn't be true to my own morals if I just walked by. I told them to stop being mean to the poor baby birds. They didn't care. I told them that they would get into big trouble for animal cruelty. They didn't care about that either. When I threatened to tell their mothers the next time I saw them on the train, they ran away. One kid was sobbing, knowing that I frequently talked to her mother on the train on my way to work. But, one little, festering turd of a boy was defiant and threw the last of the robin's eggs on the concrete, hard, before he made his exit.
The pitiful baby bird wiggled somewhat, but it wasn't quite ready to hatch and its tiny body was obviously shattered by the impact. I couldn't save it...so I put it in a shady spot, out of the direct sunlight so it could die in peace and hopefully with a little more dignity than its siblings.

Am I wrong for feeling like small children should be taught to be compassionate and that little psychopathic brats should be taken to counseling?  Am I abnormal to feel like discipline and understanding is supposed to be part of a child's education so they understand that there are negative consequences to their actions?

Offline CuriousEyes

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 12:07:46 PM »
I don't want to know where you live. That's horrible.

Short version - it's not okay to physically discipline another person's child, especially not a child whose parents you don't really have a personal relationship with. I would have no problem (aside from personal humiliation that it had to come to that) with someone trying to impart a verbal lesson on morality/manners to my child ("that is a living thing that feels pain, and this is cruel." "you need to respect the personal space of other people."), although the chances that a child engaged in that kind of behavior is really going to take a lesson from a non-authority figure to heart are slim to none.

Note here that I'm using "physically discipline" to cover a broad stretch of meanings - slapping, spanking, grabbing, etc. are completely out of bounds (generally even for the parents themselves, but I don't want to get into that). Something like trying to enforce a punishment - ordering a child to sit down or engage in "time-out" is more acceptable, although you might still be crossing a boundary and the same non-authority/lack of obedience issues above will definitely apply.


The best solution, most times, is just going to be to get the parents involved. Unfortunately that's only going to be as effective as any parent's own measure of discipline is going to be - and many are just as likely to bristle at an implied judgement of their parenting as they are to work to resolve your issue.

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 12:13:23 PM »
If I did any of those things I would have been smacked, had my Tv, games and toys taken away and just made ot sit quietly in my room. If I ever made any noise or tried to act disobedient id be yelled at and made to stand in the corner.

I remember I got into some trouble once that I went an entire week without anything that was fun. *shivers* When yoru mom and dad were both in the service they don't take any back talk, especially when you accidentally say "fuck you" to them.....>_>  I learned my lesson real quick, I can tell you that much.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 01:05:56 PM »
These past three years, I've walked little Oni to middle school, and some of the kids there... *shudder*.  I have used the 'Mommy Voice' on kids who thought it was 'fun' to steal the girls' field hockey sticks and swing them like hatchets.  At other students.  Ran one of them in by intercepting the entryway monitors and ratting on him.  Reprimanded one who was talking about 'raping' another boy.  (I'm not even sure the kid knew what he was talking about.  I hope not, anyways.)  Stood in front of this one kid who was enjoying the chaos caused by riding a bike through a crowd of students.  Yep, we're talking full-on 'gym coach who doesn't need a megaphone' voice, despite the fact that some of the eighth-graders were bigger than I was in one measurement or other.

Was I overstepping?  Maybe.  Did I give a flying fuck that I was overstepping?  Not in the slightest.

Offline CuriousEyes

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 01:11:41 PM »
These past three years, I've walked little Oni to middle school, and some of the kids there... *shudder*.  I have used the 'Mommy Voice' on kids who thought it was 'fun' to steal the girls' field hockey sticks and swing them like hatchets.  At other students.  Ran one of them in by intercepting the entryway monitors and ratting on him.  Reprimanded one who was talking about 'raping' another boy.  (I'm not even sure the kid knew what he was talking about.  I hope not, anyways.)  Stood in front of this one kid who was enjoying the chaos caused by riding a bike through a crowd of students.  Yep, we're talking full-on 'gym coach who doesn't need a megaphone' voice, despite the fact that some of the eighth-graders were bigger than I was in one measurement or other.

Was I overstepping?  Maybe.  Did I give a flying fuck that I was overstepping?  Not in the slightest.

Ah yeah, this is worth mentioning and slipped me earlier - the "rules" are obviously a bit different in a situation where a child is placing you or others (especially your own child) in immediate physical danger. If a kid's swinging a hockey stick around a crowd, I think you have a bit of an obligation to snatch it out of their hands for the good of all.

After the immediate danger's past, then you start getting into the dangers of if you're really going too far, in my mind.

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 01:13:26 PM »
Mom Voice, shouting, scaring (depending on how), and even physically stopping behaviour that is dangerous, harmful, or ruining a space for other people trying to use it? That's fine. Encouraged, even; I'd rather my child have reasons to behave other than "Parents will get angry!". (This does not apply to trying to make a kid not be a kid, though.)

Raise a hand to my child? I will cut you. I won't do that, and you sure as hell don't get to do it for me.

Offline Thesunmaid

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 01:31:58 PM »
I for one am lucky..I have a very laid back and fairly sweet sensitive kid. He is kind to animals and he is polite...but I make sure he knows that when I raise my voice its not just in passing and when I tell him to do something he does it. Its the same with my grandsons..They push I push back harder. Their mother used to think we were too harsh on them but she was in the "I don't want my kids to hate me." mind set. I told her congratulations...you don't want your kids to occasionally hate you..then don't have kids.

I am not saying that your kids should out and out be terrified of you...but with my youngest son and my two grandsons..they know when I raise my voice and I glare (I have been told by my oldest son that a few of his friends thought I was scary when I am mad..high praise coming from teenage boys I guess.)its serious.

I used to live with a couple who had a little girl...they did not baby proof the house...there was electrical outlets she could get at...knickknacks and books right where she could reach them and they were constantly screaming at the kid to the point where she would simply ignore it as normal. But when I raised my voice she knew to stop what she was doing.

In all these cases the kids knew me..but I also used to work in a convenience store and there was this total little brat running around and yanking things off shelves.His mother was like"Damien..Damien..mommy said no.."(how fitting of a name huh?)shes at the front cash talking in a normal tone of voice..kids near the back of the store about to smash a jar of pickles on the floor and seeing as I would be the one dealing with pickle smell and have to clean it up..I finally did something.I looked up and and growled"Damien! you put that back on the shelf now! And you get your sorry butt up here and stand beside your mother before I come down there!" Kid looked at me startled and did as he was told and his mother looked at me pissed off and said"He is my son.."I looked at her and said."And yet who did he listen to?" She wanted to complain to the manager but stormed out when i pointed to the manager and owner who was sitting at a the table near by trying not to crack up laughing at what just happened.

I totally agree with you that kids sometimes need a good crack upside the head..and giving them a swat on the ass once in a while will not kill them or scar them for life. I believe fully that your children do not have to fear you at all times..but dammit if they fear me once in a while that's not a bad thing either. My grown son who is 22 has told me that he has actually heard both our voices in the back of his head saying."Do you really think that's a good idea? Should you keep going?" when he is about to do something dumb.


My 9 year old I have spanked him once in his life..and that was a swat on the diapered butt because he was 2 and he was grabbing the cats tail and yanking it...and my cat is a large male..he was not used to small children yet and he was cornered..not a good situation and the kid was about to have his face clawed off. You can't reason with a 2 year old..so yeah swat on the butt...did not hurt him just startled him enough he let go of the cat and it ran off. Since then he knows tone of voice and the glare...now all i have to do is say his name sternly and glare a bit and that's sufficient. But he is still a sweet cuddly nice kid. And all the cats now love him and sleep with him at night and want him to play with them all the time.

But also that kid you are talking about...I would want to punt the kid through a waaaaaaallllllll..and the bristling at being judged..well that will happen...if your child is out of control and a mini asshole by the time they are 6 to 7 years old..perhaps you should be judged on your parenting skills.  its a hard job..but its no excuse for letting your little crotch fruit act like a cretin.
 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 01:47:28 PM »
There was one time when I came across a kid at the school who had found a little brown bat that had been blown from a tree (at least, that's what it looked like - no visible injuries, but not moving too well either.)  Knowing the propensities of 11-12-year-olds, I adopted an 'in control' attitude and hovered there on 'guard' while sending the little Oni back into the school to get one of the science teachers.  You know those CPR training classes where you essentially order a particular someone to call 911?  Like that. 

Poor little thing didn't last the night, but at least it didn't encounter anything like the baby birds upthread.

Offline Cycle

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 05:30:07 PM »
Those children.  With the bird's nest.

That is sick.

I don't even...



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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2015, 05:40:22 PM »
A little boy at my daughter's school tried to kiss her, she told him no and tried to pull away, he pulled her back. So I went over, yanked him off and told him never to touch my daughter again. His father told me I had no right to yell or touch his child. His child who was grabbing and forcing kisses on my child, but I was not allowed to help her. I told him that the next time I see it happen, I'm going to back hand his kid. I also, after a discussion with the principal about the situation, made sure they all heard me tell my daughter that the next time it happens that she is to back hand him as hard as she can. I also very loudly made it clear that some kids need to learn about personal space and that 'No means No' even as children.

I feel that my actions and the threat of my, and my daughter's, future actions were well justified.

At the grocery store the other day, some kids were being loud an unruly. The mother was trying to wrangle them and doing the best she could. One of them broke a jar. Instead of snapping at the kid, like I kind of wanted to, I asked the mother if she needed some help.

In that situation, I felt my actions were perfectly acceptable and that anything more wouldn't have been.

As a child, I remember my cat having kittens and my parents gave one of them to the family across the street. It was a small town and small trailer park, so pretty much all the families knew each other. I knew their kids well and hung out with them. One day, they were all in a circle and had the kitten in the middle with a big dog that was trying to bite at it. They wouldn't let me through, cause I was going to grab the kitten, so I ran and got my mom. She yanked the kids apart, grabbed the kitten, scared the dog off, and told them all what little monsters they were being and that they better get home and explain themselves to their parents because she was calling them as soon as we got home.

I feel my mother's actions were justified.

I do think there is a line to where other people should and should not step in when it comes to other children.

A lot of it comes down to situation and person judgement and willingness to stand behind your actions.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 05:46:55 PM »
I realize the social difficulties in attempting to get this to stick but in regards to the children with the bird's nest.

Under Illinois law (510 ILCS 70/3.01.) animal cruelty is a class A misdemeanor which does still apply to minors. In terms of them getting counseling the law does say, "In addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction for violating this Section, the court may order the convicted person to undergo a psychological or psychiatric evaluation and to undergo any treatment at the convicted person's expense that the court determines to be appropriate after due consideration of the evidence."

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015, 05:48:06 PM »
I think there's just something wrong with the bird-nest kids. If I found a bird nest I would have picked it up, put it in a box, and taken it to my mom to beg her to let me keep it, and then I would cry non-stop because she wouldn't let me.

Offline Sho

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2015, 05:51:21 PM »
The rule I was always raised with, and I think this is probably the best way to go about it, is that unless the child is physically endangering you (waving a hockey stick, threatening you with a paintball gun, etc), you cannot touch them. Effectively, you should never, EVER touch someone else's child.

What you can do instead is to approach their parents and tell them that their child is doing something unacceptable. If the parents refuse to do anything, approach other authority figures who have the right to discipline those children (principals or, if necessary, security guards/police). If no parents are available whatsoever then you can use Mommy Voice to try and get the kids to listen.

Honestly, though, the second you lay your hands on another person's child you get their defenses up so high that you lose most of the ability to reason with them. I've seen this happen before: Child A hits Child B, and Mom B shoves Child A away from her child or hits Child A. Mom A then shows up, realizes her kid has been hit, and promptly refuses to listen to anything else that has been said, or refuses to believe what Mom B is claiming. Effectively, by hitting a child you're sinking to their level. You're usually three times their size; there is always a better way to handle it.

As far as the bird thing...that is absolutely horrible, and would be a situation where Mommy Voice is MORE than justified. Beyond that, I would still tell the children's parents. They need to know so that they can discipline their chidren. While it's not your role to discipline them, I'm sure their parents will want to. That's absolutely horrific. I wouldn't, per Caehlim's post, report them to the police (I know Caehlim didn't say they have to be reported but he provided a code stating that they could be, if so desired) but I would absolutely tell every single one of their parents that I could. Kids do stupid things without fully understanding what they're doing, and I think this is one of those cases where they need to understand why what they did was wrong.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2015, 06:01:06 PM »
I wouldn't, per Caehlim's post, report them to the police (I know Caehlim didn't say they have to be reported but he provided a code stating that they could be, if so desired)

To be honest, I do think that they should be but I didn't suggest it because I don't necessarily want BlueMaiden to be placed in the difficult situation of trying to do that. It's one thing to have the law on your side, but how people are going to react isn't necessarily going to match up with the law.

I do agree with Sho though, the parents should definitely know about it if you have a chance to tell them.

Offline BlueMaiden88Topic starter

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2015, 07:08:24 PM »
One of the kids' mother rides the train with me to work.  We both work a late shift, so we keep each other company and have actually been able to help each other out when a guy started harassing us on the train.  So, I have her number.  I did end up contacting her and telling her what happened, because it was eating me up inside.  Apparently, one of the kids that was involved is the little girl's cousin.  They were supposed to be staying with the grandmother while the parents are at work. 
I HONESTLY don't want anyone's kid to have a criminal record if it can be avoided because that's a blemish on their life, but the parents need to know what they are raising if the kids are doing this sort of thing while they are out of sight.  If I catch them again, I'll file a claim.  For now, I just alerted the local animal cruelty society chapter that someone's been vandalizing bird nests.
I still have no clue who the little boy belongs to, but more than likely, he's obviously someone the kids know and play with on a somewhat regular basis. 

I don't have any children myself, that's why things like this bother me.  I don't have any of my own to properly judge what I would feel comfortable with.  I mainly base my judgements on these situations on how my parents disciplined me.  I'm always hyper aware that I'm going to overstep some boundary one day because more and more, I keep seeing kids doing awful stuff that I and my peers would have never even DREAMED of doing.   I almost wonder if the adults are oblivious to what's happening or if they ignore it out of fear of someone's parents getting in their face.  It's breeding a culture of 'justifiable' bad behavior.  It really bugs me.

When I was little, I went to a school full of nuns... Nuns with RULERS.  So, not only did you get a detention, you got swatted with a ruler and THEN your parents were notified and you got spanked, extra chores, and all your toys taken.   On top of that, if we did anything bad in the neighborhood and our parents weren't watching, the other parents would yell at us, tell our parents and we'd get into double trouble because not only were we caught doing something we shouldn't have, but we embarrassed our families with our bad behavior.   There was a community aspect to discipline.  It seems that these days it's more important for people to see their kid being 'cute' and being allowed to ignore basic rules and empathy.   

I know that other people don't want their kids harmed.  It makes perfect sense because parents are hardwired to protect their kids.  So, I've never hit anyone else's kid.  I have, however, snatched a kid out of traffic before they got hit by a car, used the 'grown up voice' on kids, called the police (it was a case of some really DISTURBING bullying), and yelled at a woman who let her baby carriage roll into a busy intersection because her text conversation was SO much more important than the life of her kid.

Finding myself in these sorts of situations makes me really uncomfortable.  It's like I'm being put on the spot for doing the 'right thing' and even if I do it, I could still end up with an overprotective parent who is raising a little monster in my face because I told their kid they were being a little monster.  I don't know everyone else's definition for 'too far' in regards to their kids.  For some people, too far is slapping their kid.  For others too far is telling their kid to stop beating another kid in the face with a brick.  It's a crap shoot.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2015, 07:10:19 PM »
The rule I was always raised with, and I think this is probably the best way to go about it, is that unless the child is physically endangering you (waving a hockey stick, threatening you with a paintball gun, etc), you cannot touch them. Effectively, you should never, EVER touch someone else's child.
I'd disagree here - I, for one, would intervene as much as needed to stop it if they were presenting an immediate danger to anyone, not just me. Largely because, as a child, I've been in situations where I wished someone would do that for me.

Offline BlueMaiden88Topic starter

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2015, 07:34:45 PM »
@Ephiral: I have too, actually.  That's also why I'm so cynical about all of these anti-bullying campaigns that don't work because they don't enforce the rules and aren't observant enough to recognize when something's happening.

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2015, 08:21:05 PM »
@Ephiral: I have too, actually.  That's also why I'm so cynical about all of these anti-bullying campaigns that don't work because they don't enforce the rules and aren't observant enough to recognize when something's happening.

Those campaigns are nothing but a joke, when I was younger a few years ago, 5 at the most, so...about 15 to 14 (im 20 now) I was bullied a lot, to the point one boy followed me home and kept making fun of me. I was a chubby girl back then and so I was easy pickings.  :P

And I cant tell you how many times I was told by teachers. "Well maybe they just want to be friends with you? Have you thought about maybe trying to talk to them?"

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2015, 09:07:46 PM »
Let me put it this way...

Hit my child, scream at my child, you are going to deal with me. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to hit or scream at another person's child. Use a 'mom voice' to grab their attention and get them to settle down - sure. Raise your hand or get in their face to scream at them? Hell no.

And grab my child by the arm to drag them to me? You wouldn't like my response. (Not that I'd let my child be unsupervised.)

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2015, 11:51:34 PM »
Those campaigns are nothing but a joke, when I was younger a few years ago, 5 at the most, so...about 15 to 14 (im 20 now) I was bullied a lot, to the point one boy followed me home and kept making fun of me. I was a chubby girl back then and so I was easy pickings.  :P

And I cant tell you how many times I was told by teachers. "Well maybe they just want to be friends with you? Have you thought about maybe trying to talk to them?"

+1000000000000

Those pitiful rallies always just honestly gave the message of "Congratulations, bullies. You're so effective we have rallies about you. We say we're stopping you, but just keep doing the horrid things you do.".

Offline Sho

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2015, 03:32:40 AM »
I'd disagree here - I, for one, would intervene as much as needed to stop it if they were presenting an immediate danger to anyone, not just me. Largely because, as a child, I've been in situations where I wished someone would do that for me.

Just wanted to clarify (because I think I didn't phrase it right earlier)...what I meant was that a parent can step in at any point if a child, their child or not, is causing a physical threat to any person. I don't think any reasonable person would become furious if someone snatched away a hockey stick/knife/bat from a child threatening to hit others. Again, though, I would say that hitting that child would be unacceptable (whereas taking the offending object would be A-Okay). Hitting the child would have to be a last resort to prevent others from being harmed.

Offline Aethereal

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2015, 09:31:29 AM »
Quote
I'd disagree here - I, for one, would intervene as much as needed to stop it if they were presenting an immediate danger to anyone, not just me.
Ditto. If someone is harming and/or seriously endangering someone - human or other animal, or in some instances even plant - yes, it is right to stop them. Not harm them, not overblow things, but do just enough to stop them. If it means grabbing their arm, then so be it. (I don't condone actually hitting people. Grabbing wrists or taking away (sharp) things when nothing else works, though? Sure.)

Quote
Hitting the child would have to be a last resort to prevent others from being harmed.
      I can't see a situation where hitting anyone would do any good unless you've a match and it is actual, proper fight, possibly for life.

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And grab my child by the arm to drag them to me? You wouldn't like my response.
      What *should* someone do if they saw your child doing something that required immediate intervention (as in, there simply isn't time to go and find you, wherever you are) and "mom voice" simply didn't cut it at all?

Offline consortium11

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2015, 09:50:55 AM »
Is it also worth deciding what we mean by "child" here.

Most of the discussion seems to be focused on children in around the 5-10 age range. But a 12-14 year is still a child right? Is "Mum" (or "Dad") voice as likely to work on them? Frankly, are you even going to be able to drag and restrain them with anything resembling ease?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2015, 10:08:12 AM »
I was talking about middle-schoolers - so, up to 14 at least.  'Mom voice' (or 'Coach voice') will get their attention.  Striding towards them with that 'I am a person of authority' look in your eyes will as well.  I haven't had to try to drag or restrain anyone, but I was prepared to grab hold of the bike that the one kid was charging around on if he hadn't laid off.

Offline Aethereal

Re: Is it wrong to discipline/frighten other people's children?
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2015, 10:14:49 AM »
I generally make distinction between children and teenagers. A 14-year-old holds much more responsibility (including criminal) than 4-6-8 year old.