Where is the adult-parent line?

As a parent, I understand what my responsibilities are for my children. I also realize that as an adult, when around other children, it is my "job" to keep safety a priority. If another child is doing something that is not safe, I feel that I can step in and ask them to stop. If the child selects not to do it, that is where my boundaries end. I would never think of threatening them with a consequence, I would get their parent and explain the situation for them to take care of.

Sunday afternoon at my nephews party we had an experience where another adult at the party over stepped the adult-parent line. TechyDad did an amazing blog post about this experience when it was very fresh in his mind. You can read that here.

To this day I am still floored with the behavior of the other person at the party. Please note that there were only four children at this family party, my two boys and our two nephews. This woman’s children are adults and she is NO relative of ours.

What would you have done in this situation? I was too busy picking my mouth up from the floor to reply properly. How would you help to prep your child IF you go back into a potential environment like this again?

As sad as it is that my boys may not be close to their two cousins, it makes me even more determined to make sure that we continue to be close to my brother and his family.


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  • RobMonroe says:

    Wow – that story is – just wow.

    Our daughter is still on the early side of disciplining, but we are very clear about rules and consequences already.

    I would say that your boundaries that you laid our are ideal in every situation. I have close friends whose sons I am comfortable giving appropriate discipline to, but we’ve all talked about that so there is mutual understanding around it. (Not that he would need it, he’s a great child)

    You should have taken HER cake away!

    RobMonroe’s last blog post..Play Kitchen Build

  • QCMOMMA says:

    I am not sure what I would have done. Probably the same as you and simply stood there dumbfounded. All of my friends and family, well the ones I talk to and am around alot, are really close and have an understanding, “I will treat your kids as I do my own” If we are all together and all the kids are running around like monkeys they are all told to sit down and behave. That type of thing. However I do have one cousin who we see like maybe once a year and she felt the need to tell my karate kid he was being bad one day and it took all I had not to put her in her place! I just took my son and told him what I wanted him to do. What bothered me I think the most was she was punishing him for something that all the kids, hers included, were doing together. Not cool! Thankfully we don’t talk to them much so I don’t have to worry about it much.
    Sorry didnt mean to ramble so much,
    And I agree with Rob, You should have taken her cake away!

    QCMOMMA’s last blog post..Another day in the life

  • Okay, I am going to sound terrible when I say this but we go through this with my MIL. At my nephew’s birthday party she told Big Brother that he had to sit down and eat a sandwich. He didn’t want to but he is a really good kid and went to sit down, looking very sad. When I saw I interjected. I told him he didn’t have to eat then if he wasn’t hungry. He then informed me that Grandma had said he couldn’t have his cousin’s birthday cake if he didn’t eat a sandwich. I was furious – so not her place. I told him that he could have cake either way. Then on the way home I told him that the only adult he had to listen to like that was mommy or daddy and that if Grandma said something like that he could just come and check with us – he did not have to do it just because she said it.
    He was shocked. :) I felt weird but she had no right even if she is his Grandma.

    Upstatemomof3’s last blog post..Their First Real Sibling Moment

  • Melanie says:

    Hmm! I would have been surprised too. Can’t say I have much experience in this department yet. Maybe she would listen to a stranger if they told her “No” better than she does US ? LOL
    I really do try to defer to the parent when possible if a kid is doing something they shouldn’t.

  • Damselfly says:

    Yikes! I read TechyDad’s post. At first I probably would have been dumbstruck too, but eventually I would have had to say something to the woman, hopefully in private.

    Damselfly’s last blog post..There’s a party going on right here

  • Came over from Damselfly’s place – nice to meet you!

    That’s a brutal story. I don’t know that I would have had the grace to not completely lose my shit on someone. I like to think I would, but I’d probably at the very least make a backhanded comment like “We don’t listen to people like that, sweetie. Don’t worry – you can have as much cake as you want.” ;-)

    much more than a mom’s last blog post..Finish This Sentence