Parenting & Family

Someone calling your child bad. What will you do?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 15th, 2018 8:56 pm

Poll: Do you think it is right for someone to tell to your child that he/she is bad?

  • Total votes: 16. You have voted on this poll.
Yes
 
7
44%
No
 
9
56%

Poll ended at Nov 4th, 2018 6:22 am

[OP]
Newbie
Oct 27, 2018
21 posts
7 upvotes

Someone calling your child bad. What will you do?

I have a two year old son who is very active. When his cousins visit, he gets overly excited and sometimes loses control by jumping, screaming and throwing things (sometimes may accidently hit someone because he is not aiming). I know this behavior is "bad", and I often use time out as an effective mean to teach him that.

Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. We all took our pictures.My wife wanted to take a picture with her daughter. My son won't leave the photoshoot scene because he wanted to stay with mommy. We tried to take him away and he cried. I finally bribed him to go with a Kit-Kat. While I was taking my son away, his aunt told him, "you're a bad boy" in front of everyone in the family. She wasn't trying to be funny. She said it in an insulting and shameful way.

Now my question to you all is... do you think it is right for someone (friend or family) to tell to your child that he/she is bad? What will you do?
18 replies
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
781 posts
200 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I don't think it's right to tell someone else's kid that he's bad. It's not something I would do myself and I would leave it to the parents to tell him that. I believe it's the parents job to discipline kids, not someone else. If someone told my kid that he's bad, I would not make a deal out of it and just ignore. I would deal with the child myself and try to correct the bad behaviour. The parents are the one who actually know what is going on with the child, whether he usually behave likes this everytime or only during certain circumstances. I see that you were dealing with the situation and did what you could do. It's also hard for 2 year old kids to understand what is "bad" or not during certain situations. For him it was probably a case of staying with mommy, more than getting out of there for photoshoot. In my opinion, aunt should have backed off as you were already trying your best. No need to step in as as I don't think what she said had any effect on your son anyway. It would probably have made a difference if your son was maybe 4, but again, I believe it's the parents job, not relatives or friends. If the parents are not doing their jobs, then I understand sometimes others might step in...
Jr. Member
Jun 11, 2006
149 posts
120 upvotes
I don't mind if someone corrects my children if I am not there or if I miss what happens. However, I do expect them to do so in a respectful manner without yelling. And if my kids' objectionable behavior continues, then I prefer the person come speak to me to take care of it. That is what I do regarding other kids, though I generally don't police other peoples kids unless it's something dangerous or needs intervention,

What your sons aunt said was not constructive or helpful, and I would be annoyed. If it were me and the comments continued, I would either say something, or limit my time around them. (In my family, we do have one family member who seems to overreact or have limited patience with normal kid behavior, so we just limit our time spent with them -- I would love to say something, but that might rock the boat too much!)
Sr. Member
May 12, 2014
716 posts
328 upvotes
Markham, ON
My approach is never tell the kids they're bad or good, I always address the behaviour. When someone else's kids does something, like throwing, I tell the kid not to do it and why. I'd be fine if other people addressed my kid's behaviour if they're acting up and am grateful for it.

With what your aunt did, I'd speak to her after to hopefully prevent it from happening in the future. Also I don't like it when people say my kids are good.
Member
Apr 2, 2013
244 posts
139 upvotes
St. Catharines
While I agree that calling out bad behaviour is a necessary thing; I would never call the child in question bad. You are always meant to address and call out the behaviour in order to assist the child in learning or simply discourage those actions; condemn the behaviour, not the child. What your family member did was not only wrong in scope, but wrong in context. It's a chaotic time with a lot of people and the only familiar and safe thing is mommy, so it makes sense that your child wants to remain by her side so of course he is going to wail when being taken away. I would have told off that family member if she had said that about my son and would have made the exact same points to ensure that outlandish nonsense doesn't become a common thread.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 27, 2018
21 posts
7 upvotes
I see from the poll there are people who believe it is right for someone to tell to your child that he/she is "bad"? For the people who voted "yes", perhaps share your views?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
23271 posts
9716 upvotes
Ottawa
I agree that an adult (not stranger) can identify that the actions of my kid is unsafe or distracting at that moment, but nothing more.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
6028 posts
1010 upvotes
2 is a hard age. they really don't completely know better, and act out of emotions in cases like this. I am fine with someone addressing the behavior, and certainly telling me about it after the fact. However, it seems pointless to say it shamefully to the child in a public display like that. Even if the intentions where likely to be funny. Aunts and Uncles are like that.

Now, once they pass the age of knowing better, I am fine with another parent correcting my child if they are being a pain. I would also do the same for their child.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
17208 posts
2076 upvotes
Langley
Just take him away and don't give him a treat. Toddlers don't get to decide where they go. You should be more worried about your child's behavior and your enabling of it than something his aunt says.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
8774 posts
986 upvotes
Toronto
Firstly, you cannot control what others say or do. Much like adult life. someone can call you a name or something racist. You can't prevent it, you can only control what you feel or do afterwards.

So teach your kids to not take things personally, or else they will grow up to a world of hurt later in life. Not everyone is polite in life.

I believe your kid is pretty tough, ain't gonna be easily hurt by these words. IMO, being tough is a good thing.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2010
4072 posts
927 upvotes
Toronto
s7yl3x wrote:
Oct 29th, 2018 9:45 am
I see from the poll there are people who believe it is right for someone to tell to your child that he/she is "bad"? For the people who voted "yes", perhaps share your views?
I think there's a difference between a member of the family (aunt, uncle, grandparent), an adult who has some authority or specific interest (cop, teacher) and just a random adult (some lady in the grocery checkout line).
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
8774 posts
986 upvotes
Toronto
s7yl3x wrote:
Oct 29th, 2018 9:45 am
I see from the poll there are people who believe it is right for someone to tell to your child that he/she is "bad"? For the people who voted "yes", perhaps share your views?
For some kids, they simply do not respond to their parents "commands". STOP running around, STOP hitting your sister, .... but they continue (in public).

I believe it all stems from early on, on how the parents raised the kids. Maybe not enough attention or consequences were given when they were 1, 3, 4 yr old. Now they are 6yrs and won't listen anymore.

So, in those situations, a stranger telling them something would help.

While it isn't "right", the wording in the poll question can be changed slightly. eg. "Are there situations where a stranger can/should call a kid "bad" boy/girl ? Yes / No

Bottom line, I don't believe every naughty kid is born that way. its 99.9% due to a lack of discipline, love, attention, when they were growing up. Maybe parents are too busy working, always dropped off at grandparents, daycare, etc. Or parents aren't understanding the needs of the child, so the child has to do his/her own thing to satisfy himself.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
1322 posts
582 upvotes
^ interesting point about the wording.

@s7yl3x Are you asking about the wording of calling a child bad ? Or that someone tried to called out the child’s behaviour?

I agree, I wouldn’t ever call a child ‘bad’ but I have seen much bad behaviour by children. I would never call a child bad, but I would have many times pointed a child’s poor or unacceptable behaviour if the parents haven’t handled the situation.

If my child was acting up, and misbehaving, and someone called my kid bad, I would be worried about what my kid was doing. I would tell my child their BEHAVIOUR is poor but not them. It doesn’t matter what the other person says. Chances are if someone calls a kid bad, they are misbehaving. Wording is off, but the behaviour still needs to be dealt with.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
17208 posts
2076 upvotes
Langley
rfdrfd wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 4:06 pm
Maybe not enough attention or consequences were given when they were 1,
I think that's just it. A few years ago, my dad, when one of his foster granddaugthers was a little over 1, she started acting up in her high chair. He took her out, told her not to act like that, and took her to another room for a few minutes until she calmed down. Right in the middle of dinner. A little piece of my heart broke... I was like what? She's only 1, she doesn't know what she's doing. And he says - yeah, but she's learning now how to behave at 2. Toddlers have "terrible twos" and because of what they learned at one.

I did the same thing with my kid - getting upset at 1-2 never gets a reward... and while he has tantrums like any toddler... it's very rarely major. If he wants to throw a fit, I leave him on the floor and ignore him until he's done. Usually it's 30 seconds at most and then he moves on.

I'm glad I witnessed my dad giving that lesson, otherwise I wouldn't have been focused on the long term when he was just 1.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 27, 2018
21 posts
7 upvotes
Macx2mommy wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 7:40 pm
^ interesting point about the wording.

@s7yl3x Are you asking about the wording of calling a child bad ? Or that someone tried to called out the child’s behaviour?
It is the former. I think "bad" should be associated with a behaviour or else it is not very helpful.

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