When is it appropriate or inappropriate to discipline someone else's child?
At the drop in nursery class in East London yesterday there was one child there with her mother who was being...bratty. She was maybe three I think and she was crying and grabbing at things that she wanted to play with- totally disrupting the class. If the child is a baby or under nursery age then I can totally understand the throwing fits- it's to be expected and it's okay. But in this case? She just wanted to play the drum and she wanted to play it now and that wasn't okay. And her mother was doing nothing about it other than looking a little helpless and explaining to me that her daughter wanted to play the drum. Yes. I see that. Are you going to tell her no?
So after a bit of self wrestling I eventually crouched down so that I was on the same level as the crying daughter and said "we're going to play with instruments later, not right now. If you'd like to play the drum, we can do that later in the class. But not now." Which actually, isn't even disciplining and is exactly what I would have done in my nursery classes before having one of the teachers take the kid away if they were going to keep disrupting class that much. And she stopped, and it was fine. So I guess my question is really more when do you just go ahead and take charge and when do you wait for the parent to do something about it? Because I don't want to step on people's toes, but I also don't want to stop the class because one child is throwing a fit because they're not getting their own way.