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How to Talk to Other Parents About Their Kids’ Behavior

Let’s face it, most of us are judgmental beings. Whether we admit it or know it at all, we all have the ability to be. As a parent, you will most likely encounter a situation where you might find yourself wondering what in the world is happening with that kid or that parent.

talk to parents about their kids

During my son’s first year into the world, I was that overbearing, super careful, natural health mom who hovered over her son. It drove my husband and everyone else crazy.

It took me a while to realize that along with my new behavior also came the judgy mom bug. I was in a bubble where I thought I was the smart mom who knew everything. Little did I know that I was actually a rookie, just stepping into a new world with a whole lot to learn.


Over the last few years, I have learned a lot about the infant stage, the toddler stage, and now the preschool stage. I’m dreading the teen stage and worst of all, the stage where I know my son will eventually have to leave my house.

Through all these stages, I see kids and their different behaviors. My son was at the playground one day and a boy just went up to him and scratched him on the neck. After my son screamed, the mom of the little boy grabbed her son and walked away. I wanted so badly to walk up to her and smack her but it took every bit of me to hold back.

The scratch left a scar on my son’s neck. The scar now reminds me of the moment I just stood back and didn’t say or do anything.

I feel as if I was appointed the motherhood position, because I was thought worthy to be the protector of one little person. I used to think I failed, because I said nothing and did nothing when he got hurt, but after a while I realized that it had nothing to do with that. It takes much more for a person to sit back and not fight and understand, rather than someone who lashes out without rationally trying to make sense of the situation as a whole.

Parents belong to a community, where most have a mutual understanding that we are all trying our very best. Some of us might not like how we look at one another and we may not always agree on how we parent, but ultimately we know that it is our duty to love and protect our own children.

The mom at the playground might not have realized what was going on. Luckily, my son wasn’t that badly hurt, but whatever the case, I was never going to see her again. It made no difference to me how she parents her child, just as long as my son never has to see him again.

My son is now 5 years old and he has met a lot of other kids since then. I’ve learned a lot from my fellow parent friends, including the fact that it’s never my job to tell them how to parent their kids. As long as my kid isn’t affected by theirs and I see no violence going on, then it really isn’t my business to say or do anything.

What are your thoughts on the subject of speaking out to parents about their kids’ behavior, especially when you know it’s not the way yours would or should act?

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.

21 comments

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  • My son has a sweet nature and I remember when he was little, he would play with these two brothers and they were ROUGH! I didn’t like it too much but had no idea what to do other than tel my son to no longer play with those kids. I just hate confrontation lol

  • I am not a parent but if the behavior has the potential to be harmful to the child or another child something should be said. Calmly as possible – but definitely

  • It’s a tricky thing these days. It used to be easier when my kids were little. It’s a shame that we can’t have a discussion when it’s warranted without fear.

  • I do observe first when my kids play with other kids. If I do not see something nice about their kids, I ask question so not to offend the parents. I am sure that if their kid has ad behavior, they will understand my concern especially my kids are quite.

  • This is such a tricky subject which should always be approached with caution. As a parent I would like to know if my child is being disruptive or rude in any way. I think when we ignore these little things they can hurt kids as they grow up thinking this is okay. However, some parents are not easy to deal with where this is concerned so before doing this I would have to know that parent….for it can get ugly…LOL

  • You are correct that whether we care to admit it or not, we can and are quite judgemental even if we really do not want to be. When it comes to children and their parents, I try my best to stay out of their business – as long as it does not directly impact or affect me. I notice the behaviour but keep out.

  • I think it would depend on the gravity of the situation. But that’s true as well, so long as your family is not affected then you shouldn’t get into their business.

  • We don’t have children yet, so I’m thankful to not have to worry about anything like this. Yet… I’m sure when the day comes I’ll appreciate people respecting my parenting style and I theirs.

  • I have been on both sides of this. My daughter was picked on and my son was the wild child who do bad things. I did like to be told when my son did wrong so I could correct him, but be told nicely.

  • I am usually very blunt. Sometimes it goes over well and other times it doesn’t, but it needs to be said sometimes.