Every family dynamic is different, and every parenting style unique. How you discipline your children is a sensitive topic. Some parents feel relieved when an aunt or uncle steps in during a temper tantrum, and some prefer to teach their children on their own.
We want to know what you think. Let us know below and then keep reading for more about the dynamics of discipline.
The Dynamics of Discipline
What makes the topic of disciplining children so tricky is that the term is broad and can apply to many situations. Is it okay for a relative to put your child in timeout when they’re babysitting? Or would you rather they give you a call first to see how you would handle the situation?
Each parent’s answer will differ. If something serious happens, it typically warrants a call to the parents. Not just for discipline advice, but also to make them aware of what’s going on. If there was bickering over a favorite toy, it might not be as dire.
If you feel like you must know everything that happens while you’re away at that very instant, check out this quiz to see if you might be a helicopter parent.
But where do you draw the line? Should a relative ever step in when a parent is present to discipline a child? Sometimes children have close relationships with extended family members. Maybe they’re used to seeing grandma and grandpa daily and consider them an extension of parenting figures. But, perhaps not.
When Discipline Becomes Confusing
Problems may arise when discipline is inconsistent. Maybe you let your child put their feet on the couch, but to a relative, that’s a big no-no. A small child can become confused when reprimanded for something they’re usually allowed to do.
Not only can this confuse your kid, but it can cause tension with your relatives. Your relatives may not see eye-to-eye with you on your parenting style. When that happens, learn how to deal with parenting criticism. Remember, you are the parent, and how you raise your child is your prerogative.
How to Handle Discipline from Relatives
The best way to approach the topic of relatives disciplining your children is to have an open discussion about it. You may have already had a conversation regarding boundaries for gift-giving. A conversation about discipline should be very similar. Stand firm, state your beliefs and maintain the limits that you set.
If you ever feel uncomfortable leaving your child with a relative because of their discipline techniques, remember that it’s okay to tell them that and reconsider babysitting options until things change.