Over the weekend, I was out in public with some cousins and their kids at a busy . While we were there, one of my little cousins made a mess and his mother made him clean it up. Accident or not, in my family we have our children clean up whatever they messed up. We do this so that when they become an adult they will know that they have to be responsible for their actions... mistake or not. Anyway, he started crying and whining because he didn't want to clean it up. While he is cleaning up, a stranger comes over and helps him clean up the mess and starts consoling him and giving him hugs, etc. And turns to my cousin giving her the "How Could You?" eye. Now, my cousin didn't do anything in response to this, but to me this was slightly crossing a boundary.
My cousin never raised her voice or yelled at her child, she simply told him to fix what he messed up. If a parent doesn't redirect the actions of their child, then who will. It's the responsibility of the parent to discipline their child how they see fit. Being a parent is already a huge task, without the intervention of some random stranger "saving" the day.
It's true that no one likes to , but when a parent is disciplining their child shouldn't that parent be able to do so? As long as the child is not being abused or neglected, I see no reason for anyone to intervene with a situation like this.
There are so many children who act a complete nut in public all because they know mom and dad won't correct them there. But for many parents waiting until we get home to discipline a child is not good enough. Especially when many parents completely forget to discipline their child for something that happened hours ago.
So the question I have for all you brilliant parents is when is it appropriate to intervene when a child is being disciplined in public?