Has this ever happened to you? You're out with a bunch of kids, one of them misbehaves - not your own - and you don't know what to do. Should you tell the parent? Should you talk to the child yourself? Should you just ignore it and hope the problem goes away? It's happened to me.
Once, I just couldn't let it go. One of my daughter's friends, a neighbour, beat my daughter up in the school yard after school. My daughter came home with scratched and bruised legs, very sad and angry. This wasn't the first time this girl had hurt kids, but it was the worst. The problem was that I knew her mom wouldn't do anything, or at least, not enough. So I watched for the girl to pass our house, called her in and told her what I thought of her behaviour and made her apologize to my daughter.
Would I have called this girl out if her mom had been present? Should I have told her mom? What effect did my intervention have on this girl's behaviour? Raising kids has become almost solely the responsibility of the parents. Gone are the days when other relatives, neighbours, and even teachers had the right and some would say the responsibility to help raise a child. We wondered, can another adult discipline your child? How? When?
The Australian mini-series, "The Slap", based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas starts June 4th on TVO at 10pm ET and in the first episode a man slaps a child who is not his own. It sets off a cascade of emotions - anger, guilt, confusion, loyalty and raises a lot of questions about what is acceptable and what isn't in the world of parenting today. I've read the book and seen the first episode (insider advantage) and it's very well-done.
Throughout the series TVOParents will be examining the issues raised. We have previews of the episodes and will be streaming them after they've aired. We have video interviews with experts, articles and blogs. We also have a contest - you can win a copy of "The Slap" and some TVOParents swag. Now there's an incentive to join the conversation. And please, feel free to share your stories of parenting other people's kids. Do you? Would you? I know I'm not the only one.