It Takes a Village to Raise a Child, but the Village Feels Guilty About It

When do you step in with another person’s kid who needs a correction? You’re at the playground and a four-year old you know well is swinging a bat around babies? Obviously. How about if a younger kid you are only a little familiar with is snatching toys, and the parents is nearby but not saying anything? Hmmm. Probably not.

Sometimes out on the playground, I feel like I’m shirking my responsibilities to the village because I don’t want to be accused of being a buttinski. I have a new post over at GNM Parents — “Co-Parenting Other People’s Young Kids” — in which I ponder this dilemma:

“…if a conflict arises and no caregiver is nearby, I do my best to defuse it without any punitive words. Suggesting a new activity helps, especially a cool one like finding bugs. I’m also convinced by the power of “praising the behavior you want.” For example, when someone grabs a ball from Boobaby, I might say, “Hey, you want to play catch with the little baby? That’s so nice!” and go on to encourage a joint game..”

There are so many situations that warrant adult interaction — when is it OK to be that adult? Read the whole article here, and let me know what you think — I’m pretty up in the air about it right now.

This stuff is really confusing, but on the plus side, I did get to use the word “buttinski” in a post. So yay.