Maybe you’re a bit relieved when the kids behaving like brats belong to someone else, but if those kids are in your care, upsetting your child or disrespecting your house rules while visiting, you have to deal with the problem. Whether the bratty kid’s mom is ignoring his behavior, isn’t there or doesn't notice his inappropriateness, it can put you in an awkward position. While it is always acceptable to intervene when behavior is dangerous, it’s sometimes acceptable to intervene when it isn’t.
Consider whether the bratty child's behavior is endangering the safety of anyone, including himself, advises Betsy Braun Brown, child development and behavior specialist, parent educator and author, writing at Betsybrownbraun.com. For instance, you will be hard-pressed to encounter a parent who becomes angry with you for taking a sharp knife away from her toddler.
Discreetly ask the parent of the bratty child to intervene, if the circumstance warrants it, advises Lawrence Kutner, a clinical psychologist at Harvard University, writing at Parenting.com. For example, if you are having a play time at the park and someone’s child is repeatedly dumping buckets of dirt on your child, quietly let his mother know what just happened and ask her whether she minds saying something to her child because yours is upset.
Enforce the rules in your own house, advises Brown. If you witness your friend’s child jumping on your daughter’s bed while she’s over playing, let the child know that jumping on the bed is a no-no in your house and politely ask her to stop. Turn to her mother and say something along the lines of, “I hope you don’t mind, but we don’t allow Jill to jump on the bed and we want to enforce the fact that the house rules apply to everyone rather than just Jill.”
Be firm but gentle when you are in charge of someone else’s child and her behavior is bratty, advises Brown. Remain calm when dealing with someone else’s child’s behavior. Consider how you expect other parents to treat your child if she misbehaves when they are in charge of her and let that be your guide. Don’t spank someone's child. Remind her of the rules and speak to her mother or father when they retrieve her, if her behavior does not improve.
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