Is it Right to Discipline Other People’s Children?

OK, this isn’t just about disciplining other people’s children but more of a rant about them getting right up in my space when I most don’t want them to!

Now, as many of you know, I’m mum to three ridiculously busy and noisy children so life is rarely quiet … but I’m OK with that … and I normally love the chaos of it … contrary to what I may hint at in many of my posts (well more than hint at, I admit … more shout out at any given opportunity to whoever fancies listening or maybe even to those who don’t want to listen)  … but, hey, provides me with heaps of blogging material … so kids please carry on just the way you are (well for now at least and for as long as you can bear me broadcasting to the world!)

… but when I book a treat, such as the hairdresser’s (it’s been known to happen) I welcome the solace of a calm, serene environment … to indulge, reflect, relax … who am I kidding … read loads of trashy magazines in peace with no kids around … I repeat … no kids around … now trust me … this story is far less funny if you think that I like other people’s children being around (which I do but, bear with me, really just not so funny).

… so when I arrived for my trashy magazine fest today I did not want to see that my beautiful hairdresser’s (I become very ownershippy … and yes I know that isn’t a word … about these things) had … can you imagine … two children in it (remember … not so funny if you think I like other people’s children) … hmmm … not the plan … but I quickly checked myself … it could be OK … who would bring their children with them to the hairdresser’s unless they were absolutely angels … this would be OK … nothing ruined … who in their right mind would subject their children on others in the tranquil setting of a small boutique style hairdresser’s if they were nothing other than delightful? … I think you may get an idea of where this story may possibly be going … and you wouldn’t be wrong … how on earth did you guess?

… in fact, I felt sorry for the mother … they weren’t angels … they weren’t delightful … actually let’s expand on that … they were monsters … they were rude, they answered back, they stropped, they chewed gum over and over, then over and over some more, they stared, scowled even, at anyone who dared to look at them, they banged the door of the hairdressers open and shut, open and shut … lots … they slumped in the spare chairs, they sprawled on the floor, they ate really stinky crisps, they repeatedly told their mum to shut up, that they couldn’t be bothered to do what she asked … they totally and utterly single handedly (well there were two of them so perhaps not so single handedly) ruined my reading of trashy magazines in peace … a stolen hour  just lost … handed over, without a fight to the monsters … and just in case anyone has any doubts … I promise they weren’t my children!

… so my question is, at what point would one be able to strop back at this behaviour? … which was definitely very high on my agenda. At what point, if any, would I be able to suggest that they pipe down, be kinder to their mum and to stop putting on a show? Just how right would it have been to politely say to the children “Hey, I’m trying to read some trash here can you zip it?” Is it ever right or do I need to just pipe down myself, pour a very large glass of wine and chill … just saying!

This Mum's Life




  1. I opened this with trepidation…thinking of the horrors of what my delightful child may have done yesterday!!….Phew, it was’t mine! Anyway, I think hairdressers and the like should have a picture on the door of a monster/young child with a line through…like the no smoking, no drinking in shops kind of thing. And you are totally right, there is an expectation of peace at such an establishment but you forgot the golden rule…there are some places you should never ever go to in the school holidays!!!


  2. Ah just when you thought you would escape the mayhem for an hour! Never mind just sit back and think of your holiday next week and calm will be restored. xxxx

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  3. It’s so hard to not speak up in situations like that, for sure, but I try to limit my interference with other people’s kids to times of danger. If I see a kid doing something dangerous I’ll say something if no other adult is stepping up. That, and bullying. I see a lot of school-aged kids passing my house bullying each other and I’ll step out and tell them to quit it.
    In your situation I probably would have opted for the wine, and perhaps some headphones.
    Hairdressers (and the like) who have children coming in should have those things handy for these situations.

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    1. Oh Vanessa I completely agree – danger and bullying for sure and at all other times bite the tongue and dream of the wine – however irritated one may be! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment x

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  4. Still a tricky one.I’ve never been a fan of other peoples children, especially rude ones. If you knew the Mum I think it would be acceptable to try and humour them into behaving better. However I do think that the manager in the hairdressers could have a quiet word with Mum as they could lose business through having rowdy and rude children hanging around.



  5. Oh my goodness those two children sound like they were a bit full-on – I would have felt sorry for the mum too! It’s a difficult one – I would only step in to say something to someone else’s children if (a) what they were doing was potentially dangerous (b) it involved my children – for example another child snatching a toy off one of mine or (c) I knew the children well enough to feel like I could say something. What a shame your lovely hour of time for yourself at the hairdresser wasn’t quite as relaxing as you hoped for.

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  6. Oh this is TOUGH! I think I’d have to say something. I think the door banging would have been a good in. Just a ‘do you mind not doing that, there is a draft’ or something. It would have been hard to refrain from a full on snapping fit though! I think bad behaviour like this needs correcting but it’s so hard to be the one to do it! In the old days, an elderly lady would have given them a couple of clips around the ear without thinking! Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

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    1. Ha ha – i think i was just totally miffed to have my ‘me time’ so utterly interrupted but, hey, my fault for going in the holidays – school girl error! And you are more than welcome – love this linky!

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  7. OMG this happened to me too! (Not my kid) but….
    Half term week, booked myself in for a treat at hairdressers and one of the employees kids were there. Not only was it making a racket – the child kept talking to me also. I was paying a fortune to get away from my own Three year old and there was this one right here chewing my ear off. I was to afraid to tell him to do one Incase the hairdresser messed with my Color!!
    Great posts X

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  8. Oh it’s a tricky one! Usually if kids are just a bit exuberant and noisy I don’t mind but these sound like plain naughty and rude! I am a bit crap at confrontation so may have resorted to passive aggressive eye rolls and hoping the manager would step in!! Also would feel sorry for the mum and wouldn’t want to upset her. But I think I’d be very apologetic to everyone and be telling my kids off if it was me in that situation. Ah well, wine is the answer either way. #bigpinklink

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  9. Oh this is a tricky one, isn’t it! So. Many. Times. I have bitten my lip so hard! Youngest had a piano concert last month and there was a programme with their names and the order they should go up in. Well this boy who was old enough to know better, was first of all really late, then made a lot of noise coming in when another child was playing. Then refused to play when he was supposed to because he wanted to go last. Now if I had been his parent I would have “gently” explained that you have to go when you are told and you can’t choose to go last because you feel like it! They let him go last and when he went up he was then so rude to the teacher in the way he spoke to her that I would have been mortified had I been that boy’s parents. Manners are important, is what I really wanted to shout at him. Grrrrrr. So I think that there is always a time to discipline other children but I have never been brave enough to do it!

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    1. Oh it is so frustrating witnessing this behaviour and seeing them getting away with it – I agree but I too would never be brave enough – I do thunk it is ever so difficult as a parent to discipline in public but it’s how they deal with the situation when they get home so as to discourage said behaviour again – one of my daughters was a particular pickle when younger and I had several situations where I wish I’d stood firmer in public! I have to point out here that one of the children in my post was 16 and really should have known better! Thank you so much for commenting lovely x

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  10. To gorgeous Helen, how I laughed at this. As an old and dear friend I think you know what I would have done. I have 3 young children and a husky voice (not in a good way) most of the time from shouting. Hairdressers are sacred, and for that moment you are not a wife, or mother, it’s all about you!! I may have suggested magazine, book, iPad or gag!!!

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    1. I definitely know what you would have done lovely! And as a fellow mummy of three I know that you completely understand the need for time out at the hairdressers! Thank you so so much for commenting gorgeous xxx


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