My son has three parents. His father, stepfather and me. So imagine my surprise when a mother in one of our homeschooling playgroups reprimanded my son for something I would not have bothered to call him on myself.
I don’t know who was more shocked at her sharp tone and threat of punishment: me or him! He lowered his eyes and apologized to her.
I held back until I felt like I had control of my anger. I always liked the old adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ but after this incident, it’s a concept I realize I don’t subscribe to when the ‘village’ is mean and petty.
What do you do when you and your child are part of a group which is made up of people who want to parent your child?
My reaction may have been a little extreme however I was at a loss as to how to handle it. I simply said to the woman, “In the future, if you want to address something my child did you can do so with me. Please never speak to my child again”. And I said it in front of him, as loudly as she had spoken.
It seemed after that everyone was careful around us. It was no longer a warm and welcoming group. It seems all the mothers felt that it should have been ok for them to reprimand my child as they saw fit. For the life of me, I could not submit my son to that. So we left that group and joined others. We have not had the issue again, partly because my son is well behaved and because in my introduction to each group I make sure I share my philosophy that I will be the only one parenting my child, thank you very much.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Picture By woodleywonderworks