Discipline another parent's bratty kid, and you might get arrested

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies

While most children are -- of course -- lovely at all times, occasionally you run into a little brat whose behavior seems inspired by TV cartoon villains. I'm usually at loss when I meet such a child, as I don't feel comfortable disciplining someone else's kid, and -- as a man -- am always afraid other playground parents are about to call the police whenever I'm around.

That brings us to Charles Schmidl. He was at an ice-skating rink with his 5-year-old son, when -- according to his own account and witness testimony -- a 10-year-old boy started trying to hit them with hockey pucks. After 40 minutes of trying to find the boy's parents or a security guard, Schmidl gave up, took matters into his own hands, and removed the little brat from the ice.

Of course that's when the little brat's mother showed up. She witnessed the removal, and promptly had Schmidl arrested.

Now Schmidl faces charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child -- crimes that, technically, he probably committed. But a community of parents is rallying around a man who -- they feel -- was just protecting his son from a kid whose behavior was out of line, and out of control.

While, in most cases, I'd be furious if another parent disciplined my child -- let alone in a way that was physically aggressive. But if she was 10-years-old, and deliberately putting someone else in danger, she should expect that there would be consequences for her actions.

But did this man take it too far? Is it better to stand up to aggressors -- even children -- or simply to walk away, and avoid the confrontation?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.