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What to Do If Someone Yells at Your Child in Public

If you are a settler in Lebanon, you are probably familiar with how sociable people are. This is an admirable quality of the Lebanese people because in a world so big you will never feel alone. You consistently have someone around who is ready to help when you fall, for Lebanese people willfully assist others when they are in need. Nonetheless, when raising your children in such a world, it gets challenging. Scolding them, for instance, is part of the natural process to raise them, for it means correcting your children’s negative behavior to encourage them to follow the right path. However, when someone else scolds them or yells at them, it makes you furious!

People yell at your children because their meltdown in public areas is almost completely disturbing, but this gets you fuming. You might even want to snap and tell those people to back off because “nobody yells at my child but me“. While it is natural to be impulsive, it is important to maintain your attitude and deal with the situation in a composed manner. Here are a few things you can do if you see someone scolding your children or yelling at them:

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Assert Your Presence

When you see that an adult in public gestures that s/he disapproves of your child’s behavior, assert yourself and make your presence known. Someone may interfere and reprimand your child, but when you assert yourself, it changes the dynamic of the conversation. Your child will feel safe. Moreover, the adult will speak to your child in a more respectful tone knowing that you are watching them. It is important to let the adult and your child know that you are the authoritative figure.

Assess the Situation Before Reacting

It is ordinary for a mama bear to snap when someone yells at her children or scolds them. Even though yelling is incomprehensible, scolding may be. This means when someone reprimands your child, be cool and assess the situation. Your child may have snatched another kid’s toy or misbehaved with someone. Therefore, don’t let anger take over and make a scene. As the saying says, “Never think that loud is strong and quiet is weak.” Address the situation logically and gather all the information before reacting. In fact, snapping at someone may frighten your child and make the situation worse.

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Communicate with Your Children and Make Them Feel Understood

When someone in public yells at your children or scolds them, they might feel frightened or threatened. Therefore, it is wise to talk to them about the situation and try to understand their side of the story. Validate their emotions and pay attention to them without judgment. This is a successful way to help them understand their negative behavior and help them reconsider the right ways to act in public.

Be Firm but Polite to the Person Who Yells at Your Children or Scolds Them

Do not worry about seeming rude. Let the adult firmly know that you are the one responsible for scolding your child. Here are a few examples of statements that you can use:

  • I’ll deal with it.
  • I know how to talk to him in such a situation.
  • Don’t worry! I’ll take care of that.
  • You don’t have to deal with it anymore. I’ll take it from here.

The statements above are straightforward yet polite. They clearly reflect that you are the one who should take full responsibility for your child’s behavior without being rude. If the opposing adult seems to be offended, present a scenario where the roles are switched and ask them how they would react.

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Rely on Some Lighthearted Humor

Not always, but sometimes humor can be a great tool to diffuse a tense situation – not too tense. For instance, if your child breaks a toy, you can say that it’s the tenth one he’s broken today while adding a little humor.

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Set Boundaries with Family Members

If you disapprove of an authority figure in your child’s life to scold them, you can establish some ground rules. Tell them to adopt similar disciplining rules. For example, if you take away your child’s favorite toy as a consequence of negative behavior, tell the other authoritative figure to do the same.

Explain to Your Child

Talk to your child when someone yells at him
For children, repetition is key to teaching them good behavior.

I cannot stress more the importance of communicating with our children! Most of the time, kids understand that they made a mistake, but sometimes they don’t. Therefore, you should calmly explain and talk about what they did wrong. For children, repetition is key to teaching them good behavior. Remember to avoid pitying though. Try different ways of communicating this negative behavior. You can tell stories, present similar situations, or engage them in role-play. In the end, always ask how they would feel if someone did the same to them.

Reprimanding your child is an essential part of parenting. From my experience, I have learned that communication is key to raising a confident and well-behaved child, for children who spend quality time with their parents are more likely to be more disciplined and more successful in school. Some people have the right to scold them as their teacher at school. However, people in public may get on your nerves when they try to take over your job as a mother. If you are a mother and reading this, you will understand.


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