Negotiating with the neighbor kids

Dealing with discipline issues with your own kids is difficult enough but when you add in other kids that are not your own you run into some dicey situations. In our neighborhood there are no shortage of little friends to enjoy a sunny summer afternoon with but when all the kids end up on my watch I have to think about how to handle the inevitable fights that come up.

With my boys I’m pretty quick with the whistle and handing out infractions. First offense gets a warning, second gets a timeout, and the third gets a toy taken away. Now I can give the warning to anyone but the timeout is tougher to administer to kids that aren’t my own. I have found that some quick chats with the other parents go a long way in making this easier. Since I am more strict than the other parents on the block it is important for me to understand what their rules are to help maintain the peace. For the most part the discipline issue is important in just keeping the kids safe. I need them to listen and respond the first time to keep them from getting in the street or hurting each other. By knowing how their parents discipline I am able to maintain that consistency the kids need.

Parenting styles and decisions are some of the toughest issues to deal with when the kids get together but by being humble and having a conversation you can go a long way to making sure that the kids get a long as well as the parents. We may do things differently but it is not from a lack of care and concern. Let’s establish that we all love our kids and want the best for them and be willing to learn a little along the way.

Portland Dad writes over at Stay At Home Dad PDX about raising two boys as a stay at home dad. You can also find him on twitter as Portlanddad.

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