Parenting a Stranger’s Child

January 9th, 2014 by Dionna | Leave a comment
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Consensual Living, Gentle Discipline Ideas, Successes, and Suggestions, Gentle/Positive Discipline, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting

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I am so happy to share a guest post from Birute of AttachFromScratch today. Please read to the bottom for more information about Birute, but in the meantime, check out her articles on breastfeeding in public and how to pick the best birthing class (from a birthing junkie). So good!

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Parenting a Stranger's Child

I am sure most parents have been in a situation at the park when you wish you could parent someone else’s child. Normally, it would be unthinkable to interfere with a stranger’s parenting style.

I was lucky enough once to positively parent another mother’s child.

A young girl at the playground was showing anger and frustration the entire time we saw her playing. When her mother told her they had to leave, the girl grabbed my daughter’s shoe and started running in circles. Her mother tried stopping her by bribing, then by threatening, and finally by ignoring, which caused an even bigger tantrum.

Since I was semi-involved already (my daughter was still without a shoe), I decided to step in.

All I wanted to do was to hug her. And I did. Strongly. As the little girl wrapped her arms around me very tightly, I felt how much she needed that hug. I knew this, but at the same time I was surprised at how easy it was to calm her down.

When I tried to pull her away from my shoulders, she pulled herself back and start crying so hard I was in shock. It is hard to describe the cry now, but it was one of the most sensitive cries I have ever heard (and I do have two children myself).

After she calmed down a bit, I asked her about the shoe and why she liked it so much. She said it was her favorite color. We talked little bit more about her favorite colors and then I asked her if she would be willing to give the shoe back to my daughter. She said yes.

I knew she would.

You may wonder if her mother harassed me or called the police on me for touching or talking or parenting her child – she didn’t. I think she was simply a good mother who was having a tough moment.

The mother smiled at me and peacefully walked away with her daughter to the car.

The classic hug and a playful conversation is still magic that brings out the most honest tears and wipes all of the dark clouds away.

Have you ever parented a stranger’s child? Share in the comments!

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About the Author: Birute Efe is a founder of AttachFromScratch, where she writes about practical and study-based Attachment Parenting. Follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Enrico Donelli via Flickr Creative Commons

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