READ: Mum pens surprising open letter to stranger who told her child off at the park

“I wasn't there, but does that give you a right to discipline my kid?!”

Child told off by stranger at park

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

It’s a topic that always sparks debate - but should strangers be allowed to discipline other people’s kids?

Well, Karen Alpert - a mum and author - has decided to speak out, penning an open letter to a woman who did exactly that.

Writing on her site, her blog post was titled "Dear stranger who disciplined my kiddo at the playground today”.

In it, she explains that her little boy was “trying to do the monkey bars” at the same time as the stranger’s daughter.

However, as the stranger’s kid was slower, Karen Alpert’s son "had no choice but to go past her and sometimes bump her a little and she would fall and be all sensitive and start crying."

Karen admitted that she should have been present to witness this happen for herself, but she was on the other side of the playground looking after her friend’s crying child.

As a result, the stranger stepped in to discipline Karen’s son for herself - and this is what she had to say to her.

“I wasn’t there, but does that give you a right to discipline my kiddo? Does that give you the right to talk to him sternly and tell him to knock it off? Does that give you the right to act like you are the person in charge when he is actually MY child?

“Ummmm, yes. YES IT DOES.”

Child told off by stranger at park

Wowzer, we weren’t expecting THAT reaction!

Karen went on to praise the stranger for their actions, thanking them for teaching her child right from wrong when she was unable to do so herself.

She said firmly: “If my kid is acting like a douchenugget and I’m not around for whatever reason, you have my permission to tell him to knock that s**t off!”

Why? Well, the reason is simple.

“Even if you aren’t his parent, you are the adult. Which means you are smarter than he is…

“It takes a village. And these days our village might be a little bigger and more spread out and we don’t all sleep in side-by-side huts or ride in covered wagons or gather around the campfire at night and we don’t even all know each other, but we can either choose to have a village or not. And I choose to have a village.”

She added brilliantly: “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to do my job, so thank you for helping me do it.”

The full post, which is available to read at, is definitely worth a read - if only to join the debate in the comments box underneath.

Yup, over 300 people have waded into the discussion - and plenty of mums seem to be on Karen’s side.

One wrote: “Looking out for everyone’s safety and sharing is a big role in parenthood. Thank you for stepping up!”

Child told off by stranger at park

Another added: "This made me so happy to read! When did it become wrong to help remind a child to use their manners and teach them to grow up to be a decent human being?”

However some disagreed with her, insisting that it’s her job - and hers alone - to discipline her son.

Others suggested that this advice isn’t useful, especially when a stranger wouldn’t know how to communicate with a child that isn’t their own.

One wrote: “While I agree in spirit, be aware, too. My little guy has a speech processing disorder, and won’t understand what you’re saying to him unless you are speaking clearly at eye level.

“Scolding won’t work. He also can’t tell you what happened in his perspective. I try to watch closely, but I have 2 kids– and I’m human. For some of these special kids, it might be better to notify the mom, rather than scold the child.

“It might be like a foreign language in their world.”

What do you think of this viral mummy blog post?

Lwt us know via Facebook or Twitter (@CloserOnline) now.

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