Friday, April 03, 2009

Parental Ethics

When the sound of the kids' play grows more and more maniacal despite your warnings to settle down, do you go in and break it up so as to prevent disaster, or do you listen on in silence and hope that someone will get a good enough thunk so you can say, "I TOLD you..."



Glenda said...

If a verbal "settle down" isn't doing the trick and things are escalating, I go in de-escalate things. We have some pretty strong personalities in my extended family, especially among the younger kids, and certain combinations of kids definitely require more going-and-preventing-disaster interventions than other combinations ;-).

Why would you opt for letting things escalate to the point of someone getting hurt, if you have the ability to go in and de-escalate the situation?

Nancy R said...

Oh, you know...they're old enough to know better...and they're not fighting or arguing - just having too much fun...and how many times do they need to be told?

It's one of those "it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt" moments, where you think maybe they need to just have the painful experience so they realize you're not just blowing smoke.

Then, the next time it happens you can say, "Remember the last time you were pretending to be blind? You popped your mouth on the counter and bruised your gums, didn't you?" ;o)

Glenda said...

Oh, I see =). I was thinking "maniacal" as in fighting, not as in having fun or being silly! And I was thinking of the younger set.

All of the older kids around here are fans of Ed, Edd & Eddy, so when things get crazy in a "too much fun" way, one of us will say (preferably in an attempt to mimic Double D's voice) "It's all fun and games, Eddy..." and everyone knows the rest of the saying and that often (but not always!) will get them to notch down the silliness a wee bit. And sometimes that's all you need, is for things to notch down just a bit.

I'm not a fan of standing back and letting them incur injuries, whether it's from fighting or going overboard with the silliness, so if I feel pretty sure that not stepping in will result in something more serious than your average bump, bruise, or scrape, I'll step in -- that doesn't necessarily mean making them stop what they're doing, maybe it just means helping them find a way to do it that is less dangerous. And yes, I do this for the older kids too, because I for sure don't want to be making a trip to the clinic or ER (or dentist!).

Ali said...

Too tired to discuss! But I've done both methods, and when I do the "wait and see" method I usually end up regretting it.