Karen Alpert, the mom of two and blogger behind the popular blog BabySideburns.com, created a huge buzz this week with a letter she wrote to another mom—a stranger who had disciplined her son Holden, 4, on the playground. While Alpert was helping one of Holden’s friends, who was crying, Holden was on the monkey bars, and another mom didn’t like how he was behaving, so she told him to knock it off. Alpert writes:
So today your daughter was trying to do the monkey bars? Okay, got it. And my kid was trying to do the monkey bars too? Simple enough. But since your kiddo is new to the monkey bars and takes forever and sometimes gets scared and stops right in the middle, my 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? Hmmm. Alrighty then.
She goes on to explain why she wasn’t with Holden at the time of the incident, and then, she REALLY gets into it:
So no, 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.
I didn’t get the chance to say this today, but THANK YOU.
Alpert’s thanks to a complete stranger who told her kid what to do has garnered TONS of comments and shares from like-minded parents. She does qualify her thanks by saying, “I’m not saying you have the right to touch him in any way or yell at him uncontrollably (only I’m allowed to do that), but please feel free to tell him to stop being a jerkwad if he’s not waiting his turn to do the monkey bars.”
In an interview with ABC News, Alpert said Holden is “a nice, sweet kid, but he really wasn’t stopping to think about this other child. I kind of saw it going on in the corner of my eye. You walk over, and you’re so angry at them for doing that instead of thanking the other parents for helping.”
Since she neglected to thank the other parent for correcting Holden at the time, she wrote the letter on her blog, and voila—the rest is viral internet history. I can only hope with all the attention it’s getting, that the mom in question saw it!
What do you think of Alpert’s letter? Is it EVER ok for a stranger to tell your child to stop behaving badly, or should they try to seek out the child’s parent first? I’d love to hear what you think! And don’t forget to read Alpert’s entire letter at BabySideburns.