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Is It Ever O.Ok. for a Relative to Discipline Your Kid?

It’s not always easy to practice, especially when you feel you’ve reached the end of your daily reserve of patience (and energy.) That’s why it’s useful to take a few breaths and calm yourself down before reacting to what a child has done.

“Certainly, yelling at another person’s child is unlikely to be helpful and is probably going to scare the child and make the parent angry,” Ms. Erwin said.

Shaming — the kind of cutting comments that can make a child wince — shouldn’t be tolerated.

“I think adults do shame children in public,” said M. Gary Neuman, a psychotherapist and father of five. “They talk to them in a way that they would never talk to another adult because the adult will scream back at them, and I don’t think our children should be put through that.”

Sometimes adults forget that discipline is supposed to be about teaching.

A child needs to know that if he or she does X, it’s likely that Y will happen, Mr. Neuman said.

When your disciplinary tactics align with that of a relative or friend, it’s a win-win situation.

Nicole Marchesi, 38, a mother of two in Sonoma, Calif., relies on her parents to help rein in negative behaviors. On one recent visit, her 5-year-old was arguing with his cousin, and “it was getting pretty heated,” she said.

Grandma pulled them aside and removed Ms. Marchesi’s son from the argument, de-escalating the conflict.

“My parents will totally step in even if I’m right there or my husband’s right there,” she said. “They were really good parents for me, and they’re ex-teachers, so I feel like they’re setting good examples also for me, too, which I also appreciate.”

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