parenting philosophies got together and while the parents met upstairs the children played in the basement. (The oldest of the eight children was eight years old.) When the children of one family would say, “Please don’t” the children of the other family would not stop. It was rough play and the eight year old was the biggest offender, it was also his house.
When the picked on children told their parents that evening what
had happened, the parents didn’t know what to do. To complicate the situation, which it seems like every situation has some complicated twist, the parents of the bully include their pastor and his wife is very insecure about others thinking she is not a good parent.
I know it is easier for me to “armchair parent” than to live in
the real time world of this situation; still I would like to share some thoughts.
First, I do not think eight children, eight and under, should
ever be allowed to play out of ear shot of a parent. If this is a“babysitting situation” then, get a babysitter.
Secondly, the parents of the bully children need to know what is
going on when they are not present. If the mother has insecurities, then tell the father. Always be gracious when sharing difficult to hear news, but don’t be afraid to help your friends.
Thirdly, the confronting parents should not assume their children
are completely innocent. Instead, they need to go humbly to the other parents, ready to hear their side of the story.
Lastly, if the parents don’t see anything wrong with what is happening, then the parent’s that brought up the discussion have a decision to make. In the end, they must not be afraid to be the parents and do what they have to do to best guide their
child. For example, they can get their own babysitter before going to the meeting or stop attending the meeting until the children are more mature. I am not encouraging them to break fellowship with this fine family over a small difference in parenting, just to not allow the children to be unsupervised for extended periods of time.