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Should You Discipline A Child That is Not Yours?

My dh's 13 year old niece lives in Florida and has been staying with us in Chicago for summer vacation while her mom is deployed, she has been staying with her grandparents. Our daughter is 13 as well. She is going to be returning in 2 weeks for school. Well yesterday the girls decided to get into some trouble and snuck out last night to go down to another friends and go to the movies, we couldn't find them for over 2 hiours, called the police out of panic etc. We are so upset about it.
We are going to have a sit down with the girls this morning to talk about their behavior, but am wondering should we also punish our niece for this as well? She was involved but is it our place to discipline her? How should we handle it?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:07 PM on Aug. 19, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • If she is staying with you, then yes it is ok. I think you should sit both girls down and tell your niece that since she is staying with you, you will treat her just like you would your daughter. Tell her 'in our house we don't allow Sally to go anywhere without telling us. When we could not find both of you yesterday we were worried sick. Since you both broke the rules and snuck out you will both be punished" and then tell what the punishment is.

    Answer by MizLee at 12:26 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Your house, your rules. My mom would've expected me to get just as much punishment as the friend I got into trouble with. If she is staying with you then yes I would.

    Answer by jenree33 at 12:09 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • yes I think you should give them equal punishments. FYI extra work is good as well as taking away priveledges. my mom was a huge fan of maual labor: cleaning blinds, scrubbing base boards, bathrooms, pulling weeds. she was a real slave driver and it wrked. They will be tired and sleep instead of sneaking out.

    Answer by ria7 at 12:10 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • If you are the caretaker for the child, then yes you need to discipline them. I am also a fan of putting kids to work to pay you back for what they put you through.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:21 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • If you are the primary caretaker or even partial caretaker then yes. If she were old enough to take care of herself she would be at home.

    Answer by teamquinn at 12:23 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • In your situation, YES!

    Answer by nsrush83 at 12:33 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • My sister is more than welcome to discipline my children.


    Answer by asiamommi at 12:42 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • I agree with other PP's. It's your house, your rules.

    Answer by Safirejewl at 12:45 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Yes in that situation. she is in your care. You have every right to be angry at her just as much as your own and she does need to know about it. Mt neice stays with us foir a few days and if she acts up I diapline her. Never physical but I have taken her phone (she's 15) I used to take her dessert or T. v. when she was younger.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:58 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Your house your rules. Give her the same punishment you give your daughter. What they did was REALLY bad and very dangerous.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:09 PM on Aug. 19, 2009