We visited some friends this weekend. It was their youngest’s 1st birthday. Other friends were there with their kids also. We have all known each other since before our kids were born. When we are together we are all equally in charge of the kids.
If the actual parent isn’t around & a child is acting up, one of the rest of us intervenes. Not just an “Oh honey I’m not sure your mommy would want you doing that.” but “Stop that! You know better!” in true parent form. Actual discipline is left to the parents but immediate intervention & correction is done by whoever is handy. And we back each other up, like parents. “If she tells you to stop it, you know you are supposed to stop it.”
It’s very relaxing actually. We can go off & talk or look at something or go do something sure in knowledge that our kids are not running wild & being menaces to others.
I feel for the kids though.
I grew up in a neighborhood just like this. My kids have eyes on them everywhere & the knowledge of immediate correction of the actions, only on certain occasions & are generally too busy having fun in the new place to notice much yet. But I had it all day,every day. There was no where to hide you wouldn’t been seen and ratted out, if not actually intervened on.
Not that we were bad kids or that our kids are bad kids, but at that age where throwing dirt at one another seems fun. Except there are rocks in that dirt and you are whipping it as hard as you can because dirt doesn't fly far. Or you have been told & told to stop swinging on the gate & even after someone gets clobbered with it you all are still swinging on the gate, because the gate is fun and he should have gotten out of the way
Intervention is needed.
But it was sort of oppressive knowing you are always being watched.
Good for the parents & good for the kids, though any of my childhood friends would admit we disagreed wholeheartedly at the time