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Parenting is a tough, yet rewarding job, and it most certainly helps to have a ‘village.’ However, there are times when someone else steps into parent your child a little too much, so it’s easy to become offended when someone else tries to step in and parent your child.

If you find that when someone steps in and tries to overstep their position in your child’s life you become offended, you might question if your reaction is the right one. As parents, it’s our human nature to protect our kids and defend our parenting. But, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your defensive nature is helping or hindering you. Before you get ready to go on the defense, ask yourself the following first.

1. Was this person’s reaction out of line?

While it’s normal to get defensive about your child and your parenting, was this person truly out of line? If this person is a member of your ‘parenting village’ and is someone that you lean on to help you with your child, and your child was acting badly and needed to be corrected, it is likely counterproductive to get defensive. Most especially, this is counterproductive if your child needed to be reprimanded and the reprimanding was not beyond your comfort level.

2. Was I missing something that needed attention?

There will be times when your attention is being pulled in multiple directions, so it can be easy to get distracted when your child is misbehaving. If another person jumps in to get onto your child, you may need to ask yourself if this person was trying to help. Getting defensive when someone reprimands your child and defending them when they are wrong will only undermine your efforts to implement discipline.

3. Did I need to hear it?

It can be hard to hear another parent tell you that you are doing something wrong. However, just because it is hard does not mean that you don’t need to hear it. Criticism isn’t easy to take – but it’s necessary to grow. Now, if this person is just outright out of hand, that is another story.

4. If this person was in the wrong, how should I have handled it?

If you find that this person was in the wrong, you need to make sure that you handle the situation correctly. It’s important to set boundaries. Instead of overreacting, explain gently that you would prefer they address you instead of your child, so you can address the issue yourself.