Toddler in Chief has a buddy who likes to smack kids with toys and push them down--especially when she thinks no one is watching. And I'm all for disciplining that kiddo as if she were my own. This works because my group of friends has an understanding: when you're watching someone else's kid, rules and consequences still apply. Bad behavior is never okay--even when mom or dad isn't around. At school, at the playground, or at a friend's house, our kids need to listen to and respect the decisions of other adults, so it's a great lesson for them to start learning now.
When you encounter a naughty kid and you don't know the parent or the child, the situation is a little stickier. This past weekend, a kid was wildly navigating his giant remote control truck through a busy strip of people at the park. TIC was scared and my ankle was on the receiving end of poor navigation skills, which resulted in a cut and a nasty bruise. I wanted to take his truck away. But since I didn't know them, I went to the parent with my gripe. Unfortunately, she was not receptive. So TIC got a life lesson: you must watch out for others when you're playing; if you hurt someone, you apologize; if someone is being dangerous--like with the truck--move somewhere else. And that's what we did.