I have a large extended family and we do a lot over the holidays. Most of my cousins have kids, but I don’t. I like kids, I just don’t know if I want them. One of my cousins, “Katie,” has a very sweet little boy, “Ben.” He is, however, still a child so sometimes he says things that are a bit rude. This happened at our last family gathering a couple of months ago. Without getting into specifics, Ben said something that he probably heard from one of his parents and he took it out of context. I said it wasn’t very nice to say and he asked me why. I asked him if he would want someone to say that to him. He said no. I said it’s generally not nice to say things to others that you don’t want said to you. He apologized and his mom walked in right as he hugged me. She said I had no place parenting his child. I happened to go into the kitchen, which was not very close to Katie at the time, and Ben followed me in, so there was nobody else to say anything to him. I told her I thought it was better to tell him in the moment than go find her to mention it. She just kept saying that I shouldn’t be teaching her son a lesson just because she wasn’t around. The holidays are coming up and I’m about to see her at a lot of events. Was I in the wrong? Is that not something you should do to someone else’s kid?
—Not a Parent