We had a rather unpleasant encounter at the neighbourhood playground yesterday. There were two other children playing, both older than Ally and Max. At first the older boy blocked the ladder so that Max couldn’t climb up, Max looked at him and decided to use an alternative route instead. Then the older girl tried to push pass Ally to get to the slide, Ally stood her ground and the child had to wait her turn. The mother was sitting a distance away, looking at the kids and occasionally saying things like ” Girl, you have to share ah girl” but not being proactive about correcting her child’s behavior. After a while she started talking on her mobile phone.
There were a few other minor shoving incidents that I let slide, mainly because Ally was standing firm and not letting herself get bullied.
Then Matt came over with Neesha so I sat on the bench with her while Matt watched the kids. Soon I saw the girl’s mom walk over to Matt. Turns out that her daughter had tried to kick Max down the slide cos she wanted him to go faster. Matt had told her not to kick and the child’s mother got upset. She said that we should have spoken to her about the kicking instead of telling her child off. I think a simple ” don’t kick my son” was more than appropriate in that situation which is what Matt did. And then the mother goes on to say ” she’s just a child, she doesn’t know any better” Oh, I love it when parents use that excuse. That got me started!
Yes she is right, she is just a child, it is up to us as parents to teach them what’s right and wrong. Having earlier witnessed her child’s behavior, she chose to do nothing about it then use words which obviously had no impact on the girl. At age 6, this child is old enough to understand that we do not kick or push others, especially children younger than she is.
By this time the woman has gotten all worked up, she then asks why didn’t we remove Max if we thought he was in danger. Obviously that angered Matt and myself even more, why should we remove our son who was playing nicely just because her daughter couldn’t behave? Matt and I weren’t going to back down, she eventually apologised and made her child apologise to Max as well.
Matt has always stood up for the children whenever they get bullied or picked on, he isn’t one of those parents who would remove their child just to avoid creating a scene. I’m proud that he protects our kids and will always back him up. The children understand that we are there to protect them, but they also know that if they were to hurt another child, they would be severely punished by us as well. It works both ways, Matt and I are not delusional, we know both our kids are not angels. Hence whenever they are in a public play area, one of us is always around to ensure that they are safe and treating others nicely.
Thinking back about this incident still upsets me, as a parent you never want to see your child being hurt by others. But I think I would have been even more upset if my child was the one that did the hurting.