She’s Just A Child!

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.

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5 Comments

Filed under Ally, Max

5 responses to “She’s Just A Child!

  1. Hey dear, dont feel upset it is over.

    In many ways, I react like man. I not the type of woman who would remove their child just to avoid creating a scene. I believe in standing up for the child and then the child know how to stand up for herself.

    I always believe one of the way not to get bully is to fight back. Many mothers won’t agree but then sometimes some kids just don’t get it when you don’t fight back. And to fight doesn’t mean you have to win. (You get what I mean?)

    Then of course, we never forget to teach our kids to be nice and always take the soft approach first. Always say sorry when they are wrong.

    • Hi Sunflower, yes we believe that by standing up for our children, they will learn to stand up for themselves as well. Ally has learned not to let herself get bullied, now we have to teach Max.

  2. my hub will react the same way too however young that bully is! It’s a really difficult situation that i hate to be in. On one hand, i want to protect my son. On the other hand, i just feel that it’s never my place to tick off someone else’s kid much less a stranger’s! For i know, if the tables are turned, i wouldn’t like it either if a stranger tells my son off- regardless of what he did; i mean, i can correct my own kid- thank you very much. So, i used to be at a lost in this kind of situations until the last episode when an ang moh boy bit sonshine. I figured the wining solution is to straight away settle the issue with the other adult, parent to parent. Cos’ i feel it would get alot stickier if the parent sees me reprimanding her kid without knowing what happened- her defenses would be up immediately. And i don’t want to be wrongly accused of bullying a kid! Of course, it would be a great if that parent is sound enough to make her kid apologise and correct her own child. But if its like that mother you encountered, then %#%%$&#&%^#*())*&@&!!

    • I think hb’s simple but firm ” don’t kick him” was appropriate in this situation but obviously the mother thought otherwise. But you’re right, it is a tricky situation and I guess we have a lot less tolerance after going through quite a lot of bullying episodes with Ally when she was younger. A lot of this could have been prevented if every parent is responsible for their own child’s behavior. If you’re going to sit a distance away and be busy on your phone, then don’t blame other parents for protecting their kids from your child’s bad behavior. I know lots of people think HB and I are KS, we always hang around the playground while the kids are playing. We do that to avoid accidents, Max is still only 2 and can be very clumsy and secondly to make sure our kids are behaving and at the same time, not being bullied.
      This is not going to be the one and only incident, I’m sure as the children grow up we will encounter more of such things.

  3. Don

    I do what your man do too. I will also tell the child firmly not to do it.
    And my eyes are locked onto my kid just in case of any accident or if he’s being bullied.

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