Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't let your kid push my kid.

We were at a indoor playground today to let my kids get their energies out, and my two year old was standing near a slide. A little girl, (that looked a few years older than him) walked up behind him and pushed him into the slide. He stood there looking offended, and I kept my mouth shut, thinking it was an accident that looked intentional, and waiting for her mother to say something, or for the little girl to run off and play. The little girl looked at my son, and pushed him into the slide again. His face started to scrunch up, and I couldn't wait any longer, and asked the little girl, "please do not push him." She skipped off, as her mother sat there with pursed lips.
In these kinds of situations, I get pretty annoyed with the parents. Why did the mom just sit there and watch this situation unfold? Why did she not get up and intervene? Obviously the little girl was being a bully. Was the mom too tired to handle it? Did she think that my two year old and her four year old could work it out in a mature way? (I hope that she just didn't see it happen) Obviously, I realize that kids are going to do this to each other from time to time, and not play in perfect harmony, but when it's really young children, and the parents are sitting there watching, don't you think they should intervene, and teach them not to hurt other kids?
~What do you think?


Blogger Chaotic Hammer said...

You're absolutely correct, of course. In principle, this idea of what you're saying extends into many other areas of life, involving parental responsibility and many other related things.

Unfortunately, what should be and what actually is are two completely different things. Ask school teachers, or any other people who are in positions where they have to supervise groups of children. There is an alarmingly large group of parents that seem utterly oblivious to such fundamental lessons that their children need to be taught. And even worse than that, there is a very large segment who are instilling a strong sense of narcissistic privilege into their children -- you know, the "my child can do no wrong and is never at fault" mindset.

It's aggravating to deal with, and I really don't have any good advice on how to cope when faced with this. Certainly we want to extend love, grace, and mercy to everyone we encounter, but how sad it is to see parents who are ignoring sound advice (like that in Proverbs, for example) and turning their children into little monsters before they are even old enough to understand the error of their ways.

4:46 PM

Blogger Kat said...

Oh. That's definitely a pet peeve of mine.

I think parents should definitely intervene if they see their kids acting inappropriately.

They can let them "work things out" with siblings, but not with strangers.

10:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fully agree. I always wish I could say something but I never have the guts.

11:50 PM

Blogger Larissa said...

I think you're totally right. It's up to the parents of the child to be responsible for their child. I sometimes want to just teach those kinds of kids lessons, and more importantly their parents!!! It's too bad that parents don't take a more active role in their kids lives, especially when it appears their kids need it!! (But I guess those feed into each other!)

2:05 PM

Blogger truevyne said...

Grrr! I remember at the pediatrician's office, a mother allowing her little girl to taunt my son with toys and popcorn explaining, "They don't learn how to share until they are five." The little girl's fifth birthday was probably the next day, and I wanted to choke both the girl and the mom!

5:16 PM

Anonymous annie said...

I echo Kat's comment. Siblings, and even cousins, are good learning tools for cooperation and reconciliation in our little ones. We always want to teach our kids to respect others, of course. But when our child gets out of hand in public, we are responsible for intervening. That is not the place to "see if they work it out."

12:29 AM

Blogger kddub said...

I definitely think that is true, that we are responsible for our kids' actions in public, and how they treat other kids, for sure.

7:26 AM

Blogger Seth Ward said...

Nothing irritates me more. And I don't even have kids. Inconsiderate parents should be spanked themselves.

My first inclination would be to walk over to the mom (if I were a mom myself) and push the other mom's face against the slide and ask her if she liked how it felt.

But I'm not too sure how Christian that would be.

1:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely! My youngest plays hockey. She's only 8 and this is the first year for the majority of her team as well as her. My daughter is a black belt in taekwondo. She can handle herself whenever necessary, but doesn't have an aggressive bone in her body (unless someones trying to take her stuffed lamb!). While we were waiting for her team to start playing yesterday, we were watching a two teams of 10 year old boys play. The score was tied and the game was intense. I saw one boy shove another player. In response, the one who was shoved, immediately got up and hit the boy HARD on the back with his stick! No penalty was called. Of course the first boy shouldn't have shoved the other, but to respond with such violence was scary! I know hockey is a physical sport and here, in ND, kids play from birth. If I were either boy's parent, I'd have marched out on that ice and removed my son from play and then some! No one seemed to care. In contrast, when Mary's team played three games today (one against a particularly big "rival"), Mary and another girl collied and they both fell down. They both proceeded to help each other up, and I could see that they made a head motion to "ask" if the other was OK. I was proud that she knew what was more important.


11:15 PM

Blogger Amy said...

You know, I don't know what's worse - when the other moms don't step in, or when they step in and don't make the same parental choice I would have made. I once watched while my 2-year-old daughter got thrown to the ground, face shoved in the carpet and pigtails pulled by the giant sitting on top of her. The other mom sat, aloof, while I, in tears, ran and pulled my child out from under her little darling. His punishment was "time out," which equated to some mom & son cuddle time in the corner. Awesome.

12:37 PM


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