He came out of the playground’s fire truck furious.
Boy: I’ll show you [very loud, almost screaming]
[Then a gesture of spiting, but not exactly spitting]
Mom: I know. Calm down, you are red again from anger. Calm yourself down.
Boy: He started it [with anger but a bit lower voice, just a bit]
Mom: I know, I saw him pushing you before, but you don’t scream or spit. you talk, you tell him not to push or hit.
Well I wish this was just a story, but no, this was my conversation this afternoon in playground with my son.
This is going to be a long one, get yourself a coffee and join me.
My son is very active and highly opinionated. He is living in his little world, in playgrounds he plays like there is no tomorrow and he doesn’t pay that much of an attention to what goes around him. Well being loud is his signature, sometimes I think I gave birth to an amplifier, he is loud in normal situation, and louder when he is angry.
In his little head, he is fare, and being his mom and watching him like a hawk, I can see that he is (most of the times). He shares well and expects others to share with him. As much as he is very easy going in some matters, he gets angry quickly in some situations, which I think is normal and even healthy. My problem is that when he gets angry, he is very passionate about it, and it takes a while to calm him down. We are actively working on his behaviour when he is angry.
Today I couldn’t believe a mom, I was so surprised of her action that couldn’t think and reason with her properly. This is what happened and I really need your opinion on it.
After our conversation, everything looked normal to me, even the kid’s dad looked at us with an “I’ve been there” look on his face and passed us. We were supposed to leave so we did, but it took us a good 7-8 minutes to get to the playground gate. Just when we were going out, a mom holding her child (same boy in the truck) came to me, I didn’t know she was his mom, didn’t see her check on him even once.
She: [Angry and accusative] Did you see what happened there? My son has a red mark on his forehead, and my daughter said your son hit him.
Me: [shocked] I was there, and I saw your son hitting mine. [Asked my son and he confirmed he had hit him back]. I believe my son hit him back, sorry, but yours started, he didn’t.
She: My son is only a year and a half old, you should teach your son not to hit back, just complain to you. And my son doesn’t spit.
Me: Well I was just telling him that. (I was actually talking to my son when she came to me)
She: You should teach him manners; my kids don’t spit or hit back.
Me: [at this point I had it] I saw your son pushing mine before the they were in the truck, and he did nothing. If your son is only a year and a half old, you should be watching him closely.
She: [Passing us, towards her car] You should be teaching your son how to behave in playground.
Me: You too!
Would you do the same if it were your child? (In both cases) I normally defend my son, especially if he is watching me so that he knows I’m on his side. I want him to trust me and tell me the truth no matter what. I try to be fare and polite but don’t just give in or apologize because some angry parent thinks the way she thinks.
If it was my child being a year and a half old, I was close to that truck, and would step in immediately when I saw someone screaming like that, and would solve the matter there and then and politely. I want to teach my child to solve matters using his words and manners, right?
Believing that you need a village to raise a child, I try not to and don’t like to judge a parent. I believe that parents are doing as best as they can to raise their child. However, I can’t get over the fact that this opinionated mom wasn’t around her child then. I can’t get over the fact that she comes to me after almost 10 minutes with her kid, telling me how to raise my child, when she should have been there watching her son and solving this issue 10 minutes earlier. For all I care that barley red mark on the boys forehead could have been her daughter’s fault.
Playgrounds are full of little kids who don’t really know or care if the other is one year old. They don’t have good judgment, or best behaviour for that matter. There are lots of incidents in playgrounds but most of the time it is solved with the help of both moms at the scene telling both kids what was the right action.
I’m sure this lady will come to her words in a few years, raising boys is not like girls(She had three older girls). If it was my daughter, she wouldn’t hit back she would come and complain for sure, and made sure the whole playground knew he hit her.
This was the first for me, and I really want to know how I’m doing. I am upset and I am judging myself. I’m always watching my kids in playgrounds, and don’t let them hurt anyone, even by mistake. Sometimes I think I meddle too much and have to give my kids some space maybe I’m wrong.
This was on my mind the whole after noon. I have written and rewritten this article in my mind over and over. Don’t feel shy drop a line; share what you think in this matter. I need another mom’s judgement.