Multiples and More Question of the Week:

Friday I took my kids to a great indoor play area for kids 0-5. My kids always have a great time here, and I equally enjoy myself because I get to sit back and Mommy-watch. You know what I’m talking about, and don’t act like you don’t do it. I sit back and watch/listen to what all the other Mom’s are doing/saying. It’s amazing what people will say in a room full of strangers. Plus I like to throw the malarkey flag on them in my mind when they insist to their friend that their child never watches more than 20 minutes of tv a day, ever. Yeah, ok.

But here’s where it got interesting, my kiddos were playing exceptionally well with everyone (I questioned if they were my own children at one point) even the bully kids. Yup, the bully kids. They’re everywhere aren’t they? These two kids practically took over the whole play area and were declaring that all of the toys were theirs. Now mind you these kids were at least 4 or 4 1/2, so they should know better, right? Anyway, Jill had been playing with a specific toy for awhile, got distracted by something shiny or what have you, walked away and one of the bully duo took it over. Jill came back and tried to play with them.

Excuse me while I take a deep breath because it’s about to get interesting.

The kid pushes Jill out of the way and says “No it’s mine you can’t play”. Yes, put his hands on my daughter. I turn to the Mom to see if she’s going to say anything. No response, clearly talking about how much tv her “angel” does not watch is way more important. So I was in a spot, do I say something to the Mom or the kid? I know she saw it, she’s looking in the direction of her child. I decided to say “I think we need to share and not push because that’s not nice” then I turned to the Mom and asked “Right?” giving the “you so better agree with me” look. Response? “Right we share”. So here’s the question:

What would you do?
  • Would you have done what I did? Only talk to the Mom? Do nothing?
  • Is it appropriate to scold other people’s children? If yes in what circumstances? If no, why not?
  • How do you teach your children to deal with bullies?

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  1. This is a really good one! Sucha tough question.

  2. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs)

    I think your approach was a good one…a gentle reminder to the child, and a mention to the mom.

  3. We've been staying at an RV park for the last 2 1/2 months (working out of state) and we've encountered this same issue multiple times at the playground. Most of the kids that cause problems are there alone… their parents are nowhere to be found, so I take it upon myself to discipline them, especially if mine or other kids' safety is in question. (Believe it or not, there is a big bright sign that states that children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult!) It has driven me crazy and I'm glad we're leaving in a few days!

  4. I just wrote a post about playground protocol. My girls are only 18 months and I feel like a "helicopter" parent at the playground. A lot of older kids loose all of their manners and respect on the playground. However, I require that my girls take their turn and use equipment properly. I think if I did see something, I would just say "okay XX, we need to wait our turn." Hoping that the child and parent would get the hint.

  5. Oh I would definitely do what you did, but more direct 🙂

    In fact, thanks for the prompt because I need to write about this tomorrow as this type of thing happens at church all the time.

    I "allow" the mother to get involved and if she doesn't, I will talk to the other child.

  6. If the mother sees it and is doing nothing- you betcha!

    However, here is a situation where the parents should address the parents and not the children.

    My friend and I were at McD's one day with all of our kids who range in age from 1 yr -12 yrs. All of our children were kindly playing on the playground. The sign posted said up to 12 yrs… so were were following the rules.

    This woman walked in with her grandkids who were probably 4 and 7, who turned out to be the bully kids in the end. Imagine that.

    Well, grandma walks over to the playground, does not even look for parents, and starts talking very loudy. 'There is a height limit on this equiment. These big kids need to get out of here.'

    She was inches away from addressing my kids.

    I walked over and said hi, these are my children and here is your sign. Up to 12 is ok! And our kids are all 12 and under and play very nicely.

    She walked away talking under her breath, 'I don't care whose kids they are.'

    Soon we found out her two little punks were bullies. Hum.


  7. Disciplining other people's children is never easy. I think it has a lot to do with the location and the extent of parental input of the child in question as to whether or not I go there. Never in someone else's house for example, but definitely at my own house.

    I think you did the right thing in the situation you were in. You can't let this type of behaviour slide. It annoys me that another parent left the tough stuff to you (a stranger). Get off your butt and teach your own child the hard lessons lady!

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