or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Playground Vent
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Playground Vent - Page 9

post #161 of 178
I think it is important to remember that every social interaction amongst very young children that is not ideal is not equal to character flaws. They are all learning how to do a million things each day - if your kid happens to cross paths at the park with a kid who is having a tough day, it is a learning opportunity.

We recently moved and my older boys (now 10 & 6) have made the transition really well - I look back on all of the relationships with neighbors from our old house and I think that a handful of kids who they struggled to get along with prepared them socially as much as some of the kids who were easier fits.
post #162 of 178
Good thread! At 4 and under, I would say I was probably a helicopter parent when it came to safety issues. Not so much hitting or throwing sand. I don't really consider that a safety issue. Anything that would break a bone or fracture a skull...THAT'S a safety issue. Someone mentioned letting their 2 yr old climb a 8 foot wall by themselves. That would make me crazy. If I was at the park with your child doing that, I would be spotting them if you weren't. Sorry if that would offend you.

For the OP, I think we all have days at the park that there are kids that are driving us nuts. On those days, I just leave. If this is happening every time you go there, you may want to re-evaluate your own feelings and behavior. I felt there was quite a bit of judgement in your first post. If that's the "rut" you're mind is stuck in when you go to the park, I can see why it's so stressful! Is there another mom you can go to the park with that has a similar parenting style? Maybe having a few happy days there will improve your outlook on the place?
post #163 of 178
Hmmm, I think that many of you believe kids to be much more altruistic than they actually are. Granted my kid is still a baby, but my memories of childhood are firmly shaped by the fact I was an outsider who was constantly punished by the group mentality of the insiders. Punished simply for being alive. No adults ever intervened. Yes, this taught me quite the lesson about life not being fair, but it also taught me that kids cannot always work it out by themselves in ways that are appropriate to all involved. One kid in pain is one too many. Especially when its the same kid over and over again.
post #164 of 178
Chamomile, I understand where you are coming from, but I think that the alienation you are talking about is impossible for a pre-schooler to inflict on another pre-schooler. If we are talking older children, yes I see how that can cause lasting damage. I'm willing to bet that the experiences you had were not just limited to your pre-school years.

As to whether this of type hands-off parenting CAUSES children to grow into 'bullies', I don't think that is the case. Just because a parent chooses to not intervene in a sandbox situation doesn't mean they don't use other methods to teach their children about how to treat people. Maybe they go over things at the end of the day with their child, and ask how they could have better dealt with the situation. We don't know. Who's to say whether that method doesn't teach the child more than the method of jumping in and taking over the situation when it's heated?
post #165 of 178
"I think that the alienation you are talking about is impossible for a pre-schooler to inflict on another pre-schooler."

I think it's just tough for sensitive people in general. My mother has stories of alienation going back to her first memories. To sum up these memories: "They didn't understand me, they didn't listen to me, they weren't gentle with me, I felt sad and alone."

This is how she felt when she was sent to kindergarten by her parents. It is how she felt when her brother teased her. It is how she felt when her friends made a club and did not explicitely invite her (she found out later that everyone else assumed they were invited and so it wasn't personal). She always kind of felt hurt. She still does, LOL. We literally have to say to her, "Mom, I am telling you X. That does not mean I'm upset at you. I just have to tell you because Y. I love you." Otherwise, drama.

I don't dare imagine what she must have been like at four on the playground.

Sensitive children can be targets for bullying. I understand that. Just because they are sensitive does not make any individual hurt they suffer less important. It is important for a parent to recognize the sensitivity of her child and help the child deal with it.

It is NOT the responsibility of that parent to make sure all the other parents are making sure their kids are tiptoeing around that child, literally or figuratively.

I disagree that "One kid in pain is one too many." Pain and hurt are part of life. Disappointment is a part of life. Learning to deal with that is also a part of life.

I can see that right now you have a precious little baby, not even one year. Of course she's much too young to be learning her knocks the hard way. She's all squishy and vulnerable and small. The only thing she needs is kisses on her big fat cheeks.

But no matter what you do, as she grows, she will get knocked around at some point. (Chubby cheeks likely having faded... ) It is just inevitable and it's not our job as parents to protect them from that. From the worst hurts, we can provide a buffer. But if she is rejected, we cannot ask others to accept her. You know?

And my point of view is not based on an optimistic view of children. I know they aren't nice. I want to slowly introduce my child to the vagaries of playground and peer-group antics slowly, so that she slowly but surely develops the skills she needs to take care of herself as she goes into school, high-school, college, and so on. And that means stepping back.
post #166 of 178
Your mother too, Edna? I got one of those! lol

What I meant is the fact that a 4 year old will sometimes be mean, bossy, etc. to another 4 yr. old will not cause the alienation that Chamomile feels. Unless, as you say, the child is super sensitive in which case I agree with you that it's not the world's place to adapt but the child's.

I think the simple question is... should we intervene everytime our child is misbehaving right at the second it occurs? Some people feel they should jump in at the moment and some feel that it's not necessary. I don't think either philosophy is wrong. All that really matters is whether or not the kid learns to interact socially in the long run.
post #167 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
Your mother too, Edna? I got one of those! lol

What I meant is the fact that a 4 year old will sometimes be mean, bossy, etc. to another 4 yr. old will not cause the alienation that Chamomile feels. Unless, as you say, the child is super sensitive in which case I agree with you that it's not the world's place to adapt but the child's.

I think the simple question is... should we intervene everytime our child is misbehaving right at the second it occurs? Some people feel they should jump in at the moment and some feel that it's not necessary. I don't think either philosophy is wrong. All that really matters is whether or not the kid learns to interact socially in the long run.
I think though that what also matters is that another child doesn't get hurt unnecessarily by my child. And this doesnt mean stepping in at the very moment that misbehaviour occurs, but at the moment where the situation has not been resolved in a way that is fair for everyone. obviously not every situation is fair for everyone but if it can be than its probably better that it is. I certainly give my son the chance to work things out, but if I see that he's not doing that, or that another child is going to just give in when they should stand their ground, then I will step in and make sure that doesn't happen. Because, if the other child has a very passive attitude, and doesnt want to stand up for themselves, I would still want my son to understand why the situation isn't fair. I don't want someone to have to stick up for themselves in order for him to know what he should or shouldn't do.
post #168 of 178
^^I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I would probably do the same thing if I was in earshot. But I'm not sitting in earshot waiting for that to happen either.

And I also don't expect other parents' to do that...jump in and make things "fair" I mean. It's just not going to happen. But instead of assuming that those parents' are crappy and are on their way to raising a little serial killer I'd rather assume that they are aware of what their child needs to be taught and are trying the best they can.

And I don't think it's a problem if a mom goes to the park knowing that she's going to be hovering around the action while the other mom's sit back a little. It's the expectation that the other mom's will do what she's doing that's the problem. That's why OP's experience is so negative, I think. If she would just accept that she hovers and others don't, she may have a better time. Like I said above, with the 2 year old on the wall, I WOULD be hovering. I don't think I'd be bitter about it. I'm pretty Pollyanna about things though.
post #169 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
Chamomile, I understand where you are coming from, but I think that the alienation you are talking about is impossible for a pre-schooler to inflict on another pre-schooler. If we are talking older children, yes I see how that can cause lasting damage. I'm willing to bet that the experiences you had were not just limited to your pre-school years.
That's been my observation as well. Ds is autistic, so being teased/targeted is pretty much routine by now. However, it has never once been a fellow preschooler that has teased him, only older kids. But on the flip side, older kids have been more likely to include him in their games and be more patient with his behaviors... I guess because he's not their peer, they see him more as a "little kid" than as a weird kid.
post #170 of 178
And I think that I would be more vigilant if my 4 year old were playing with older kids. But if my kid were sitting in a sandbox (metaphorically because public sandbox = ew!) with kids around his own age I wouldn't feel the need to sit close enough to hear everything they are saying to each other.

I think the conflict here is whether or not we should expect other parent's to have the same level of supervision as we are personally comfortable with. Should the mother of a 9 yr old become involved or become more vigilant if she starts to play with a 4 year old? I don't think so, but as the parent of the 4 year old I would move closer to see what was up. And I could do so without feeling resentment at the parent of the older child.
post #171 of 178
The aggressive or bully kids I have seen didn't have bench sitter parents/caregivers most of the time. They had bully parents who were meanwhile telling some other parent what to do, or on their phone telling someone else what to do, loudly.

And bully kids are usually much older than the toddlers they bully, and they usually run in packs, often from camp groups and such in my experience. I don't think leaving a lone 3 year old to "work it out" with 24 8 year olds is ever a good idea. 2 3 year olds, sure. 2 8 year olds, sure. A 3 and an 8... I'd probably be within earshot throughout.
post #172 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
And I think that I would be more vigilant if my 4 year old were playing with older kids. But if my kid were sitting in a sandbox (metaphorically because public sandbox = ew!) with kids around his own age I wouldn't feel the need to sit close enough to hear everything they are saying to each other.
Oh of course, I wouldn't just leave him to his own devices with a group of kids of any age (unless we knew them well, of course) because he can't tell the difference between someone playing with him and someone bullying him, or just angry with him. I do back off and let him have some space, but I'm keeping an eye on the other kids' body language and facial expressions to be sure everything is going okay. Ironically, its my 2-year-old that's as happy as a clam and needs nothing more than a glance now and then.
post #173 of 178
"I'd probably be within earshot throughout."

I think that nearly every parent in this thread claims to approve of being within earshot throughout for children of almost any age. Nobody is suggesting that we turn our backs and ears on children at the park, simply that we not intervene unless physical harm or bullying is happening / imminent.

"I think the conflict here is whether or not we should expect other parent's to have the same level of supervision as we are personally comfortable with."

Yep.
post #174 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnMomma View Post
5 minutes after we're there 3 other children show up. One girl brings her own batch of sand toys, and two others just dive right in and take DS's toys. All nannys go sit on the nanny bench on the opposite end of the playground. Within minutes the kids are grabbing toys out of DS's hands and refusing to share, one is throwing sand, the other is getting territorial about hole she's digging and is screaming at anyone who comes within her vicinity. Ds is sort of getting the brunt of all of this. What choice do I have but to constantly remind the kids not to throw sand, to share, and to take turns, and to speak nicely to each other? And at the same time encourage my own son to NOT let the kids snatch toys from his hands while at the same time encouraging him to share? Meanwhile the other kids won't share the things they brought with them and pile them up and block them from anyone who tries to go near them. So then I feel like well fine, why should my DS have to share if that's how it's going to be? It's like...my head is spinning...and then I'm looking around for SOMEONE to back me up or step in and all I see are nannys or moms having a good old time yucking it up on the other end of the park.
That situation would have frustrated me too. I don't micromanage, but I also don't buy into the whole philosophy that kid should just be left to their own devices and only need parental intervention when there is blood spilled or about to be. I'm somewhere in the middle, so that's where I'm coming from. I think the snatching, sand throwing, and possibly even the screaming might have needed addressing.

Anyway, the reality is there isn't much you can do to change these other caregivers. They're gonna keep doing their thing, and that's fair enough. For that reason, I've found that for us public playgrounds with random kids and caregivers isn't the best place to start learning social skills. As a matter of fact, when my oldest was about your son's age or maybe a little older, we for the most part stopped going to the park unless we were going to our small quiet neighborhood park to meet kids we planned a playdate with. The random playground pandemonium just got to be too much for me after two separate incidents that involved my child getting deliberately pushed off a play structure one time falling from about 4+ feet landing flat on her back and one time involving an injury. In neither case did a caregiver respond or was anywhere to be seen best I could tell. The kid that caused the injury was about 3, and yes he was a bully. I would not have believed that possible unless I saw it with my own eyes. He was running with a group of other kids, and I kid you not they were like a pack of wild dogs. Anyways, I digress.

My point being, maybe try to find a group of other folks to meet up at the park or your house or whatever. It doesn't matter so much if you agree completely on everything. There is a mom in our playgroup that's a big micromanger, and it kind of drives me a bit batty. But at least we know everyone, and know what to expect, and I think that creates a much better atmosphere, at least in the early years. People feel more accountable. I'm sure when my kids are older, we can branch out and I will ease up, but for now this works really well for us.

Good luck!
post #175 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercup784ever View Post
^^I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I would probably do the same thing if I was in earshot. But I'm not sitting in earshot waiting for that to happen either.

And I also don't expect other parents' to do that...jump in and make things "fair" I mean. It's just not going to happen. But instead of assuming that those parents' are crappy and are on their way to raising a little serial killer I'd rather assume that they are aware of what their child needs to be taught and are trying the best they can.

And I don't think it's a problem if a mom goes to the park knowing that she's going to be hovering around the action while the other mom's sit back a little. It's the expectation that the other mom's will do what she's doing that's the problem. That's why OP's experience is so negative, I think. If she would just accept that she hovers and others don't, she may have a better time. Like I said above, with the 2 year old on the wall, I WOULD be hovering. I don't think I'd be bitter about it. I'm pretty Pollyanna about things though.
That's a good point.
post #176 of 178
wow! this is a fascinating thread! My ds is 8 months old, and I guess our trips to the park are going to get a lot more complicated in the coming years.
post #177 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
wow! this is a fascinating thread! My ds is 8 months old, and I guess our trips to the park are going to get a lot more complicated in the coming years.
Maybe not...I am reading things here that we just never see at our park. We go to several in our town and usually go to 1-2 when we're camping. While I've seen the occasional problem, I haven't witnessed anything near what people here are mentioning. The park isn't at all stressful or complicated for our family.
post #178 of 178
I didn't get to read all the responses (this thread got HUGE quickly!) but I sympathize with the OP. My son is the exact same way, and is small for his age, so even kids who are 6 months younger than he is tower over him and snatch things away from him.

However, I don't hover. I let him work it out himself. He's mostly unfazed by the pushing and grabbing. When he's not, he comes to me, and I tell him if he doesn't like what someone is doing, to tell them "no." We DO NOT take any toys with us. The few times he has insisted on bringing something along, he has agreed to leave it with me so it doesn't get lost. I explain that anything he brings out of the house could get lost, and anything at the park he should expect to share. I do make sure that he's not the one grabbing others' toys and refusing to share them, and sand-throwing isn't allowed. (I don't want him to be the one to get sand in a baby's eyes or to hurt another kid by accident.)

Beyond that, he's on his own unless he asks me for help, which he does when he feels he needs to. It wasn't easy for me to do this at first. I'm VERY protective of my boy and I cringe when I see other kids pushing and being rude to him. But after leaving the park all tense and upset a few times I realized I only had two choices: Never go to the park or let it go and realize that kids come in all different personalities, manners, and levels of parental supervision and he'll have to deal with that in school eventually, so why not start now?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Playground Vent