Originally Posted by EdnaMarie
"They can't work everything out on their own yet and it's the less agressive children, like my son, who get the short end of the stick."
I don't think it's fair to ask the other minders / parents to suddenly turn into helicopters because your child is sensitive. He's your sensitive kid so you are going to have to be a buffer for him.
If I were there, here is what might happen with our kids. Now my child is not generally aggressive, but she is assertive and she can get possessive, which we work on. But the park is HER domain so I try not to hover.
My child: Can I use your shovel?
Your child: Okay.
My child: Can I have your bucket?
Your child: Okay.
My child: No, you're doing it wrong, do it THIS way.
Your child: Okay. (Not because he's a pushover, he may just be trying to please her, thinking that enough "okays" will satisfy her.)
A minute later...
My child: I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!! (She has set down his shovel and your child picked it up.)
Your child: Keeps digging quietly, not sure what to do with the banshee.
My child, screeching: I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!! (Throws down something, sand flies, but no hitting, kicking, or throwing at people.)
I am probably still not going over there. I want her and the child to work it out. I know she's upset but my intervention will make her more upset. I am spotting the baby on the slide, or eyeing her from behind my book as the baby eats grass.
You, on the other hand, feel the need to intervene. You feel your child is being unfairly attacked. You intervene. You feel slighted that I'm "not watching" my child.
The reality is that we have different limits and different parenting styles, each of which is adapted to the needs of our own children.
You need to appreciate that we need to do what our kids need as well. And there are going to be parents who let their kids have more free reign and kids who are, quite simply, rude. If you don't want your child to deal with that at his age, the way to avoid it is to leave or to buffer him.
Not to ask someone else to do that for you.
ETA- I read my post and it sounds really harsh. I do not want you to think there is no point where I would go over there. Physical violence is a limit for me. But I do believe that kids between three and five are learning self-control and I'm not going to stop it before it happens unless it's a pattern. My child has never hit or kicked or pushed another child at the playground so I trust her not to cross that line. If I had a hitter or biter, it would be different.
I agree with the above. I am one of those parents who go to the park sit down with the baby and chat with another mom or read a book. Meanwhile my young two and four year olds go off to play. I give them WAY more freedom then most parents I know because I believe it is crucial for healthy development. I do this even at older kids playgrounds. They have become very adapt and confident. Ex. My 2 yr old climbs up 12 foot structures, barrels down slides, plays near 7 year olds, and mostly has fun. Sure she has gotten knocked down, sand thrown at her ect but she is mostly fine. If she comes crying to me, I brush her off, hold her and soon she hops down to go play again. She is a small petite sensitive child too. BUt she is learning how to confidently navigate her world and relate to others.
Believe it or not I DO know where they are and what they are doing even if it seems I am not looking though if they go out of my view for awhile that is fine. My 4 yo ds can be aggressive at times so of he gets really out of line I do call him to have a talk/ regroup. As mentioned my dd is small so I have to "rescue" her the odd time. But unless I want to push them in swings I am almost always chilling in the background.
To be perfectly frank what bothers me is when other parents expect me to step in more. I KNOW my children and their limits and I wish that people would let children be children and just play unless it really is dangerous or mean. It stresses me when another parent keeps expecting me to step in. A few things I am totally OK with and do not intervene for- child puts sand on my child's head, child grabs toy, my 2 yo leans out while up on e 10 foot platform, child rushes past mine knocking them over, running far across a field by themselves, child screams at/ yells at another ect.
If my child is really upset or hurt of course I will go over. If someone is really bullying another (my child doing or receiving) I will go intervene. If my child comes to me whining about another child I will usually not get up but talk with them how they can deal with it the problem on their own. It is not a free-for-all philosophy. I am constantly focusing on teaching my children empathy and respect for others which I believe are crucial. But I do not do it by micro-managing their play.
That was longer then I meant. But I wanted to give you another view to think about
I am NOT a lazy or neglectful mother- in fact I am the opposite. My children- whom have very different personalities- are very warm, outgoing, awesome little people too as I am sure your ds is.
Really I think the key to your problem is seen in your statement "MY ds likes to go to this park and chooses it over others". He is fine