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Playground Vent - Page 5

post #81 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.
Sharing is with other people who are behaving appropriately. What you're describing is frankly, bullying. I'm afraid by saying you'll share, you're enabling them to victimize your DS. I would keep all the toys that your son is not actively using in a mesh bag over your shoulder. Tell the kids no the minute they try to take them. I think this would solve it, because they know you're not going to force "sharing" of your DS' property, and it should cut off the bullying before it starts. I would also teach him that it's nice to share with his friends, but that he does not have to share with strangers nor do what they want him to do. To me, it's the beginning of "stranger danger" concepts--even if they're kids, if they give you a bad vibe, you don't have to do anything with them, do what they say, or give them your stuff.

When there's a reasonable kid who wants to share and your DS wants to share, you can get toys out of the bag for him/her. I do this with my kids, and even though they don't play with me as often as they get older, they bring me toys when they're done with them and their shoes/sweaters if they take them off. It makes it easier to be ready to leave, honestly, stuff isn't strewn all over, but it also helps with toy takers.
post #82 of 178
Boy, this thread makes me glad that there are no sand boxes at any park I've ever seen around here!
post #83 of 178
Wow! Quite a thread so far...
A few random thoughts after reading through these 4 pages:

My son is 22 months and we've just started using the playground near us. The equipment there is probably geared towards kids who are at least 3, but DS is doing alright. I let him take the lead most of the time, and I do follow. It's never been crowded when we've gone, but usually there also aren't kids who are his age. If he wants to run around an empty tennis court - fine. If he wants to run around a tennis court where older kids are trying to play tennis - not fine. The other day some older kids (3-ish?) were riding scooters and DS really wanted to try. The kids saw he was interested, but clearly were not up for sharing - and it was clear to me that he was too small to use them anyway. I stepped in multiple times to redirect/distract DS away from the scooters. At this age it really does feel like a safety issue. Sometimes there is broken glass at the playground...I wouldn't be surprised if other undesirable "materials" show up from time to time. I'm gonna keep my kid physically safe. Does not make me a helicopter parent. I play with him when he wants me to and hang back when he seems ok on his own. Again, not a helicopter parent.

Sand throwing. Eesh! To me, this is just a safety no-no. I get very nervous about sand and eyes. When I was teaching, kids were not allowed to throw sand. Also, they couldn't throw icey snowballs at each other. Sure, both may be fun to do - unless you're on the receiving end.

Giving kids space to resolve conflicts is very important, but as with any skill, it requires modeling and sometimes a supportive facilitator. I think parents can step in just enough to ask kids in conflict what's going on and how they think the problem can be resolved or what would seem fair. This may be true for everyone regardless of age, but young kids especially can be so caught up in the heat and emotion of the moment, that having someone step in to ask a few questions (not necessarily directing behavior) can give them the space to approach the problem in a new and more productive way. When I was teaching, if I saw kids having a conflict (not involving physical agression) I would get close enough to hear what was going on, and depending on what was being said, either step in right away or give it a little time to resolve itself. I often left the problem-solving up to the kids, but let them know I was there to offer support.
post #84 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
Well I guess IMO then if being a helicoptor parent means that we intervene when our children are treating others unfairly, and making sure that they are safe then that's what I want to be. as for letting children work things out for themselves, take child A for example then, who is the one being bossy, not sharing, throwing sand, etc. then take child B who doesnt stick up for himself. let them work it out then, and whos going to be the clear winner? Child A. then, if Child A is getting what they want because they think that their behaviour is perfectly fine, because mommy's sitting on the bench over there and if I was doing something wrong then wouldn't she come and stop me, then that's how she'll continue to act, no? the lesson there to me is, yes its okay to take advantage of those less assertive than you, and you only have to share or compromise when the other person has a stronger personality. i think that those moms sitting on the bench call it helicoptering to make themselves feel better about their lack of attention to their child's behaviours.
The OP was not talking about intervening when her child was the bully...she was talking about intervening when her child was the target. It would be nice if all parents parented like I do, but they don't so it's not my job to do it for them. If OP wanted to protect her child from any unfair treatment other kids might commit, that's fine because he is HER child, but it must be done by parenting her child, not everybody elses. Whether that is letting him work things out, or stepping in and doing it for him is up to her.

To add to the perspective of one of the PPs on letting kids work it out themselves, I have 2 x 5 year olds right now, though they are genetically cousins, not brothers. My nephew is a very smart analytical type A personality and can be possesive but tends to be very good about explaining the rules patiently because he's learned that he will have more playmates if he doesn't expect them to do things exactly like he does. My son is very cooperative, imaginitive, laidback and sensitive, which makes them like a kindergarden version of the Odd Couple.

It is very easy to see them interacting in a way that makes people want to "protect" my son. For instance, if we get two nearly identical toys and my son seems really happy with his, my nephew will ask if he can have it instead because he doesn't like his. My son will see how unhappy my nephew is and decide to trade, even though it was very clear he liked the first toy a great deal. I let it be...they are both happy. My MiL has stepped in and forbidden this type of cooperation because she doesn't think it's "fair" to my son.

Other times we have gotten two things and they both wanted the same one. When they were younger, we would simply hand them each one, and if they didn't like the one they got, then too bad, and screaming and crying ensued, along with lots of petty behavior like yelling "I want that one!" anytime they knew they were gonna get to pick from two objects. Now we take no part in determining who gets what. They must work out who gets which one, and if they can't mutually agree then the objects will remain in my custody. I would say that most of the time my nephew ends up with the one they both wanted. Could I intervene because it's unfair that my nephew almost always gets his way? Sure, and sometimes if they have stale-mated in their negotiating I'll suggest things they might not have thought of (like one kid gets first choice this time and they agree that the other gets it next time, etc.) but for the most part they are EXTREMELY mature for 5 year olds so why would I mess with that? My MiL will "let them decide" and then change it up if she feels the result is unfair, and guess what...they are whiney and arguemenitive around her. I can hand them two differently colored cupcakes and I know they'll talk it out and both walk away happy with a cupcake...at MiL's house that situation is a nightmare.

Plus, just because in that one situation my son seems to get the "short end of the stick", doesn't mean he actually is a doormat to my type-A nephew. Sometimes they'll ask if a friend can come over, and I explain that I don't want other kids at the house unless the toys are picked up. Guess who gets their entire shared bedroom organised while Mr.Easygoing just lounges on the bed looking at books?

It's so funny because you can actually hear them bickering: "Hey! You need to help pick up!" "OK, I'll put the books away." (a few minutes later) "You only put away 2 books!" "I'm still reading the rest!!!" The room ends up cleaned, and they both benefit from the friend coming over, though my nephew did most of the work. Despite the frustration during the process, they both come out happy.

They have very real personality differences that are likely to continue into adulthood. My nephew has learned that he can't expect everybody else to care about things as much as him, so while it's OK to be a perfectionist, he seems to understand that sometimes if he's the one who cares, he's the one who will have to make it happen. My son has learned that many things are just not worth the stress of a fight if they really aren't that important to him. I don't know if artificially leveling the fairness field would change their fundamental personalities or save them any grief in the long-run.

If your son having the toy all to himself is more important to you than it is to your son, it might just be worth not bringing it to the park. If it IS important to your son, he will figure out how to deal with the situation in a way that fits his personality (be that playing with it somewhere else, getting more confrontational, asking to come back when it's less crowded etc.). There's nothing wrong with talking to him, giving him suggestions, or supporting him in ways that require your help (like going home if he wants to deal with it in that way) but it's just not your place to correct other people's kids. I really do understand the desire to protect him from kids with stronger personalities, but nothing occurring is really that abnormal for a public park with kids that age. If your son is getting the short end of the stick, then it is up to you to teach your son how he should deal with it instead of getting upset and imagining what it would be like in a perfect world where other parents came over and stopped their kids from treating him unfairly.

FWIW I do see safety issues as a "step in" type of sitution, but unfairness alone is not a safety issue. I really detest the spinning "merry-go-round" thing on one of the playgrounds here because it looks like the funnest thing ever to kids under age two, but the 8 year olds make it go so fast that it will really screw a toddler up pretty badly. When my 2 year old goes near it I spin him slowly if it's empty, and remove him if bigger kids get on it. I've seen other parents of toddlers yell at bigger kids to go slower and frankly that bothers me. You just can't contol other people's kids, and the whole playground doesn't grind to a halt just because my son is too young to play safely on that one piece of equipment.
post #85 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post
FWIW I do see safety issues as a "step in" type of sitution, but unfairness alone is not a safety issue. I really detest the spinning "merry-go-round" thing on one of the playgrounds here because it looks like the funnest thing ever to kids under age two, but the 8 year olds make it go so fast that it will really screw a toddler up pretty badly. When my 2 year old goes near it I spin him slowly if it's empty, and remove him if bigger kids get on it. I've seen other parents of toddlers yell at bigger kids to go slower and frankly that bothers me. You just can't contol other people's kids, and the whole playground doesn't grind to a halt just because my son is too young to play safely on that one piece of equipment.
Mostly I've got no beef with how you are treating your son/nephew. I think that sibling stuff is very different from interacting with random people at a park, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

In the case of the merry-go-round I think that there is nothing wrong with saying, "Hey big kids, are you ok with going slow for a little kid for a few minutes?" I've done this and the big kids were completely awesome about it. They slowed down to barely moving and then very solicitously asked her if she wanted it faster or slower. It was an awesome interaction for all of them. When she was done and grinning like crazy she thanked them and they were very thrilled that they had made her day.
post #86 of 178
Wow, this thread made my head spin. I don't have that much to add other than the fact that I think those of you who believe in independence-it-will-all-work-out are being a bit naive. I teach 14-15-16 year olds and many bullying behaviors (or is that "strong personality types?) still exist by that age. A classroom full of students interacting with one another requires constant supervision, and constant intervention when things get unfair. Its never OK to assume that a kid who is being treated unfairly should just suck it up (er, I mean deal with it themselves) because then all they learn is that life is unfair for them so there must be something wrong with them.

Even high school students have to be taught how to share.

I was the kid on the playground and in school that was bullied, so I am super0sensitive to that dynamic. Bullying certainly does not just mean physical violence! The most hurtful types are when a kid is just plain evil to you, or treats you unfairly. I wish more adults had interveined for me. Instead I was just told that if everyone was mean to me it must be because "you did something to deserve it" or "there must be something wrong with you". Thanks for THAT lesson, but I would really rather not have my kid learn that adults cannot be trusted to be fair if its easier not to be.

One last thing on this note is that I see many of the answers here as parential justification for making thinks easier on themselves. I'm not ok with that.
post #87 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
One last thing on this note is that I see many of the answers here as parential justification for making thinks easier on themselves. I'm not ok with that.
Okay, since you're getting a little personal here...yeah, you got me. Trying my best to ONLY intervene when there are safety issues (and I include emotional bullying as a safety issue--I suspect my threshold for what constitutes that is probably higher than yours though) DOES make my life easier--because I'm not giving into my inner control freak and feeling responsible for micromanaging all interactions near me to my liking and then wasting energy being pissed about something that I truly have very little control over (other people's actions) If you want to make life as difficult as possible for yourself, then that is cool. But me, I do like to save my energy for other things.
post #88 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Bullying certainly does not just mean physical violence! The most hurtful types are when a kid is just plain evil to you, or treats you unfairly. I wish more adults had interveined for me. Instead I was just told that if everyone was mean to me it must be because "you did something to deserve it" or "there must be something wrong with you". Thanks for THAT lesson, but I would really rather not have my kid learn that adults cannot be trusted to be fair if its easier not to be.
I completely agree with you. I think not stepping in until someone is getting physically hurt is completely baffling to me. Usuually, the worst hurt is not physical.
post #89 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Sharing is with other people who are behaving appropriately. What you're describing is frankly, bullying. I'm afraid by saying you'll share, you're enabling them to victimize your DS. I would keep all the toys that your son is not actively using in a mesh bag over your shoulder. Tell the kids no the minute they try to take them. I think this would solve it, because they know you're not going to force "sharing" of your DS' property, and it should cut off the bullying before it starts. I would also teach him that it's nice to share with his friends, but that he does not have to share with strangers nor do what they want him to do. To me, it's the beginning of "stranger danger" concepts--even if they're kids, if they give you a bad vibe, you don't have to do anything with them, do what they say, or give them your stuff.

When there's a reasonable kid who wants to share and your DS wants to share, you can get toys out of the bag for him/her. I do this with my kids, and even though they don't play with me as often, they bring me toys when they're done with them and their shoes/sweaters if they take them off. It makes it easier to be ready to leave, honestly, stuff isn't strewn all over, but it also helps with toy takers.
Wow.

We were at the beach a few weekends ago and two boys came up and started playing with my son's toys. Didn't bother me and it certainly wasn't "bullying." For the record, they were 3 year old twins and my son is almost-5.

Bullying may be when you ask for them back or say no and they don't do that. But just playing with sand toys that are there in a public space is...being a kid.
post #90 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Wow, this thread made my head spin. I don't have that much to add other than the fact that I think those of you who believe in independence-it-will-all-work-out are being a bit naive. I teach 14-15-16 year olds and many bullying behaviors (or is that "strong personality types?) still exist by that age. A classroom full of students interacting with one another requires constant supervision, and constant intervention when things get unfair. Its never OK to assume that a kid who is being treated unfairly should just suck it up (er, I mean deal with it themselves) because then all they learn is that life is unfair for them so there must be something wrong with them.

Even high school students have to be taught how to share.

I was the kid on the playground and in school that was bullied, so I am super0sensitive to that dynamic. Bullying certainly does not just mean physical violence! The most hurtful types are when a kid is just plain evil to you, or treats you unfairly. I wish more adults had interveined for me. Instead I was just told that if everyone was mean to me it must be because "you did something to deserve it" or "there must be something wrong with you". Thanks for THAT lesson, but I would really rather not have my kid learn that adults cannot be trusted to be fair if its easier not to be.

One last thing on this note is that I see many of the answers here as parential justification for making thinks easier on themselves. I'm not ok with that.
Are you seriously suggesting that a young (under 6) child at the park saying "don't look at me! he's looking at me!" is being evil?

Because that was the example the OP gave.
post #91 of 178
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post #92 of 178
Quote:
"those of you who believe in independence-it-will-all-work-out are being a bit naive"
Here's the thing.

I don't see anyone here who thinks that independence will allow them to work things out perfectly.

There is NO-ONE here who is okay with physical violence, name calling, or taunting. I haven't read a single person who says that's okay.

But heated disagreements aren't bullying. What the mom described was unfairness, but not bullying, per se. Toddlers and pre-schoolers tend to hoard.
Quote:
"Please try not to be judgmental of those you perceive as "helicoptering.""
I hope I don't come across as judging others. Different kids have different needs and I totally respect the OP's decision to parent her child at the park in this way. She has the right. My only beef is with the expectation that others parent their children in the same way.

Quote:
"I really disagree with this. Parks are designed for multi age use by simple virtue of the infant swing, the special needs swing and regular swings-- if parents aren't willing to moderate or accept intervention from other parents so that their children don't run over the itty bitty babies, then maybe they shouldn't take their kids to the park.

Or maybe cities should make special infant only parks filled with infant swings. Except where will families go who have multiple kids of various ages? I guess they have to stay home????

The very fact it's not all roses is why parents need to be attuned to what's going on and ensure their kids aren't terrorizing anyone. Parks should not be synonymous with Lord of the Flies. It's not Survivor, it's a public park where regular manners and social niceties still apply.

Children need some level of supervision to ensure that public spaces are enjoyed by everyone. In real life, we can't control the environment or the needs of the people around our children, so why must the park fit a specific demographic?

I don't see the logic in your statement. It makes no sense to me."
Okay, let me refine my statement.

If you are looking for a place where:

-all the other kids are required to be on polite behavior 100% of the time, or face a consequence
-you will not have to watch out for your own child to the same degree you would if the other kids weren't
-your child is only interacting with polite, kind children

Then the park isn't the place for you. "Some level of supervision" does not mean, to me, standing by the sandbox and enforcing politesse.

I bring my baby to the park. She's 14 months. When it's fairly empty or crowded mainly with children under four, I let her wander and keep my eyes on the high spots and exits. When it's got older kids, runners mainly, I certainly stay within a yard or two, and corral her.

I have only once had to ask anything of older children. It was in a mixed-age park with three "big toys" and high-schoolers were playing lava tag on all three. I asked them if they could leave one for the babies and little kids. They did. It really wasn't that hard on me or them. I would easily go back to the same park.

Quote:
"see many of the answers here as parential justification for making thinks easier on themselves. I'm not ok with that."
I really get irritated when people suggest that leaving a child some room to breathe and develop is lazy, or just "easy". It's not like I can engage in my hobbies while at the park. I don't have a 3-g phone or anything. At most I can read a book, but not a really engaging one because I *am* supervising from afar. Just... from afar. I can't even freaking knit, because it's windy where I live and it gets to be a huge mess. I just stand there, bored. It would be more interesting for me to keep my kids at home while I cooked, minded them in their playroom, and I dunno, updated my facebook.

But I take them to the park because that is a place they love to be. They love the air, to explore, to be free from house rules, to scream, to talk with lots of other kids, to learn.

I don't think it's lazy of me at all to stand there for hours. It is one of the things I make a big effort to do on sunny days, even if it means that I do not get to write my book or live in the clean house I dream of or eat delicious meals that require "simmer for one hour".
post #93 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
I'm that parents sitting back and watching my children (2 and 5) play on their own. The playground here is made for very young children. I tend to let them play one their own (free play) and only intervine when they need something or they are doing something they can't/shouldn't do on their own. Of course if they want me to play with them I'm there too, but that doesn't happen much lol

DD#1 is out going and extreamly independent, always has been, and actually gets really upset if I get into her space. DD#2 is more sensitive and shy. She'll come running back to me often just to be assured I am still there, but I find she plays better on her own then she does with me. Like she's holding back.

I don't know if this is why the other adults in the park do that, but its pretty common here. Wish I had advice you wanted to hear for you. I would mostly just suggest don't get stressed out by it. You can't control what everyone else is doing and you are not responsible for the other children. Keep doing what you find works for you

Maybe I'm just a bad mom but thats how we were raised too. I also let my kids play outside in the back yard for a few minutes at a time if I need to do something, like got to the bathroom, or make lunch or whatever else. Its all I've ever known and it seems to work for the girls. They play on their own inside pretty well too, while I cook, or do laundry (DD#1 loves to help now ) or just need 5 minutes of down time.
Same here. I'm thrilled for my kids to finally be at the point where they can go off and play on the equipment while I park it on the bench. I do keep a watchful on ds because he doesn't understand appropriate social behavior, which tends to get him into trouble with other kids. As long as it doesn't escalate, I stay out of it, but most of the time he prefers to be by himself anyway.
post #94 of 178
Quote:
I'm not saying let your kid get beat on but I do think it important that children learn to stand up for themselves. They're not going to learn to do it if you are always the one who does it for them.
I agree. Obviously there is a time to step in, but I don't think its healthy in the long run to protect them from every aggressive playground encounter, as much of it simply the reality of grouping children of different developmental ages in same place. Ds used to be that sensitive, passive kid, but he has learned to be more assertive and speak up when someone isn't being kind because these experiences with other children have taught him in a way that I couldn't.
post #95 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Wow.

We were at the beach a few weekends ago and two boys came up and started playing with my son's toys. Didn't bother me and it certainly wasn't "bullying." For the record, they were 3 year old twins and my son is almost-5.

Bullying may be when you ask for them back or say no and they don't do that. But just playing with sand toys that are there in a public space is...being a kid.
The OP described much older children running in and taking all the OPs child's toys including grabbing the ones out of his hands, and telling him that he couldn't use any of their toys. That is bullying. Playing with toys from around the playground is obviously not. My personal rule is "if you leave it somewhere, someone else may play with it. If you don't want someone else to play with your toy, you need to give it to mom when you're done." That lets my kids decide if they want to share a toy or not. 95% of the time, they do. That works for us.
post #96 of 178
Hmm it takes a village... as they say. I don't think parents should not supervise their children. No one here watches their kids from 3-12 and they just vandalize houses. I find it astrotious they allow their kids to bully yours. Be a helicopter mom. go ahead let them call you names but someone needs to teach those kids manners and apparently their chat time is more important than that. At least you CARE. Hover as much as you want! That's you child for lord's sake!
post #97 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I think that honestly, what I'm reading here seems to be a lot of parents of younger toddlers and pre-schoolers speaking to parents of pre-schoolers and up. They are still socializing their itty-bitty ones and do not believe that a child-based social environment, in which kids are allowed to make mistakes, is part of that.

Perhaps this is really parents of wee ones to parents of big ones saying, hey, look, my little one is not ready for your big one's caprices. Please manage your child!

But to that I would say: a child that is not ready to play with other kids is not ready for the park. It's not all roses at the park or anywhere else.
This. The same behaviors in preschoolers/young gradeschoolers that used to upset me when my oldest was a small toddler I now recognize as age-expected behavior. I think its unfair and realistic to not allow a 4- or 5-year-old the freedom to act 4- or 5-years-old because it creates a less than perfect playground experience for the 2-year-olds.
post #98 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugs View Post
This. The same behaviors in preschoolers/young gradeschoolers that used to upset me when my oldest was a small toddler I now recognize as age-expected behavior. I think its unfair and realistic to not allow a 4- or 5-year-old the freedom to act 4- or 5-years-old because it creates a less than perfect playground experience for the 2-year-olds.
Well said. It is funny. I have a ten year old and a six old and I would be fine with taking them to a playground because they are old enough that I am confident that they have learned how to interact appropriately, but I never take my 3 year old because honestly I am afriad he is going to act like a 3 year old and someone who has a toddler is going to see him as "much older" or poorly mannered (or even a BULLY??? I have never heard the term used about kids this little...weird) and be unkind to him. As much as a 2 year old can't stand up to a 4 year old, I really don't need my 3 year old dealing with someone in their 20's, 30's or 40's.

Honestly, thanks for this thread. Reminds me why we play in the backyard with friends who we invite over
post #99 of 178
I have been in similar situations but my frustration was a language barrier. I will explain. There is a set of twins in our town. One of them is the ring leader and she will find a kid to torment and her sister will join in. My dd1 is somewhat like you lo. She is the kid that doesn't stick up fer herself, although sheis getting better.

A couple of months ago we were at the playground. My dd was palying on a stinking pole-not a toy or playground equipment, just a stupid pole. Said twin came over and started trying to push her off. Dd1 gets upset but won't get off. It continues like this. SO I wonder over and I ask dd1 if the girl could have a turn she says no. This is like our 3rd run in with this girl so I am not making dd1 share the pole (if it was a swing or something I would think about it). So girl continues to try to pry dd1 off and dd1 is now in tears but holding on. (Sister joins in occasionally but then wanders off to play on the slide.) I tell her she is doing fine and she deosn't have to get off if she doesn't want to. But then i step back and keep my distance for a bit.

Where is little girl's mom? sitting 3 feet away watching her daughter terrorize mine. After literally 10 minutes of this crap I finally took her daughter's arm and said firmly "No, you don't do that. Its rude. Go away." in my best french possible. Next time I will have words with the mom.

If there was no language barrier. I would seriously approach the other caregivers. I would say, Hi sorry to interrupt but your child is stealing all of my kids stuff. We are more than willing to share but I would appreciate it if your kids didn't just rip it out of my lo's hands.

Or

Hi is there a reason you feel its okay to casually sit here and watch your kid throw sand in my child's face?

Or I would physically pick up other child take back my kids toy and remove other child from the immediate vicinity of my kid. Maybe then parents or nannies would get off their butts and come see what the fuss was all about.

I know it is hard to teach kids to share but not let stuff be stolen from them. I always tell dd1 that its great to share if someone asks (if they can talk-she understands that babies are exceptions, although even babies don't have to be allowed to grab stuff out of our hands) or if she wants to give something to someone. But people who just come up and take are being rude and its okay if you don't want to share with them.

I believe that kids need to learn to work things out for themselves too. But dd1 is 3 not 13. At a certain point, if she can't or if she is doing her best but the other kid is just not getting it, I am going to intervene, especially when the other parent is just sitting there watching it happen.
post #100 of 178
Okay i read some of the other posts. I just want to say that there is a big difference from chlling on the bench, while keeping your kids in eyesight and intervening when needed versus sitting on the bench and being so engaged in another task you forgot you are at the park with a kid that you are responsible for (as seems to be the case in op).

i too sit on the grass with dd2, who just started crawling, while keeping an eye on dd1, who runs off to play alone or with others.
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