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"Mama Bear" at the playground.... I know some of you have BTDT...  

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 

So DH and I took DS (2.5, but the size of most 18-month-2 year olds) to a playground the other day. DS and I go to the park quite often, and he is a good climber, and we've never had an issue. This was a much bigger playground than the one we usually go to, and had different equipment than we're used to.

 

DS was climbing up a ladder, and an older boy (maybe 5) came over and climbed right over DS, b/c DS was going pretty slowly. Okay, fine. Not my preference, but he went around, didn't trample DS, and DS didn't seem to mind. Then he did it again. I was a little irritated b/c I felt it was rude, but really no harm done, and DS is going to have to learn at some point that not everyone uses nice manners all the time. The third time the kid did it, he waited for DS at the top of the ladder. I thought he was just trying to engage DS to play with him and thought nothing of it, until DS made it to the top and was met with a foot in his face. I looked up and saw the kid pushing his foot into DS's face, and DS was just moving his head around (and clinging to the ladder to keep from falling) trying to avoid the shoe. The kid wasn't letting up, and I was afraid DS would fall. I said, "Hey! You need to stop that!" and the kid didn't flinch. I *LOST IT.* I am not proud of my reaction, but it was my gut telling me this kid wasn't letting up and in a split second could decide to really hurt DS. I started screaming at the kid to stop, to take his foot out of my son's face, and demanded to know where his mother was. I yelled so loud it scared DS, and the kid just pointed over to where he thought his mother was.

 

I realized then that I'd rather get to DS, who was scared, than to confront the boy's mom, since I had stopped what needed to be stopped and I'd already created a scene. I heard some guy say something like, "That's not how you talk to a 5-year-old boy" during my tirade, but my only response would have been, "That's not how you treat a 2-year-old, either." I went to DS, comforted him (I have no idea where DH was during all of this, other than trying to crawl under a rock....) and some woman came over to me to say, "Don't listen to anyone else. I would have done the same thing." Well, fine. My mama bear instinct came out and roared at a little boy (who DH thinks was too young to be malicious) and scared my own little boy in the process.

 

I'm really not so sure it was the best way to handle it, and I wish I'd been able to stay calm, but all I could see was my son falling 6 feet to the ground with a sneaker print on his face, and I reacted. DH was angry at me for yelling like that. DS was scared. I was scared for DS. And yet I felt vindicated that another mom supported me, even when the dads didn't. So I just wanted to hear from some of you who have BTDT.... Was I as terrible as DH thinks I was, or would you have done the same? (Or both?)

post #2 of 95

We've had this exact same scenario happen, except that when I've said, in a loud and firm voice, "You do not put your foot in another child's face," the other kid stopped.  Honestly, if he hadn't, I probably would have just grabbed DD and left.

 

We did have another situation in which I saw another kid (who had been bothering my DD to no end) grab her arm and wrestle her onto the floor.  She was 4, and he was probably 5, and she'd been trying to avoid him for about ten minutes, but he kept following her around.  I came over to him and hissed in probably the meanest voice I've ever used in my life, "You need to stay away from my daughter."  And he did.  I felt a bit bad about it, but seriously, you can't let that go on.  And that time we weren't in a situation where we could just leave. 

 

I do think that screaming at a kid is over the line, but I wasn't there.  If it was possible to grab your child out of harm's way without screaming, that would have been the best solution, IMO. 

post #3 of 95

You might have "spazzed" a bit more than necessary but you weren't wrong.  I don't think the 5 year old was out of line going around your ds but he certainly was when he pushed his foot in his face.  5 year olds still have a low frustration point and as much as you thought he was rude he probably thought your son was rude and at that age there can be some pretty inappropriate reactions to kids who get in the way of a good time.  I probably would have told the kid to knock it off as I walked over there and explained that while I understood it was annoying to share the equipment with littler kids he was just going to have to deal with it without pushing his foot in their faces.  I have (almost) 4 kids now though so my "freakout" edges have been worn down.  I also had older nephews so I was used to kids that age interacting (not always well) with my littler ones.

post #4 of 95

I think you did the right thing.

post #5 of 95

When I was six or  seven, I pulled a little boy's hair.  (Because he was following us)  I got yelled at, and was told to go home.  It hurt my feelings, and I felt bad that the mom was mad at me.   But, what I did was wrong.  I deserved to have my feelings hurt.  I also learned that I wasn't going to be allowed to do anything like that again.  

 

Sometimes people get yelled at.  Sometimes we deserve it, other times we don't.  But, I bet that kid learned that he had better not try to kick your son in the face again.  That's really what is important.  Your son is more important to you than the feelings of some random kindergartner that already KNEW it wasn't ok to do that.... but, for some reason, he still wanted to try it out.  It didn't work.  He'll get over it, and hopefully learn the right lesson.

 

If he'd been allowed to continue doing that, he would just assume nobody cared, and he could just do it as much as he wanted.  But, now he knows. 

 

If I'd been the mother of that five year old, I would have gladly allowed you to yell at my son.  (and he would have gone home)  I won't have a child of mine purposely trying to hurt or intimidate a smaller child.  I might not have believed you when you said my precious little angel child did such a thing to your overly slow child.... because my dear sweet girl never would have done that.  Surely you must just be hormonal and mean, and you just didn't see what REALLY happened.  orngbiggrin.gif  Then, I would have gone home and blogged about you.

post #6 of 95


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I might not have believed you when you said my precious little angel child did such a thing to your overly slow child.... because my dear sweet girl never would have done that.  Surely you must just be hormonal and mean, and you just didn't see what REALLY happened.  orngbiggrin.gif  Then, I would have gone home and blogged about you.



ROTFLMAO.gif

post #7 of 95

I think you did the right thing too. You tried asking and he did not listen. This kid was continuing to hurt another child even when and adult had told him not to. 

post #8 of 95

I would have taken my ds to a smaller ladder on the playground after it was clear he couldn't keep up with the kids on the ladder.  I don't like it when kids are on playgrounds that they aren't really able to keep up on, or that they are too big for.

 

That said, sometimes people get really really angry when their children are being threatened, and its a normal reaction.  Next time, I would try to pull your ds off the playground when it starts happening rather than getting angry.  Oh well, hindsight is 20-20, and children need to know that they don't always do perfect things.

post #9 of 95
Thread Starter 

Funny that you should mention maybe he shouldn't have been on the equipment with the bigger kids.... The "little kids" equipment is generally not that interesting to him, b/c he can't climb. When we saw how crowded the playground was, we nearly left until we realized that the only part that was a total mob scene was the little kid equipment. It was crawling with toddlers and their parents and their older siblings who may have been told to stay close, but were causing a really wild environment over there, so we went to the other side where it was quieter.

 

And yeah, maybe I should have said something to the kid who was going around DS, but it didn't bother me. I didn't feel it was "nice manners" but I didn't really think he was doing anything "wrong." And b/c I don't have an older one yet, I didn't realize that maybe he was frustrated by DS being in his way. I mean, most older kids will say "excuse me, you're in the way" or "move" or something if DS is bothering them. This kid didn't say anything, so I assumed it was all good. And DH and I were standing in arms' reach of DS so that if the kid did knock into him by accident while going around him, we could have caught him. I think that's part of why I was so shocked -- the kid kicked DS while we were right there!

 

I really wish I were better at keeping my composure in situations like that. I'd rather yell at the kid b/c he deserved it than b/c I lost control, yk?

post #10 of 95

I think you did fine, and I would have done the same.

post #11 of 95

Ditto. It may not be ideal to yell at someone else's kid, but if things were ideal the kids' parent/caretaker would have been there to intercede.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post

I think you did fine, and I would have done the same.

post #12 of 95

You did fine. I have no problem using a firm tone of voice with other people's kids if the safety of another child is at stake.

 

We had a similar experience at a park where an older child was shoving my daughter on the top of a play structure. When I first saw her, I was a little incredulous. When she did it again (and my dd just stood there and took it), I went right up to her and in my best "mama bear" voice said, "You do not touch my daughter." I think it's important that we protect each other, that the children who are being overly aggressive know that we won't tolerate it, and it's equally important that our kids know that we will stand up for them.

post #13 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post

You did fine. I have no problem using a firm tone of voice with other people's kids if the safety of another child is at stake.

 

... I think it's important that we protect each other, that the children who are being overly aggressive know that we won't tolerate it, and it's equally important that our kids know that we will stand up for them.


The second part is exactly where I was coming from, and what I told DH when he got upset with me.

 

The first part... I think is where DH had the issue. I did not use a "firm tone." I screamed at the kid at the top of my lungs. I was angry and terrified and just shocked and probably several other things, and lost it. I wish I could have used a firm tone instead!

post #14 of 95

the only thing i don't get is how, if you screamed at the top of your lungs and caused such a scene, how did the other kid's mother *not* notice what was going on with her own child?

 

i agree that a 5 year old certainly knows not to put his foot in a younger child's face. (!)

 

my daughter is almost 5 and she adores younger children. she would have been just the opposite, she would have stayed behind your slow moving child, talked to him at the top and played with him for awhile. some children are just plain aggressive. his mother should have been all over him for doing that. he probably does this kind of thing regularly, and usually gets away with it.

post #15 of 95
When I get scared I scream out. It is just how I react. I can totally see myself doing exactly what you did because your ds was really in danger at that point.
post #16 of 95

Screaming was an over the top reaction, but unless you were calling him names and doing more than just being horribly loud telling him not to do that i'd just chalk this up to you live and you learn.  You were protecting your only baby in a dangerous situation.  If you haven't had any situations like this before, then its okay to have one mess up... again, assuming you were just scary loud.. and no scary cruel.

post #17 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

Funny that you should mention maybe he shouldn't have been on the equipment with the bigger kids.... The "little kids" equipment is generally not that interesting to him, b/c he can't climb. When we saw how crowded the playground was, we nearly left until we realized that the only part that was a total mob scene was the little kid equipment. It was crawling with toddlers and their parents and their older siblings who may have been told to stay close, but were causing a really wild environment over there, so we went to the other side where it was quieter.

 

And yeah, maybe I should have said something to the kid who was going around DS, but it didn't bother me. I didn't feel it was "nice manners" but I didn't really think he was doing anything "wrong." And b/c I don't have an older one yet, I didn't realize that maybe he was frustrated by DS being in his way. I mean, most older kids will say "excuse me, you're in the way" or "move" or something if DS is bothering them. This kid didn't say anything, so I assumed it was all good. And DH and I were standing in arms' reach of DS so that if the kid did knock into him by accident while going around him, we could have caught him. I think that's part of why I was so shocked -- the kid kicked DS while we were right there!

 

I really wish I were better at keeping my composure in situations like that. I'd rather yell at the kid b/c he deserved it than b/c I lost control, yk?


Yeah, I understand the climbing bit, my ds is the same!  In that case, can your DH go up the ladder with him?  With a hand actually touching him at all times?  I only say that b/c I was at the playground with my ds once last summer (so ds was about 18mo?) and I was within arms reach but still didn't catch him when he fell from the top of the ladder.  It absolutely terrified me, but ds was fine.  It's REALLY hard to catch them when they are falling from a ladder - they're going fast and you don't want hurt more than you help, yk?

 

Then, you get the added protection that its a heck of a lot harder to just go around - b/c if you or dh are on the ladder behind him, a kid would have to go around both of you - what a PITA!

post #18 of 95

You're human. Your reaction was competely understandable. That could easily have been me.

It doesnt mean that you should shout at a 5 yo, and yes, i agree with the man that said thats not how you speak to a 5yo etc etc, but in the moment, your reaction was understandable.   I would forgive myself for it.

post #19 of 95

While I understand that you were upset, I'm not sure I understand why - if you were within arm's reach, you had to scream at the kid. Why not just grab yours out of the way and tell the other kid he was out of line?

 

If you were further away, I could see your reaction. But... you were apparently right there.

post #20 of 95

I had a similar situation happen at the indoor playround at the mall - There is a little boat there to play in, room for a few little kids. My 2 year old was in the boat with another toddler, when this 7 or 8 year old girl climbed in and started trying to shove my 2 year old over the edge and onto the floor. I ran over there and pointed right in her face and hissed "Don't you dare touch my child. You are old enough to know better not to hurt little kids, what's wrong with you?"

 

I don't feel a bit bad about it, either, she must have outweighed him by 30 pounds and was twice as tall.

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