Originally Posted by One_Girl
I think that your reaction was over the top and it scared your son more than it did the kid who had his foot in front of your child's face. He may have been playing or trying to engage your son in play in an inappropriate way (if he wanted to hurt your child he probably would have done it outright), which may be what your husband saw and why he thought your reaction was way too harsh. Every mama gets that mama bear instinct, but I think you can firmly react with it while respecting your child and the child you are reacting to.
The climbing the stairs thing is something you need to help your son navigate until he is old enough to navigate it for himself. Kids tend to climb over and around each other a lot, especially once they are used to playing on a school playground. Getting brushed by another child or brushing into another child doesn't seem to phase kids all that much when they are playing. Some kids are very aware of younger kids and view them as younger kids. Others don't understand that a younger kid isn't just a short child their own age and they treat them the same way they would treat kids their age, especially when they are irritated with them.
Seems like OPs original post shows she paid great attention to this dynamic of older kids climbing around her son, she observed it, assessed it, and felt she was ok with it cuz her son was still safe and didn't seem bothered. It was only when the older kid was putting his foot in her son's face (which is hard for me to imagine even for a 3 yr old how that would be "engaging" and seems like something the child knew was not right) that this whole thing became a problem. Also, sounds like her son was navigating the climb just fine, but maybe too slowly for other kids.
Combining this and the post about how it's too bad we live in a world where we have to remove our own kids when things go wrong, I think OP did probably over react a bit (sounds like stern voice might've gotten the kid off your son without the screaming) but OPs reaction is truly understandable given how high up her son was and how far he would have fallen had the older kid kicked him off. That said, I don't believe in removing my child from situations when my child wasn't doing anything wrong, and I have NO problem at all talking to other kids or asking them to point out their parents and talking to their parents about their behavior. The "Village" mentality goes both ways, both for nurturing and support and also for problem solving. I realize not all parents see it that way, but that's not my problem if their kid was bothering my kid and stepped over any clear behavioral lines.
Although we were on a playdate so this was with a child and parent we knew, the kids were both 2 and the other boy literally shoved dd in the face so hard she face-planted on the floor and started crying very very hard. I saw it happen, the boy's mom did not. I went straight over and said "That is NOT ok! You can NOT hit anyone in the face!" I know this boy, so I know he both knew it was wrong but also somehow didn't really mean to heart dd, and he seemed sad she was crying so much. That's fine, and I didn't yell at him, but I had no problem telling him immediately that what he did was not ok and comforting dd. I also didn't leave them alone ever and will not be ever leaving dd there without me, though that mom has invited her for overnights.
I want my dd to learn that the world is a place where she should expect justice, even though she will often see/experience injustice. I want her to learn to both speak up when she feels she's not being treated fairly, and also know when to act or remove herself when things get worse. And I want her to know that her parents will absolutely protect her as best we can, and she won't be punished for another child's bad behavior (like making her leave the playground). We will just be that much more vigilant about protecting her so she can continue playing (which is what we've done when this has been an issue before.)