Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: city in the midwest
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I was at the playground with my 2-year-old DD over the weekend. We were playing in the toddler area. Two other kids were playing with her, a three-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy. The playground is next to some ball fields, and parents will often let their kids play on the playground while they attend another child's game.
The three little kids were playing together really nicely in a little playhouse. They were "making a birthday cake" with sand and having a really good time. Then two boys came up, who I would guess to be about 8 years old. The boys jumped on top of the house and then would stick their heads down and scream or roar at the younger kids (including my 2-year-old). At first, I tried to play it off. I didn't want to give DD the impression that she SHOULD be scared. But after a couple of times, she was on the verge of tears. I told the boys they were scaring the little kids and needed to stop. They said, "You can't make us." Then one of the boys smashed their "birthday cake" with his foot. We rebuilt it, and he did it again. I said to him, "You are not playing nicely with these kids. You need to play nicely or go somewhere else." Again, he said, "You can't make me." I was getting really mad. I asked him what his name was, and he wouldn't tell me. I asked him where his mom was, and he said she was watching a game. I said, "If you don't leave these kids alone, I am going to find your mom and tell her how you're behaving." He said, "You don't know what she looks like. You'll never find her."
I knew his name was Carter from hearing the other kids, and I considered going to the nearby fields to ask around for his mom, although I was nervous that perhaps she might be as aggressive as he was. I was really blown away by his bullying of these little kids and by the way that he was not responding to my reasonable and polite requests to leave them alone. Luckily, after this exchange, the boys went to a different part of the playground and left my daughter and the other two kids alone.
But I am still upset!
I don't have older kids so I'm really not sure how I should have handled this situation. What would you have said to these boys? Would you have tried to find their parents? If so, what would you have said to them?