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Old 06-14-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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^^But it comes down to the fact that parents are not the only means of learning those social lessons; we plant the seed, but their experiences with other children are what ultimately reinforces what we've modeled for them . A toddler is more in the stage of "being kind" because we tell them to, but once they get to where they start to test those boundaries with peers, its no longer about taking turns because Mom said so, but because of the natural consequence of selfish behavior with peers. There comes a point when intervening too much may actually hinder that natural learning process.
i like this. this is very true. it isn't until they put those lessons into action that we can even say they have learned them. it is when they test the waters (so to speak) maybe push a boundary that they see what people will tolerate.

in our old HS group the boys would wrestle alot. somewhere along the way they had a set of "rules" about what was expectable wrestling and what was not. and they followed them the kids who could not who were more aggressive would be left out. and they all learned what was ok and what wasn't. we moms (cuz it was mostly moms) sat back and watched. it was pretty amazing. i am sure to some it would have felt very "lord of the flies" but the kids knew the rules and no one would get hurt and they got their crazies out. eventually they moved on to something else. but it was neat watching them find that set of rules/boundaries and how everyone followed them.

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Old 06-14-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Riiight, let's just go to extremes; that's always conducive to discussion. I didn't say not to correct the child, I am saying that ultimately they are going to learn from their interactions with peers. You can drive it into them over and over not to throw sand, but at some point most children are going to test those boundaries with their peers. I found that children (unlike adults) aren't so quick to label one another as "bullies" for inappropriate (but often age-expected) behavior, but often will wind up playing together once the boundaries have been established.


I don't believe children necessarily have a moral/ethical drive to act appropriately; that develops over time, beginning with making a connection between an action and the consequence, which is the foundation for morals/ethics.
You sound like you are in fact saying not to correct the child. that its more beneficial for them to learn from a consequence rather than from a parent. I don't believe that morals and ethics are founded upon making connection to consequence. and I think that lots of young children have a moral drive. they understand that certain things hurt others, and they, or at least mine and many others I have come across seem to genuinely not want to affect anyone else negatively. In fact, I believe they have a concern for others most times. If my son is in one room and hears a noise from the room that I am in he will yell out "mommy, are you okay?" if he has a treat and another child he is playing with doesn't, he will say "here you have some" If he accidentally runs into someone on the playground, he will say "im sorry excuse me" and not because he gets a time out or something if he doesn't, he is naturally concerned for others. and no, young children arent purposefully bullying anyone, because yes these are age appropriate behaviours. but the point is that whoever is the brunt of some of these behaviours is still going to feel bullied in a lot of cases, whether or not the behaviour was really intentional. it is true that children need to establish boundaries and will play together nicely once those are established, but why not help them to establish the boundaries so that the confrontation doesnt last longer than it has to? if it can be diffused by simply saying "that's not nice, that toy belongs to him" and then the child gives back the toy and they continue playing and the problem is solved? how can that be bad? the kid gets his toy, the other kid learns not to grab, and they stay friendly.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I have never said not to correct the child, I have said that all of parental intervention in the world will not replace the the lessons children learn from each other; ie. at some point our correcting them will be replaced by their peers teaching them that they won't tolerate XYZ behavior. That experience reinforces what we'd been teaching them... and sometimes we can teach them until we're blue in the face, yet it takes an upset peer to drive the lesson home.

ETA: parental supervision is important, especially with the littlest ones, but this idea that we'll achieve playground harmony if parents jump in at every skirmish just stymies me. If someone throws sand at my kid and my kid says "Stop throwing sand at me" and the child stops, why is it necessary for me or the other parent to step in if the situation has been rectified? A situation where the child doesn't stop throwing sand or the other doesn't stand up for himself, that's a whole other ball of wax which calls for adult intervention.


 

 

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Old 06-14-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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For one thing, as kids get older they don't always believe you when you say other kids won't like them doing something, and they test to see if other kids actually respond that way. But also, their real world interactions just generally back up what we've talked about. They have to have real word interactions to really internalize lessons IMO. It isn't about consequences to me, it's about allowing my kids to grow up by actually interacting with people, because telling them about things only does so much. Would I get involved if I saw sand getting thrown or someone getting bullied, excluded, hit, etc? Yes, even at 8. But I don't get involved in most interactions. Most things kids are able to work through between them, and I don't think parents help. I think in fact parents can complicate things. I've seen kids pretty well resolve an issue where everyone was happy, and then a parent comes and imposes a different plan, and the kids feel wronged because they were working through things and happy with where things were going.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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Wow. I love the playground. My kids enjoy the space, the exercise, and they meet other kids and play. Its fun!
Most of the time, im sitting on a bench ,reading and drinking coffee. I keep a constant eye on them though, and intervene when necessary. If something looks difficult, I come over and listen carefully, and see if it needs attention. If not, I go back to my magazine. Im very hands off. I learned this from my older son who didn’t want to play with me

But im wathcing them all the time. And I enjoy it. I enjoy wathcing them interact etc, and I enjoy the challenge of dealing with some of the complexities.

If something happens, that I feel requires adult intervention, and the caregiver is nowhere to be seen, I ask the child-who is your nanny/mommy, and go over and explain to that person what is going on.

To the OP, just do that. Just go and tell them.

As for nannies and mommies and who sits where. Well, as a mommy, I sit where noone will talk to me, because I want to read my mag. Well, mainly i try to sit as close to kids as possible. I dont go the playground for conversation (unless I meet someone there deliberately). Im friendly though, but am focussing on kids/ and my mag.

As for sharing, I always ask ds if he is ok with sharing with such and such, and if he isnt, well he isnt.
Often I bring spare toys to offer other kids, because it creates a nice atmosphere, and models sharing to my kids. They also get to trade this way.
I can still go back to reading my mag after that.
Also, my kids are daring, and I am less hands on than many, so I often get the ‘your child is doing this…’
And I say ‘thankyou’. (im thanking them for there good intentions)
My youngest likes to take off his pants, I have no problem with this (most of the time) Ive had the nanny or two frown at me. Ive had people come up and tell me ‘your baby has no pants on’ and I look like I don’t know. But I do.
Im watching.

To the OP, just go over to the caregivers and tell them if something is bothering you.

maya
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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I was thinking about this thread on the weekend.

We went to a park we don't get to that often and there was a boy who was about 6 who had created quite an elaborate world in one end of the sandbox with about 2/3 the community toys this park happens to have at the playground and he was being quite bossy about it. He also had a helium balloon with a weight on it that all the other kids wanted and that he was investing a fair amount of time in guarding. He had a whole narrative going about it too, that it was a magic spell only the wizard could control. It wasn't especially subtle, he was waving it around saying how great it was but only he could make the magic.

He had pretty clearly spent a lot of time setting it up, but he was where there were about 7 younger kids in the sandbox with him who were all eyeing the toys that were a part of his 'castle.' I was keeping an eye on how it would all turn out.

My son and another couple of kids LOVED it. They were his willing slaves to follow his game, despite the fact that his game was mostly about keeping them out and about the older boy's superior err...magic powers (and the older boy, although creative about it, wasn't giving much quarter). Another boy did burst into tears about the balloon and was redirected over to the swings. No sand was thrown though.

In this case I personally felt that in the adult world, the game was pretty inappropriate. In most preschools, for example, I have a feeling there would be some kind of "lesson" involved in not hogging the magical powers.

But in the kid world, it was shaking out reasonably well. It was interesting to watch especially after following this thread. The older boy's play was not only at a pretty different level creatively (although my son could keep up, the other kids' ages went down to about) but it was quite a bit about power and in some ways archetypal power - the power-hungry wizard. I don't think the older boy needed a lesson in sharing - I think he was having a big lesson in enacting his imagination.

Towards the end the other kids did rush in and wreck some of the world he had built but the balloon and his magic powers were intact. Then his parents said he had to go and he shouted at the playground "You're all invited to my house next time!"

I dunno...sometimes I think we parents see what we want to see. Me too, and what I saw was pretty amazing.

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Old 06-14-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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I was thinking about this thread on the weekend.

We went to a park we don't get to that often and there was a boy who was about 6 who had created quite an elaborate world in one end of the sandbox with about 2/3 the community toys this park happens to have at the playground and he was being quite bossy about it. He also had a helium balloon with a weight on it that all the other kids wanted and that he was investing a fair amount of time in guarding. He had a whole narrative going about it too, that it was a magic spell only the wizard could control. It wasn't especially subtle, he was waving it around saying how great it was but only he could make the magic.

He had pretty clearly spent a lot of time setting it up, but he was where there were about 7 younger kids in the sandbox with him who were all eyeing the toys that were a part of his 'castle.' I was keeping an eye on how it would all turn out.

My son and another couple of kids LOVED it. They were his willing slaves to follow his game, despite the fact that his game was mostly about keeping them out and about the older boy's superior err...magic powers (and the older boy, although creative about it, wasn't giving much quarter). Another boy did burst into tears about the balloon and was redirected over to the swings. No sand was thrown though.

In this case I personally felt that in the adult world, the game was pretty inappropriate. In most preschools, for example, I have a feeling there would be some kind of "lesson" involved in not hogging the magical powers.

But in the kid world, it was shaking out reasonably well. It was interesting to watch especially after following this thread. The older boy's play was not only at a pretty different level creatively (although my son could keep up, the other kids' ages went down to about) but it was quite a bit about power and in some ways archetypal power - the power-hungry wizard. I don't think the older boy needed a lesson in sharing - I think he was having a big lesson in enacting his imagination.

Towards the end the other kids did rush in and wreck some of the world he had built but the balloon and his magic powers were intact. Then his parents said he had to go and he shouted at the playground "You're all invited to my house next time!"

I dunno...sometimes I think we parents see what we want to see. Me too, and what I saw was pretty amazing.
meh, now see to me, that's not necessarily a case that I would be stepping in, especially if he a) had picked up and started playing with the toys first, and chose not to share them, and b) was including other children in his game who seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I guess what it all boils down to is that the "hoverers" in this thread are not talking about hovering constantly over their kids shoulders and directing every action that is going on, but moreso stepping in when they feel that their child is being out of line, although they seem to be being accused of the first scenario. And the parents that they are complaining about are not necessarily the ones that are sitting on a bench reading a magazine while their child plays nicely with other children, they are complaining about the parents that see (or dont see because they arent paying attention) that their child is bothering someone in some way that they shouldnt be, and refusing to step in and correct them. I think that both sides probably just want a balance in the end.

I must say that scenario sounds pretty interesting to watch too though! what an imagination.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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Funny. I just read an article about bullying which specified that it's a cultural myth that standing up to bullies stops the bullying. In fact, it's more likely to make the bullying worse. What DOES work, according to the people who study the phenomenon, is a culture that does not tolerate bullying, and critically, ADULT INTERVENTION.
Actually, peer intervention was found to be even more effective. The best bully prevention is to teach kids to speak up when another kid's in trouble. Of course, that's for real bullying that's at a different level than playground aggression. On the playground, it's fine if the behavior is only stopped when the kid feels like there's supervision.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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"I don't get this whole attitude of letting them make their own decisions, when they have clearly already made the wrong decision."

"How is he supposed to know what behaviour is acceptable and what isn't?"
I think this probably has more to do with the difference in our children's ages than anything else. As your son grows older, you will begin to see the necessity of letting him make bad decisions and live with the consequences.

Right now, your son is still half-baby, 1/4 toddler, and perhaps 1/4 kid (if he's really mature for his age).

I am speaking as the parent of a 1/4 baby, 1/4 toddler, and 1/2 kid. (She's three and a half.) Kids need to make mistakes to learn. That includes social and moral mistakes.

And once again, this of course does not extend to physical violence or badgering.

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Old 06-15-2010, 08:44 AM
 
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I think this probably has more to do with the difference in our children's ages than anything else. As your son grows older, you will begin to see the necessity of letting him make bad decisions and live with the consequences.

Right now, your son is still half-baby, 1/4 toddler, and perhaps 1/4 kid (if he's really mature for his age).

I am speaking as the parent of a 1/4 baby, 1/4 toddler, and 1/2 kid. (She's three and a half.) Kids need to make mistakes to learn. That includes social and moral mistakes.

And once again, this of course does not extend to physical violence or badgering.
And I do agree with that, although I suppose its a matter of opinion to the adult what is considered badgering or inappropriate. I think that when the mistakes have to be at someone elses expense its not really okay
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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I think it is important to remember that every social interaction amongst very young children that is not ideal is not equal to character flaws. They are all learning how to do a million things each day - if your kid happens to cross paths at the park with a kid who is having a tough day, it is a learning opportunity.

We recently moved and my older boys (now 10 & 6) have made the transition really well - I look back on all of the relationships with neighbors from our old house and I think that a handful of kids who they struggled to get along with prepared them socially as much as some of the kids who were easier fits.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Good thread! At 4 and under, I would say I was probably a helicopter parent when it came to safety issues. Not so much hitting or throwing sand. I don't really consider that a safety issue. Anything that would break a bone or fracture a skull...THAT'S a safety issue. Someone mentioned letting their 2 yr old climb a 8 foot wall by themselves. That would make me crazy. If I was at the park with your child doing that, I would be spotting them if you weren't. Sorry if that would offend you.

For the OP, I think we all have days at the park that there are kids that are driving us nuts. On those days, I just leave. If this is happening every time you go there, you may want to re-evaluate your own feelings and behavior. I felt there was quite a bit of judgement in your first post. If that's the "rut" you're mind is stuck in when you go to the park, I can see why it's so stressful! Is there another mom you can go to the park with that has a similar parenting style? Maybe having a few happy days there will improve your outlook on the place?
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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Hmmm, I think that many of you believe kids to be much more altruistic than they actually are. Granted my kid is still a baby, but my memories of childhood are firmly shaped by the fact I was an outsider who was constantly punished by the group mentality of the insiders. Punished simply for being alive. No adults ever intervened. Yes, this taught me quite the lesson about life not being fair, but it also taught me that kids cannot always work it out by themselves in ways that are appropriate to all involved. One kid in pain is one too many. Especially when its the same kid over and over again.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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Chamomile, I understand where you are coming from, but I think that the alienation you are talking about is impossible for a pre-schooler to inflict on another pre-schooler. If we are talking older children, yes I see how that can cause lasting damage. I'm willing to bet that the experiences you had were not just limited to your pre-school years.

As to whether this of type hands-off parenting CAUSES children to grow into 'bullies', I don't think that is the case. Just because a parent chooses to not intervene in a sandbox situation doesn't mean they don't use other methods to teach their children about how to treat people. Maybe they go over things at the end of the day with their child, and ask how they could have better dealt with the situation. We don't know. Who's to say whether that method doesn't teach the child more than the method of jumping in and taking over the situation when it's heated?
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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"I think that the alienation you are talking about is impossible for a pre-schooler to inflict on another pre-schooler."

I think it's just tough for sensitive people in general. My mother has stories of alienation going back to her first memories. To sum up these memories: "They didn't understand me, they didn't listen to me, they weren't gentle with me, I felt sad and alone."

This is how she felt when she was sent to kindergarten by her parents. It is how she felt when her brother teased her. It is how she felt when her friends made a club and did not explicitely invite her (she found out later that everyone else assumed they were invited and so it wasn't personal). She always kind of felt hurt. She still does, LOL. We literally have to say to her, "Mom, I am telling you X. That does not mean I'm upset at you. I just have to tell you because Y. I love you." Otherwise, drama.

I don't dare imagine what she must have been like at four on the playground.

Sensitive children can be targets for bullying. I understand that. Just because they are sensitive does not make any individual hurt they suffer less important. It is important for a parent to recognize the sensitivity of her child and help the child deal with it.

It is NOT the responsibility of that parent to make sure all the other parents are making sure their kids are tiptoeing around that child, literally or figuratively.

I disagree that "One kid in pain is one too many." Pain and hurt are part of life. Disappointment is a part of life. Learning to deal with that is also a part of life.

I can see that right now you have a precious little baby, not even one year. Of course she's much too young to be learning her knocks the hard way. She's all squishy and vulnerable and small. The only thing she needs is kisses on her big fat cheeks.

But no matter what you do, as she grows, she will get knocked around at some point. (Chubby cheeks likely having faded... ) It is just inevitable and it's not our job as parents to protect them from that. From the worst hurts, we can provide a buffer. But if she is rejected, we cannot ask others to accept her. You know?

And my point of view is not based on an optimistic view of children. I know they aren't nice. I want to slowly introduce my child to the vagaries of playground and peer-group antics slowly, so that she slowly but surely develops the skills she needs to take care of herself as she goes into school, high-school, college, and so on. And that means stepping back.

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Your mother too, Edna? I got one of those! lol

What I meant is the fact that a 4 year old will sometimes be mean, bossy, etc. to another 4 yr. old will not cause the alienation that Chamomile feels. Unless, as you say, the child is super sensitive in which case I agree with you that it's not the world's place to adapt but the child's.

I think the simple question is... should we intervene everytime our child is misbehaving right at the second it occurs? Some people feel they should jump in at the moment and some feel that it's not necessary. I don't think either philosophy is wrong. All that really matters is whether or not the kid learns to interact socially in the long run.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Your mother too, Edna? I got one of those! lol

What I meant is the fact that a 4 year old will sometimes be mean, bossy, etc. to another 4 yr. old will not cause the alienation that Chamomile feels. Unless, as you say, the child is super sensitive in which case I agree with you that it's not the world's place to adapt but the child's.

I think the simple question is... should we intervene everytime our child is misbehaving right at the second it occurs? Some people feel they should jump in at the moment and some feel that it's not necessary. I don't think either philosophy is wrong. All that really matters is whether or not the kid learns to interact socially in the long run.
I think though that what also matters is that another child doesn't get hurt unnecessarily by my child. And this doesnt mean stepping in at the very moment that misbehaviour occurs, but at the moment where the situation has not been resolved in a way that is fair for everyone. obviously not every situation is fair for everyone but if it can be than its probably better that it is. I certainly give my son the chance to work things out, but if I see that he's not doing that, or that another child is going to just give in when they should stand their ground, then I will step in and make sure that doesn't happen. Because, if the other child has a very passive attitude, and doesnt want to stand up for themselves, I would still want my son to understand why the situation isn't fair. I don't want someone to have to stick up for themselves in order for him to know what he should or shouldn't do.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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^^I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I would probably do the same thing if I was in earshot. But I'm not sitting in earshot waiting for that to happen either.

And I also don't expect other parents' to do that...jump in and make things "fair" I mean. It's just not going to happen. But instead of assuming that those parents' are crappy and are on their way to raising a little serial killer I'd rather assume that they are aware of what their child needs to be taught and are trying the best they can.

And I don't think it's a problem if a mom goes to the park knowing that she's going to be hovering around the action while the other mom's sit back a little. It's the expectation that the other mom's will do what she's doing that's the problem. That's why OP's experience is so negative, I think. If she would just accept that she hovers and others don't, she may have a better time. Like I said above, with the 2 year old on the wall, I WOULD be hovering. I don't think I'd be bitter about it. I'm pretty Pollyanna about things though.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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Chamomile, I understand where you are coming from, but I think that the alienation you are talking about is impossible for a pre-schooler to inflict on another pre-schooler. If we are talking older children, yes I see how that can cause lasting damage. I'm willing to bet that the experiences you had were not just limited to your pre-school years.
That's been my observation as well. Ds is autistic, so being teased/targeted is pretty much routine by now. However, it has never once been a fellow preschooler that has teased him, only older kids. But on the flip side, older kids have been more likely to include him in their games and be more patient with his behaviors... I guess because he's not their peer, they see him more as a "little kid" than as a weird kid.


 

 

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Old 06-15-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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And I think that I would be more vigilant if my 4 year old were playing with older kids. But if my kid were sitting in a sandbox (metaphorically because public sandbox = ew!) with kids around his own age I wouldn't feel the need to sit close enough to hear everything they are saying to each other.

I think the conflict here is whether or not we should expect other parent's to have the same level of supervision as we are personally comfortable with. Should the mother of a 9 yr old become involved or become more vigilant if she starts to play with a 4 year old? I don't think so, but as the parent of the 4 year old I would move closer to see what was up. And I could do so without feeling resentment at the parent of the older child.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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The aggressive or bully kids I have seen didn't have bench sitter parents/caregivers most of the time. They had bully parents who were meanwhile telling some other parent what to do, or on their phone telling someone else what to do, loudly.

And bully kids are usually much older than the toddlers they bully, and they usually run in packs, often from camp groups and such in my experience. I don't think leaving a lone 3 year old to "work it out" with 24 8 year olds is ever a good idea. 2 3 year olds, sure. 2 8 year olds, sure. A 3 and an 8... I'd probably be within earshot throughout.

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Old 06-15-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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And I think that I would be more vigilant if my 4 year old were playing with older kids. But if my kid were sitting in a sandbox (metaphorically because public sandbox = ew!) with kids around his own age I wouldn't feel the need to sit close enough to hear everything they are saying to each other.
Oh of course, I wouldn't just leave him to his own devices with a group of kids of any age (unless we knew them well, of course) because he can't tell the difference between someone playing with him and someone bullying him, or just angry with him. I do back off and let him have some space, but I'm keeping an eye on the other kids' body language and facial expressions to be sure everything is going okay. Ironically, its my 2-year-old that's as happy as a clam and needs nothing more than a glance now and then.


 

 

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Old 06-16-2010, 06:09 AM
 
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"I'd probably be within earshot throughout."

I think that nearly every parent in this thread claims to approve of being within earshot throughout for children of almost any age. Nobody is suggesting that we turn our backs and ears on children at the park, simply that we not intervene unless physical harm or bullying is happening / imminent.

"I think the conflict here is whether or not we should expect other parent's to have the same level of supervision as we are personally comfortable with."

Yep.

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Old 06-16-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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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. All nannys go sit on the nanny bench on the opposite end of the playground. Within minutes the kids are grabbing toys out of DS's hands and refusing to share, one is throwing sand, the other is getting territorial about hole she's digging and is screaming at anyone who comes within her vicinity. Ds is sort of getting the brunt of all of this. What choice do I have but to constantly remind the kids not to throw sand, to share, and to take turns, and to speak nicely to each other? And at the same time encourage my own son to NOT let the kids snatch toys from his hands while at the same time encouraging him to share? Meanwhile the other kids won't share the things they brought with them and pile them up and block them from anyone who tries to go near them. So then I feel like well fine, why should my DS have to share if that's how it's going to be? It's like...my head is spinning...and then I'm looking around for SOMEONE to back me up or step in and all I see are nannys or moms having a good old time yucking it up on the other end of the park.
That situation would have frustrated me too. I don't micromanage, but I also don't buy into the whole philosophy that kid should just be left to their own devices and only need parental intervention when there is blood spilled or about to be. I'm somewhere in the middle, so that's where I'm coming from. I think the snatching, sand throwing, and possibly even the screaming might have needed addressing.

Anyway, the reality is there isn't much you can do to change these other caregivers. They're gonna keep doing their thing, and that's fair enough. For that reason, I've found that for us public playgrounds with random kids and caregivers isn't the best place to start learning social skills. As a matter of fact, when my oldest was about your son's age or maybe a little older, we for the most part stopped going to the park unless we were going to our small quiet neighborhood park to meet kids we planned a playdate with. The random playground pandemonium just got to be too much for me after two separate incidents that involved my child getting deliberately pushed off a play structure one time falling from about 4+ feet landing flat on her back and one time involving an injury. In neither case did a caregiver respond or was anywhere to be seen best I could tell. The kid that caused the injury was about 3, and yes he was a bully. I would not have believed that possible unless I saw it with my own eyes. He was running with a group of other kids, and I kid you not they were like a pack of wild dogs. Anyways, I digress.

My point being, maybe try to find a group of other folks to meet up at the park or your house or whatever. It doesn't matter so much if you agree completely on everything. There is a mom in our playgroup that's a big micromanger, and it kind of drives me a bit batty. But at least we know everyone, and know what to expect, and I think that creates a much better atmosphere, at least in the early years. People feel more accountable. I'm sure when my kids are older, we can branch out and I will ease up, but for now this works really well for us.

Good luck!

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Old 06-16-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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^^I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I would probably do the same thing if I was in earshot. But I'm not sitting in earshot waiting for that to happen either.

And I also don't expect other parents' to do that...jump in and make things "fair" I mean. It's just not going to happen. But instead of assuming that those parents' are crappy and are on their way to raising a little serial killer I'd rather assume that they are aware of what their child needs to be taught and are trying the best they can.

And I don't think it's a problem if a mom goes to the park knowing that she's going to be hovering around the action while the other mom's sit back a little. It's the expectation that the other mom's will do what she's doing that's the problem. That's why OP's experience is so negative, I think. If she would just accept that she hovers and others don't, she may have a better time. Like I said above, with the 2 year old on the wall, I WOULD be hovering. I don't think I'd be bitter about it. I'm pretty Pollyanna about things though.
That's a good point.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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wow! this is a fascinating thread! My ds is 8 months old, and I guess our trips to the park are going to get a lot more complicated in the coming years.

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Old 06-16-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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wow! this is a fascinating thread! My ds is 8 months old, and I guess our trips to the park are going to get a lot more complicated in the coming years.
Maybe not...I am reading things here that we just never see at our park. We go to several in our town and usually go to 1-2 when we're camping. While I've seen the occasional problem, I haven't witnessed anything near what people here are mentioning. The park isn't at all stressful or complicated for our family.

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Old 06-16-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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I didn't get to read all the responses (this thread got HUGE quickly!) but I sympathize with the OP. My son is the exact same way, and is small for his age, so even kids who are 6 months younger than he is tower over him and snatch things away from him.

However, I don't hover. I let him work it out himself. He's mostly unfazed by the pushing and grabbing. When he's not, he comes to me, and I tell him if he doesn't like what someone is doing, to tell them "no." We DO NOT take any toys with us. The few times he has insisted on bringing something along, he has agreed to leave it with me so it doesn't get lost. I explain that anything he brings out of the house could get lost, and anything at the park he should expect to share. I do make sure that he's not the one grabbing others' toys and refusing to share them, and sand-throwing isn't allowed. (I don't want him to be the one to get sand in a baby's eyes or to hurt another kid by accident.)

Beyond that, he's on his own unless he asks me for help, which he does when he feels he needs to. It wasn't easy for me to do this at first. I'm VERY protective of my boy and I cringe when I see other kids pushing and being rude to him. But after leaving the park all tense and upset a few times I realized I only had two choices: Never go to the park or let it go and realize that kids come in all different personalities, manners, and levels of parental supervision and he'll have to deal with that in school eventually, so why not start now?
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