I don't think anyone was, "Oh yeah OP, good for you for slapping down the tyrannical 5 yo's of the world! Keep it up!"
I understood it as most people that agreed with her were saying, "Yeah, there might have been better ways to handle it but it that split moment when you think your kid is going to get hurt it's a natural reaction for some." GD is a lifestyle, not something that you impose here or there once in a while. Look at how many mom's post in the GD forum wondering why GD isn't working for their kid at that moment!
I think it's understandable, but screaming (beyond yelling) and screaming something like "what's wrong with you" seem not compatible wtih GD, regardless of whose child it is. But it sounds like the OP knows that and was looking for some perspective about how to handle this if it every happens again (and something negative with someone's child will), so I dont' think it's anything to come down on her about. Doing something less than ideal and looking for ideas of how to do better next time is nothing to come down on someone about. I get where she's coming from. 5-year-olds look really big when you have a toddler, and particularly when one is hurting your toddler. It's hard to think of them as little kids themselves, and to think through just what to say, and while I don't think her reaction was great, i don't think this kid is going to be permanently scarred by some stranger at the park. And I think it was good of her to come here and think things through more.
FTR, I was not the one screaming "what's wrong with you" -- my words were all in line with telling him he needed to stop that NOW and never do it again.
As for starting firmly and going to yelling, yeah, it escalated. I tried my best to stay calm. When I first saw the shoe on his face, I panicked a little and then managed to just SAY firmly, "Hey!" And then the force started where he looked me right in the face and shoved his foot downward. That is when I lost it. It was like it escalated so fast I didn't have time to think a second time to really reign in any emotions or actions. It all just spilled out.
And for those who are strongly disagreeing with my reaction, no, I agree it's not GD. And I do strive for GD practices every day. But it obviously doesn't come as naturally to me as it does to lots of other mamas here, and I'm trying. If you had asked me before this happened, "What would you do in this scenario?" I would not have said that I would yell so loudly that it scared not only the kid pushing, but my own kid too. Really.
That was me, and if you were to re-read what I wrote, it does not say I screamed or yelled it.
I have closed this thread to further discussion due to the fact that it has run it's course and has veered away from it's original intent. Thanks for your understanding.
Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will. If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk New User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/articles/user-agreement