Trying to understand... toys at the playground - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-28-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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Dear monkey's mom,

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Old 08-28-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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zoesmummy I *think* you were referring to the post before mine.
Yes - sorry about that! I was more responding to the posters who implied that they would take whatever amount of time (irregardless of the other child's feelings) to work out their own child's issures re: returning the toy. That really irked me. : Maybe I need to work on my own issues!

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I think another point of confusion here is whether the item in question is part of the shared environment, or a personal item belonging only to one child.

You are standing in Starbucks, with an item in your hand, when someone grabs it, and walks off to use it for themselves. Most of us will have a different reaction if the object was our laptop, as opposed to the cafe container of Half and Half.

If an item comparable to the half and half was taken from ds, I can see the virtue in coaching him to remain generous and calm despite the rudeness of another child.

If someone grabbed "his laptop" (beloved or highly valued personal object), well, even the most laid back adults I know wouldn't spend 15 minutes debating the needs of the adult who took off with their laptop. They would want it back. Now. Not later. Not in 15 minutes.

I think that is the kind of dynamic some parents are defending in this thread. They are saying a child is entitled to have strong feelings when they feel something is/was being stolen from them~

Others are, I think, consider the object in question to be like the container of Half and Half...nobody is "stealing it" by grabbing it away. It was part of the shared space that everybody was using (which is often the case with toys at playdates or preschool). I think we all recognize there is virtue in learning to be patient and understanding with rude people, instead of being rude back.

These are, I think, two different situations being described. Both are equally valid.
Yes, I agree with that. If we are at playgroup and Zoe has a 'general' toy and someone snatches it a) not only is her response most likely going to be less emotional, b) I would be more willing to let the scenario play itself out. Involve the two parents *with* the children to coming to a solution. Again though, if Zoe emphatically states that she had the toy first and wants it back (no ifs, ands, or buts) I believe it is up to the other parent to make that happen - or I will.

We also avoid bringing favorite toys, books, dolls, blankies to playdates and make sure they are put away when others come to our home. Just to avoid the kind of meltdown I've seen Zoe experience regarding those objects before. But I really feel (again, maybe it's just me) that while it's important to work on patience and co-operation - kids still need to learn that snatching is wrong, and you have to give something back!

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Old 08-28-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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Perhaps. But what if it were a mentally handicapped person? Or an elderly person with Alzheimers who was confused and thought the ring was their's? Wouldn't you be able to have enough compassion and understanding that their intent wasn't malicious to not get so upset?
I'm not sure where you're going with this comparison - is the mentally handicapped person supposed to represent a younger child? Because in that case yes - I would expect my almost four year old to give an eighteen month old more leeway. If it is two preschoolers of the same age - why should one be given more latitude and leeway at the expense of the other's turmoil?

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Old 08-28-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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My goal isn't to coach my child to feel generous if someone takes a beloved item--it's to coach him on how to approach problem solving, how to assert himself without violence, how to voice objections (strong ones) in an acceptable way, how to turn to others for help and mediation support, how to be gracious with those who aren't as skillful or developmentally advanced, etc.

And the best way I know to do that is to model it.
100% agree!

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He's nearly 5 now. He could easily grab stuff back from the toddlers at the playground. But that's not the kind of problem solving he does, nor is it the kind I would want him to do.


Ds is 10 and it's the same way here too.

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Perhaps. But what if it were a mentally handicapped person? Or an elderly person with Alzheimers who was confused and thought the ring was their's? Wouldn't you be able to have enough compassion and understanding that their intent wasn't malicious to not get so upset?

And would the best way to retrieve the ring, be to ask for it a couple of times, give up, and then pry it out of the person's hand? I don't know....I do know that I wouldn't feel good about an exchange that went down like that. I would try any means possible to avoid that level of physical conflict.
Of course! I would ask them for it, ask others for help etc. I would take into account extenuating circumstances (dementia etc).

However I think most of us would want it back quickly, and would feel that was a reasonable expectation. My post was really addressing the disagreement over whether children should expect to have an object given back quickly.

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Old 08-28-2006, 11:51 PM
 
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kids still need to learn that snatching is wrong, and you have to give something back!
Sure but snatching it back isn't exactly teaching them that it is wrong. Its like saying its not ok to hit and then smacking their hand while saying it.
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PatchyMama
Sure but snatching it back isn't exactly teaching them that it is wrong. Its like saying its not ok to hit and then smacking their hand while saying it.
I don't really agree with that. It is the context. If the base rules are that if it's yours or your turn, nobody has the right to snatch your toy, then snatching a toy is not okay. Removing the toy from the possession of the child who snatched it, and returning it to the original child, is not the same thing. I think even young children are intelligent enough to understand the difference.
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zoesmummy
I'm not sure where you're going with this comparison - is the mentally handicapped person supposed to represent a younger child? Because in that case yes - I would expect my almost four year old to give an eighteen month old more leeway. If it is two preschoolers of the same age - why should one be given more latitude and leeway at the expense of the other's turmoil?
I'm not saying one child should be given leeway at the expense of the other's turmoil. I'm saying that as adults, perhaps we shouldn't be overpowering children in an attempt to make things "fair"--just as we wouldn't overpower a handicapped person or the elderly who really couldn't grasp social mores.

I would give them the benefit of the doubt. And I encourage my child to do the same--whether its a younger child, a peer, an older person, etc.
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bright
I think even young children are intelligent enough to understand the difference.
Uh oh....I don't understand the difference. : What does that say about me?
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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yeah i dont see how a 2/3 year old is supposed to understand the difference. We constantly say here in the GD forum that its import to model behavior, be consistent with what we are showing our kids and telling our kids. I don't think taking a toy away from another kid because he took your child's toy is living up to what we expect from our children. Some keep saying that one child snatching a toy from another child is aggressive, well the same rules apply to a parent (who is much bigger and stronger than the child).
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PatchyMama
yeah i dont see how a 2/3 year old is supposed to understand the difference. We constantly say here in the GD forum that its import to model behavior, be consistent with what we are showing our kids and telling our kids. I don't think taking a toy away from another kid because he took your child's toy is living up to what we expect from our children. Some keep saying that one child snatching a toy from another child is aggressive, well the same rules apply to a parent (who is much bigger and stronger than the child).


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Old 08-29-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PatchyMama
yeah i dont see how a 2/3 year old is supposed to understand the difference. We constantly say here in the GD forum that its import to model behavior, be consistent with what we are showing our kids and telling our kids. I don't think taking a toy away from another kid because he took your child's toy is living up to what we expect from our children. Some keep saying that one child snatching a toy from another child is aggressive, well the same rules apply to a parent (who is much bigger and stronger than the child).
I think it is also important to model for children how not to get walked on. And I feel compelled to protect my child. I believe that if another child takes her toy and I don't help her get it back in a timely manner, she is learning that I will stand by as injustice is done to her.

(Just to be clear, I'm not a grab it back right away type of mama, and I always do negotiation first, but sometimes if that fails I physically remove the toy while explaining why).
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Old 08-29-2006, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PatchyMama
I don't think taking a toy away from another kid because he took your child's toy is living up to what we expect from our children. Some keep saying that one child snatching a toy from another child is aggressive, well the same rules apply to a parent (who is much bigger and stronger than the child).
Is someone here advocating taking a toy out of the hand of a child not their own? (sorry, I am confused about who said what.) Because I would be livid if a stranger touched my child. Never never touch a child not your own. Never. Unless you are rescuing a child from distress or injury, there is no reason good enough to touch a child not your own. I am not lawsuit happy, but a lot of people are and you could really get yourself in a lot of trouble touching a child you don't know without the parent's permission.

If a child grabbed my child's toy and did not give it back when asked, I would get that child's caregiver to get it back for us.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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yeah i dont see how a 2/3 year old is supposed to understand the difference. We constantly say here in the GD forum that its import to model behavior, be consistent with what we are showing our kids and telling our kids.
Agreed! Giving back what does not belong to me is the behavior I would model. I think that's what many others are saying too.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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Is someone here advocating taking a toy out of the hand of a child not their own?
I think one person suggested they may do this, but the rest are talking about whether to help *their own* child give back the toy.

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If a child grabbed my child's toy and did not give it back when asked, I would get that child's caregiver to get it back for us.
Right, and I think most agree with that. A few have said they would leave this up to their child to voluntarily give it back, and that is what caused disagreement.

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Old 08-29-2006, 02:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by boongirl
If a child grabbed my child's toy and did not give it back when asked, I would get that child's caregiver to get it back for us.
So then, what to do if the caregiver refuses? Really... I'm seriously asking.

Last week, at the wading pool, my ds and I were packing up to leave. We had brought a few toys to the pool -- ds understands that it's our family rule that any toy taken to a public place is to be shared -- and another child (maybe 5 years old or so) had been playing with our squirt bottle for quite some time.

I asked the child for the bottle as we were ready to go, explaining that we had brought it from home and had been happy to have shared it with him. He refused.

I then asked his mother who was so engrossed in her cell phone conversation that she hadn't noticed my approaching her child. She responded that her son was playing with it and she would see that it was returned when he was finished. I replied again that we were leaving for the day. Her answer was, and I quote, "well, what do you expect ME to do? He won't give it back to me either!" And then she laughed. I was speechless.

I left without the toy, but with a very upset ds. We stopped at Target and bought another squirt bottle on the way home.

I'm not sure what lesson was just taught to my son, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a good one.

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Old 08-29-2006, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by heartmama
I think one person suggested they may do this, but the rest are talking about whether to help *their own* child give back the toy.
So then, what is this about:

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Originally Posted by PatchyMama
I don't think taking a toy away from another kid because he took your child's toy is living up to what we expect from our children. Some keep saying that one child snatching a toy from another child is aggressive, well the same rules apply to a parent (who is much bigger and stronger than the child).
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:39 AM
 
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Boongirl, I read that as referring to the child's own parent. You'll have to ask her to clarify.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by l_olive
I then asked his mother who was so engrossed in her cell phone conversation that she hadn't noticed my approaching her child. She responded that her son was playing with it and she would see that it was returned when he was finished. I replied again that we were leaving for the day. Her answer was, and I quote, "well, what do you expect ME to do? He won't give it back to me either!" And then she laughed. I was speechless.
Every situation is going to be different, but I would have stood my ground in this situation and gotten in that mom's face (not literally, but talking louder) and told her that either she could get my child's toy back to me now or I would find someone who worked here to help with the situation. That is stealing. You are getting ready to leave. She should get your toy back. If she still refused, I would ask her if she wanted me to pry it out of her child's hand or would she prefer I call the police and file a report of theft. (not that I would do this but I don't back down easily). I would keep standing in front of her, loudly demanding the toy back. I would never touch her or get abusive or use any profane language but I would firmly demand the toy back. I think that this would tell my child that I would never back down in protecting her and her rights.

But, again, this is why I do not let my child take toys to public places.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by heartmama
Boongirl, I read that as referring to the child's own parent. You'll have to ask her to clarify.
ok patchymama, what does this mean?

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Originally Posted by PatchyMama
I don't think taking a toy away from another kid because he took your child's toy is living up to what we expect from our children. Some keep saying that one child snatching a toy from another child is aggressive, well the same rules apply to a parent (who is much bigger and stronger than the child).
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:51 AM
 
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I was talking about anyone taking the toy from the child. You, the other parent, or the child the toy was taken from. I don't agree with snatching or prying a toy from a child's grasp, whether its my child or someone elses.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by l_olive
I'm not sure what lesson was just taught to my son, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a good one.
Well, how did you frame it for him? Did you talk about how some people haven't learned to respect other people's property? Did you talk about how he felt when the boy wouldn't give the toy back? Did you talk about stealing? Did you ask why HE thought the other boy didn't give back the toy? Did you ask what he thought about the mom's comment?

I guess I'm not so sure that wasn't a good lesson. Not saying that he ever did this, but it probably will help your ds feel more empathetic next time he wants to snatch someone else's toy.

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Old 08-30-2006, 09:37 PM
 
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From the Gentle Discipline Moderators:

This thread is being returned with the following reminder to participants:

A parent using words, explanations and a firm yet gentle return of a toy not belonging to their child is within the boundaries of Gentle Discipline as it is practiced in this Forum.

Both the Gentle Discipline forum and MDC take a strong stance against spanking and physical punishment of children.

Please utilize this forum/thread to share real-life experiences, thoughts and insights rather than to criticize or denigrate. Please also remember that by your participation in this forum, you have agreed to abide by the MDC User Agreement.

Members who feel that any degree of coercion, from buckling a carseat, to returning a taken toy, constitues "bullying" and "aggression" are invited to share their concerns with moderators via PM rather than derail the conversation further.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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Members who feel that any degree of coercion, from buckling a carseat, to returning a taken toy, constitues "bullying" and "aggression" are invited to share their concerns with moderators via PM rather than derail the conversation further.
Oops! I guess questions have to be through pm.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:42 PM
 
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Second that oops. I took my questions to PM as well.

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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Hi, as we said in the reminder, please direct all questions about this issue to a moderator via PM.

From the User Agreement:

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Old 08-31-2006, 02:00 AM
 
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Members who feel that any degree of coercion, from buckling a carseat, to returning a taken toy, constitues "bullying" and "aggression" are invited to share their concerns with moderators via PM rather than derail the conversation further.
Please note that this is not an attempt to silence anyone, but rather a moderation decision made in an effort to keep this thread on the board, rather than have it explode into pointed criticism toward specific members.

This is a moderation decision, not a personal vendetta. Thanks for your cooperation.


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Old 08-31-2006, 02:58 AM
 
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hard question really.

i encourage my child to give the toy back.

yeah, they should also not take the toy home with them...without permission. Yikes!

teaching to share takes effort though. on all parts.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EviesMom
I have not yet read Unconditional Parenting, but have several aquaintances who are very into it. One said something on her blog recently that she never takes a toy away from her child if he snatches it from another child at the playground. When I see her next, I think I'll ask her about it, but maybe in the meantime someone can explain this to me.

If your child takes a toy from another child... wouldn't you require them to give it back if it belongs to the other child or the other child had it first? I can see talking to your child and encouraging them to give it back, explaining that their snatching has upset the other child ... but in the end, would you really just say "oh well, he doesn't want to give it up?" I don't understand this at all, and I don't think it's appropriate in a playground setting particularly.

In a private playdate setting, I think the natural consequence of such repeated snatching would be that I would no longer invite that parent and child over. But playgrounds are different. In a playground setting, I think I would take the toy from the snatching child, and give it back to my child. And I would avoid the snatching child as best we could after that. If the parent got upset, well, I'm following the child's logic exactly (snatch toy, now it's mine to do as I like), and if she had no problem with her child employing it, then why would she have a problem with an adult employing it?

Also, if her child didn't want to give up a toy my family owns when we're leaving the playground, I'm still going to take it home with me in the end. If her child keeps it, it's robbery or theft as far as I can see.

So someone give me the other side of this scenario, please.
The OP specifically asks for the rationale for not taking a toy from a child's hand.





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Old 08-31-2006, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by l_olive
"well, what do you expect ME to do? He won't give it back to me either!"
I would have said "If you don't return my property, you can either pay for it or I will call the police." And I would do that. Really, he couldn't just walk out of a store with their property unless his mother paid for it. So why should he be able to walk off with yours?

Pat--yes, I did ask so I could try and understand. I get the concept much better now than I did before. It's not something I would ascribe nor aspire to personally, but I certainly respect it.

What would your response be if your child took my child's toy at the playground, refused to return it, and I said you would need to pay for it because we were leaving?

Also FYI--I did ask my acquaintance, and she basically hasn't run into a situation where her son couldn't be distracted to something else or convinced to return someone else's property, yet. She said she wasn't sure what she would do in that situation. And her toddler is pretty young yet.

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