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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you do when another kid is aggressing your kid in a public play area - especially if the other parent isn't dealing with it? Yesterday I was at a park and a child was running around waving a large wooden Viking-style axe and pounding the play structure with it. The parents sat on the bench and watched, smiling. I thought it was an inappropriate toy for a public play area and didn't like my two-year old watching the aggressive behaviour (especially when the dad chased his kid and pretended to hack him with the axe...it was just a game, but still).<br><br>
I didn't know what to do or say. In the past, parents were more consistent in how they talked to children and in their expectations of children's behaviour, so any adult could step in as an authority figure. Now, you risk facing the wrath of the aggressive child's Mama Bear!<br><br>
Has anyone else been in this situation?
 

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That wouldn't bother me, but if it did, I guess we'd leave the park.<br><br>
Now, if another kid was hurting mine and the parents weren't doing anything about it, I'd say something to the kid/parent, and if they didn't stop, we'd leave.
 

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For the play you are describing, it sounds like you and your child were observers. I would leave if it bothered me. If a child is being aggressive towards my child or vice versa I would and have intervened. I use my teacher voice and let them know it is not okay and that I will be watching them. I'm not threatening them, just letting them know. If the parent is around I don't mind going over and mentioning to them too. Most parents fall all over themselves because they don't realize what happened, it can be hard to watch multiple children at the playground <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Drummer's Wife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15469260"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That wouldn't bother me, but if it did, I guess we'd leave the park.<br><br>
Now, if another kid was hurting mine and the parents weren't doing anything about it, I'd say something to the kid/parent, and if they didn't stop, we'd leave.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">
 

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I think that is acceptable play. I'd actually be happy to see a parent playing happily with a child. If the kid became physically or verbally aggressive to my young child id say something lightly. If the kid was damaging property or hurting animals I have also spoken up.
 

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I wouldn't allow my child to do that, but not everyone has the same idea of what is or is not appropriate as me. The child was not hurting anyone else, so I wouldn't say or do anything. If it was behavior I didn't even want my child to see, then we would leave.<br><br>
I've had a few conversation with my son on the drive home about how certain behaviors are not OK for kids in our family.
 

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Was that my son you saw at the park beating objects with a big stick? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"><br><br>
If it wasn't hurting your son or any other children and you just felt that it was "inappropriate play" then I agree with the PP's, you should just leave the park if you can't handle watching it. My son likes to hit things with other things. I don't mind as long as he is not damaging anything, or hitting another person. Kids learn/play/explore in different ways and I try not to hinder that as long as no one is being hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I was disturbed mainly because the object used for hitting looked like a real axe and even though it was made of wood, the edges look pretty sharp.
 

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That wouldn't bother me unless he was waving it at my kid.<br><br>
But if another child does something to my child at the playground, I always say something to the child. Sometimes I intervene if I see kids doing something dangerous even if my child isn't involved. I try to look out for the safety of all the kids on the playground, just like I hope other parents would look out for my kid if I have a moment of inattention. I'm always very gentle about it--something along the lines of, "hey, sweetie, please be careful with that big stick! Can you wave it toward that tree instead? There are little kids over here. Thanks!"
 

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I get how it could be troubling to you, but I also mind a 5yo and if I had to stop him from being himself everytime he got a whim like that we'd have no peace (and he'd feel totally repressed). My kids see it, my DS (2yo) does pick up on some of the behavior, but I explain our boundaries and DS learns.<br><br>
My GUESS is that you were at a playground with equipment that was not for the 4 and under crowd, but for anyone (usually older kids). If that's so, then I think you and your son should just leave if you don't feel you can verbally explain to him that such behavior is unacceptable to you. If you were on a toddler playground then I'd say talking to the weapon-ed child and explaining that "he seems very strong" and you are "worried that your little one might try to imitate and it isn't safe for babies to do" might be one way to handle it. Such talk is how I reign in the 5yo I watch when I feel it is necessary.<br><br>
Tjej
 

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There is a difference in a child being aggressive <i>toward</i> my child and being aggressive on the playground. The moment it is directed toward my child, I'm there. But I wouldn't really care if a boy is being boyish and hitting the playground equipment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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That going on at the little playground we go to here, I probably would have left. It's a very small space, so it would be easy for the kid to accidentally hit one of my kids.<br>
I also leave when other kids are doing things like throwing the rocks (gravel under the equipment), swinging the empty swings, big kids swinging really high, or older kids using inappropriate language. And if it's my kids doing it, they go home. Even the baby has quit throwing rocks for the most part. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> and I've only taken him home twice!<br>
We also avoid the playground when lots of other kids are there or if I notice 'known offenders' there.<br><br>
some of that is because the activity is really inappropriate, other stuff (like the high-swinging) is not inappropriate, but it is unsafe for my little ones to be there. (preteen kids on the swings going high enough they'd never be able to stop before they crashed into my 18 mo. old and probably hit him again after he's knocked down, for example.)<br><br>
at a larger playground, I'd simply keep mine away from where the 'problem' is.
 

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Like others, I usually only step in if someone is hurting DD and mostly, even then, my physical presence is enough to stop the pushing or crazy bigger child behavior around the smaller ones. Last weekend, though, I saw an older boy remove his belt and begin striking several smaller boys with it while they were climbing on the playground equipment. The parents were nowhere to be seen. I put a stop to that. Normally, I try not to micromanage public playgrounds, though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the insights. Given my inexperience with older boys, maybe I was overly concerned about the possibility of the younger kids being hit.
 
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