WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

You're at the playground with your kid. She's been waiting patiently for her turn on the slide for 5 minutes, and she's next up. Suddenly, some little Bratty McBratterson shoves her out of the way and butts in line.

You hesitate for a moment, confident that this kid's parent will step in and correct the situation. When that doesn't happen, you look over and see the oblivious mother texting instead of watching her kid.

So what do you do? Do you calmly yet firmly request that the mother get off her stupid phone and parent her child, or do you step in for her and tell her kid what's what since she's obviously too busy or lazy to care?

Photo by Flickr member gemsling, used under a Creative Commons License.

Moueska


quality posts: 54 Private Messages Moueska

It depends on the age of the kid, and how my child reacts.

If the kid is obviously enough to know better, then I may vocally step up and give the kid a quick lesson in manners. (Usually a "Be Careful", or "Watch out, he's little" does fine.)

If the kid is younger than mine, I might consider it a lesson in sharing with my kid and discuss it appropriately with my (only) child. Overall we play nice with everyone, and everyone tends to play nice with us.

klynnblue


quality posts: 0 Private Messages klynnblue

This same thing happened with my 4 yr old. She can be a very timid little girl and we were at a very busy park. She made her way up to the top of the slide and there were a few boys (maybe a year or two older than her) who repeatedly pushed past her. After about the 3rd time, and noticing no parents around (go figure), I stepped up to the boys and said 'Okay, now it is her turn,' looked at my daughter and told her it was ok to go. She went down once, decided it wasn't worth the hassle and found somewhere else to play. I didn't make a big deal out of it, they may not have even noticed, but since their parents were not there, I took it upon myself. The boys patiently waited until her little feet were on the ground before resuming their reign over the slide.

cycokiller


quality posts: 6 Private Messages cycokiller

If there's a chance of physical harm or something, I would at least give the other parent a chance by letting them know what's going on. If they seem too preoccupied/disinterested/lazy/etc. to care or do anything, I'll speak up. If it's just kids hogging toys/playgrounds/whatever, I tell my kids to deal with it or do something else.

The whole notion that if some kid wants what another one has so the parent makes them share is bogus in my book. If you had it first, you can have it until you're done with it. The other kids can find something else to do or play with.

I have 6 kids between 1 & 14 years of age and have seen a lot of this kind of stuff over the years. It also seem like a lot of folks have migrated more to the extremes these days. Either way too overprotective, or don't know what their kids are doing 99% of the time. I try to keep things pretty centered with my kids. It's not super easy, but finding a good balance of choice & control seems to be best in the end.

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ThunderThighs


quality posts: 565 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

Oh, heck yeah, I'll speak up. I often do that when older kids are playing around younger kids. I'll tell them to slow down and watch out for the little ones.



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traquy


quality posts: 51 Private Messages traquy

If it's older kids or a malicious shove aside (rather than an oblivious kid thing) I will politely ask the kids to let my daughter go. I wouldn't involve the parent because honestly, I know on occasion I've been playing on my phone at the park and I'm sure I've missed my own kid doing something less than neighborly. It happens. If it's a kid her age I just kind of linger and see what happens. She is pretty good at standing up for herself, partly because I have let her figure situations for herself more often than not.

eeyorefly


quality posts: 1 Private Messages eeyorefly

Oh yeah!! I am that parent that keeps other kids in check, I keep my own in check as well. Obviously if the kid is littler then mine, I tell my kid that it is good to help littler ones but most often than not its some obnoxious kid that thinks they own the place. My two year old is very small and there was some kid looked about ten pushed her down when running over one of those "bridges" I was all over that, I not only scolded the child but asked where their parent was unfortunately they said their parent "drops them off the park and leaves". It was evident.

catoefamily


quality posts: 0 Private Messages catoefamily

Sometimes time at the park is time for mom to relax as well and we don't always catch everything. So I wouldn't harass the other mom unless it was something severe that the mother needed to be aware of. I would just speak up and give a gentle reminder to the other child. 9 times out of 10 they are good kids that were just being careless and didn't expect any parent to be watching. Half the time they will either apologize or stop whatever bad behavior it was. Atleast for the time being. We all know how forgetful these youngsters are. Besides, sometimes it means even more coming from a stranger. They are used to mom barking out orders/lessons, but hearing it from another adult is good for them.

watershipdown2


quality posts: 0 Private Messages watershipdown2

If the kids are the same age, I would just let them figure it out. However, one of my pet peeves is when parents let their toddlers play on equipment made for older kids (it says "5 and up" right on the sign/equipment, so come on), and then get upset when the older kids push their kid aside. The older kids shouldn't have to slow down and worry about stepping on a preschooler...the whole point of going to the playground is to run around, be rowdy, and blow off extra energy. It's not fair to them to have to be careful not to step on your tot. My daughter is 2, and by bringing her to playground equipment made for older kids, I accept that she may get knocked over, pushed aside, or stepped on. It is MY job to be careful with her, not the other children or their parents, since I am the one "breaking" the age-restrictions on the equipment. EVERY time I've seen the "my kid got pushed away from the slide/shoved aside/etc" situation, it's been with a child who was below the age-limit for the equipment and technically shouldn't have been there anyway! I also saw it happen once with a kid that was way too old to be there (high school age), but that's another rant for another day.

Kattosha


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Kattosha

With anything I give the kids a chance to resolve it themselves. I can't stand hover parents and refuse to be one myself, but if it goes on for a while then I will step in. If the parents aren't doing anything then I am a little loud as I tell all the children to play nice and give the next one a turn.

I don't care if its my kid that's being bypassed or someone elses

ghostjosh


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ghostjosh

Totally call the offender out, my child or otherwise. It takes a village to raise a child; sometimes because Mom or Dad can't be bothered to put down their phone for 5 minutes, sometimes because the playground is big and you can't watch it all! But if the kids aren't corrected when they misbehave, it will continue as they find it acceptable.

coreopsis79


quality posts: 1 Private Messages coreopsis79
watershipdown2 wrote:If the kids are the same age, I would just let them figure it out. However, one of my pet peeves is when parents let their toddlers play on equipment made for older kids (it says "5 and up" right on the sign/equipment, so come on), and then get upset when the older kids push their kid aside. The older kids shouldn't have to slow down and worry about stepping on a preschooler...the whole point of going to the playground is to run around, be rowdy, and blow off extra energy. It's not fair to them to have to be careful not to step on your tot. My daughter is 2, and by bringing her to playground equipment made for older kids, I accept that she may get knocked over, pushed aside, or stepped on. It is MY job to be careful with her, not the other children or their parents, since I am the one "breaking" the age-restrictions on the equipment. EVERY time I've seen the "my kid got pushed away from the slide/shoved aside/etc" situation, it's been with a child who was below the age-limit for the equipment and technically shouldn't have been there anyway! I also saw it happen once with a kid that was way too old to be there (high school age), but that's another rant for another day.



none of the equipment at the park near me has any age restriction signs. what do you do in situation like that?

aprilcarl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages aprilcarl

a large part of the problem with "kids these days" is that they have no moral compass. generally, they either dont know they are doing something wrong or dont realize the consequences of their behavior because parents either dont set any boundaries or dont allow their children to make choices and endure the consequences, good bad or indifferent.when we have encountered this situation, i let my daughter decipher what should be done and generally she handles it well. if it looks like shes going to get hurt or if she handles it incorrectly then i will say (loud enough for the parent to hear)"lets go play somewhere else where there are less rude and obnoxious children" or "just because other people want to treat people with disrespect doesnt make it ok for you, please go sit in time out and think about how we treat people." my daughter knows that everything in life is a choice and every choice has consequences.

cookie1943


quality posts: 1 Private Messages cookie1943

After volunteering at a zoo for 15 years, I can tell you that some kids are just poorly behaved. I do not hesitate to tell a "game hog" to step aside and let the other kids play, even if my kids are 3-4 in line. I had a middle school-aged kid pulling this trick on a whole line of kids a couple of years ago. Then went outside to the water games and found them doing it again. Guess what, they saw me coming and ducked and ran. What does that tell you....Some kids just don't get it unless you step in and see that they do. Games, playground equipment are meant to be shared. Some parents find it easier to let their kids run wild instead of teaching them proper manners.

gotlrak


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gotlrak
watershipdown2 wrote:If the kids are the same age, I would just let them figure it out. However, one of my pet peeves is when parents let their toddlers play on equipment made for older kids (it says "5 and up" right on the sign/equipment, so come on), and then get upset when the older kids push their kid aside. The older kids shouldn't have to slow down and worry about stepping on a preschooler...the whole point of going to the playground is to run around, be rowdy, and blow off extra energy. It's not fair to them to have to be careful not to step on your tot. My daughter is 2, and by bringing her to playground equipment made for older kids, I accept that she may get knocked over, pushed aside, or stepped on. It is MY job to be careful with her, not the other children or their parents, since I am the one "breaking" the age-restrictions on the equipment. EVERY time I've seen the "my kid got pushed away from the slide/shoved aside/etc" situation, it's been with a child who was below the age-limit for the equipment and technically shouldn't have been there anyway! I also saw it happen once with a kid that was way too old to be there (high school age), but that's another rant for another day.



I really don't care if the little kid is too young for the playground. Since when is it ever okay to push, shove, or step on anyone.

Letting your kids run over toddlers whether they are in an age appropriate place or not is akin to purposely running over someones dog who wandered into the street because it shouldn't have been there.

TeaCH YOUR KIDS TO RESPECT ALL PEOPLE. Not just the ones who have a right to be there.

mikpeg14


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mikpeg14
watershipdown2 wrote:If the kids are the same age, I would just let them figure it out. However, one of my pet peeves is when parents let their toddlers play on equipment made for older kids (it says "5 and up" right on the sign/equipment, so come on), and then get upset when the older kids push their kid aside. The older kids shouldn't have to slow down and worry about stepping on a preschooler...the whole point of going to the playground is to run around, be rowdy, and blow off extra energy. It's not fair to them to have to be careful not to step on your tot. My daughter is 2, and by bringing her to playground equipment made for older kids, I accept that she may get knocked over, pushed aside, or stepped on. It is MY job to be careful with her, not the other children or their parents, since I am the one "breaking" the age-restrictions on the equipment. EVERY time I've seen the "my kid got pushed away from the slide/shoved aside/etc" situation, it's been with a child who was below the age-limit for the equipment and technically shouldn't have been there anyway! I also saw it happen once with a kid that was way too old to be there (high school age), but that's another rant for another day.



This is a story about a slide and a kid that butts in line. Your argument is invalid


julie1961


quality posts: 0 Private Messages julie1961

I give up. There were plenty of these line cutters mostly teens and some adults at all of the amusement parks in Southern California. Even though most have a policy against "line jumping" it was almost impossible to enforce.
I let my kids speak for themselves. They will encounter these ill mannered brats all of their lives

kschouten


quality posts: 14 Private Messages kschouten

Thanks for being one of those rare people who try to see the best in others, young and old. We all make mistakes, no matter our age. Children especially deserve our kindness and respect, perhaps especially when they are doing something "wrong". A gentle and kind reminder, said with a real smile, is a lot more powerful than snarky comments calling kids "rude and obnoxious" or calling kids to task in other ways. Treat children the way you'd want them to treat your own small child. Making people angry or shaming them may feel good to YOU in the moment, but you're being no better behaved than the behavior you're calling out.

To whoever wrote the original question--your two options both are equally poor, in my opinion.

catoefamily wrote:Sometimes time at the park is time for mom to relax as well and we don't always catch everything. So I wouldn't harass the other mom unless it was something severe that the mother needed to be aware of. I would just speak up and give a gentle reminder to the other child. 9 times out of 10 they are good kids that were just being careless and didn't expect any parent to be watching. Half the time they will either apologize or stop whatever bad behavior it was. Atleast for the time being. We all know how forgetful these youngsters are. Besides, sometimes it means even more coming from a stranger. They are used to mom barking out orders/lessons, but hearing it from another adult is good for them.



joegriese


quality posts: 1 Private Messages joegriese


As my Dad used to say, box his ears, he won't do it again.

maryhollar70


quality posts: 0 Private Messages maryhollar70

This has happened to my 3 year old a few times. She waits her turn and then just as she is about to slide another child will push her out of the way. I have on occasion told the child depending on their size that next time they need to wait their turn and if it continues told their parent. I have taught my child that it is not polite (even if the other child shouldn't be on the equipment) to push other people around. Look at it this way, Do you want me to push you out of the way when I want to do something. I'm not saying to get mean or rude after all it is another child. I also try to teach my children to speak up and say NO I'M NEXT but when a child is pushing sometimes it takes an adult to remedy the problem.

kayarich


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kayarich

Pick up the kid and throw him off since no parents are watching!

tonidau28


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tonidau28

I would say something .I am a teacher and feel that is does take a village to raise a child at times. Some parents just don't seem to care.I was once at the park with my 2 year at the time and there was a little boy all on his own he played with us for about half an hour and no parent in sight now thats scary.. I was scared to leave. Parent shows up after we start walking away really mom whats wrong with some people

bluemilkisback


quality posts: 2 Private Messages bluemilkisback

I think it depends on a lot of things. To me the two most important are age differences and whether or not you know the kid. Personally, I keep an eye on my child at the playground, but I don't follow him around the whole place. So while I always know where he is, there are some times that he's behind something for a few seconds and I can't see what's going on. There have been times he's been treated unfairly and there have been times he does it to others. I find that usually whichever child is older is the one causing the problem. If it's my kid I'll immediately tell him to let the other kid have a turn down the slide or to be patient or more careful around the smaller children. If it's someone else's child I generally just try to have mine back off and play something else - as long as the problem is continuous. (If it happens just once no big deal, but he doesn't need to be playing with kids who aren't nice.) If it's a friend's kid I'll say something to the kid (not the friend) because I know my friends would do the same for me if my son did something not nice that I didn't catch. It's really not a big deal to me. It's a playground and they're kids. They're all still learning. Some are learning a bit slower because their parents don't pay attention, yes, but we can't assume that's the case based on just one incident.

sarajmt


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sarajmt

As a mom of 3, I would (and have) go over to the offending child and explain the rules. And I have (and would do again) walked the child to the back of the line. I gently but firmly explain "line etiquette" as the parents are obviously not going to do it. If you allow a child to break the rules at 5, just think how this child will be at 15.

rjeffes


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rjeffes

Easy. You let the kid go and then you turn to your kid and say. That's how id1ots behave. We don't treat people like that. There is an extremely high percentage the mom is socially incapable of handling a discussion or any comment, etc. so better to let this one go and save the fight for when it really matters.

earnestlizard


quality posts: 0 Private Messages earnestlizard

I will definitely correct the child. Sometimes a sassy parent will be offended but who cares! If they were really supervising their children, the correction wouldn't be needed in the first place unless the parents condone that kind of behavior. If the latter is the case, those children need somebody to teach them manners.