Thursday, June 27, 2013

Playgrounds and Life

Last Friday night we had tickets to go to our local minor league baseball teams game. It was a fun evening with Chris's parents and they even had fireworks after the game which Kendall loved.

The Louisville Slugger stadium has the most awesome kid area. There are two playgrounds and a merry go-round. Kendall and I spent majority of the game wrapped up in that area.

As my child gets older, I have broken into uncharted territory. I know she plays at school and she interacts wonderfully with kids at school, but what about "other" kids. You know, those kids who may not have similar social interactions as my daughter. Aka they don't know how to play well with others.

I guess I should preface this by saying I don't know what its like to watch two kids of my own on a playground and my child usually listens to me. She also is used to sharing and acting a certain way at school.
With that being said, I faced a new situations as a parent. What do you do when children are running a muck and tormenting your child on the playground? Ok, tormenting is a bit dramatic. 

Let me set this up for you. Kendall likes to enter one end of the playground, climb all the way through the obstacles, and then exit done the long swirly tube slide, and then repeat about 20 times. The first scenario was when she was knocked over by an 8-10 year old boy who was playing baseball with his friends where all these little kids are sliding. I immediately tend to Kendall and tell this boy to be careful around the smaller kids. I know I am that mom. I can't help but be all mama bear/teacher-esque when kids aren't following the "rules".
Next thing you know I am chatting up one of the other moms. She is a stay at home mom to 3 kids, lives close to me, and is getting aggravated by all these boys playing baseball around the playground just like me. Then I spot Kendall on top of the swirly tube slide and a boy is about THISCLOSE to hitting my daughter. He's about 3-4 and is pointing his finger in her face as he tries to skip in front of her to go down the slide. I'm on my way to react, when this mom I am chatting up realizes its her son doing the bullying and she pulls him off the slide.
I'm all good, cooling down from an almost interaction with another kid on the playground because his mom reacted. She did what I would have done if it was my son.
Fast forward a few minutes later and Kendall is once again at the top of the swirly slide, except this time a little girl has hit her in the face and she's almost to tears. I lunge over to the slide and I proceed to tell this little girl, " No, we do not hit other people". I grab Kendall off the slide to console her. As this is going down, the SAME mom I was just talking to, realizes the child who just hit my child, is her youngest child. She pulls her kid off the slide and sticks her in timeout.

At this point I'm all, " Great talking to you, but we have to bounce" before another one of your kids bullies my kid. And we left. I talked to Kendall about what happened. I made sure she knew that girl shouldn't have hit her.
Chris and I were talking about it on the way home and we were all, " do we need to teach Kendall to stand up for herself?" I know she just stood there frozen because she didn't know what to do. She is not used to being around aggressive children. At school, if kids act like that there are consequences. In some way, I have peace of mind when she goes to school because I know her teachers will react the same way I would. They will discipline my child and I am okay with that. I love that good behavior is reinforced and Kendall sees that in a social setting. 

I don't really know my point to this post. I'm not saying that kids who don't go to daycare will be bad on the playground. And I'm not saying that kids who are bad on the playground are a reflection of poor parenting. That is not true at all. It could have been my kid hitting another kid on the playground.  I didn't know that mom from Adam, I don't know if she disciplines her kids or lets them run around tormenting playground kids all the time. I'm sure she is a good mom and her kids were just acting out of sorts. I guess what I'm say is how do we explain to our kids why other kids are behaving differently?

In a way, the situation kind of soured my evening. Kendall was and is fine, but my momma heart broke a little when she cried on the playground and all she wanted to do was go down the swirly slide. Moms, do you feel me?


  1. I completely understand. Now that i stay at home and go to parks wtih hunter more frequently i see how so uncontrollable some kids can be. And most of the times there parents arent there to discipline them. I think you did the right thing. I do the same thing all the time. Hunter has been socialized with alot of kids at daycare and understands sharing and waiting your turn but alot of kids arent taught this. Now I dont raise m voice at the other kids but I am stern if they do something wrong or hurt my son on purpose. It's definitely a tough situtation.

  2. I hear ya girl! We went to the splash park last week and these 7-10 year old boys were so wild and kept on running through and splashing B! I know they were just playing, but their parents needed to be present to realize they were being too aggressive around these babies!!!

  3. ugh, definitely with you on this. I hate when my kid has to deal with other kids that are being mean or aggressive. I just tell her pretty much like you did, that rude behavior isn't nice and that we find someone else to play with.