Taking your child to the playground is supposed to be a fun and carefree experience. However, when another child’s behavior becomes aggressive and inappropriate, it can be a stressful and upsetting situation for both the child and parent.
Event At Local Park
The mother, who we’ll call ‘Lila, began her story by saying that she took her 2.5 year old daughter to a local park for a little water play event.
Another Kid Latches On
“She was having a great time on the slip and slide when this other little girl, maybe a year older, sort of latched onto her,” Lila said. “This happens a lot with older kids wanting to “help the baby,” so I wasn’t too worried at first.”
“But it slowly progressed from this girl trying to hug my daughter (who doesn’t like receiving random hugs and is saying “NO THANK YOU” loudly) to holding her legs while she’s trying to go down the slip and slide, trying to help “push” her, grabbing her by the hair, and various other aggressive touching that my daughter is clearly not into and is loudly protesting.”
Lila Tries To Handle The Situation
“At first I gently said, ‘Thanks, but looks like my doesn’t want help right now,'” said Lila. However, as the child would not listen, Lila had to be more forceful and say, “please keep your hands off my daughter”.
Child’s Mom Does Nothing
Lila is annoyed that the child’s mother refused to handle the situation. She said, “Meanwhile this girl’s mom is right there and pretty much doing nothing, except giving a halfhearted “Matilda, don’t do that,” while just staying where she’s standing.”
Didn’t Want To Remove Her Daughter
“In a normal playground situation I would remove my daughter from the situation to another area, but this was a special little event and I didn’t think it was fair to move her from the fun slip and slide as if she were being punished,” said Lila.
When Should A Parent Intervene?
Lila is confused by the child’s mother’s reaction and wanted to scold the child herself. “At what point is it appropriate (if ever) for a parent to scold someone else’s child, or physically touch them, like lifting this girl away from my daughter?”
Others Chime In
Other people gave their opinions and said that it’s ok for her to scold the child. “I would address the child’s parent who is present. You could say, ‘My daughter doesn’t like your child grabbing her and her other aggressive behavior. Would you be able to correct her, or would you prefer I do it?’ If the parent balks at all, be sure to advise them you will be addressing it as your daughter is too young to defend herself. That will include removing their child from the situation until their child can keep their hands to themselves.”
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