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pleiades's avatar

Some random 2 year old was pushing my sons head and my instinct was to shout, how would you have handled the situation?

Asked by pleiades (6571points) August 6th, 2014

So I just got off work, picked my 2 year old son from my sisters place and off to the park we went. I let him roam free around the playground, and I sat on the bench while I watched him. He was putting sticks that were on the steps through the little holes and a little girl was just watching him. At first from a distance, I thought maybe she doing some sort of gesture with her hand, and my son looked fine from behind. Then I saw the gesture again. So this time I got up and followed by a third gesture. To my surprise the little girl was pushing his head back! And he was just taking it and I think he even ended up looking the other way kind of in sadness and silence. I shouted from across the playground, I didn’t care if other parents were there. I shouted, “Hey! Stop that! Don’t push him!” to which I think she responded, “ok.” I grabbed my son made sure he was alright and went to the other side of the playground. Another dad asked me what happened and was relieved that the same little girl hasn’t pushed his 1 year old and some months.

I was so appalled with the parenting of whoever’s child that was. The dad told me that the little girls mother was sitting under the tree, and I looked over and she was just on her cellphone. I didn’t want to confront her because who knows if I would go off on her or what, plus I was trying to have my son have a good time and was eventually going to do our 3 mile walk as soon as he was done playing. What a goddamn joke though. She wasn’t at the playground supervising her child and wasn’t able to tell her what was right and wrong. I understand I’m probably making a mountain out of a mole hill here but I was genuinely irked by this. My son is a very loving human being and loves to hug little babies and cuddle with them (We see this all the time at family parties)

What would you have done in the situation? I acted purely upon instincts.

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19 Answers

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Well, being upset would certainly be normal. You didn’t do anything wrong, for certain.
I’m sorry your little boy had an upsetting experience. He will have the reassurance though, that Dad is there to protect him. That little girl likely doesn’t have any such stability.
I would have approached the mommy. I’m not saying you are wrong not to. I am not saying I believe myself to be more correct. You asked. That’s what I would have done. If a confrontation came about, a call to the police would have solved matters, because they wouldn’t much care to know a girl that small is playing unsupervised.
In regards to her behavior, is it any wonder?Given what you witnessed, it is probably what she has learned is her only way to achieve attention from people.
One moe step. I have seen kids approach mine and do similar behavior. I may not be responsible for riasing those kids, but I am resposible for the safety of my own child’s environment. I have spoken with such kids, always they ask forgiveness when I point out that it would be appropriate. It has helped my own children in seeing the situation for what it is, an inablity to communicate, rather than some personal attack. With some children, they have ended up becomming friends, and I continued to dicuss behaviors with them.

JLeslie's avatar

In my opinion what you did was just fine. I guess maybe you could have been calmer and simply told the girl in a level voice she cannot push your son if she wants to play with him, but really if some kid was pushing my kid like that I think I would easily react as you did.

Buttonstc's avatar

I think your instincts were just fine. You were still across the playground and when you realized the full impact of what was happening to your child. And that aggressive behavior of hers needed to STOP
immediately. Your shout got the point across and prevented any worse injury.

I don’t think you’re blowing this up out of proportion at all. Hopefully your strong reaction made the other child realize how unacceptable her behavior was and she will think twice before repeating it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

If you can’t control your temper, it’s probably best that you didn’t approach the girl’s mother. Your son is learning more from how you act in these situations than from how others act.

livelaughlove21's avatar

You didn’t do anything wrong and I’d be annoyed as well. I don’t know if I’d be quite as pissed off as you were, though. Parents like that are a dime a dozen. No one got hurt. I’d focus on making sure my son knew it was okay to defend himself. He didn’t have to stand up and push her in the dirt or something, but he could’ve told her to stop at the very least. I’m not saying it was his fault, just that it’s something that should probably be addressed. You don’t want people to walk all over him when you’re not around.

XOIIO's avatar

Push the kids head back twice as hard.

marinelife's avatar

I would have told my child that he did not have to sit still and be pushed or hurt. That it is OK to get an adult’s attention or if necessary to get up and leave.

keobooks's avatar

I wouldn’t have focused it on my kid, but I would have told the little girl not to push ANYONE. I’ve had to police the playground many times for my 3 year old. Usually its something like kids trying to climb up the slide, or swinging big sticks around. I don’t think she’s had any kid singling her out and playing too rough with her.

I’ve not only stopped kids from doing stuff too or near my own daughter, but I’ve stopped kids from doing stuff that in general would hurt someone. The hardest thing I had to do was scold a bunch of middle school girls for taking over the toddler area and scaring the little kids away from it by playing really rough. My daughter was too old for the play area, but I couldn’t stand to see these huge kids wrangle with something way too small for them and chasing off the kids it was meant for.

Sometimes parents aren’t watching. Sometimes they have a much higher tolerance level of violence than other parents. They figure as long as the other kid isn’t screaming it’s OK. I have never confronted a parent. Usually (luckily for me) they just get cowed and either back me up or take their kids away. I had one friend whose mother got in his face about “Don’t try to parent my child!” but that seems to be rare. No matter how lax a parent is, they don’t want their kids embarrassing them.

rojo's avatar

@keobooks Not sure how I would have reacted if that mother had thrown that at me. First thing I thought of when I read it was “Well someone has to be a parent around here”.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I can’t quite picture what you’re saying when you tell us “she was pushing his head back”.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks I would want an adult to step in if my child was doing something mean to another child. I don’t want them to overly scold them or God forbid hit my child, but I am all for stopping the bad behavior.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would have done the same thing. That mom, though….cell phones are destroying parenting abilities.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@dappled_leaves It doesn’t sound like he lost his temper. He was angry about it, but not over the top. I’d be angry too.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III I was responding to “I didn’t want to confront her because who knows if I would go off on her or what”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I missed that. Thanks.

pleiades's avatar

@stanleybmanly Imagine your looking down and fiddling around with sticks. Now imagine someone sitting across from you, and reaching over full extension, pushing your head back with their hands. Kind of like passing a basketball full extension.

Anyways, yes I should have told the girl in a calm manner she shouldn’t push any other kids period. I was just surprised to have witnessed this go down. Actually, it wasn’t that my son was even hurt because he’s been in an inside play place where a kid crashed into him but the kid was so swift to say sorry and even pat the part of his head that got hit.

I think what triggered my anger was the fact that yeah, I was deciphering what was going on with her gestures, and the fact that it happened about 3–4 times and me finally realizing yeah she’s pushing his head and this was over a 30 second period. Most of the parents at this playground are either walking around with their toddlers or have their eyes on them like hawks. Also I realize now that I could have approached the mother and been like, “Hey your daughter was pushing my sons head, you should probably monitor her actions so other kids won’t get hurt.”

I feel kind of bad in a way because the little girl just knows she did something wrong, she doesn’t know why it’s wrong. And I could have told my son that he did nothing wrong and were just going to change sides of the playground.

I think I need to approach anywhere I go with a bunch of kids, that things are going to happen. My mindset was totally not ready for that. First time! (Besides another little girl who would stand in my my sons way to blockage him from the toys section in the waiting room in the hospital, oh God, that little girl annoyed the hell out of me too)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Thanks for the reply. 2 year olds are particularly dangerous and prone to mischief. My little girl had inborn criminal tendencies the like of which I had never seen. I remember on one of our trips to the playground when she could barely walk. I watched a grinning little boy try to lift his poor puppy by the ear. I was so startled that I dumped 2 sno cones in the sandbox to rescue the dog. When I turned back around, my lightning fast little girl and 2 like minded other toddlers were scooping the sandy ice into their little mouths. Squealing puppy, shrieking moms, and me fleeing for my life with my little criminal under my arm like a football.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@pleiades I still think you did the right thing. And if you had approached the mom, she would have gotten defensive and angry because she’d have to face the fact that she isn’t paying attention to her kid like she should. Sadly, it will all come back to bite her, and it’s the kid who will suffer.

keobooks's avatar

Yo Gabba Gabba Season 2 episode 7 has a song in it called “Hands to Yourself.” Learn it and sing it to kids on the playground.

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