General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

What would you do if a young boy pushed your young daughter to the ground?

Asked by Aethelwine (42953points) June 4th, 2009 from iPhone

My 5 year old daughter and I were spending a lovely day at the park today. She was playing with another boy her age when a boy (approx. same age) came up and took the small toy that they were playing with. My daughter went up to this boy and told him that it wasn’t his and that he should give it back. This boy pushed my daughter on the chest so hard that her feet came off the ground and she landed hard on her butt.

I immediately ran over and the young boy walked away. I followed him and asked him where his parents were. He would not answer. I followed him for five minutes until he went up to his guardian. She was either a babysitter or a very young mom. I told her what happened and she looked dumbfounded. She said sorry and that it would never happen again. She let her son run around the playground for the next hour. Every time my daughter saw him she looked scared.

If this was my son, he would have gone straight home and spent the rest of the day in his room.

When I told my husband about the situation, he told our daughter that if it ever happened again that she should push the person back and defend herself.

I’m just curious what others would have done in this type of situation and would you suggest that your daughter fight back?

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36 Answers

MrGV's avatar

I would beat the shit out of that boy and walk away; no one messes with my daughter or son and gets away.

tinyfaery's avatar

Do you want to teach your daughter to solve her problems with violence? Do you want her to be like the boy who pushed her? Seems like a man’s way to solve the problem. I think you can do better.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think what you and your husband did is just right. The boy who did the pushing should have been punished but it seems that is the way it is with so many, easier to ignore than to deal with the issue.

I have a great niece, aged 10 and she is taking karate. I think it is a great idea, gives her self confidence and she knows she can take care of herself.

Yours is still pretty young but I think it is a good thing for all young females to know some self defense.

bythebay's avatar

A. I’m sorry that happened to your daughter.
B. I think you handled it perfectly, you showed him it was not OK with you or your daughter; and you showed your daughter how to handle things responsibly and reasonably.
C. If that had been my child doing the pushing:
*He would have been made to apologize to your daughter (no matter how insincere the action was)
*He would have been taken home immediately, or perhaps made to sit on a lovely bench and watch the other kids play. Upon arrival at home, proper punishment would have been doled out in the form of loss of future park time, removal of a favorite toy or activity, etc. While I understand blondesjon’s frustration, there’s a time and a place for everything but I don’t agree she should push back. The boy had no regard for her or the fact that she was smaller. Had she pushed back it could have escalated and she might have really been hurt.

I’m sorry the little shit ruined your day at the park!

SuperMouse's avatar

I stand firmly with those saying you handled it perfectly. I am not a huge fan of the “push back” concept, though I am sure my children’s father would agree whole-heartedly with blondesjon.

chyna's avatar

If it was a babysitter, maybe she didn’t know what to do. If it was a parent, they damned well better find out what to do before their little snot head becomes a bully. But I think you did the right thing.

Jude's avatar

I agree with the others, you handled the situation well. If I were the Mom/caregiver of the child, I would have dragged his butt home. No more fun for him because of the way that he acted.

@MrGeneVan, what planet are you from?

rooeytoo's avatar

I truly am not trying to be argumentative, but I am curious -

to those who think the little girl should not push back, what should she do? If her mom was not handy to intervene? Do you tell her to take it, to lay on the ground and cry, to run and let the bully chase her? To yell for help?

In this case, she was only 5 and her mom was nearby but when she is maybe 7 or 8 and alone at the playground, then what is she to do?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t have kids but I imagine I’d do the same as my grandparents when I was once caught brawling with cousins, I was about 4–5yrs old. They told me I was too old to be shoving around like the “babies” (toddlers) and if I kept it up then others would look at me and think I was a crude animal instead of a young lady. It was embarrassing for me to be talked to that way and the image of my grandparents has never left me when I get those feelings of wanting to beat the living hell out of something.

evolverevolve's avatar

@MrGeneVan i was going to say kill them and bury them in the sand beneath the playground like that one crazy bitch did (i’m pretty sure this happened). but yours works too.

Blondesjon's avatar

@tiny fairy . . .unfortunately it’s a man’s world still and my daughter is not going to be a victim

MrGV's avatar

@evolverevolve that’s what I’m talking about.

chyna's avatar

@rooeytoo When she is 7 or 8 she needs to beat the tar out of him. :)

bythebay's avatar

@rooeytoo: Certainly I would never tell my daughter to take it, etc., without expressing her extreme displeasure. BUT, I would also never tell her to hit back. For that matter, I wouldn’t tell my son to hit back either. There will bullies around your whole life, but I firmly believe two wrongs don’t make a right. Very often loud words can be more powerful than a push. It’s hard though, because you do want to tell your kids to pummel the abusive little urchins. I will state this for the record, my husband completely disagrees and has also told them to fight back if they “need to”. They never have

In school, if someone hits you, they get suspended. If you hit back, even in self defense, you are suspended also. It’s not right, and not fair, but it is the way it works.

asmonet's avatar

Explain to your daughter that some people are mean, they don’t always mean it and sometimes they lash out. But she shouldn’t tolerate it or take it regularly without standing up for herself and finding an adult to help her deal with it. She should not engage in further violent behavior. It fixes nothing, and while it sounds great to fight back, generally it just escalates and both sets of parents look foolish.

If someone is actively attacking her, she should fight. But a shove? Walking away as was the case here? Get an adult.

I would then find a bat and kick the living shit out of that little bastard’s parents.

Uh… I would notify them of the situation and course of events. Just as you did. I think you handled it perfectly in the moment.

asmonet is not a parent, unless you count her pupsicle.

MissAusten's avatar

I think you handled it perfectly. It just sucks that whoever was responsible for that boy didn’t do anything about it. If it had been my kid, playtime at the park would have ended immediately.

I’m torn about the “shove back” issue. It’s really tempting to say to a kid, “Next time, do it back!” The only time I’ve said anything like that to my kids was in reference to a cousin of theirs who routinely hits, kicks, and pushes—and he’s bigger than them. He doesn’t mess with my kids anymore.

What I do is teach my kids, especially my daughter, to shout, “Get your hands off me! Don’t EVER touch me!” If that doesn’t work, ask someone for help. Just having the kids practice saying things like that forcefully makes them feel more powerful and ready to deal with that kind of situation. I think (hope)it will also come in handy during the dating years, haha!

It can be tricky to get a young kid to understand the difference between making a stand against someone who is consistently aggressive, or dealing with a one-time issue (like you had on the playground). Anyway, I love that your daughter got to see you sticking up for her like that.

Response moderated
asmonet's avatar

Play nice, @Cardinal.
And I assumed tinyfaery was referring to the OP’s husband.

Blondesjon's avatar

i did too, sorry @tinyfaery. (i wish I knew how to emote an embarrassed shrug)

asmonet's avatar

But, isn’t that like the whole thing about parenting? You learn as your kids do? And you grow, and note what works and doesn’t for the next time?

None of us are perfect.

I think you reacted just as strongly as your wife, just differently. And you are the only one who can judge your parenting. Not any one of us.

oratio's avatar

I had a similar situation a couple of weeks ago, where a 2 yo girl hit my son in the head with a stick. I don’t see how you can’t do more than tell the kid that it’s wrong, and have a talk with a parent.

Ivan's avatar

Uh, I think the “push him back” idea is pretty poor.

casheroo's avatar

I love @bythebay‘s response.

I’m always in shock when other kids actually hit my child. I never know how to react, and I’m stuck then parenting some stranger’s child, since they are usually no where to be found…how convenient ~
I’m so sorry that happened. If that were my son, he would definitely apologize and we’d leave the park. Children have to learn that it’s unacceptable behavior to hit.

Supacase's avatar

@rooeytoo I would tell my daughter to tell them stop it then walk away if someone pushed her. If the kid followed her around and annoyed her, I would hope she could find a way to ignore him or put him in his place.

If the child persisted in pushing or hitting her to the point that she was being endangered or genuinely afraid, she should knock the hell out of him. Even children are entitled to self-defense.

The boy should have been forced to apologize and then taken home immediately.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I also think that what you and your husband did was healthy and fine. I’m sorry for your poor little girl but moreso for that poor little boy. Sigh.

bcstrummer's avatar

I’d fight back if I was her, it would teach her confidence and self defense, you should try giving her karate lessons or some sort of self defense class, then take her to the playground and see what happens when he tries that again, as for the mom, in my opinion she shouldve taken her kid straight home like you said, but it’s her choice to raise her kid that way, don’t worry about her life, worry about yours and your daughter’s

Aethelwine's avatar

Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer. It made me so angry that the boy was allowed to stay and play as if nothing happened. I’m hoping that wasn’t his mother and was just the babysitter. At least my daughter knows that her mommy will stand up for her.

casheroo's avatar

@jonsblond Did she seem embarrassed, or caught off guard? I’d say a true mother would be embarrassed and blush or avoid eye contact. A babysitter will be more dumbfounded, and usually don’t know how to discipline properly.

Aethelwine's avatar

@casheroo She was definitely dumbfounded. She acted like she had no idea what to do. She didn’t even make him apologize.

Supacase's avatar

@jonsblond At least my daughter knows that her mommy will stand up for her.

That right there is worth the entire incident; probably in your daughter’s eyes as well. You rock. :)

cookieman's avatar

I also think you handled it well.

As for the other mom, clearly she’s a schmuk.

Here’s one advantage of being a scary looking dad. Same thing happened to my daughter few months back. I went over to the boy all friendly like, “Hey buddy, c’mere.” Crouched in from of him with my back to the other parents. Change voice to deep whisper, “Would you like me to push you now?” Boy runs.

I agree she shouldn’t push back and we have been teaching our daughter what @MissAusten suggests, to verbally stick up for herself (loud, firm voice).

But it’s hard when they’re little. My daughter says (about standing up for herself), “but isn’t that rude?”

skfinkel's avatar

You did what you needed to do. And it was a good example for your daughter. Another step (and this takes courage) is to say to the young woman who was either a sitter or the mother, that you want the child to apologize to your daughter, and then let her deal with tracking him down and making sure he did this. The main reason for this, aside from the obvious of the boy having to take some responsibility for his action, would be to help the young sitter or mother who obviously is clueless, and needs help herself. She doesn’t know what to do—and perhaps this could have a tiny effect on her own development as a sitter/parent.

I’m not a big fan of teaching children to hit back, since that just reinforces the bully’s tendency. He’s probably getting beaten up plenty at home, and it just teaches him to hit on others smaller than he is. I think this is a time for adult intervention, and of course limits to be imposed in a good and firm way for the boy. It doesn’t sound like he is getting this kind of guidance.

Aethelwine's avatar

@skfinkel Looking back at the situation now, I wish that I would have asked her to have him apologize. I was so surprised that it had happened and caught up in the moment that I didn’t even think of it at the time. Wonderful advice, thank you!

knitfroggy's avatar

You did right. My son had a boy at pre school that kept hitting him daily. I talked to the teacher about it several times and she assured me she was trying to solve the situation. I finally got tired of it and told my son, next time he hits you, knock him down. That kid hit my son one more time, because when he did, my son hit him back as hard as he could. I am not a big fan of violence, but obviously what the teacher was doing wasn’t helping, so I gave my son the go ahead to take care of it. I’ve also taught him that it’s not ok to hit anyone, but this was a special situation.

Garebo's avatar

Sorry to say, that’s just the beginning. Obviously you did the right thing. The young guardian sounds like she is more interested in her own interests, and just gave you lip service.
My fear is your daughter is going to go smack that kid hard, when you and he least expect it.

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