What do you do? What do you do when you are around other people’s children and their children are acting out towards yours? If you’re going to search for an answer to this question within this blog, I don’t think you’ll find one.
I’ve been pretty spineless my entire life, except the one time that my mother says she came to my preschool to pick me up and I was in the corner after hitting a kid with a truck when he tried to take it. I do feel that, since my son was born, I have come leaps and bounds from where I once was, but it still is a problem.
Example: The other day, I took Henry to Echo. He LOVES playing with the water table and especially the water wheel. Side note: If you’ve never seen a toddler in a yellow rubber smock that goes almost to his ankles, you must. It will make your heart melt. Anyhoo. there we were, playing with the water wheel, when this eight year old kid rushes over, clamps his huge eight year old hand on a piece of it and yells.
“Make it go faster! God!” He pushes on the thing so hard, I have to pull Henry’s hand out of the way, so he doesn’t get sucked in, losing valuable digits. You know on Price is Right when an old person uses the wheel and they get sucked under, that was all I could think about. And there’s his mom, doing nothing. Not stopping him, not telling him to take turns, nothing.
I just crouched there with Henry, both his hands in mine and cowardly said nothing. This has happened to me so many times when other kids have bullied Henry or been unfair and I’m not sure why I don’t say something to the child. I’m always waiting for the parents to intervene and when they don’t, I’m always surprised.
I know that, as I sit here, Henry will push a child or try to take a toy, most likely it will be his sister, but I’m fairly certain I’ll know what to do. I just don’t know what to do with other peoples children. No clue at all.
Example two and this one has the happiest ending for me EVER! And will no doubt sign my ticket to that fiery place below.
I took Henry to a place where you bring a toy to share with the other kids. Henry brought a toy and once the toy came out, another two year old girl snatched it up and the toy sharing was over. She grabbed onto it and held it the entire time. Anytime a child would come near her to try it, she would scream and throw a fit. I think I heard the parent with her say,
“You need to share.” But never took further action. The toy was never taken out of her daughter’s hands to let other kids have a chance. Even Henry wanted to play with it and when I told him he needed to wait his turn, he sat down next to her, hands on lap to wait her out. After about three minutes, he gave up. And apparently this little girl’s parent had given up because the toy, after the full two hours, was still in her daughter’s possession, not one other fingerprint on it except for hers.
But then it was time to go and this is when it gets really good. Some how her parent had distracted her with something else and wrestled the toy away from her. I saw it and grabbed it to put it back in our bag. The little hoarder saw me and came rushing over.
“Noooooooo!!!! Mine!!!!!! Noooooo!!!! Give Me!!!!” I tried so hard to hide the Grinch like smile from spreading across my face. It was so amazing to watch her face as I said,
“Actually this is Henry’s and we’re taking it home now.” She was doing that crazy panic stricken toddler cry when liquid is coming out of every orifice of the face and I couldn’t be more pleased with myself. Welcome to being thrown into the deep end of the pool, kid, time to figure out how to deal with disappointment. I know, straight to Hell I’m going.
Her parent came over and picked her up saying,
“Oh she does that because her older brother takes toys away from her all the time.” Hmmmm. not saying a word Reader, not a single word.
We left with Henry’s toy securely in the diaper bag and the smile still not fading from my evil face. But still I sit here, thinking over the whole morning. I saw this girl scream, try to hit and pull other kids who were after this toy. All the other parents seemed to react like me, pull your own child away from the situation and say nothing.
I guess that’s where the answer lies. Maybe all of us that do discipline our kids, just keep it at that, disciplining our own kids. We don’t want to step on toes or make other parents feel bad. Also, there are just so many ways, it seems now, that parents are choosing to discipline, that sometimes I get worried that I might be going against what the parent wants. OR! I’m not looking at the situation hard enough and seeing what part my own son is playing in the situation. So many questions and such a grey subject.
All I know is that if I see this kid in “Day in Court” for toy theft and assault with a plastic stylus, it won’t shock me in the slightest.