Monday, October 16, 2006

Other People's Brats

Portland is a great place to raise a family. There are tons of activities and places to go. Today we decided to celebrate Goldie's newfound status as a walker and go to the indoor park at the community center. There are tons of toys to play on and kids to see. The problem was that many people did not watch their children. Every time Goldie would find a toy, some other older child came and snatched it away. No parents anywhere around, but a slew of them against the wall talking on cell phones or engaged with other moms and dads. I didn't know what to do. I certainly didn't let G snatch toys even though she threw a fit. I don't feel appropriate disciplining other people's kids either. But I am determined not to lose the use of the park because of a few assholes. What do other people do when this kind of thing happens?


Blogger Mama M said...

I've blogged about this a lot, and I remember when Boo was younger it was so much tougher since it was all new ground and I thought I was the only mom annoyed about this! But it is all age appropriate and everybody's kid does it. What to do about it though is another story.

It's so tough and it totally depends on the individual situation. On the one hand, I want my kid to learn to work through things on his own (I'm not going to be there protecting him every second of his life), so if it's just one small incident where a kid grabs something, I let it go and see how he reacts to it, let him deal with his emotions for a bit. Kids grab toys - it's what they do as they learn their independence and the right and wrong ways of asserting it. If my kid grabs a toy, however, from another kid, I try to step in and either make him give the toy back and apologize or have him swap another toy with that kid, and still apologize. Of course, it doesn't always work and sometimes I have just removed him from the situation to calm down and explain why it was wrong.

On the other hand, if there is one kid who is consistently being aggressive toward my kid (say, he grabs toys from him four times and pushes him or something), I will step in and just try to say something like "he was playing with that toy, can you play with this toy instead and then you can trade in a few minutes and share?" or something like that. You can't step in everytime, and you'll learn when you will want/need to and when to let the kids learn to be kids.

Just my two cents from my own experiences. It certainly does suck when your kid is the younger one of the bunch though and gets pushed around by the older kids with none of their moms in sight.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Mama M said...

OK - that was the longest comment ever. SORRY!!!!

9:03 PM  
Blogger pregnancyweekly said...

That is such an interesting post. I always thought that Portland is a beautiful, green, peaceful place to raise your children. Funny how the parents are so relaxed on watching their children.

It really is difficult to answer your question. Since Emmi is only 7 weeks tomorrow, I haven't yet had to deal with her playmates stealing toys. First, do as the other parents do and just let kids be kids and let them play. OR, get involved and explain to the other kids that its not right to take whats not yours.
Jeez, there's really no win-win situation here.

Good luck!

4:22 PM  
Blogger mcewen said...

Very tricky that one. You sort of have to judge each incident on it's own merits at the time, but the bottom line is to trust your own instincts.
Best wishes

4:49 AM  

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