other people’s kids
I don’t mean foster kids, either. I just want to rant about the kids we run into at the indoor playgrounds, and I’m sure outdoor playgrounds when we can actually go outside. What is wrong with these children? They are mean, aggressive, even violent! My one-year-old LOVES balls, and there is an area full of bouncy balls of all sizes that I allowed her to play in, specifically because there were only other small children in there, children under the age of 3. And I’m not unreasonable, these are soft balls that won’t injure a child, but a kid is bound to get hit by a ball in this enclosure, and that’s ok if it’s by accident. A boy who was maybe two kept walking right up to her and throwing a ball right at her face with all his might, even after I told him “No. She’s just a baby, don’t hit her.” There was no other adult around who appeared to be supervising him. He looked right at me and threw a ball at MY face.
Then a girl of about 5 or 6 came into the ball area. She started throwing balls, HARD, at my one-year-old (who was not at all in anyone’s way). Then she started throwing balls at me! What nerve! Why would any child be so mean and aggressive towards babies and adults? Obviously, I took my baby out of there until those particular children were gone. There was only one child, one, who said he was sorry whenever he accidentally hit anyone with a ball. One lone child with manners!
It’s not just the ball area. In the other areas my 2 year old niece is continually up against very rude older children, who push her, growl at her, and refuse to let her pass. These are kids from the age of 2 to 5. I purposefully take them to play during a school day because school-age children are usually rough, although not intentionally.
I realize that a lot of the moms or caregivers there have several children, so they are not as hands-on about supervising them, and that’s fine. I have one precious child so I’m a lot more protective than someone who has five kids and has to let go a little more. I also understand that kids have conflicts, and accidents will happen on a playground, especially an indoor one. But what I can’t understand is how a child as young as two can be so blatantly violent and aggressive toward a little baby. I guess I have just been blessed to not have a child with these types of problems (yet), but if I did have one, I would definitely not let him run free amongst other kids.
On that note, there is something to be said for the “community” parenting styles of other cultures, specifically Asian and Black American cultures. They aren’t afraid to say, “No, don’t do that” to someone else’s child. But white Americans? We are petrified of anything that might be perceived as parenting when it’s not our own kid. I think this is to the detriment of everyone, and kids don’t get the benefit of the reinforcement that mean or “bad” behaviors are not acceptable.