I took Reese to the playground today. Reese is experimenting with her freedom to crawl all around, under the slide, through the tunnels up the stairs…of course I’m right behind her.
Today there was this three-year-old boy who wanted to play with Reese. He was very sweet and gentle with her at first. Then she started crawling after her and he chased right into her, making her collapse forward. She was fine. The little boy’s mother nonchalantly said, “Be careful,” to him. I thought it was innocent enough. That is until he continued to do it a second time and this time a bit rougher so in the kindest voice I could have said, “She’s a baby, you need to be careful with her so you don’t hurt her.”
A few minutes later Reese was playing on her own sitting up and this same little boy crawled right into her and pushed her down, hovering right over her. She looked up at me frightened like, "Mommy, what's going on?" I nearly lost it. I physically put my hand between the two and said, “Please don’t touch her, you’re hurting her.” Finally, I just picked her up and we went to do a different activity and it was clear to his mom that we did not want to play with her son anymore.
I don’t have a three-year-old little boy and I don’t know what it’s like. So it’s easy for me to say what I’m about to say. As a parent it’s not okay to calmly watch your child intentionally run over or push another child. Even at a very young age kids need to start to understand that this type of behavior won’t fly. It’s not my job to have to tell your child to stop doing something that is hurting another child. In this case said parent was not doing their job so I stepped in and said something.
I am not sure why I am so worked up about this incident. I guess it’s because it’s the first time I’ve seen another child aggressive toward mine. And I’m annoyed that this child’s mom didn’t do anything about it. Is this just being a first-time over-protective parent? Maybe all three year old boys "play" like this?
If a similar situation presented itself to you, what would you do? And if you were the parent of this child, how would you handle it?