How do you deal with bratty kids in a playground? And how do you deal with the bratty kid’s bratty parent?
As a parent, I prefer to let my daughter deal with her playmates on her own. I don’t want her to grow up with a weak personality so I let her fight her own battles. Except when I have to remind her and sometimes the other kids to share the toys and play together. For a 3 year old toddler, my daughter have a small body frame, most often that not kids her age and older do not play with her because of her body built. Believe me, I’ve seen enough instances that made me realize that discrimination is not just limited to adults.
While she was playing with the toy train, a boy about 5 years of age took the toy that she was playing with. I let it go because Una didn’t look like she’s interested anymore because she walked away.
Una went to an unattended toy car filled with Angry Birds stuffed toys. She took one toy out of the car so she could use it when suddenly this 5 year old boy took the stuffed toy from her and put it back again in the toy car. So I took Una and told her to play with the other toy car instead, which she did.
No one was playing with the toy train so Una played with it again. When this 5 year old kid took the toy train from her hands (again) and told her “Akin ito” (It’s mine). I took the toy from him and told him that Una is still playing with it and to share the toy. He took it again, rather roughly, from Una’s hand and insisted that it’s his. This is where some of you might judge me with the way I reacted. I took the toy again from him and told him firmly (not loudly) that the toy is not his and to learn to share it.
Being a brat that he is, he cried when he learned that he won’t be able to play with the toy train that he claimed his. This is where the missing mom came into the picture and told me not to shout at him because it will cause him trauma. I agreed that I should have talked to her and told her to watch her kid’s actions.
Trauma? I have a kid who is being bullied in front of me by a boy who is bigger and taller than her. That can cause trauma. Telling the brat kid firmly that he can’t have a toy, which is not his by the way, is not traumatic. I know I should have told the mother. Which I would normally do if such a thing happened before this incident. But during those times, I never saw her come near the boy. She was sitting with her sister talking. How should I know that he was her kid, they didn’t look like each other.
After a while, Una moved on to another toy and the boy’s Aunt went to us and confronted me, in front of the other kids and parents. She again told me that I shouldn’t have done that because it can cause trauma to the kid. While she was talking rather loudly for the rest of the playground to hear, the said kid is jumping in the tarpaulin shouting “rawr” repeatedly. Yeah, clearly he’s traumatized.
I hate public confrontations so I just told her to just watch what their kids are doing. It should have ended there since I already talked to the kid’s mom. But no, she felt like talking so I just ignored her when she started saying “If it’s my kid blah, blah, blah…”. She also threatened me with the word sue and told me that if I’m educated (which is not the point by the way) I wouldn’t have done that. She must have exhausted her self being righteous and realized that I am pointedly ignoring her and finally left.
With the way the Aunt acted, she showed everyone that 1) her sister is weak and cannot hold her own battles 2) despite her rather supreme educational background, she handled the situation with less class and 3) she and her nephew are both brats.
I know everyone has different ways of parenting their kids. I may have let my inner Mama Bear out when I saw the boy bullying my kid. But I’m a mother and I won’t let anyone harass my kid, especially not in front of me. I’m sure there is a better way of handling it.
How would you handle such an incident?