I used to totally be one of those people that knew how to parent better than EVERYONE,before I had a kid of my own. I was that obnoxious stranger giving people foul looks because their kid was throwing a fit in line at the food store, scowling at random people on the plane because their child was continuously kicking my seat and just passing judgement on matters I had absolutely no business even thinking about.
Now I am the proud mother of an incredibly smart, beautiful, inspiring little princess. The child that throws record breaking fits and shows great potential at being an extremely annoying and forceful seat kicker in the near future. As of now, I officially know everything about being the perfect parent :) Totally kidding! Every day I find myself looking blankly in aimless directions, horribly clueless about the proper way to handle ‘mommy situations’. For example, do I applaud my daughter for sharing with the dogs or try to explain that furry friends aren’t the same as human ones? However, there is one thing that I am totally certain of, no parent should ever be the one that drops their kids at the playground and hopes for the best.
My husband is currently stationed at Fort Richardson in the amazing state of Alaska. I have the ultimate privilege of being with him at this assignment and being able to raise our daughter together when he’s not deployed or temporarily away from home for training. However, it is very tricky and makes me crazy, to have a 1.5 year old indoors all day during the dark, cold, snowy winter. Of course, the military has provided it’s families with an indoor play facility called the Arctic Oasis. It is such an amazing place to run the little ones into a play induced coma, that is until the unattended 9 year old brat is aggressively forcing them self on the toddler slide, trying to take charge of my munchkin and constantly pushing her in a way that I’d like to turn around and return to them(don’t judge me, we’ve all thought about shoving the child that pushes ours).
I just don’t understand the rationale of dumping your child in a public place where children of ALL ages are welcome, while you go to do whatever your little
inconsiderate heart desires. I get that we all instill the best manners possible into our children and remind them constantly of proper public practices but they’re still children! BIG children who can be a danger to those smaller than them.
Since discovering this joy of parenthood, it has been a constant moral struggle for me. Because it happens more frequently than any normal person would figure, it’s a constant dilemma of ethics for my husband and I.
-Are you supposed to correct the child’s behavior?
-Do you explain your reasoning?
-Or just rudely grab your child from the situation, potentially hurting the big kids feelings and risking the situation repeating itself?
-Can you raise your voice if the child doesn’t respond and continues to torment your precious baby?
It may seem silly that I’m even pondering about this but I assure you that today I was confronted with the ultimate test of patience. This little rebel kid wouldn’t let me near my child and I didn’t want to have to yell at this poor misguided “youngin” or physically move her out of the way but I needed to rescue my innocent little baby from the situation. This big kid literally kept pushing her, lecturing her with directions that she couldn’t possibly understand and pulling her by her (now stretched out) clothing. Each time I would try to intervene, the big meanie would tell ME, a grown woman, that she had it under control and would try to innocently pat my daughter on the head, as if being a great leader of example. It made me sick to my stomach to encounter a situation where I didn’t know what to do in order to best protect my own whippersnapper. (I googled synonyms for the word child because I hate being too repetitive and I swear to you, whippersnapper was a legitimate suggestion even though its probably the funniest, most ridiculous word I have ever heard.)
For the love of playgrounds and parental sanity, stay with your own kids so someone else doesn’t have to. Your child’s day at the park shouldn’t ruin someone else’s.
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