Before, all I worried about when I went to the playground was that my son would fall from some high place and break his neck. Now, the structures don't terrify me so much since Equis learned how to navigate those large gaps in the ladders and knows not to try to slide down the fireman's pole.
Instead, I'm scared to pieces by kids. Yes, kids!
Without fail, there are mean kids who swat at my little boy as if he were an annoying fly getting in their way. Although he is big for his age, Equis is still small compared to some of these children, and he's easily pushed around. Kids will shove him to the side while he's trying to go down the slide and tell him to go away when he's fascinated by their ball.
I find myself standing up for my kids at least once or twice on every trip to the playground, saying,
- "Don't you dare push my son!"
- "We came to the park to play not to fight!"
- "Give him his toy back!"
Yesterday, two little boys took my stepson's ball and refused to let him play with them. They ran around him and away from him and laughed at him. One boy pushed him twice, tried to grab him by the neck and then ripped off his jacket and started singing, "Nah nah nah nah nah!" That was it for me. My sister's boyfriend grabbed the jacket and my sister told those kids they were being nasty.
Worse yet, the parent of these kids did nothing but watch! It's frustrating beyond belief when the mean kids' parents stand idly by while their children taunt mine. I don't get it. In the same way that I stand up for my kids, I also stand up for other kids when I see mine doing something wrong. Why don't other parents do the same?
Are they just being lazy or are they tired of trying to control their kid? I don't know the answer, but it upsets me. As parents, it's our responsibility to teach our children to be kind to others and how to solve problems in a way that is respectful and considerate of everyone.
I'm tired of having to leave the playground because of mean kids and apathetic parents.
Do your kids get pushed around at the playground too? How do you respond?