It's always a tricky one, we've all been at a toddler group when another kid has snatched a toy from yours or slapped or kicked or said a naughty word but what do you do? You would like to think parent of said kid would come over, apologise and speak to their child but you are more likely to win the lottery. You can't really tell off someone elses child, so I've found myself saying "that wasn't very nice" and moving my child away from the terror kid! - I don't feel it's fair on my child for me to be moving him away when he hasn't done anything wrong, but on the other hand, I'm not going to leave him there to be upset by another child.
My child, at 21 months is a little copycat and this week he's seen another child hitting others and seems to be at the start of a phase which I'm desperately trying to nip in the bud. Twice this week he's hit another child, but he does it with a playful look and isn't doing it out of a tantrum. I've found myself apologising to other mums and taking him to one side to explain that what he did wasn't very nice and I make him say sorry to the poor child - luckily he's not hit hard enough to make other children cry and it's happened only the twice so fingers crossed that's it!
There was also an incident at Adventure Kingdom (Soft play centre) where two older boys were in the play area for under 4 year olds and were throwing balls around. My little one went to copy and I quickly had to stop him. You can see the confusion on his face, he doesn't understand why I'm stopping him from doing what other children are doing. I can't believe how different parenting can be, I by no means think I'm perfect but I do try my hardest. The mother of the boys throwing balls in the baby area (where there were some very young babies) was just sat in the cafe area playing on her mobile phone, oblivious to her older kids being in the baby area and throwing things - to me, that's not trying your hardest at parenting is it!?
Then there are the 50p rides! My son loves the Iggle Piggle boat ride so I sat him in it and put the money in and pressed start. An older kid shoves past me and climbs on the ride too, a very dirty scruffy looking kid who kept blowing a party streamer in Blake's face and scaring him. Again all I could say was "that's not a very nice thing to do" I looked round to see if I could see the kids mum but I couldn't. I didn't mind so much that I was paying for someone elses kid to have a ride as I was doing it anyway, but I did mind that this kid was scaring my son, climbing all over a moving ride and that I felt like I had been left responsible for this other child - what would have happened if he had fallen off the moving ride? he wasn't exactly sitting nicely. Should I have lifted him off? I'm 28 weeks pregnant and no idea how heavy a 5 year old would be? I don't think that would have been sensible!
What are you supposed to do when it comes to parenting etiquette with other children? I really felt like lifting the other child off the ride and making him stand in the corner for a minute and think about how it's not very nice to scare other children but I have a feeling if I had done that, the kids mum would have made herself known!
Have any of you been in similar situations and what is the right thing to do?
Emma in Bromley x