Posted in Behavior, Parenting Culture, Toddlers

Playground etiquette

Today I took my daughter to the playground she is 20 mo, she was gonna use the slide when a boy probably around 2 yo climbed back on the slide it was a dual slide so I thought it was enough space for both to play, when the boy got closer to her then stepped on my daughter’s hand and didn’t move so I proceed to move his foot from my daughters hand and said don’t do that, then finally I heard the mom behind me saying don’t push him he is little he doesn’t know, and started yelling at me to which I answer back, then you should be watching your son, she said I’m doing but she was on the phone, I was on the phone as well but I never take my eyes off my daughter not just cause someone can harm her but because she can harm someone as well, she said I was overreacting, but I never heard her saying be careful with the girl or anything, nothing until I moved his feet from her hand So what do you guys think did I overreact, or any suggestions about how to handle this kind of situations?

  • trudy
    Apr 10

    Generally it's best not to physically touch anyone else's child unless either child is in imminent danger. So in this case, it might have been better to move your own child away from the boy, then let the other mother know what had happened. Or in a projected voice say "we have to take turns on the slide" or something similar so that the other mom has a chance to see the situation and parent accordingly.

  • Yuyuita
    Apr 10

    I don’t usually get physical with anyone else’s child, I always move mine but in this case he had his foot on top of her hand not just stepped on her and kept moving, he wouldn’t move his foot that’s why i had to move his foot in order to grab my daughter

  • Kieli
    Apr 11

    I took my 22 month old to an indoor play space, with a separate area for little kids like her. Well the bigger kids (there was 3 girls about 5 yrs old) playing in the ball pit with my daughter. I was keeping an eye on her because I was sitting down a little ways away. I then saw one of them proceed to push her down, so I got up and started walking to towards them so I can tell them to play nice. Well after that I then saw them start to lay on top of her, so I ran over to her and pulled my daughter out, and I yelled at them. I should not have yelled, but it just came out in the moment because the little girl was so much bigger than my daughter (she’s little for her age too). Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, especially when other parents aren’t paying attention. Like the others have said, maybe next time remove your child from the situation even if they didn’t do anything wrong. But I don’t think you overreacted, if someone was stepping on my child’s hand I would have probably done the same thing

  • T
    Apr 11

    If the “parent” won’t parent their child then be prepared for another to do so. I WILL protect mine at all cost!

  • Anonymous
    Apr 11

    I probably would have started with saying something like " uh oh, we don't step on our friends" in a friendly voice, which makes it non-threatening, and communal because WE don't do that. But if he still didn't move I would for sure move him off of her. How is that pushing? My husband got yelled at by a Mom the other day when her kids who she wasn't watching, left the playground to play in the woods, they were 5 or 6 years old and my husband was telling our 3 year old he couldn't follow them., But how is he supposed to know what your older kids can and can't do?! Obviously though stepping on someone is a universal no-no, and there should be nothing wrong in enforcing it. And p.s. 2 year olds 'know', they just have to be told 1000 times not do something.

  • PK
    Apr 12

    2 yr olds don’t know right or wrong if their parents didn’t teach them properly. I think what you did was fine. The other mom was probably embarrassed by it all and was on defensive mode for her actions. Instead of saying “don’t do that” I would try to model for your kid what to say... like “no thank you” (I hear a lot of other moms use this) or “excuse me” (my preference). Or what Anon suggested is great, “we don’t step on our friends.” Curious, how did your daughter react? Did she cry and look for you to help? I try to pause and see how my son responds to the situation before I take action. Especially if there is no immediate danger (was the other boy stepping hard like he was trying to crush her hands?). Maybe the other mom might have been less defensive if your daughter reacted first? 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Diana
    Apr 12

    I’m going to have to defend the other side: yes, I would have wanted to free my child’s hand... but I would have been far more worried about the dangerous fall that could result from someone lifting a child’s foot when they’re at the top of a slide. It sounds like your action had the potential to be a lot more dangerous than the inconsiderate two year old’s was.

  • Kate
    Apr 12

    Just another idea here: You can use a situation like this to teach your kiddo how to assert herself. Use a calm, confident voice and say something like, “[Name], tell him to stop. If you don’t like that, tell him. Say ‘stop’.” And if you say it a little loudly (but still calmly), the other kid’s parent may overhear and try to help. We’re not always going to be around them, so we might as well try to teach them how to handle these situations - that’s my thought, anyway. If she can’t quite say that yet or is still unsure how to handle the situation herself, I would then try to model the behavior and, in a calm, matter-of-fact tone, just tell him to stop, take his foot off her hand, etc. I don’t think what you did was necessarily out of line. I remember the first time another kid pushed my daughter on the playground - it happened so fast, I was right there, and we were both just kind of stunned. The mom ran up apologizing, everyone was fine. But I definitely didn’t have the clarity of mind to use the tactic above. It’s taken both my daughter and me some “training” to try to address these situations differently now.

  • Yuyuita
    Apr 13

    My daughter didn’t cry but I wasn’t gonna wait until I had deal with a crying baby, right now she is going through a phase where she freezes when someone comes to close to her, there have been times where other toddlers come close to her to touch her or even push her but I can see clearly that is out of curiosity in those cases she just stands and do nothing so I just tell her come let’s go try this instead( slide,swing or toy ) He was never in danger, cause he wasn’t at the edge of the slide, and I did tell him don’t step on her hand and he just stood there I didn’t yell at him, I don’t like to tell other kids what to do, cause If their mom don’t say anything it means they are ok with that kind of behavior. We’ve been in similar where someone pushes her and the moms would say “no, don’t do that, be nice, or say sorry “ but in this case I didn’t even see or hear the mom until she was yelling at me for moving her son’s foot from my daughters hand. Thanks all for your opinions I appreciate them