Anonymous

Would you remove another child from a play space if your own child was “in danger?”

We were at a splash pad and my son (2.5 yrs) was trying to climb up a turtle. I was watching from afar and didn’t notice that a small kid (maybe 10 months?) had crawled up right next to my son. I don’t think my son was hurting the other kid or anything but just trying to climb up the turtle. Then a mom came running in yelling “be careful with the baby!” Confused, that’s when I repositioned myself to see what was going on... then my son again, attempted to climb the turtle (not touching the baby but obviously struggling to climb up the turtle). Then she yelled at my son again and before I could react, she grabbed his arm and moved him away (like 4 feet or so). I’m not confrontational so I didn’t say anything to the other mom. My son was fine and just went to play with something else. If she did hurt my son in anyway though I know I would have said something about it to her. Am I weird for thinking that instead of touching another child that you don’t know... why wouldn’t she just remove her own kid from the “danger?” What is playground etiquette on handling other people’s kids??? I know I’ve said stuff to other kids before like “please no hitting/kicking/etc” but I don’t think I would ever grab another child like that unless they were about to fall off something.

  • becky
    Jul 12

    No one should have grabbed your son unless he was in danger. If she is so concerned with her 10 month old she should have been right next to them the entire time. Who leaves their 10 month old at a water park?! I agree that it's okay to tell another child to not hit but physically touching them is a no no.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Jul 12

    That is crazy. ESPECIALLY when you have babies, you stick to them. Your job is to keep them out of the bigger kids way. Babies don’t belong amongst toddlers and up unless you decide to be responsible for them. You should go in knowing that is a danger because toddlers and up just don’t know and are engrossed in discovery. People are crazy. The only time I have touched a child or seen a parent touch mine was in a danger situation like the time a kid fell and busted her nose so I carried her to her mom or the time I was too far away to stop my 1.5 yr old from walking in front of a swing (I have 3 kids 4 and under and am pregnant) and a wonderful mom grabbed her for me.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 12

    If your son was there first, the Mom should have grabbed their baby and gotten out of the way. If your kid had come pushing their way in I feel that mom would have a little more room to say something. But even if a 2.5 yo approached my 10mo I would probably tell them to be careful and that we were here first then pick my baby up and move on. Now if it was a 5 yo or up who came up and pushed their way in I would stand my ground a tell them to go somewhere else because they are old enough to respect others space. In none of these situations would I physically remove someone else's kid. Only if the child asked for help getting down or something would I pick them up.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 12

    The mom should have grabbed her baby and removed the baby from the area, but you also should have told your son to be careful. It's a courtesy thing. Its every parents responsibility to keep the play area safe and if you're spn is struggling to climb something he can fall and get seriously hurt. I believe her concern was that he was going to fall and hurt the baby on his way down. It's hard to say exactly without know how big the object he was climbing, etc. As for grabbing your son, she was completely out of line. No stranger should lay their hands on any child. If she was that concerned about your son climbing or potentially hitting your child she should have taken her baby and searched for the parent of the boy.

  • Carla
    Jul 12

    I would have gone off on someone if they laid a hand on my son. Your son was there first, so the baby should have been removed.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 13

    First of all, NO ONE has any right whatsoever to touch, let alone scold & drag your child!!!!! Unless his life was in danger or if he was seriously causing intentional harm to another child. What is wrong with this woman! I’m sorry but that would have been a pass at being confrontational. That’s horrible! As a mother of a freaking baby, her job is to be by his side 24/7. Especially if he’s gonna be put in a situation where there are kids of all ages. Regardless if your kid was there first or not he is of age to be using what that climbing structure was made for. Lady should’ve picked her baby up & gone someone where else. When I would take my now 2 y/o to the park I would very nicely tell the other kids to PLEASE PLEASE be careful & be nice to my baby. If I saw things were getting rough I would remove MY BABY not the poor kids that are of age to be in said area. This is infuriating.

  • Paloma
    Jul 13

    No...I would never touch another child...I have a 3 year old and I have always redirected her. When she was an infant I would simply move her out the way and yes I agree with the other posters I was always stayed within 2 feet from her when she was an infant. I can't expect toddlers to be careful around a baby... toddlers are very spontaneous and they can go from zero to 100. when my daughter was younger and toddlers were around I just simply always just moved her out of they're way and never left them alone. Now at 3 years old I keep her within eye sight but every time there is a younger child or baby near her I always tell her "Be careful with the baby" I say it loud and clear so that not only my daughter hears but also the parent of the baby. That alone has worked wonders for me usually the parent hears me so they are now aware that bigger kids are around and also my 3 year old has learned to always slow down when babies are around. I have seen younger kids get hurt and trampled by bigger kids all the time... at the end of the day it's each parents responsibility to weigh the risk factor when on a playground...but touching another child has always been a big NO NO to me.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 13

    If I saw that baby I would have been close by to make sure that my son didn’t hurt the baby. But because I don’t want to be that hovering parent (especially when he is 2.5 yrs old), I didn’t see that baby crawl up right next to my son from where I was standing watch. I have no issues with other parents asking my son to be careful, not hit, etc if I’m not right there... I just felt that it crossed the line for her to grab my son to move him away from the play area like she owned that turtle. My son was able to climb the turtle, he was just struggling to climb because it was slippery and I believe he was trying to be careful with the baby nearby. If the baby wasn’t nearby he would have swung his leg over the shell - which I have seen him accomplish before. The second time that the mom yelled at my son and I had repositioned myself to see what was going on, I saw that my son didn’t even touch or upset the baby in any way. She removed my son as a precaution for her own child.

  • Geena
    Jul 15

    She should have removed her baby considering it’s a public place and anyone can play there. Would she have done the same thing if there were 5 2.5 years old climbing and running around?

  • anonymous mom
    Jul 16

    So first I never would have let my baby be alone like that mom did but i am honestly “that mom” that I’d probably have been right there with my 2.5 year old too. Having said that, I recently did grab another child at the playground and I did it before I even realized what I did!!! But my story is different...at least I hope so. my daughter will be 2 next month and she’s just recently started to feel brave enough for the tall slides. Not super tall but probably about 10 feet up. The one at my neighborhood playground that’s that high up is a tunnel slide. My daughter had only gone and done it maybe twice so she was still going through the motions of getting her courage to push off. What I was doing since I was there with her alone was I’d help her get to the top of the slide and then once she pushed off I’d run down to meet her at the bottom. I was being overly conscious of the other kids and making sure they all went and the coast was clear before I had her enter the tunnel so she wouldn’t hold up the line. Anyway the third time she went to try she was hesitating a bit and the same child who had just gone down ran back up and she was still sitting there. He was at least 5, maybe 6. He watched for about 3 seconds and then right AS IM STANDING THERE ENCOURAGING HER TO GO he says, “just slide already!!!” And kicks my daughter!! I grabbed him by the arm and definitely yanked him back and yelled, “you don’t kick children! Give her time!” Before I bolted down and got my daughter from the bottom of the slide. It was really frustrating and I’m still not sorry I did what I did. His mom was sitting on the other side of the playground and barely looked up. I went and let her know what happened and she literally shrugged and didn’t even make eye contact with me and I don’t really think she even said anything so I did feel bad that from the brief interaction I had with his mom it appeared he really wasn’t getting the best instruction on how to manage himself at the playground. But that could also be me being way more judgmental than I care to admit I am.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 17

    @julie - in situations where I know my son isn’t confident on the playground or if I see him near older kids, I would be right there hovering too because I know that older kids might not be careful around him or my son might interfere with their play and put himself in danger. I’ve been in those slide/ladder situations too where an older child is pushing my son to go up/down faster. And luckily I’ve never encountered your situation where my son was kicked or pushed down successfully. A few times I’ve seen the motions of the other kids and I will yell really loudly and startle them. Once I see that they don’t understand to do that, I will literally stand behind my son to be his protective shield between these kids and him. I know I have placed my arms up to stop kids from getting near my son, but when it becomes too much for me to handle, I would remove my own son (even at 2.5 yrs old). I honestly don’t know what I would have done in the heat of the moment in your situation... I agree that parents of older kids still need to watch and discipline their kids on playing near younger kids... but at the same time when you have the option to remove your own child or another child from danger... remove your own child or put your arms up and be the protective barrier.

  • HS
    Jul 18

    I have a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old. I have never sat back while my kids played at any playground, even if there were only a couple other kids there. The reason is because it is my job to watch over my kids to make sure that they are playing nicely to other kids, taking turns and that they are also using the equipment safely. More often than not I see mom's sitting back on a bench just watching, this is really annoying to me because I feel like I've just become their kids babysitter while they get a break and I certainly don't want to worry about someone else's kids, I'm there to just worry about my own. My kids are really well behaved, so that's not why I stay close but I know it's my responsibility to be right there and watch over them, especially if there's other kids. I don't agree with any parent grabbing or disciplining someone else's child. I think a lot of parents fear confrontation or awkward moments at the playground and that's why it's so important to be right with your child as to avoid that. I have seen kids crying because they are stuck and need help and thier mom's are not close enough to get to them but I've been right there and have felt like I absolutely needed to help this child and then the mom finally comes over and I've always smiled and been kind and said "I hope that was okay?" Also, I've had other kids ask me to help lift them onto a swing and that kind of puts me in an awkward spot as I don't want to offend the child's mom, this goes back to my comment of not wanting to become thier kids babysitter as i often feel I am. I think that mom grabbing your child was very inappropriate, she should've been right there with her baby and/or removed her baby from any possible accidents.

  • Beverly
    Jul 18

    That situation sounds weird and she shouldn't have touched him. But I was once at playground when a young/just-started-walking kid fell and was bleeding from the mouth while hysterically crying.... no parents in sight. I didn't care. I was right there. I picked that baby up and gave him a hug. The parents felt terrible and were non-confrontational about me picking him up. I think it really depends on the situation, and I would only put my hands on another kid if that kid was in danger or hurt.

  • Anthony
    Jul 20

    She should not have laid her hands on your son. And common sense on her end should have told her to maybe not have her 10 month old playing in a splash park amongst almost 3 year olds if she was that concerned

  • Amanda
    Oct 09

    So my personal opinion if I were toddler mom; once another parent speaks to my child, if I agree with the other parents position or not, I am going in. Not to be confrontational or apologetic but to let the other parent see I am present and capable of supervising my child and from close proximity would then be able to address whatever concern was at play. As baby mom, if you are close enough to the children to address the young toddler (which her own son will soon be) why be so hostile he’s a child he’s not setting out to harm your child. Instead I would probably also first mention (kindly) to be careful near the baby, if the situation was not resolved with my verbal request I would probably help toddler boy on to the turtle and let both children continue to play but now without the struggle to climb from TB the danger to BB is eliminated. Again this is only my opinion we all need to do what we feel is in our own child’s best interest