‘I watched 2 kids smack my son. I actually found myself saying, ‘That’s not nice, stop!’

“I’m going to be a real sanctimommy here, and possibly an unpopular opinion… but I need t0 get this off my chest.

Kids will be kids. Kids are snotty, they’re possessive, they’re demanding, they’re cute mostly, but they can be little aggressive ninjas sometimes. There’s no other place to discover this than when you put a whole bunch of kids together at a play center.

When we are at a play center, I am a little hellicopterish. Not full helicopter, but one eye is on my mom friend and my latte, and the other is on my child. I like to make sure they’re safe, that they play nice, that they don’t snatch, or sock a child in the face. Because that isn’t cool. I am definitely not overly helicopter. I let them go and learn, and I’m not a parent who will not let any other kid go in the vicinity of mine. I want them to socialize and have a good time and all play nice. I am responsible for my own child when it comes to this.

If we are on public property, nothing is my child’s. It’s everyone’s. So just because my son wants a turn driving in a little toy car that little Tommy is in, it’s a case of ‘too bad, son, you are not entitled, you wait your turn.’ When little Tommy gets off, then you can play. This is the concept of share. It is amazing how many adults are yet to grasp this.

However, if it’s my son’s car, it’s his, and if my son wants Tommy to play, then Tommy can play.

I’ve never told another child off in my life. I don’t like it. It’s not my responsibility. My responsibility, like I said, is to my child. If my son snatches, I correct him. If my daughter smacks, I correct her. If my kids are jerks, I step in. This behavior is not okay at any age.

However, today I found myself saying the words, ‘Hey, that’s not nice… please stop’ to two little kids. Kids that weren’t mine. Why? Because no one else was going to do it. I watched two 5-year-old’s ram one of those mini drivable cars into my daughter and laugh while she fell over, while I was helping my son into the ball pit. (This was at a 4 and under play center).

I watched a little boy climb on top of a jungle gym where his mom had no idea he was about to come falling down, and I caught him. She came over when she saw a stranger carrying her kid and gave me a dirty look while she snatched him off me. I watched two kids push and smack my son while he was trying to go down a slide… and I actually found myself saying, ‘that’s not nice, stop!’

I’ve never liked to tell a stranger’s kid off, but if you’re going to pretend you can’t see it because you want to sit and chat, then I’m going to tell your child off.

I’m not perfect, not even in the slightest. But I’m polite and I’m not in the business of raising jerks. I’ve been up all night, too. I am desperate for social time too. I’m lonely, I’m tired, my neck hurts and everything else… but I also don’t believe that my kid is entitled to pull your kid’s hair because I want a hot coffee.

And if you see my kid be a jerk, you tell him off too, or tell me and I’ll correct him ASAP.

This is the sense of a community.

Mothers, if we don’t have each other’s backs like this, then how can it be a smooth experience for all? This is a village and it only works if we all do our part, that way we can all have a good time.

Watch ya damn kid.

Edit: I didn’t scream or smack the kid. I said it in a low tone that was non-threatening. If you saw your child being slapped repeatedly and his hair pulled by two kids, you’d do the same thing.”

Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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