How to deal with child you don't know being mean/rude to your kid in a plaground?

Tamra - posted on 10/04/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




I had an explosive encounter today and I'm not sure what if anything I did wrong. I took my kids to the indoor play area at an indoor mall and I was at the time watching my younger son so I didn't see the encounter that my eldest child had (daughter who's 7). But she came up to me with her friend and they were both saying that a boy was pushing them and spitting (blowing raspberries) not listening etc. I'm a soft spoken person who doesn't like to have to confront anyone but I tried to put a stern face and I walked over to the boy (5 or 6?) and asked if he would play nice. He said she (my daughter) pushed; to which my daughter replied (I only was pushing him back!); to which I calmly told both my daughter and then the boy not to push. So I walked back to my younger son and sat down and I thought that was that. Well after a few minutes the mom comes irate with her son. I had my baby in my lap and with a voice full of anger asks if I told her son not to push. I said yes and she explodes on me saying that he said my daughter was pushing not him. I was taken aback but tried to reply that her friend also saw him pushing but she shouted over me saying don't talk to my son you talk to me not my son! She kept shouting this while I tried to calmly say something.( she was a big woman and looked angry enough to hurt me). I finally just said I am talking to you not him, but at that she left and went back to where she was sitting and then eventually left with her family.

So after all that I feel terrible and feel like that was all so unnecessary, and I never want this to happen again...

What is the proper way to handle rude kids that you don't know? I thought it was ok to calmly and gently talk to the child if the parent was not intervening and not in sight, and if they continue or it's more serious then find the kids parents?


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Ev - posted on 10/04/2014




I have to agree with Jodi. You could have asked that child to point out their parents to you and then gone and talked to them. You still might have gotten an angered reaction out of her anyway but then the child would not have been talked to. I also think that next time you might suggest to your daughter that maybe its time to go do something else like take a walk around the mall halls and look at things and then return later to the play area. My friend had similar issue when this child about 2 years old was sitting down near her at the local apartment complex pool. He spit on her and laughed thinking it was funny. She asked him not to do it anymore and then he did so again. She finally told him to go somewhere else. Then this woman came over and got all mad and almost in her face telling her to not tell her child what to do and that my friend was hitting him and so on. My friend told her she did not like being spit on and had asked him to stop or go to another part of the pool. She also told the woman she did not know who the parents or guardians were of the kid and saw no one watching him. That made the woman more irate and she yelled some more threatening to call the cops. My friend told the on site manager what happened. Later she come to find out that the woman was not even a renter of the complex and was not even supposed to be in the pool. The woman was never seen in the pool area again. What if that woman had hit her or worse? That could have happened to you. These days a lot of parents think that their kids do no wrong and a lot of the time the same parents do not watch their kids either. Just be very careful.

Jodi - posted on 10/04/2014




The trouble is, you don't know what kind of parent that child has. As a teacher myself, I can tell you that some parents, if you did this, would probably walk up and smack you one. I honestly have children whose parents have the potential to become violent at the slightest little inkling that you have in any way criticised their child.

So for that reason, I would always say to err on the side of caution and talk to the parent not the child.

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