some parents just don't understand

tonight we all go to the park down the street.  it is a perfect summer night and the park was packed with kids of all ages.  Sam and Papa went out in the field to throw the football around, and Eli and I were hanging out on the grass.

if I'm in the right kind of place with nothing much to do, I'm very much a people watcher.  at the park, I watch the kids - who came with who, how they play together, how they play with my son, which parents are watching which kids - all that kind of stuff.

so I see an older girl, maybe 9 years old, with a friend and they're both watching her little brother, probably 5 years old.  I didn't really see them until I heard her yelling at her brother.  the poor boy was doing nothing wrong, but his sister and her friend seemed to enjoy screaming at him, telling him what to do.  well, his reaction was to yell back and then he began defending himself by hitting and kicking when they were pulling him off the playground.  it was obvious the parents weren't around, it was obvious (by what she was saying) that the girl was a total brat, and the situation was obviously out of control.

for those of you who know me, you know that I'm really not one to butt into other people's problems (unless asked of course) and I never make my opinion known loud enough for everyone to hear.  but when I saw her drag this boy off the playground and pull his arm so hard, it whipped him around and he fell hard on the ground, my instinct took over and I instantly stood up and ran over to them and said "you let go of him, I don't care if this is your brother or not, you do not treat people this way!  where is your mother?  go get her now!"  my heart was beating so fast, not out of nervousness, but I think it was just the shock of what I saw.  I knew someone had to do something, and no other parents near by seemed to want to get involved.  I wish I had the right words to really paint a clear picture for you, I guess just trust me on this one, it was out of hand.

what is wrong with some parents?!
having your 9 year old watch your 5 year old at the park is probably an ok thing to do.  it seems to me if you really know your kids - their temperament, their desire for control, how they treat others, etc - you would know if they are trustworthy to be left alone like that.

she came over, asked me what happened, and that was it.  no discipline for the kids, no thank you to me, no apology for what happened, nothing.  I know I'm not entitled to any of that, yet again, I'm just shocked.  she did carry the boy back to wherever she was sitting; he was holding his arm the rest of the night.  I hope he's ok, physically and emotionally.

why isn't common sense not so common these days?

now to compare to my mommy dearest post -
in a situation like this one, I do think a child's actions are a reflection of their parents.  where would she learn to scream like that to her brother?  why would it be ok for her to physically remove him the way she did?  I don't necessarily believe those are the same actions of her parents, but her parents must've have seen this (or something very similar) happen beforehand and just let it slide.

parents, you have to pick your battles.  in my opinion, this is a big one and it must be chosen.  now I know that kids at the playground will get into tiffs, or not like the way someone else plays, or steal their toys.  our kids need to be taught how to handle these situations.  if we don't teach them, little girls (and boys) like this one will be at the playground and will teach for you.

ok now that I've vented a bit, am I overboard on this one?

1 comment:

Robyn said...

I watched a similar situation at the park near my house with three teenagers watching a younger brother, and no parent around. I wasn't sure who the older sibling was because they were all treating him badly. I was so frustrated and didn't know what to do so I just told them I was watching them. (It also looked like they were writing on the playset with a permanent marker and I told them they better not be, and it scared them)
I left there very concerned for the little boy, knowing this was not an isolated situation and just said my prayers.
I think you did the right thing, though. Someone has to.