I’ve always considered myself a fairly chilled parent; I generally let my kids sort out their own dramas and only give them guidance when they need it.
I’ll intervene if it’s necessary of course, they’re only little after all. I’ve also always been cool with other parents intervening if one of my children is doing something they shouldn’t be; after all, with three kids I don’t see absolutely everything that goes on.
But another parent told my son off at the park earlier this week, and I am not okay with it.
Alfie is a gentle boy. Image supplied.
You see, this particular mother is one of those Very Important Mothers, who is always making very important phone calls and talking to the P&C (do kindergartens even have P&Cs? I wouldn’t know) about very important matters.
In short, she’s never watching her child at the playground. This would be fine if he wasn’t the child who absolutely tyrannises the rest of the children at the playground basically every afternoon.
In fact, her little tyrant and his tribe of other tyrants are referred to as “the naughty babies (whose mothers are too busy gossiping to watch)” by other parents there.
My son, Alfie, has always been on the outer of this particular group, and seems quite intimidated by them.
On this particular afternoon though, Alfie had a toy that the rest of the boys wanted to play with (an Angry Birds missile launcher, thanks McDonald’s) and he bonded with one boy in particular and they were playing together really well. It was actually really beautiful to see, because he doesn’t make friends very easily.
The thing you need to know about Alfie is that he’s a very gentle boy, and while he can be loud and rowdy, he really doesn’t have a violent bone in his body.
So when I looked up and saw him in a shoving match with The Head Naughty Baby, it came as a shock to me.
When I then saw his mother stride over and tell Alfie off, I was a bit speechless, mostly because she was actually watching for once. Anyway, I asked him what had happened and he explained that he had pushed this boy because he was jumping on his friend. So he was actually defending his friend against the little tyrant, but of course the only part the mother saw in the brief moment she was watching was Alfie pushing.
I of course explained to Alfie that pushing is wrong, but I also reinforced that it’s really great he’s looking out for his friends.
Alfie and Kelly in happier times. Image supplied.
I didn’t say anything to the Very Important Mother, because I’m cool like that.
I did send enraged messages to husband and friends though, and basked in their responses “What a mole”, and “What a wanker”.
I have slightly changed my playground tune though; I’m still okay with other parents assisting in disciplining my children if I’m otherwise occupied, but not if their own child is terrorising the playground without consequence. Fair’s fair.
Mamamia Confessions: Things I do after the kids go to bed.