When other kids are mean to your kids. Introducing Ghetto Mom.


I recently purchased a Groupon voucher for Alfresco Restaurant in Muldersdrift. While this post is not about that actual experience, I will say that I was not happy with this deal. The food and service left a lot to be desired, and the voucher itself was misleading. I understand this is the risk one takes when buying these vouchers, but I’ve never been as disappointed with a deal as I was with this one. Suffice to say, we will not be visiting this place again. Voucher or not.

But yes, we went to this place for lunch on Saturday.

The kids immediately bolted off to the play area as they always do. It’s the same scenario wherever we go:ย they rip off their socks and shoes, yell their drinks order to me (usually 2 cream sodas or a bubblegum milkshake for her and a Bar One milkshake for him) as they dash off to play. I usually grab them back by their collars to make sure they know exactly where we are sitting and to make sure they are cognisant of their surroundings and remind them for the 1879th time to be careful, play nicely, don’t talk to strangers and yell if someone does something to make you feel uncomfortable… much eye rolling from the husband at this point.

We were sitting at a table quite close to the play area and I could see them perfectly. They moved over to a jungle gym where three other kids were playing, and I clearly heard this little horrid selfish naughty brat girl and presumably her brother say to my two that they must “go from here” and “go play somewhere else.” The third child didn’t say anything but didn’t object either. They were between the ages of 4 – 6 possibly.

Liam and Hannah were shell shocked and ran back to our table. I felt the heat rise at the back of my neck when I saw the tears in Liam’s eyes. This kid. He is such a softy. Hannah was like “THOSE KIDS SAID WE CAN’T PLAY THERE MAMA, WHY?”

Right.

I put on my best pursed lipped fake smile and said to both of them that they could play ANYWHERE they wanted to. I said to Liam that if anyone told him he couldn’t play ANYWHERE he wanted to play, he was to tell them that THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY AND I CAN PLAY ANYWHERE I PLEASE AND IF YOU DARE SAY THAT TO ME AGAIN, YOU WILL FORCE ME TO USE MY KARATE MOVES ON YOU.

No, I didn’t say that.

I told them very nicely that they could play wherever they liked. I said that if anyone gave them any trouble, they should first tell them that they could play anywhere they so wished and if that kid was still troublesome to come and CALL me and I would talk VERY nicely to that kid.

Of course Liam did not want to go and play anywhere near those kids again. But my Hannah… bold, brave Hannah. She just makes me laugh! She went back to play, and forced Liam to go with her. I could hear this kid getting all lippy again, and much to my husband’s annoyance, I got up and walked casually over there and proceeded to give all the kids, including my own two, a lecture on playing nicely together and sharing all the equipment. Note, these children’s parents were all within earshot the WHOLE time and not ONE of those adults got up to do anything. My speech promptly shut those horrid children up, and the main instigator sulked off back to their table.

I was so MAD. Firstly at those kids. And I am not an idiot, I know children can be naaaaasty, I know they can be ruthless in their likes and dislikes and they have absolutely no filter, I get that. But the part that I don’t get… aren’t all parents trying to raise their kids to be good? Aren’t all parents trying to make sure their kids are at least civil and if you physically see your kid being mean, don’t you step in? It blows my mind that you would allow your kid to be mean to another child. Had the tables been turned and it was my kid behaving like that, I would have dealt with my kid right there and then. Yes I am one of those mothers who WILL embarrass you in public if you are ugly to someone else or if you behave in an offensive manner. I know all about playground politics and my husband and I have VERY different views on how to deal with it. My husband encourages our children to fight back, to stand up for yourself. While I promote standing up for yourself, I absolutely do not believe in fighting back, I believe you run and tell the nearest adult PRONTO. Husband believes that this opens your child up to being bullied when he/she is constantly running to Teacher with complaints about the other kids. I am of the believe that encouraging fighting is NEVER the answer. (Although I won’t lie, I’m not paying for karate classes just for the cute uniform if you get what I’m saying.) I’ve always said no hitting, punching, biting, no NOTHING, basically you don’t touch another person unless you’re hugging them. But I also don’t want my kid to be the playground push over. While Liam has a lot of “mouth,” he is really a big softy and this worries me as he ventures out into Big School next year. I won’t be there to defend him, both of them in fact. I won’t be there to go all-ghetto on those bratty kids. And I won’t be there to tell them what to do. I witnessed first hand this weekend what Liam would do, he would walk away and have a cry! And that BREAKS my heart! We chatted about it on the way home and both Dad and I encouraged them to stand up for themselves if they know someone is being nasty, but what else can one do?

How would you handle this situation? How are you gearing your kids up for playground politics?ย 

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17 thoughts on “When other kids are mean to your kids. Introducing Ghetto Mom.”

  1. Oh I would do exactly what you did. And do tell me about the voucher. How was it misleading? I am always a bit weary of the Groupon things and have very seldom done it after one bad experience

  2. Even at Ethan’s age, with the little interaction he gets with the two in our complex, I feel heartbroken every time this type of thing happens. Whether they say he can’t do such and such or if they purposely exclude him, I can see the heartbreak all over Ethan’s face. Problem is that one of the kids will hit him or push him when they’re out of my sight and he consciously knows this. So I’ve taught Ethan to hit him back. If I see Ethan hitting first, he gets a paddywack and a good talking to by me. Otherwise, I encourage him to hit this particular child back. I think that it’s a really tough one though! Get where both you and By are coming from. My heart breaks too knowing that I won’t be able to defend Ethan!!

  3. Hi, I don’t have any easy answers, but I once heard a talk by this guy which made a lot of sense (http://bullies2buddies.com/). He basically believes in not telling on either. You have to make the bully your friend. The key is not to do a big reaction. Maybe ignore the instruction to go away and casually say “Oh I thought this playground was for everyone. Hey I like your shoes.” Play nearby. Not sure if this would have worked, am trying to be creative here. I used to be a grade one teacher and after every break there was so much telling on I got sick of it and tried to teach the kids to solve their own problems. Telling on just makes it worse and creates more enemies. Of course there is a time for telling on if things are really bad, I’m just trying to put it in perspective.

    1. Good point Heather! Didn’t think about it like that. My only concern with this, is that you have to have a lot of confidence and self esteem to handle it like that, and there are very few 4/5 year olds who are this adept with dealing with this situation this way! But good way to teach your kids as they grow on how to deal with bullies!

  4. I agree with both you and your husband. If the situation is small, the kids should deal with it themselves. But disallowing kids to play on public equipment, that’s a clear no-no to me. I, unfortunately, live in a neighborhood where there’s a HUGE sense of entitlement, and I OFTEN find myself reminding adults that play is for ALL kids. (Ironic, right?) Fair is fair. Kids can’t always fight for their rights, so by all means, get ghetto on their asses!

  5. This is such a difficult situation. I am one of those mothers who is all over the jungle gym. I walk around while my little one is playing and that seems enough for most kids to know there is an adult around. It is usually the bigger kids playing rough that bothers me. But just having an adult presence usually lowers the violence. If I think it is getting too much, I just nicely tell the kids to watch out for the little ones. It seems to work. I cannot do Spur type places yet. I am not relaxed enough to let my baby go do it alone. The few times we let him play at Spur, we were hovering and sitting right next to the window. It is so stressful, we do not do it. I think it is good that you spoke to the other kids, maybe their parents will also learn appropriate behaviour.

    1. I know what you mean MamaCat, it does get easier to let go as they get older, don’t worry! Also, benefit to having another baba… they look out for each other, hint hint!! LOL!

  6. No.1- it’s so, so sad the number of parents who ARE NOT teaching their children to be “nice”.
    No.2- you need to teach your child that not every one will like/love them (we learned this the hard way, and the offender was a teacher!) but that they are greatly loved by their Number One Daddy and by you.
    No.3- you need to teach your children that “bad” kids need lots and lots of love…
    Isn’t it sad though? Xxx

  7. Oh dear! I am not upset with the kids, I want to assume they don’t know better, but the adults!!!! That leaves a lot to be desired and worries me greatly!!!!

    Groupon!!!! I am just waiting for my credit to finish so I can stop using it. I don’t think the hassle with many of the vouchers I have got have been worth the so called savings. Only one I liked so far was the canvas prints, but each time I have bought for restaurant or massage or a photo book I have been disappointed! Yes I have credit because I have requested for one too many refunds ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  8. You did a great job. It often astounds me how parents lack the ability to parent in those situations.

    I will happily get all finger waggy up in their hizzle if they are rude to my kids and the same goes if mine are rude to others. As it should be.

  9. I have stepped in before when my kids were small and now with Jack. Until they are able to handle these things on their own I will keep stepping in. I leave the older kids now and generally they work it out somehow.

    On Heathers note – there is a bully at K’s school, he hasn’t touched her but there are issues with other kids, so the school facilitated a friendship between him and the one girl he was bullying. They also published one of his assignments and are actively focusing on positive reinforcement.

  10. I’m also not using Groupon or Wicount anymore. I have R500 credit from Groupon and then I’m DONE!

    Now on the other matter, I say fight back. I’m with Byron ๐Ÿ™‚ D’s with you. I say Jesus stood up for himself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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