The title does say questions for parents, but anyone who has ever experienced this (the aunts/uncles who took nieces/nephews out, what you have may experienced as a child, etc) are more than welcome to chime in. I'm listing a series of questions that you can think about and then will list what we did. You can say what you would have done differently or if you think we were out of line. I'd like to know. But please be charitable.
Question #1: This evening Hubby went into the play area with HB. Two children, an older boy about 4 or 5, and a girl about 2 were fighting. Hubby said the girl slapped the boy in the face first and then the boy proceeded to kick her until she cried and ran out. Their parents were not in the play area. What do you do?
Question #2: My friend came and after the meal all our children went into the play area. A little boy about 4 or 5 (same little boy incidentally), pinched him while he was talking to us. He was again unsupervised. What do you do if you were the adult?
Question #3: The little boy was down toward the end of the slide but refusing to move despite a number of other children already piling up. What do you do?
Question #4: This didn't happen, but was a question posed by Hubby. You're in the play area and a strangers child proceeds to attack your child (hitting, punching, kicking, pushing that sort of thing). The parents of the other child are not in the area. What do you do?
Question #5: Your young child grabs ahold of the paper wrapper of a straw. Naturally he sticks it in his mouth and eats it. An elderly lady in the adjoining table notices and announces "Hey, Mom. You're child is eating a piece of paper." How do you handle it?
Question #6: Now that you've handled the hard questions. Here's a less stressful one. If you had to pick the most ideal crib mattress for your child, what would you choose? Foam or spring? What brand? and Why?
Giving you a moment to think of the answers. ..............:).................................................
Answer #1: Hubby let the children walk away and didn't try to do anything. I think he felt he shouldn't interfere plus the fight broke up on it's own without bleeding. I'm not sure I would have handled it differently unless it was getting out of hand. I have my two rules and I don't touch other people's children unless they are causing harm or will cause harm to themselves or others.
Answer #2: My adult friend with a firm voice told the child "No, sir. You do not do that to anyone ever." And that was that. The child didn't bother my friend again. I agree that should be enough. If it had escalated into the child turning it into a pinching game, I would have told the child to take me to their parents and just simply tell the parents that there child was pinching me and refusing to stop. I wouldn't tell them how to discipline, but the parents need to be made aware.
Answer #3: I told the little boy that he needed to move because he was going to get hurt (or someone else was) and people wanted to go down the slide. He refused to move after me telling him to twice. So I simply said "here, let me help you out" and took his wrist and pulled him lightly out of the slide. After that it was fine. He tried to go up the slide backwards, but by that point his dad was in the room and told him not to do that.
Answer #4: Since this is a safety issue, I told Hubby that I would immediately remove my child from the equation and ask the stranger child to take me to where there parents are (or show me who their parents are). Then I would just tell the parents what was going on (again leaving up what was to happen next to the parents). On the rare occasion, a child refuses to tell me who their parents are (or who they're with since a lot of times it's the babysitter or older sibling), I hate to get public, but I won't be beyond shouting loudly in the area "whose parents of a boy/girl about X years of age wearing X colored t-shirt" and pointing to the stranger child. I hate to embarrass parents because they weren't the ones fighting, but parents need to know when their child is bullying other children.
Answer #5: The lady was trying to be sweet, but I naturally shrugged it off. I told her "Yeah, I know. He eats paper all the time. I don't really care." I don't. It's a tiny piece. Not a big deal. But she didn't let it go which is where the problem lies. She basically called me a liar by saying "But you do care. What about the red dye?" And kept at it after I told her repeatedly that I was being honest, I don't care. It's just paper. Finally I had to tell her that I've eaten paper and she's probably eaten paper too. Later, my friend pointed out that it maybe because of her age she still thinks red dyes are harmful. They used to be. Not so anymore. If they were, we'd be hearing about it in the news and there would be warnings. I hope at least because there would be some warnings. Saccharin, found in Sweet n' Low, used to have a warning. Now it doesn't. But luckily the news still mentions it. I've never heard "News at 10: Child dies due to eating paper straw wrapper at local restaurant. Parents warned not to let their children eat anything dyed red."
But what really got my goat was not her pointing out the obvious because she had good intentions. It was that she basically didn't believe me and thought I was out of my gourd. I used to eat crayons, glue, play dough, dirt (often actually), and paper as a child. I'm still alive and thriving. They didn't kill me. And as I said, most people have ingested paper at some point. I mean think about it: you know what paper tastes like right? I can ask you to describe it to me. Then whether you remember it or not you've eaten it. You wouldn't know how to describe it to me otherwise. Play dough is salty and dirt tastes dry. If she had dropped the whole thing without getting huffy, maybe pointing out what's wrong with the dye, instead of insisting that I do care, then I would have behaved a bit better. But she didn't prove her case. So she just irritated me.
Hubby took the paper out of HB's mouth (he was sitting closest, which makes me wonder why she said nothing to him, old fashioned I guess). I wasn't about to lean across the table, giant belly in the way, and potentially smother my shirt in ketchup to remove a bit of paper. But I wouldn't have if I was sitting next to him either. Hubby, I guess, isn't nearly about confrontation as I am. I suppose I could have been really irritating and handed him another straw wrapper. I'm not above bugging people a little back. Yeah, not very Christian of me.
Answer #6: Well, it's not really an answer. We have a spring mattress, but I've been looking into foam lately. Any thoughts about that?
Thanks for your help!