When You're the Stranger

This Last week on Mom.me, I wrote about an altercation that went down last month. On the beach. Between myself and another mother. Because nothing says "Happy Holidays" like an ocean breeze, sandy toes and an almost brawl with another parent. 

I used to be shy about telling children to behave on the playground. I'll never forget when a toddler boy kicked a barely crawling Fable IN THE FACE ON PURPOSE and his dad sat him down and was like, "please use your words next time!" as Fable screamed--and I said nothing. But at some point, after many of these sorts of incidents where parents clearly did not get involved when their children were out of line, I started to speak up, and have often gone right up to children on the playground and told them to KNOCK IT OFF. Because if you're a parent and you're not there to see your kid act out but I am, I'm going to say something. I just am. And I would expect, if roles were reversed, that you would say something, too. Because stealing someone's shovel or kicking someone in the face is not acceptable. 

So... the other day, a group of kids were being jerks and I said something. And the kids went and told their mother who then got pissed at me.

And then I got pissed. And, well...

And then I thought, well, shit. Did I handle this situation poorly? Should I gave gone straight to the parent before telling the kids to knock it off? They were older kids, so I felt it was perfectly fine to be, like, "Uh, guys? Can you... not?"

It wasn't until later that I realized why this particular group of kids ignored all of us when we tried to tell them to "please stop." We were strangers. 

And yet... 

I have written about “stranger danger” in the past on GGC, about how detrimental I feel it is to raise children to be afraid of new people and experiences. And while I had never had an experience quite like the one on the beach, I started to think about how I could have handled the situation differently and with less confrontation.

More, here...