Yesterday, we took Lil Man to an indoor playground. He had a blast running around, playing with the spinning wall decor, going down the slide and climbing on the structures with E.
Unfortunately, I witnessed two children calling other kids names the entire time. Their parents stood outside the area talking rather than paying any mind to their children. That, in itself, is already a no-no in my book. You simply cannot let your children run off playing and not pay attention to them. It’s just not a safe world and you simply do not know what might happen to them be it strangers approaching them or them getting hurt.
Back to the original thought – their children calling others names. This will certainly happen all throughout life. I was teased and picked on my entire elementary thru high school. You just learn to be tough and ignore it all. But it’s tough for me to witness it happening to children now and sit by.
Do we as parents say something to other parents? Does it make a difference if it’s happening to your child or someone else’s?
What do you do when you tell the parent and they simply shrug and tell you “oh well, your kid needs to learn the life of the world and deal with it”.
These two children, a boy and a girl – calling people names… saying “eeww” when other kids played near them or called others “stinky feet” when someone did something they didn’t like. One boy tried to get back at them by chasing them around or sticking to them like glue, but ultimately, he got so upset he stood by the sidelines and made his grandfather leave with him. Another girl cried and refused to play until they left. It was sad to watch.
The mother of the little girl didn’t understand why she didn’t want to play. I told her the two children called her a name. She nodded and told her child,
“hunny, you can’t be afraid of people who are mean to you. You can only go back out to play and pray for them.”
She looked at her child, gave her a hug and asked if she’d like her to go back onto the playground with her. After hearing her mother’s words, the little girl went back out on her own to play and simply just ignored the other two children.
Listening to her say these words to her child uplifted me. It gave me hope that children can feel confident in telling their parents when they are unhappy and why rather than just hide away and be afraid. It encouraged me knowing there are parents out there teaching their children to be forgiving, loving, positive and strong. It simply made me smile.
I hope there are more parents like this women. I hope all children in the world have a parent, guardian or role model to go to who will encourage, teach them properly and well, support them and love them. I hope you are one of these parents.
Photo from Flickr Commons by Raphael Goetter