Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Playground Discipline 101

If you want to see human sin nature in action, please go visit a play area in a mall. Today Jackson and I had many teachable moments in one such play area. There was only one little slide and there were many children trying to access it at the same time. By the time we left, Jackson had been in time out about three times, had his bottom swatted twice from leaving the play area over and over and over and over again. And I had a bloody lip from getting head butted by him.

The lowest point came during an interaction with an older boy. I think he might have been four or so. He was sitting on the top of the slide and I saw Jackson pushing his back, trying to get him to go down. This kid was pretty big and no amount of Jackson pushing him would make him budge. But pushing is pushing, so I went over and grabbed my child and made him sit in time out for a couple of minutes. The other boy obviously got some kind of joy from seeing my baby get in trouble because a few minutes later I saw the same scene replay. The older boy just sat on top of the slide and would not, would not, go down. Jackson was, of course, pushing him on the back to get him to go down. Only this time the older boy was slyly glancing back at me (and GRINNING) to see if I was watching and if Jackson was going to get in trouble. Anyone could plainly see that he was trying to provoke my child to anger and make him get in trouble. Bad move, buddy. You just provoked Mama Bear to anger. I know I deserve the Bad Mom of the Day Award, but I did not do one thing. I sat there and watched Jackson push this kid until he finally went down the slide. And I was glad I did. So basically my sin nature was on display along with all the toddlers'. And that kid's mom is probably writing about Jackson right now.

30 comments:

{Karla} said...

that silly silly little man. He obviously has never been caught between a mama bear and her cub before...

blessings,
k

alicia said...

You are a good mom...sin and all! I miss you friend. Thanks for giving me some comment love...now its my turn! Love you!

Little Steps Of Faith said...

tag your it....

come see:)

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Isn't that momma instinct something else?! It makes you feel like a tiger protecting her cub.

Erin said...

that's too funny!
i would have done the same thing.

The Preacher's Wife said...

Forget the kids, i wanna see you and that mom throw down..LOL

Big Mama said...

Oh you brought me back to the days of having a perpetually bloody lip due to all the head-butting. Good times.

annie said...

Oh, memories. There were days I wanted to take out the whole play yard. I used to say to the other kid in a LOUD voice, "Oh, NO, BABY (even if the kid was 10 to sound sweet but add a little insult-yikes)Let's play FAIRLY, now." And "slyly glance" back at the mom and smile--that is if the mom was there. You did the right thing, even if it felt awkward. Enough is enough. You're a good mom.

Rose said...

Amanda, welcome to the "mama bear" club, you have officially been inducted! In my home, my hubs calls it the "tiger mama" club, because claws and roars came out of places I didn't know were ther!! either are acceptable and yes what do those little kids think they expect us to punish our children because of them???!!!

Anonymous said...

Amanda,

You are too funny. I would probably have gone over to the big boy and very loudly (so his mother could hear) "politely" ask him to slide down so he does not hold up the line for all the boys and girls waiting to slide. God bless you.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

To echo popular sentiment, I think you did the right thing. I'm not much ahead of you in this parenting game, but my standard rule now is to address the older (or bigger) child (after reminding my child not to push, of course) and say, "Honey, are you going to go down the slide? Because other kids are waiting."

Usually, the other Mom will see that and come to my aid. But I know you can't count on that.

This also brings up the point of not continually punishing our child (or one of our children) for them reacting when they are consistently provoked. I read in a parenting magazine last week that you should be wise about passing out punishments and be sure to look at the whole situation. Often, the child who just lashed out by pushing, hitting, etc. has been provoked for a long time before they did that. My husband, for example, was always harshly punished when he would hit or push his sister, while she was never punished for the hours of annoying behavior that preceded it.

Thus ends the longest comment of all time.

Anonymous said...

Lord honey you handled that way better than I. Someone can be ugly to me, but hurt my loved one... WATCH OUT!!

Kathleen in TX said...

Oh, those head-butts... we Moms actually get beat up a lot! I probably would've done the same thing in the older boy situation. Thinking he'd get Jackson in trouble!!

Mommy Dot Com said...

I went to the mall play area myself today - with my three year old. We were the only ones there! That never happens but it was also barely 10 A.M.

Shelly said...

I'm cracking up (out loud) in the library!!!

It's okay 'Mama Bear!' That would incite a riot in me too!

At least YOU didn't go and push him on the back down the slide! :)

Fran said...

Don't mess with Momma Bear! They can be very dangerous indeed!! :)

I hope today there have been no major altercations!

Jungle Mom said...

LOL! Sin is the common tie we all have , huh?

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

Time outs, pushing, and head butts....it's just all too familiar territory for me.

I'm also a Momma Bear Sinner right alongside you. We were at Chuck E Cheese several months back when a 4 or 5 year old kid shoved Park (who was about 20 months at the time.) And before I could even process it, Park hauled off and kicked the "bully" in the shin as hard as he could! And I'm sadly not all that ashamed to admit that I quickly turned my head and pretended not to see the whole incident:)

Teri said...

Bad Mom of the Day award...I've gotten that one myself a few times!

CrownLaidDown said...

Am I the only one who thought, "Thump him, Jackson?"

OK, I guess so. But I wanted him to... :) Guess I better go do some confessing of my own.

You are one great Mama, Amanda!
Thanks for your prayers...I am quite thankful for them.
Love,
holly

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

That kid knew what he was doing!

The other night at Lupe Tortilla, I totally yelled at this big kid (whose parents didn't care that he was too old b/c they were deep in the restaurant enjoying their food & beverages) for throwing sand in the little ones' faces. Then I heard someone talking about me, saying I should just worry about my own kid.

Oh NO SHE Di'nt!

life with the wisners said...

oh preach it, sister. mall play areas bring out the fire within. no one messes with your punkin. no one. i am, of course, NOT talking from ANY experience.

jennyhope said...

I am cracking up because I would have done the same thing. I may have even had a word with the 4 year old. LOL

willblogforshoes said...

What a little twerp! I think you did just fine. I would have been tempted to go and push him down the slide myself. There's some sin nature for ya! :-)

Emily said...

Where was the other kid's mama? I would have had a few words with the other kid or pushed him down myself since his mama apparently thought his behavior was perfectly OK. I predict you'll see that kid's mug shot in the news in 10-12 years!

One So Blessed... said...

Isn't it awful the feelings that you can have about other people's children?

Welcome to the sin-nature of motherhood...

Blessings, Joanne

connorcolesmom said...

Oh I have had MANY playground scenes such as those. I use to be afraid to confront another child who was provoking my own but now I go right up and firmly but politely tell the kid how to behave :)
Oh and I am so sorry about the busted lip - my oldest broke my nose once b/c he threw his head back and crack went my nose - you have got to love the head throwing fits!!
God bless,
Kim

.......................Honeycutt Family said...

I totally agree that any park or play area where there are small people is a good lesson in our 'sin nature'.
You did the right thing, though, by not punishing Jackson for this little boy's terrorizing behavior of your son. Good job!
The Terrible/Terrific Twos (depending on the day) are just around the corner for both of us, sister!

MamaCass said...

I would have done the same thing. Actually I probably would have walked over to the slide and asked the older boy to please slide down so that the other kids could slide down too which is probably not the right thing to do either. But I would have been polite about it. Does that count?

Shooter said...

I probably would have asked the boy to slide so others could slide too, but I think you did the right thing. The first time disciplining your child, the second time, especially after seeing the older boy's attitude, letting Jackson work it out for himself. Sometimes we have to deal with difficult people and although we are to be loving and kind, sometimes a good push is what people need. Or not.