A friend and I took our kids to an indoor play place yesterday, as the weather was rotten. I'm not a big fan of those places ( my second visit ever!) but nice for a change.
They had a large area with dozens of ride-on toys and cars (flintstone's-style power!
) which is where my 2.5year old son spent most of his time trying out different cars. There were dozens of ride-ons/cars and hardly any kids in the area. Despite, this a slightly younger boy, I would guess around 18-24 months old, seemed to fixate on the car DS was happily driving around. He was getting in DS's face and trying to pull at the car he was in and basically get it for himself. DS used his words nicely to ask the boy to "please stop that", but I could see from his face that he was upset so I walked over to intervene. But before I got there, the younger kid reached over and slapped my son hard across the face - I guess he was angry that DS hadn't given up the car for him. The boy's mother arrived the same time as I did. She said absolutely nothing to her son just gave him another toy to play with. I moved DS further away and quickly comforted him. My friend and I expressed surprise to each other that the mother hadn't encouraged her son to apologize - aggressive behaviour on occasion is normal at that age, but it needs to be used as a learning opportunity. We've all been there - nobody has perfect kids but we have to parent them! It seemed bizarre that she hadn't addressed it.
But then a few minutes later, my son stepped out of his car to pick up something on the ground. The other child immediately jumped in (I have no issue with this actually - DS had vacated it!), DS said "hey!" and opened the door of the car as if he was going to try to get back in too.
Before I could say or do anything, the other kid's mother *grabbed* my DS and pulled him out of the play area. I ran over, took him and comforted him (he was visibly upset and crying at being grabbed by a stranger - he's a good kid but responds better to *words* rather than physical force!), and also explained to him that it was the other boy's turn now and he had to play with something else and not to try to take the car back. I didn't exchange any words with the other mother, who immediately returned to her phone.
So let's get this straight - her son is physically violent after harassing my son for awhile, and she doesn't even tell him off, but she will escalate to physically restraining my non-violent son promptly the second he goes near her precious child.