Author Topic: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right  (Read 4493 times)

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Sanity Lost

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Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« on: January 10, 2013, 06:00:54 PM »
My DS's are 10 and 8, are pretty big for their age and still love the playground. I needed to pick up DH from work and got there a little too early, however, there was a park about 2 blocks away. So I took them over there and told them to have fun until it was time to get Daddy. When we arrived there were several kids already there having a grand time. I parked myself in line of sight and played with the baby; keeping one eye on the boys.

My younger son Fin ran to the swings and waited patiently for one to get free. As soon as one did, he got on and started swinging. No sooner had he started then this little girl, probably about 5-6 years old, came storming up. She started cursing my son with language I would never use and would wash my boys mouths out with soap if they even used 1 of them. Fin tried to ignore her, but then she stood in front of the swing. Fin didn't want to hit her, so he got off and told her she had an ugly heart and an uglier mind. Then he stalked off to go play with his brother. The little girl stood there for a moment with her mouth open and then burst into tears. I saw her go running off toward another group of kids and decided that discretion was the better part of valor, called the boys and we left the park.

We talked a little bit about it; but I don't like bullies and at the same time have no intention of raising my boys to be doormats. I'm not sure that what Fin did was wrong; but thought I would put it out to you wise ehellions and see what you think. Is there a further lesson I can teach my boys for the next time this situation comes up?

Moray

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 06:08:00 PM »
How about "I know she was using bad words and interrupting your swinging, but what you said to her was insulting, too. If someone hurts your feelings, or is being mean, it's okay...no, it's good to tell them to stop, or tell them they're wrong. It's not okay to call them ugly, inside or out."?

This seems a prime opportunity for the "Two wrongs don't make a right" talk.
Utah

gorplady

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 06:11:09 PM »
I have to agree with Moray.


Amara

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 06:24:01 PM »
I don't have children so take this with all that is worth. I think what your son said was fine. I do not see any rudeness at all.

Wulfie

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 06:30:22 PM »
POD Amara.

Zilla

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 06:35:19 PM »
I don't have children so take this with all that is worth. I think what your son said was fine. I do not see any rudeness at all.


I have two girls and love what your son said to the girl.  I think it was an apt description.

Roe

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 06:42:56 PM »
I have children but still, I'm still no expert.  However, I do not see anything wrong with what your son said.  I think he handled it perfectly.  He wasn't a doormat and he responded to her ugliness in a more mature way than I've seen adults handle it.

yokozbornak

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 06:43:45 PM »
The truth hurts.  He didn't call her ugly, he called her actions ugly...and they were.  Sometimes I think kids like that need a dose of reality.  Often telling a bully to stop just makes them more aggressive.

weeblewobble

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 06:46:10 PM »
I don't know if it's retaliatory rudeness or child's way of stating "You've behaved badly and here's the impression it gives me."  I hate to see a little girl cry, but maybe she'll think twice before displaying that side of her personality.

turtleIScream

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 06:49:42 PM »
"Please don't talk to me like that"
"that wasn't a nice thing to say"
"please stop"

Those are all perfectly acceptable ways of responding to a bully.  I think your son crossed a line when he called the girl (not her behavior/speech) ugly.

In other words, I agree with Moray.

ETA:
The truth hurts.  He didn't call her ugly, he called her actions ugly...and they were.  Sometimes I think kids like that need a dose of reality.  Often telling a bully to stop just makes them more aggressive.

He didn't call her actions ugly; he called her heart and mind ugly. If he had said, "what an ugly thing to say", I would have said he was fine. But he called her an ugly person, and that was not okay.

Jones

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 06:50:33 PM »
I have a 7 year old daughter. Can we set up a date with your son in about 10 years? I have a feeling he'll treat her like a gentleman and speak plainly to her if she needs it.  8)

That being said, were I you I'd probably have stepped in a little sooner, suggesting to the girl that she wait her turn and use appropriate language. Unfortunately, with my tactic, she'd probably drag a parent over who'd yell at me for parenting their child. So, your actions were probably the best they could be, under the circumstances. Maybe emphasize to your sons that next time, Fin should emphasize her actions/words are ugly, rather than immediately jumping to her heart?

Moray

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 06:52:35 PM »
I don't think I'd go so far as to call it retaliatory rudeness. I don't even think it's something that requires discipline; I just think that at 10 or 8, there's a good opportunity to teach that just because someone insults us, we don't have to lash back with hurtful words ourselves, and we definitely don't have to resort to ad hominem attacks.
Utah

rose red

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 06:56:21 PM »
I can't help but wonder about the girl's home life.  While I applaud your son for standing up for himself, it may be a bit harsh.  Maybe you can teach him to say "Stop!  That's rude!  Those are ugly words!"

Roe

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 06:59:48 PM »
I just told my own boys about this post.  Their response?

"That mom should tell her son "Good job because I can almost bet that little girl won't be so quick to bully next time.  He probably altered her future behavior.  She won't soon forget the experience"."

Of course, they aren't parents so again, we aren't experts. 

MommyPenguin

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Re: Playground etiquette for kids...I think he handled this right
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 07:03:37 PM »
What about, "Wow, those are some pretty ugly words (or "Wow, that's an ugly way to act," for future incidents that are actions not words)!  Are you sure that's how you want people to think about you?"  Something along those lines?  It gives him something pretty strong to say that sounds reasonably natural, and yet at the same time is clearly pointing out that her words/actions are ugly and they make her look bad, without resorting to personal insults that may hurt her and make her defensive ("He said I have an ugly heart!") instead of ashamed ("He said I said something ugly and that people will think of me that way.  That's... hmm.").  Just a thought.