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Some kid hit my son the other day. He wanted to play with the playground car our boy was playing with, and did not want to wait his turn. My son had just climbed in, and wasn’t done driving yet. So, the kid hit him. Twice. First a push to the chest, then a slap in the face.
The kid was only slightly older than Little Big O, and as O goes to kindergarden, he’s used to standing his ground. So, when the argument started, I took a mental step back, to let them sort out their issue. Normally, that works fine: a bit of pushing and pulling, some yes-no shouting, that sort of playground stuff. But as said, not with this kid. He lashed out.
Little Big O was rather unmoved. Without yielding his place, he turned to us, seeking confirmation that hitting is not allowed. My reaction was a bit different. First thought crossing my mind was to hit the little you-know-what. But as we are talking about boys around the age of 3, that is simply unacceptable. It’s unjust and it’s setting the wrong example. So, in my rage, I waved at the kid and told him bye. This was the non-violent way we used to tell other kids they could not play us or join us when I was growing up. The little you-know-what looked rather surprised. By then, I had regained my calm, so I explained to him that when you hit other kids, you’re not welcome to play with us. So he went to play somewhere else.
Poor kid. During this whole episode, his mother was within view, but either she ignored it, or was too ignorant to care. My being angry with him was just the reaction to him hurting my son. The real problem is, that when parents don’t care enough, their children have a hard time learning how to negotiate or collaborate, or to resolve conflict, or interact in a social and caring way.
The kid hit him. Twice. First a push to the chest, then a slap in the face.
I tried to manage my anger, and also teach the kid something his parents should have done by now. Still, I’m not sure I did the right thing. Maybe next time I could try to find a way to let him apologize, before including him in our game.
What do you think?
Arjan Tupan is an eclectic note taker, nomadic European, poet, and dad.