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when to intervene in childhood squabbles?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 13 Replies

I want to preface by saying I just moved to a small New England town where everyone is pretty reserved and standoffish.  When I go to a place with other children, such as a playground, I notice most of the kids play only by themselves or with their parents - esp. the small kids. 

What I'm wondering is how much you intervene when small children play together?  For example yesterday we were at the library and my just turned 3 year old son was playing with the large styrofoam blocks.  A little girl came in a while later and started playing with the dollhouse.  She was 4.  My son introduced himself and encouraged the girl to play with him.  They were playing nicely for awhile with the blocks, building towers and knocking them over.  Then my son got rowdy and started knocking over the blocks before the little girl wanted him to, which frustrated her.  

Well, her mom was giving me dirty looks and then told her daughter to come play with something else.  It was obvious the girl was dissapointed and didn't want to give up her playmate and the blocks.  I told the mother we were leaving anyway and the blocks were her's to enjoy by herself.  

Should I have stepped into the middle of this childhood squabble?  What about letting kids work things out for themselves?  Just a couple weeks ago at the library, my son was  playing with puzzles and a boy a little bit older came over to play but then started messing up the puzzle.  My son got up and left on his own.  Then when he went to color the boy followed him and was better behaved.  He realized he wouldn't have a playmate if he acted like a jerk.  

Do you always reprimand your child when they aren't playing 'right'?  I'm not talking about hitting or anything dangerous.  

Posted by Anonymous on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:02 PM
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corticosteroid
by Sapphire Member on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:09 PM
2 moms liked this

When it's 3 and 4 year olds, I'll get involved pretty quickly.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:12 PM

Oh yeah, I demand good behavior at all times, especially in public. I give the kids a lane and they're expected to stay in it, if I'm sitting there and see that they're behaving poorly I'm there to put them back in their lane immediately. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Really?  You would hover over something as silly as knocking over a few blocks or screwing up a puzzle? I just always thought those would be teaching moments in learning how to deal with innapropriate behavior, or that others won't want to play with you if your behavior is poor.  It's been statistically proven that children learn better from real life experience rather than a parent telling them something or punishments

Quoting Anonymous 2:

Oh yeah, I demand good behavior at all times, especially in public. I give the kids a lane and they're expected to stay in it, if I'm sitting there and see that they're behaving poorly I'm there to put them back in their lane immediately. 


Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:20 PM

Yeah. I'm not going to sit there and watch my kid mistreat other kids in public, in my personal opinion I feel as if that would make me look like an asshole. Like the kind of parent who doesn't care that my kid is misbehaving and bothering other people. I DO care and I don't tolerate it. At all. 

I mean, to each their own, I was just answering the question asked. I personally intervene.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Really?  You would hover over something as silly as knocking over a few blocks or screwing up a puzzle? I just always thought those would be teaching moments in learning how to deal with innapropriate behavior, or that others won't want to play with you if your behavior is poor.  It's been statistically proven that children learn better from real life experience rather than a parent telling them something or punishments

Quoting Anonymous 2:

Oh yeah, I demand good behavior at all times, especially in public. I give the kids a lane and they're expected to stay in it, if I'm sitting there and see that they're behaving poorly I'm there to put them back in their lane immediately. 



Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:28 PM
At that age, yeah, I would have stepped in. There is plenty of time for 'learning moments' in their lives, but it's my job to also teach my kids how to behave in addition. When my kid is bothering other people, kids or not, that's my cue to deal with them. Sure, I guess after being an asshole a few times the kid might put it together that it's his behavior that's the problem, but not necessarily, and I don't need to let him ruin other children's play so that my kid can learn that way when it works just fine for me to remind my child immediately that his behavior isn't acceptable. They learn just as easily with my instruction, and I don't have to piss off other people for him to understand. I would have given you dirty looks, too, because it looked like you weren't controlling your child and you were letting his bad behavior interrupt another child's fun at the library. That little girl shouldn't have to get frustrated just so your kid can 'learn something.'
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:28 PM

I understand, but I also think it's unnatural how often we supervise children and try to be as hands off as possible.  I want my kid to behave because he is a good person, not because he knows I will stop him if he does

Quoting Anonymous 2:

Yeah. I'm not going to sit there and watch my kid mistreat other kids in public, in my personal opinion I feel as if that would make me look like an asshole. Like the kind of parent who doesn't care that my kid is misbehaving and bothering other people. I DO care and I don't tolerate it. At all. 

I mean, to each their own, I was just answering the question asked. I personally intervene.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Really?  You would hover over something as silly as knocking over a few blocks or screwing up a puzzle? I just always thought those would be teaching moments in learning how to deal with innapropriate behavior, or that others won't want to play with you if your behavior is poor.  It's been statistically proven that children learn better from real life experience rather than a parent telling them something or punishments

Quoting Anonymous 2:

Oh yeah, I demand good behavior at all times, especially in public. I give the kids a lane and they're expected to stay in it, if I'm sitting there and see that they're behaving poorly I'm there to put them back in their lane immediately. 




mama_danetta
by She's so heavy on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:32 PM
I wouldn't have interfered in either of those situations.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:34 PM

But kids need to get frustrated once in a while, that's life.  There have been plenty of times my son has been the one frustrated by another kid and guess what, he figures out how to deal with it.  And when the girl came in she was playing with the dollhouse.  If my son was really bothering her so much she could have gone back to the dollhouse but no, she wanted to play with my son - who had to encourage her a great deal to even play with him in the first place.  Usually kids in this town all play at the separate stations at the library and never intermingle.  There has even been times when my son would be playing with something, and another child would come to play with him - and the parents tell them to wait their turn!  LIke it's not acceptable for them to play together or something.  I just don't see how these kids are ever going to learn any social skills.

Quoting Anonymous 3: At that age, yeah, I would have stepped in. There is plenty of time for 'learning moments' in their lives, but it's my job to also teach my kids how to behave in addition. When my kid is bothering other people, kids or not, that's my cue to deal with them. Sure, I guess after being an asshole a few times the kid might put it together that it's his behavior that's the problem, but not necessarily, and I don't need to let him ruin other children's play so that my kid can learn that way when it works just fine for me to remind my child immediately that his behavior isn't acceptable. They learn just as easily with my instruction, and I don't have to piss off other people for him to understand. I would have given you dirty looks, too, because it looked like you weren't controlling your child and you were letting his bad behavior interrupt another child's fun at the library. That little girl shouldn't have to get frustrated just so your kid can 'learn something.'


Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:35 PM
We're going to end up with a generation of people who can't handle adult life because they've never seen allowed to handle conflicts on their own, or even do anything without mommy and daddy holding their hands.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:36 PM

Thank you!  I just really don't understand the idea of shielding children from every tiny little frustration and sticky situation.  And I thought these were very age appropriate problems too!  

Quoting mama_danetta: I wouldn't have interfered in either of those situations.


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