in Parenting, Toddler

To The Mom At The Park: My Son Isn’t A Bad Kid

  • September 23, 2017
  • By Ashleigh
  • 8 Comments
To The Mom At The Park: My Son Isn’t A Bad Kid

We both watched from the sidelines as my son ran up to yours and pushed him down. One minute my little boy was running around, laughing, minding his own business and the next, he went up to your tiny tot and shoved him.

Instantly, I was flooded with intense embarrassment and shock. There might’ve been some horror and dismay sprinkled in there as well.

This was the first time he’s ever put his hands on another child, let alone pushed them. So uncharacteristic of him, I felt paralyzed trying to process it at all wondering if my eyes were lying to me.

Upon arriving to the scene of the crime, I made sure your son was alright. He said he was, but I could tell he was upset. He should be. I’d be upset, too, if someone unexpectedly pushed me down.

He wanted his mommy and as we all rubbernecked trying to spot you, I encouraged my son to tell yours he was sorry. I proceeded to asked my son what prompted him to push your son while informing him that type of behavior is completely unacceptable – we don’t push our friends down. I’m sure I said more, but that’s the gist of it.

The look on my son’s face told a story of so many emotions. Perplexed and confused, he didn’t understand what he had done wrong nor what all the fuss was about. He, too, was upset as he knew he was in trouble, but there was also extreme sadness that soon exploded into tears and cries.

Honestly, I felt bad for both of our boys.

Soon, you darted over and before we could exchange any words, you hastily scooped up your son and in the snarkiest of all tones uttered the words, “I guess he’ll have to learn to push yours back next time.” Upon storming off you gave my son the dirtiest of looks as though he was some kind of monster. I tried to explain what happened, but you didn’t care to listen and off you went.

This was my first encounter with a disgruntled parent as the result of my child’s actions. My children aren’t angels by any means, but they surely aren’t monsters.

I carried my son away who was overcome with emotion and calmed him down. I further explained what happened, why it was wrong, followed up with an, I love you and everything was going to be ok.

While my son continued to play a little while longer, I looked for you, but you were nowhere to be found. I wanted to discuss what happened in hopes of making sense of the situation. Based on your aggressive exit, I think you misconstrued the situation and definitely have the wrong impression of my son.

Here is what I want you to know: My son isn’t a bad kid and he certainty isn’t a monster. He’s the sweetest two-year-old who loves deeper and harder than anyone I know and generously distributes hugs and kisses without request. He’s goofy, silly, easily-excited, and highly-energized. He has an inherent rambunctious nature and a fierce need for play. While he’s all these things and more, he’s not a bully and definitely not a bad kid.

He’s not perfect, but what two-year-old is? He was in the wrong, but he’s still learning. He’s still trying to figure out the world around him and his place in it. He’s still discovering what’s expected of him, what’s considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior and what the boundaries and limits are. This is a lot to navigate through and he will make mistakes along the way. Today, we witnessed one of those mistakes.

Just as you know your son more than anyone, so do I. My child’s actions weren’t malicious and didn’t come from a bad place. I could tell by my son’s reaction and the bewildered look upon his face, he didn’t intend to inflict any harm. In fact, I don’t even think he knew what had happened until it was over.

Although, I can’t read his mind, I can only assume this was his way to commence some roughhouse or wrestling play to which he often engages in with his older brother. Suffice it to say, we are still working on communication and how to initiate play with other children.

Maybe his typical toddler disposition mixed with being overstimulated from the highly-energized environment caused him to act without thinking. Regardless, I’m not making excuses, but rather hoping to provide some insight and ignite understanding to what happened.

If we ever cross paths again, I hope there aren’t any ill-feelings. Maybe you’ve completely moved on without harboring any resentment. Maybe you’ve long forgotten this incident ever occurred. If so, I’m glad. Something about it stuck with me to which I can’t completely put to rest.

One day, you’ll most likely find yourself in this situation again. Maybe this time your son will be the one who unexpectedly shoves an unassuming child. I hope the mom you encounter has more compassion than you had. I hope that mom reconciles the situation before leaving. I hope that mom would never give your child a look of disgust. Most of all, I hope that mom understands typical behaviors associated with children who are so young and although their actions aren’t always pretty, our little ones are still learning and aren’t perfect.

By Ashleigh, September 23, 2017
  • 8
8 Comments
  • Abbey Olivo
    September 25, 2017

    So much yes! I struggle with this because my kid is very strong minded – she isn’t mean to other kids, but I often am the mom carrying a screaming kid out of a store over my shoulder and feel like I get so many looks. She is such a good kid, but just does not deal well with the fun ending before she wants it to. Great post – I am sure many parents can relate to this!!

  • Cristina
    September 25, 2017

    Parenting situations can be so difficult and we as the parents sometimes make a not so good situation downright horrible. You handled it so well!

  • Taylor Greenwald
    September 25, 2017

    I’m so sorry that you had a bad experience with another mom. Eventually, all kids have to learn the life skill of keeping their hands to themselves and apologizing when wrong. Bravo for the way you handled the situation, and keep up the good work mama! I know you feel some guilt, but don’t sweat it. You handled the situation wonderfully!

    • Ashleigh
      September 25, 2017

      Thanks! Every new situation, especially ones like these, are definitely learning experiences for all of us – kids and parents!

  • Rhonda Swan
    September 25, 2017

    Great value here. Thanks for sharing and being unstoppable!

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Welcome!
Hi, I'm Ashleigh
Mother of three children under the age of four. Wife of one adorable, extremely supportive husband. Lover of caffeine, naps and a generously poured glass of cabernet. Writer of all things associated with this beautiful mess we call life. Storyteller of the good, the bad and the ugly of the everyday.
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