The topic of parenting is always touchy, regardless of if it’s in an online forum, through a mummy blog or in a parenting group on Facebook. Heated conversations around breastfeeding, socialising your children and your chosen method of punishment will always be criticised by an internet stranger.
The latter topic was recently taken on by a mummy blogger who was tired of seeing other children act out in public settings. With trips to the playground being one of the most stressful exercises of the day, she took to Facebook to express her frustration at how some parents aren’t always paying attention to how their kids interact with others.
Laura Mazza, the driving force of the Mum on the Run, posted about her frustrations surrounding public play time and how she takes no issue with stepping in when a parent is absent. She admits upfront that kids can be a force all on their own.
“Kids will be kids. Kids are snotty, they’re possessive, they’re demanding, they’re cute mostly, but they can be little aggressive ninjas sometimes. There’s no other place to discover this than when you put a whole bunch of kids together at a play centre,” she wrote.
While she admits she employs a bit of a helicopter mum stance on watching her kids in public settings, she wishes other parents would do the same.
“I like to make sure they’re safe, that they play nice, that they don’t snatch, or sock a child in the face. Because that sh*t isn’t cool. I am definitely not overly helicopter. I let them go and learn,” she wrote.
“If we are on public property, nothing is my child’s. It’s everyone’s… so just because my son wants a go and drive in a little toy car that little Tommy is in, it’s a case of too bad son, you are not entitled, you wait your turn. When little Tommy gets off, then you can play. This is the concept of share. It is amazing how many adults are yet to grasp this. However, if it’s my son’s car, it’s his, and if my son wants Tommy to play, then Tommy can play.”
Laura is quick to defend her stance, admitting she has never had a confrontation with a child until her recent experience.
“I’ve never told another child off in my life. I don’t like it. It’s not my responsibility. My responsibility, like I said, is to my child. If my son snatches, I correct him, if my daughter smacks, I correct her, if my kids are assholes, I step in. This behaviour is not okay at any age. However, today I found myself saying the words ‘hey, that’s not nice… please stop’ to two little kids. Kids that weren’t mine,” wrote Laura.
After repeatedly watching two kids drive their mini cars into her daughter, knocking her over, Laura felt at a crossroads because no one else was stepping in.
Moments later two different kids started pushing and hitting her son while he tried to go on a slide with parents standing idly by – it was then that she stepped in.
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“I’ve never liked to tell a stranger’s kid off, but if you’re gonna pretend you can’t see it because you wanna sit and chat, then I’m gonna tell your child off. I’m not perfect, not even in the slightest. But I’m polite and I’m not in the business of raising assholes,” she posted to Facebook.
“I’ve been up all night too, I am desperate for social time too, I’m lonely, I’m tired, my neck hurts and everything else… but I also don’t believe that my kid is entitled to pull your kid’s hair because I want a hot coffee.”
With more than 3,600 likes, 378 shares and 330 comments, parents were quick to agree with Laura, virtually linking arms to encourage this communal effort at keeping play spaces safe.
“I’ll watch your kids, you watch mine. Isn’t that how a ‘village’ is supposed to work? If I see something unsafe or outright nasty, I speak up or step in. I also believe if it’s my child doing it, and you see it and I don’t, you step in or speak up too. As mums we’ve got to have each other’s backs,” commented one user.
“We had the same experience this week. A little boy was having a go at kids. The mum finally grabbed him, took him away and then out of nowhere, he ran at our 18-month-old, pushed her over, and then started trying to punch her in the face. My husband yelled out to stop him while we grabbed her. We got an empty sorry from the mum. That was some nasty aggression that little boy had!” added another.
Laura is hopeful the message will also reach parents who may not be part of the village mentality, reminding them that the moment you enter the play centre does not mean the children are free to run while parents catch up with friends.
“This is a village and it only works if we all do our part, that way we can all have a good time. Watch ya damn kid.”