We child-safe our homes, buy all those gadgets and safety stuff to protect our kids. But one place that we cannot really protect our kids is in the playground, unless of course we decide to be on guard there all the time. Playgrounds has a mix of angels and bullies, I wanted to let Kenzo deal with its issues when playing with other kids in a public playground but half of me want to keep him safe.
The other day, Kenzo was in this small playground in Evia and since he likes red he naturally would choose to ride on the red rocking horse but sadly another kid who was there before us also likes red.
Since Kenzo is stronger and faster he gets to it faster and tries to hold on it when the other kid is near and leave it to play with other stuff when he knows the kid cannot reach it and whenever he tries Kenzo will make a dash to get there first.
On Kenzo’s part all is just play and it is just a normal kid instinct to protect his toys. The trouble began when the other kid is very upset for always not getting a chance. I can see him get mad and balled his fist. He is smaller than Kenzo but I know he is older by at least 1-2 years. Kenzo is just a big boy. I know Kenzo is a lot stronger and can hurt the other kid if it will escalet to a fight, but I am still afraid of the worst that can happen if I just kept on watching.
Half of me want to let him handle the violence the other kid is showing (balled fist, snarl and tiger look) but half of me is worried. I let this pass for a minute and passively watch and step in by calling out the other kid not to fight. Then he left and all went to normal but when kenzo jumped down from the toy and made a wild sprint after he saw the other kid tries to get to it, Kenzo bein’ really fast got there first. Bein’ late again for maybe the fourth time the other kid is flaming with madness this time as he again fell short in getting on the red toy. This time I had to step-in and control the situation I really talked to him and told him that there are other toys that he can use ( i said it nicely as possible, but I started with a stern voice and mellowed it as I went). He reasoned that he likes red too, i told him the other toys have red colors too (though not mostly red). With a stern voice I said NO FIGHTING and protected Kenzo by being there.
Of course, Kenzo was safe on that day because I handled the issue for him. But what will happen on days that I am not there? Will he know how to handle it? if not, when will he learn?
On the way home, I rehashed what had happened and told him not to be violent and hit kids, like the other kid plans to do, but I also told him to hit back if someone hits him, I guess I dont want him to be bullied but also dont want him to be a bully.
Playground are places where we can let let our kids enjoy and have active fun but underneath it lurks a bit of a danger and violence. Somehow, somewhere our kids will have to learn to settle this on their own and without the parents to protect them. There will be days that they will be defeated and some will be victories, and these are lesson they need to learn as they wade thru life.