My question of the day for other adults: When do you step in and "discipline" other peoples' kids at the playground? When a couple of grade schoolers are calling each other n***ers in front of your toddler son? When teenagers are playing a rambunctious game of tag on the toddler playground while it's full of little kids and their parents? When two four-year-olds shove your daughter and yell, "We don't like you! Go away!" When said four-year-olds start a mulch war and your own son immediately copies them? So far, the only time I've stepped in and said something was when Norah's safety was being directly threatened by the shoving (even though the kids' parents were sitting on the sidelines and saw their kids pushing my toddler). "Disciplining" is the wrong word - I just told them Norah was too young to play like that and they needed to leave her alone.
I would certainly hope that another adult would step in and kindly correct my kids if they were misbehaving out of my sight. I don't see that happening often on the playground though and I don't really know what the unspoken rules are. As a teacher, I'm used to assuming that it's my responsibility to monitor large groups of kids, so letting bad behavior go feels weird to me. At the same time, I spend my work days policing large groups of kids and sometimes alienating them in the process, so I'd rather not have to do it during outings with my kids. What is your rule of thumb?
Happily, we've had plenty of fun at playgrounds recently. The weather here has been phenomenal and we've taken advantage of it. Here are a few more pictures:
This mulch was not fun to get out of her hair.
An upside of our side-by-side double stroller is that the kids can hold hands and exchange hugs whenever they want. The downside is that only Norah gets these impulses and Atticus doesn't appreciate her infringing on his personal space.
Finally, a picture of Norah "coloring" since I don't have many good pictures of her from the playgrounds.