How nice it is to see parents coming together after school is dismissed, while their children play on the school playground. Each day, parents have the opportunity to meet new parents, chat with old friends and reinforce elementary school ‘community’.
But a few parents’ focus is, shall we say, on other priorities….
The other day, after the bell dismissed school, about 20-30 students pile outside onto the playground. There were around 10 other parents nearby, chatting, staring at their phones or watching their children. Standing near the slide, I heard a commotion and noticed a 3-4 yr old boy parked on the top of the slide, not moving, blocking the way for several kids lined up behind him. Within about one min, a nearby parent approached the bottom of the slide and started pointing and yelling at the boy to, “move it, kids are behind you .” He didn’t budge.
Within another minute the boy’s mom raced over and persuaded him to slide down, although very, very slowly. As soon as he hit the bottom, the ‘yelling’ mom rushed up to the boy’s mom and began gesturing and complaining loudly that her son had blocked the slide for several minutes and that she needed to do a better job of watching her son. The mother, and myself nearly, stood stunned, speechless.
And for icing on the helicopter mom cake, immediately another mom rushed into the picture and added ” yeah I agree, you better watch your child better next time!”
I partially agree with first mom explaining the situation to the boy’s mom, who was clearly not watching her son. But, the ‘tone’ and the volume of the delivery of this message was just ridiculous. These two women were yelling.
Stepping back, maybe the larger issue here is if these two mothers feel the need to jump into a problem with their child using a playground slide, what other problems do they try to solve for their child, instead of letting the children work out the problems for themselves…