August 2, 2017


Laura Mazza – Mum on the Run shared a recent experience at the play centre that left her wondering why mother’s don’t have each others backs more?

I’m gonna be a real sanctimummy here, and possibly an unpopular opinion… but I need to get this off my chest.

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.

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There’s no other place to discover this then when you put a whole bunch of kids together at a play centre.

I am a little hellicopterish

When we are play centres I am a little hellicopterish. Not full helicopter, but one eye is on my mum friend and my latte and the other is on my child. 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 shit isn’t cool. I am definitely not overly helicopter. I let them go and learn, and I’m not a parent who will not let any other kid go in the vicinity of mine. I want them to socialise and have a good time and all play nice. I am responsible for my own child when it comes to this.

It is amazing how many adults are yet to grasp the basic concept of Sharing

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.

I’ve never told another child off in my life. I don’t like it. It’s not my responsibility. My responsibility, as 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.

Why? Because no one else was gonna do it. I watched two 5 year olds ram one of those mini driveable cars into my daughter and laugh while she fell over. While I was helping my son into the ball pit. (This was at a 4 and under play centre).

I watched a little boy climb on top of a jungle gym where his mum had no idea that he was about to come falling down, and I caught him. She came over when she saw a stranger carrying her kid and gave me a dirty look while she snatched him off me.

I watched two kids push and smack my son while he was trying to go down a slide… and I actually found myself saying “that’s not nice, stop!”

 If you’re gonna pretend you can’t see it then I’m gonna tell your child off.

I’ve never liked to tell a strangers 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.

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.

And if you see my kid be a jerk, you tell him off too, or tell me and I’ll correct him asap.

This is the sense of a community. Mothers, if we don’t have each others, backs like this, then how can it be a smooth experience for all? 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.

I didn’t scream or smack the kid. I said it in a low tone that was non-threatening. If you saw your child being slapped repeatedly and his hair pulled by two kids, you’d do the same thing.

This post originally appeared on Laura Mazza – Mum on the Run Facebook page.

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  • Whenever I took my boys out I always made sure they were behaving themselves. I’ve had to tell a child off because they were hurting someone else’s child and the Mum was nowhere in sight.


  • Agree! I’ve found that is the case in most of these places. They let their kids run wild. I’ve told plenty of kids off as their parent/carer just sits there talking. I make sure I tell them what their child did/was doing if they ask. They seem to forget during this time they still have a responsibility in making sure their child/ren are playing nicely.


  • Good on you! I’m that Mum too and it is so frustrating to be that Mum when everyone else is having a wonderful time not supervising their children. Hopefully if more of us do this, someone will finally catch on.


  • Yes – I’ll try to be polite about I t, but I will intervene.


  • Very true! Some of the worst behaved kids I’ve ever seen have been at play centres.


  • This is one of my pet peeves and a reason I won’t take my young kids to playgrounds frequently in our area anymore. After a while of constantly having to protect my child from someone else’s kid I’m borderline about to lose it. Yeah kids can be little snots, but some parents use the playground as a playpen when there needs to be supervision. I watch my kids and chat while they play and I’ll admit I’ve told other people’s kids to stop slapping/pulling hair/pushing to the point where I’ve gotten fed up and asked the parent to step in. Most of the time you get an apology and the parent takes their kid and goes but I’ve copped the sighs and dirty looks many a time as well. I wish everyone at the playground just kept an eye on their kids so everyone could have fun and commonsense were employed instead of his misplaced sense of entitlement.


  • I am the same — I don’t considering it being helicopterish, I see it as doing what I’m supposed to do, which is parenting. Our Punks know that they need to try and address issues with other kids themselves before I’ll step in, they know I am watching and aware and they know that all they have to do is give me a little look and I’ll head over to help them, which I will only do when I know that they’ve done their best to try — they are only kids, after all, and still learning negotiation and conflict resolution — but I have no issues with parenting other peoples’ kids if they’re not bothering to do so. And I certainly remind them that they are responsible for their own children and that they need to parent. I’m tired of people thinking that just because it’s a play area that they don’t need to watch their kids — it’s really not that hard, people!


  • So often I have seen other mums just zoning out and not watching their kids as they are too busy ‘playing’ on their phone. Completely annoys me. I too am a little helicopterish at playcentres and parks. I don’t want my kids to get hurt, hurt someone else or show any selfish behaviour. I will normally make a very loud comment on how people should watch their kids (directed at the person on the phone completely oblivious to what their child is doing.)


  • I have seen it time and time again where kids are playing unsafely, pushing in, being mean to my kids and the parents are talking away not paying attention, the mums with the coffees, the dad’s with their devices. I have seen a girl put twine around her own neck in a park, kids walk up slides while a line waits to go down, pushing and shoving.
    I have had a firm polite word with some children. Some have been completely rude, ignored me, most listen to what I say and comply.
    Ofcourse there are the parents as mentioned in the article, juggling a baby with a child or two or have an emergency. But I am disguised by those parents who choose not to keep an eye on their child and let them sort it out themselves. Children, strangers, of all ages and abilities are not just going to “sort it out it got themselves”, sometimes they need guidance or even just observation.
    Parents step up and be responsible for those in your care!


  • I’ve read this before. Parents should take responsibility for the actions of their own children, don’t ignore it


  • I try politely first then it’s on!


  • That would be me too. Good for her.


  • I agree with what you did every time – pity more mums are not like you in my opinion.


  • It is natural for a Mum to step in to protect her own child. Why should your child suffer because of the other Mum either missing what happened or in some cases simply didn’t care. Children have enough mishaps of their own accord without others being involved. I also have rescued children who otherwise could have been hurt. Fortunately that Mum was grateful. She was attending to her baby and trying to watch her children at the same time.


  • I would have said the same thing too.


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