Should Parents Intervene If Their Child Is Bullied On The Playground?

I feel like a broken record in my plea for parents to back off and let children handle difficult situations independently or with little guidance from us.

We must always intervene when an emergency arises. Our goal is not to prevent injuries but to seize teaching moments so some accidents won’t recur.

There is a tiny difference between a near tragedy and a real tragedy. It would result in a different type of harm, and we should not live in fear of what’s possible.

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Make sure you don’t sound like you’re complaining, which is likely to be dismissed.

These tips are for communicating proactively to prevent future injury rather than focusing on what might have been.

The Other Mother

Children should learn to recognize when they place another in danger, even unintentionally.

It can be challenging to talk about concerns with other parents. They will interpret our message differently depending on how well we know them.

Given that most parents would want to know if their child nearly injured another, you could begin: “I am telling you this because I would want to know if it had been my son.”

Informing Or Complaining?

As parents, we want to avoid being “that parent” who rushes in to rescue their child just because they’re scared or upset.

The power imbalance and size imbalance in this playground harassment warranted adult intervention.

Safety seems to be more of a focus at schools now than when we were kids running around on the playground. I’m guessing partly due to liability concerns and the greater awareness of the importance of students feeling safe at school.

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No matter how much we want to not dwell on your child’s playground push, bringing the issue to the other parent and the school may result in a safer environment.

Your son is not physically injured allows you to approach these communications calmly as a proactive measure rather than with blame and judgment.

Unfortunately, accidents happen. Kids are impulsive. Nevertheless, as adults, we need to do our part to increase safety.