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Mum slammed by stranger for not watching their child at playground

Mum slammed by stranger for not watching their child at playground

The incident made her question her 'parenting etiquette'

We can all agree that when you're out and about in the park, you need to be on your A game when it comes to watching your little ones - but one mum is confused over to what extent she should have been looking out for a stranger's child too.

While not a fan of the park, mum of two Haylie Gordon claims to have done done her fair share of ' standing around trying not to look bored' around the slides and swings while her two boys have fun.

While the laws of the playground are brutal for little monsters, she notes that,on the flip side, parents are generally 'an amicable bunch'.

"We smile and engage in small talk, we understand the rule about not hogging the swings, and we’ll help someone else’s child down the slide if mum or dad is not close by," she says in a blog post for Kidspot - most parents understand these unspoken rules.

But during one recent playground visit, the mum had an encounter that she claims 'threw me for a loop' and left her questioning her 'own parenting-at-the-playground etiquette' as an apparent new form of mum shaming surfaces.

The mum was at the park with her son when she did a micro-favour for another busy parent.
Pexels/Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

Arriving to an almost-empty playground with her three-year-old, they settled on the merry-go-round when Haylie was approached by another child who was around two-years-old.

Haylie had already seen their mum breastfeeding a sibling at the opposite end of the designated kid's area.

"I gave his mum a courtesy nod as if to say “Is this ok?/don’t worry, I’ll supervise him on the merry-go-round” to which she nodded back with a smile," she explained.

However, after only a short period of time, the child seemed to get bored of spinning and 'ran off to find something else to do', and Haylie and her son also moved onto a different area of the park.

So she was taken aback when the child's mum came frantically running towards her asking where he went.

"I didn’t give a second thought as to what the other little boy was doing until his mum came running frantically towards me.

"I’ll never forget the urgency in her voice," she notes as she was asked/accused: “Weren’t you watching him?!”

A frantic search for the lost toddler ensued that would test the nerve of most parents until he was finally located at 'the very far end of the playground... watching a soccer game on the neighbouring field through the fence in and amongst some big bushes'.

The mum lost sight of the little boy and assumed his own mum had continued watch over him.
Gary Hider / Alamy Stock Photo

While obviously relieved, Haylie claims that the other mum she'd tried to help out 'stared me down with daggers' and didn't respond when Haylie said: "I’m so glad he’s ok."

She mused: "Of course, I understand that the mum was upset and fearing the worst. I would be the same. I would feel panic and dread, but would I blame another parent?

"No, probably not. Everyone knows that children can wander, especially with so many exciting things to look at in a playground.

"Yes, I had given the nod to watch the little boy on the merry-go-round but I assumed that that was where the supervision ended. Am I wrong? Should I have watched him for the rest of our playground visit?

"I'm still questioning my parenting-at-the-playground etiquette and whether I should have done something more."

Should she have made the little boy stay with her or given the other mum a nod to signal that she was back on duty?

What do you think?

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Parenting, Real Life, Life