To the mom on her phone:
I know there’s this new surge of posts about not judging moms on their cellphones while their kids play at the park. They could be doing work, or they might just need a break. I get it. Honestly, it’s not something I really feel passionate about, but then it became a problem.
Let me lay out the situation for you because you missed it. All of it.
I was at the same playground as you and your son. I’m guessing our boys are around the same age. It wasn’t busy at all — maybe five or six other children were there and a handful of moms. Most of them were off to the side, talking to each other or on their phone, like you. The kids were running around, playing, having a great time. There were a few boys chasing each other and wrestling each other to the ground, but I assumed they all knew each other. Overall it was a generally low-key day.
But then, I noticed something. At the top of the slide, your son was blocking the entrance. My son pointed toward the side, I’m assuming to ask to slide down it, and then got his hand slapped away. Then pushed. I thought my son might turn around, run down the stairs, and cry to me about it, but he didn’t. He pushed back. At this point I stood up and started speed walking toward the two of them. By the time your son had tried to hit my son, again, I reached the two of them and shouted “Stop it right now! Get down here!”
Both boys slid down and approached me. I looked your son square in the eyes and said “you do not push or hit ANYONE here. Do you understand?” His eyes got big while he nodded slowly and walked away. I talked to my son briefly and then sent him on his way back to playing.
I turned back to the bench where I was sitting, and you were still looking at your phone.
I was shocked. You had missed all of it. You didn’t see your kid push my kid (or mine pushing back). You didn’t see him hit. You didn’t see an adult addressing him at the top of the slide or fussing at him at the bottom of it.
I acknowledge the fact that I am a bit more brazen because I teach high school, and I will not hesitate to correct a child that isn’t mine. I’m also not the type of person who will judge other parenting style — you do you, girl! However, I feel it’s pretty obvious that if you are in a public place you should be paying attention to your child somewhat. Glance up from your phone occasionally. Be aware of who your child is playing with and what they are doing. Even more so, know if an adult stranger approaches your child.