At a large playgroup your three year old comes and tells you that another child is hitting her. Do you tell her:
A) "Maybe he just wants to play with you. Go back and see if he wants to join you and your friends."
B) "You don't have to spend time with people who are being mean. Find someone else to play with."
C) "If he hits you again, hit him back."
D) Screw this--just go hit the kid yourself. He's already smacked your one year old in the face with a car and hits or pushes her every time he walks by.
Okay, so options C and D aren't really options. And much as it would be nice, the mom of said child was not doing anything. I didn't know her well, so I tried not to judge. Maybe she's really tired. Maybe she fights this fight with her kid all the time.
When my friend's daughter said that the kid was hitting her, she told her option A. Anyone who knows me will know right away that I told my daughter option B.
What would you do? I see the wisdom of option A. But maybe my own life experience has taught me, the hard way, to not spend time with people who aren't being kind and uplifting. A lesson I'm still learning as an adult. But I also don't want my daughter to learn that she should never play with someone who did hit her once--they are just kids after all and she does her share of pushing when cornered in a playgroup disagreement. The kid in question this time was hurting other kids as he walked by them for no apparent reason, so I definitely didn't see a need for her to interact with him. But I will remember option A in a potential future scenario where a child who is usually nice is having a bad day.
What would you do?