I was taking N to the play area one evening. On the way we came across a few kids who were playing with a train track set in the garden. N being a boy out-and-out wanted to see the train track. “Can I seeee eeet once mamma?” I told him to ask the older kids playing with it.
There were 3 boys aged about 5 or 6 years. N asked them “Can I play too?” One of the older boys started shouting (lets call him the-boy-who-shouted) and told the boy who owned the train set (lets call him owner-boy) “Hey! He is tooking your train set. Tell him to stop. Tell him he cannot play with ittttttttttt.” All this while the owner-boy kept looking at N and the-boy-who-shouted, very confused about what was going on. Eventually he decided to side with his regular play buddies and told N (in a I-don’t-care-if-you-are-a-great-guy-but-you-can’t-play-with-my-toys voice) “Give back me my engine”.
I tried to reason on N’s behalf to let him see and touch the train engine for 2 minutes and then he would hand it back but all the 3 kids were adamant. So I had to literally grab the toy from N’s hands (after trying to explain several times that the kids did not want to share right now and we’ll play with them some other time) and give it to the owner-boy. By this time the boy-who-shouted was livid with anger for whatever reason. He was screaming in the owner-boy’s face “Take your toy AWAY from him”. And then he turned to shout at N “GIVE it back”. That blew my fuse!
It was ok till asking back for the toy politely (kids sometimes don’t want to share) but the in-your-face intimidation was another thing.
I gave my biggest-possible-but-meanest smile and told the-boy-who-shouted “Hi! Is this your toy?”
“No, its his (pointing at owner-boy)”
Now in a firm-but-polite voice I said – “Then let him decide if he wants to share or not. And please don’t scream – it could hurt the other kids and is bad manners.”
Didn’t seem the-boy-who-shouted was used to someone talking sense into him because he kept looking at me with an open mouth for a few seconds.
I wonder if I did the right thing. None of the parents were around. Maybe they wouldn’t like someone knocking some sense into their 5-year-old when they are not around. But I feel if my kid did something like this and I wasn’t around I would be ok with an adult explaining this to him (not scolding, explaining). What would you have done?