At Clissold Park's LolliBop on Sunday, which was generally enjoyed by the whole Hackney family I was watching HackneyChild bounce on the inflatable farm with half an eye and looking at a chair with the other eye and a half, wondering if I would be allowed to sit down on it. Suddenly there was a wail from the inflatable and a mum started shouting at a child: "HOW DARE YOU??? HOW DARE YOU HIT/PUSH ANOTHER CHILD LIKE THAT?? YOU ARE A HORRIBLE CHILD!!".
From my chair coveting position I couldn't see who she was shouting at but I assumed her own child, probably quite an old one, had hit another. Even with that caveat it sounded a bit over the top but parents do get harassed and who knows what the little darling had been up to previously that day. But shifting positions nosily, I saw her carry off a weeping toddler while the child she had shouted at (aged three or four?), clearly not her own, looked kind of traumatised and stood there for the rest of the bounce session not bouncing and looking worried.
Now I didn't see what he did, but I still wondered what my reaction would have been. It's always a dilemma, telling off other people's kids, especially when their parents are right there but perhaps didn't see what their little one just did. I felt sorry for the hitting child. Then again, maybe he won't do it again and I do think we must all have the right to "tell off" children if they behave unacceptably in public, especially if it is impacting on us or our children. I guess there is a line somewhere. What do you think?