The other night my dinner plans were a big fail so we ended up at Chick-fil-a. The kids love Chick-fil-a not only for the food but the play area. We sat right outside the play area so when we were done eating they could play and we could keep a close eye on them.
After about 10 minutes of happily playing with a group of kids we hear crying and I automatically know it’s one of my boys. (A mom always knows her baby’s cry.) Jude comes out of the play structure bawling so Joe comforts him and asks him what happened. Just then I notice a huge blue bump over his right eye. It takes a few minutes for him to calm down enough to explain to us that another kid hit him. Now, this bump was pretty impressive, the other kid had to have closed-fist punch him to leave that sort of mark
Immediately, I asked Joe to go get some ice for his eye because it was already pretty swollen. When Joe and Jude came back to the table with ice Jude explained that he was playing tag with the boy in the black shirt when the boy in the gray shirt hit him. After he explained what happened I remember the mom of the boy in the gray shirt immediately retrieving her kid from the play area before we even knew what happened, like she knew it was her kid.
Jude seemed OK after we got some ice for his eye and some ice cream for his mouth. As we sat there eating our ice cream I mulled over what I should do. My primary concern was with the well-being of my son but did I need to say something to the other parent? I didn’t see what happened but obviously someone hit my child hard enough to give him a black eye which is unacceptable. The other kid looked to be about the same age as Jude but a little bigger build. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Jude provoked the child but either way there was no need for the kid to punch my child in the face.
I didn’t really do anything. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I feel like I should have stood up for my son somehow but I’m not really sure in what way. I think I was in shock at what happened. I wasn’t angry at the other kid, I was concerned for my son more than anything. But the more I think about it the more I feel like I should have said SOMETHING. I’m a little surprise the other mom didn’t make her son apologize to Jude, that’s what I would have done.
What do you do in a situation like this? How do you appropriately address the parent of a child that has hurt your child, especially if you didn’t witness the situation?
This is new territory for me and I’m sure there will be similar situations like this in our future and I need some advice. How would you have handled this situation if it were your child?