There are any number of “that” moms that you can see at the park/school functions, etc. The mom who does it all and still works full time, the mom who lets her child run wild, and there is me; the rule enforcer. Every society has a need for order and someone one to keep it. I fulfill this role with earnest and pride.
I’m the mom who says to any child at the after school function: “No running in the hallway”, or the mom at the playground who puts a stop to the wood chip fight. We have rules for a reason, to keep people safe. Whether it’s your kid or my kid, I want them all to be safe.
Maybe it’s because I am a teacher and I am used to enforcing rules and disciplining other people’s children. If you ask any of my old friends or my parents they would laugh to know that I am such a stickler for the rules. I was the chief offender of rule breaking- from the day I entered school until the day I came back to school as a teacher.
Now I am not the mom who comes to the playground acting like I own it, or just bulldozing through the place screaming rules and terrorizing children. I always look to see who the other supervising adults are, what their role is in keeping order and safety before I step in and do anything. Often times we see that the children who are most “spirited” are the least supervised. Because I supervise the area I have praised a child’s first time going across the monkeybars when his mom was too busy; someone had to acknowledge his accomplishment, and respond to his plea “Mom! Look at me!” In my attempts to keep order and safety a priority I have reconnected lost children with their parents, given soft words for a skinned knee, or allowed older siblings the freedom to enjoy their time,too, without being in charge of their sibling’s safety.
I want my children to know that the playground is a place to enjoy yourself, but I also want them to know that safety comes first. I’ve had to respond to the “but the other kids are doing it” statement by saying, but it’s not the right way to behave. I want them to know that obnoxious screaming, throwing sand, pushing in front of someone else for the swing, or taking someone else’s toy without permission is not ok. My goal is to instill good behavior and to keep everyone safe. Besides, you know all the other mom’s are annoyed by the kid kicking dirt at their child.
By Rebecca M.