Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To help or not to help?

I have encountered a couple of situations lately that have left me wondering what is wrong with our society.  When did we stop helping other people's children, or when did it become wrong to do so.
 (because every post needs a photo)
Scenario 1:
I was at an indoor play area in the mall.  I was staying close to Leland because he thinks he is a big kid, when in reality there are real big kids running around like terrors.  He happened to be by a girl and I saw her toe was bleeding.  I was thinking, she really should not be spreading blood everywhere, so I asked her where her mommy/daddy was.  She pointed to where her dad was and I picked her up and carried her to him, again thinking she shouldn't walk through the entire play area with a bloody toe.  And he seemed offended by the whole situation.
Did I really do something wrong?  What should I have done? Let her walk there? Gone to get him? But I saw he had another child in a baby carseat, so I really thought my solution was best.  He didn't say a word to me, jsut gave me a very weird look and so I walked away.

Scenario 2:
I was at a park with the two girls I nanny and Leland.  One fell and started crying.  She wasn't hurt, just upset she fell.  I was walking to get her and another mom was closer and went to her and then asked "Can I pick her up?"  I was so confused by the question.  Because if I was that mom I wouldn't have asked, but would have gone and picked the kid up and carried them to their person.
Again, is this wrong?

When did it become okay to look the other way when someone's child is hurt?
Or what is the protocol when helping someone's child?
Am I the only one that thinks we should just help any child in need?

I guess I am just doing what I would want someone else to do for Leland.  And maybe that is against the norm. 


  1. This is tough. My inclination is always to stop and help. Child or not. The kindness of strangers does seem to make more people wary rather than appreciative these days.

    I would hesitate to pick up another person's child unless it was an emergency. I would try to help in another way first, since I would assume that anyone watching me pick up someone else's child would not assume I was just trying to help. And as a mom, I think I would freak a bit if a stranger picked up my child too, though I would be appreciative when their good intent was clear.

  2. Working in elementary schools, I hear a lot about this. A lot of times it isn't even them being wary. Many parents take your stepping in to be offensive. They feel when someone steps in it is saying that they are doing something wrong as a parent. They find it incredibly rude and think it implies you are trying to do their job for them. My child, my job, my rules.
    Our society has begun to believe that you should never discipline, touch, or help someone's child without permission. These beliefs make people skeptical and upset when someone tries to help.
    This isn't everyone but I have heard it from multiple people who feel this way.
    Some others just have that weird feeling. It is so rare and discouraged now that when someone does it, they are confused and shocked.

    1. I guess I get that, but there was no way this dad knew what was happening. He was on his phone on the other side of the area. He could see his child still there, but she didn't even know she was bleeding.

  3. I think it is sadly against the norm. I am the same why you are in the case of a child that is hurt. I will try my best to help them if there parent isn't around. The thing that I struggle more with is the children that are in being rude or hurtful to other children (not to mention my own, that's when the mama bear scene comes in). I normally try and watch to see if a parent is going to step in and if not then I will try and correct the child by saying something along the lines of "that's not very nice to do to your friends". My biggest pet pev is when a child is doing something that isn't safe for themselves or someone else around them. I can't stand when parents don't watch there children and then I'm the one that has to save them from a swing or falling off a climber they are to little for because their parent is over on the other side of the playground talking to friends. I think many parents today forget that our children require our attention especially when out somewhere. We can't just let them run off and play at the young ages that I see. My son is 3 and I'm shocked to see younger kids them him just wandering around without anyone. Actually my husband and dad took Rex to the park to play and a 4 year old was at the park by himself. Rex and him became friends and played together and when it was time to leave Rex asked if he could come too and the kid was just going to leave with them! I was shocked when they told me this. I told them that they should have loaded him up in the car and drove him across the street to the police station and tell them that the child was at the park by himself and they weren't comfortable leaving him there alone. Crazy to think about how many parents just don't step up or are afraid to step to help kids in any situation. Great post getting this out there so people can think about how they are with their kids and other kids!

  4. Sadly I think it's not the norm. I think in the bleeding situation I wouldn't have minded the help, but the other one, if it was Evie I wouldn't want her to be picked up. But I'd defienitely want someone to help comfort her and find me. I guess for me it's the hilding my kid factor, not the compassionate helping factor. Part of that though is that I can't stand to be touched and I know SHE hates being held mby strangers so it would probably uspet her.

    But I think that if someone did pick her up and i saw that they were trying to help I wouldn't give them weird looks or anything I would just be greatful that someone was helping me. I think you did the right thing!