We were at the park yesterday playing in the wading pool. Quinn was pushing one of those little pre-walker push cars around. I was chatting with my friend and when I looked back, another kid, slightly older than the girls, was sitting on the car, while Quinn was still in possession of it. The little girl started shoving Quinn's arm off of the car. Quinn didn't back down and continued to grab it. She had it first after all.
I watched for a few moments to see if the girls could work it out on their own. The pushing escalated so I stepped in. I told Quinn that we would find something better to play with and took her hand.
I assumed the little push car thief belonged to a woman who was standing nearby with her infant. A few minutes later, the mom in question took her infant and walked away.
About 5 minutes later, the little push car thief abandoned the car so Q swooped in to grab it. Q was about half a foot from the car, when the thief shoved her out of the way.
Once again, I looked around...where was mom/dad or nanny?
Eventually, I realized that the thief belonged to a woman who was standing on the grass while her 3-ish month old infant lay on a blanket. I had noticed the woman when we arrived at the park. She was on her phone. During her daughter's interactions with Quinn, she remained on the phone, paying no attention.
Quinn attempted to get the beloved push car back a few more times, but by this point, the thief knew what was up and dragged that thing everywhere. She even dragged it onto the blanket where her little brother lay.
I distracted Quinn who eventually gave up and played with Teagan and her other friends. They had a blast.
We played in the wading pool for close to an hour and a half. The thief's mother spent the entire time ON HER PHONE.
I'm definitely not a hovering parent. I think that kids, even 2-year olds, should at least attempt to work things out on their own. But, because they're only 2, I usually watch from nearby and step in when a disagreement turns into hitting or pushing. If one of the girls steals a toy from another child, I intervene and make them give it back. It is a brief exchange. I praise them when they give the toy back and tell them that they need to wait their turn.
What do you do if other parents are not paying attention and their child ends up bullying your child?