The other day we were at our local indoor playhouse. I saw a boy holding down Little Girl. He saw me coming and let her go. This boy had shoved Little Girl down and held her there. Despite her cries to be free. I had all I could do to not take this kid by the scruff of his neck and give him the what for. Instead, I consoled Little Girl and watched this boy. After Little Girl was better she went to play in another direction. The boy was in the same jump house doing the same thing. I was about to get up and say something when his mother looked up from her phone and came over. The only thing she said was to “knock it off or we are leaving.” That is it. Not that I wanted her to tar and feather him but I wanted her to parent him. She walked away and went back to her phone. He went back to being the bully. Clearly, her words had no impact on him. Even if she did enforce leaving what would that teach him? He has to be more sneaky as to his behavior? He is fine to do it as long as he does not get caught? I saw him ten years down the road doing the same thing. Except for this time, it is not pushing a girl over on the trampoline, he is holding a girl down against her will. Perhaps I am making a big leap here but it is boys like this that grow up to be that football star that becomes untouchable in his own eyes. He becomes that TV executive who thinks he can get away with anything. Or he just becomes that punk that uses his hands to get what he wants. Moms and dads, please teach your sons (and daughters) that when the other party involved is no longer having fun then the activity needs to stop. To the mom on her phone. You are missing your son’s childhood. Unless that phone is linked to some government agency where you need to be glued to it or its life and death PUT IT DOWN!!! He needs you to explain to him what safe boundaries look like. He needs you to watch HIM. Watch me, mom….I hear this ALL DAY LONG with my little one. She wants to show me this jump or that cartwheel or read that story AGAIN! Know what, I do watch her. If I take the time and watch the little things she knows I will be there for the hard things. It is not always easy as this comes usually when I am trying to get work done or dinner on the table but she knows I try! Dear mother on the phone please parent your son. Teach him right from wrong. When I grew up you can bet if I was out of line some neighbor would speak up to me or the story would get home to my mom. I had consequences. My mother had eyes everywhere and parents looked out for other kids. We have lost that. Parents are too afraid to stick their nose in someone else’s business. I get it. But you don’t have to stick your nose in. You can just be present. I have found as a teacher behavior improves greatly when I am nearby. I don’t have to say anything. I just need to be near. The same goes for supervising children. You don’t need to parent someone else’s child but you can be a pair of eyes that could keep other kids out of harm’s way. The world we are handing our kids offers way too much freedom and not enough eyes. Look up from your phones and parent your child. I hope I am wrong about this boy. I hope I am wrong about this mom. Dear boy…No means NO! Dear mom….please watch!