That's the question I have to ask myself everytime I go to the playground.
Yes, I know this is an incredibly un-PC rant but spend as much time as I do on the playground and you'll inevitably feel the same way. Particularly if you actually have a child and the Mama (or Papa) Bear blood gets boiling.
Here's the thing. I used to think I loved children. Or at least liked them. Not so. At least, not any that are intentionally rude or want to cause physical harm to my child.
It's got to be biological. That's what makes me react this way. It could be over something small, like my daughter saying hello aand being ignored. Or it could be as much as a kid pushing/shoving/punching. Recently, a cherubic-looking blonde girl tried to push A off a slide. It took every ounce of my being not to grab her by the collar myself. Instead, I said "you shouldn't push" and "where's your mommy/daddy/babysitter?" The girl pointed to A and said "she was in the way." Things are black and white like that when you're say, 4 years old.
I'm not saying A is perfect. Her favorite word is "mine-a!" I suppose the extra "a" is for emphasis. Sometimes, a child will try to take the slide next to the one she's perched up on and this really ticks her off. I tell her "it's everybody's slide" and I think it's slowly sinking in. Even though we sometimes have to do a countdown when she's on the neh-neh (the horse) so someone else can get a turn.
But I have to say this....I do not think she is truly mean-spirited . I have seen her share her sidewalk chalk at least twice. This weekend, she actually ran to get another little girl a balloon (mostly so the girl would stop trying to take hers but still).
I have never had to restrain her from pushing or punching another kid. As it turns out, the person I most need to restrain is me.
Maybe she can teach me a thing or two.