Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Walk of Shame

Today we had to do the walk of shame. It seems every time we go to a public park, my son seems to have an incident of some sort. Sometimes he’s the guilty party, but other times he’s the one bothered to the point where he overreacts, causing some parent to scold him. It seems that it’s inevitable that while I sit on the park bench, trying to keep an eye on my three boys running in three different directions, I’ll hear a parent in a not so friendly tone say, “The kid in the black shirt?” then I immediately feel the dread that follows, because... it’s my kid in the black shirt.

Today’s incident was one of those times where it was both of the kids bothering each other, the woman even admitted to seeing only part of the incident. But the mother was on top of him, wanting to scold him more than once. When we tried to explain that her son was threatening my son and wouldn’t leave him alone, this mom preached to my son that their age difference alone was enough for him to handle it differently.

I agree, but for my son it isn’t so. I wanted to explain that my son doesn’t have the restraint of a 10 year old, that he’s very sensitive and has a hard time not reacting to repetitive badgering by her son, but instead, I didn’t say anything. I know she can’t understand, I know I’m already seen as the inferior parent on the playground yard. I’m the parent that all the other parents are scowling at.

So instead, I stood my ground and turned to my son who had tears in his eyes and said, “Don’t worry son, she didn’t see the whole incident, I believe you.”

Then we took the walk of shame with our heads held high.


  1. Good for you! These types of things happen all the time even when children do not have mood disorders. Sometimes, other parents think their children are perfect and they are perfect parents and yadayadayada...I personally think her giving your son trouble got her out of doing some actual parenting - disciplining her own child. Good thing to do I find is to stay away from them - they are the ones who are trouble - not you guys.

  2. I work at a pre school so I can understand the conflicts that occur when people only see half of the event that gets the wrong child in trouble. You handled it like a pro!

    I know this may come out wrong but maybe your son would benefit from going to the park when it isn't so busy. Limit the amount of stimulation by going when it is less occupied. I am in a small town so it would be easy to do here but you probably live in a bigger city where this is easier said then done. IDK. I wish your son the best.

  3. I'm so sorry you and your son have to go through this, but you did handle it beautifully. There should be no shame for you, only for a close-minded, ignorant world out there.

  4. Oh my dear, You are so wise. I've been there, and yes, there is no reason to try and explain as they just wouldn't understand, and it just comes off as excusing our child's behavior, bad parenting, and not taking responsibility... In the moment it is soooo hard though. You are a wonderful Momma!

  5. I'm sorry :( If her son was threatening your son he may have had some issues of his own.

  6. I agree this stuff happens all the time with kids without issues, it's too bad parents are so quick to jump on top of other kids. When the kids are very young, I tend to think that someday they too will understand because no kid is perfect on the playground, eventually they will be in my shoes. Unfortunately for us, we’ve worn those shoes out!

    What topped off the moment when the mother was giving us the third degree was that I was in the middle of prepping my son's liquid medicine dose, I remember thinking, g-r-e-a-t, now she'll be judging us for medicating our child. The timing couldn't have been worse.

    I agree "In the Pink" that it's best to go when it isn't as crowded, it was a perfect day here in CA. after a lot of winter cold & I didn't want to pass the opportunity of getting some fresh air and fun at the park. But many other families had the same idea. I wish I had a picture of this park, it's called the monster park, it is so huge, that's one of the reasons it's so hard to see your kids the entire time, but the boys sure do love it.

  7. wow been reading up on your posts and it's like my story was written by you! Thanks for being so candid about how very, very, difficult this can all be. I have had to do the walk of shame so many different times going out in public occurs much less these days.

  8. Oh yuck! Well, keep your head held high. It's people like that other woman who end up with the brattiest kids that nobody wants to invite because they are so badly behaved.

  9. Im so happy to have found you and am looking forward to reading more post! I adopted twin girls from China. They were 22 months when i got them. They began to show signs of anxiety and aggression around 8 years of age. Tests,medication,and therapy, has been our world. I adore my girls and am so thankful for them but it is not an easy life. Everyday is a struggle for them. One is Bi polar and the other has ADHD. It takes a tremendous amount of patience to care for our precious children. Although difficult I would do it all over again. Ill never give up on them. Hoping one day i will find a solution to ease there suffering.

    1. Glad you found this blog too, many of us can relate to what you are going through. Wishing your family much joy and peace!