Mom Calls Cops on Dad After He Removes Her Child from a Playground Swing

Two parents on a playground in Australia recently found themselves faced with a dilemma that might sound familiar: one parent's child was on the swing -- we have no idea for how long -- and the other parent and his child decided it had been enough time and that they should be courteous and surrender their rights to it.

When this happens to me, I either err on the side of passive and shut my mouth and wait, advising my daughter to go on the slides until the swing is clear, or I politely ask if my child can have a turn. I can't say I've ever experienced a problem or confrontation on the playground.

Well, the same can't be said for these parents. After the mother told a father her child needed another five minutes, he reportedly proceeded to lift the woman's kid out of the swing. She, in turn, called police. And now everyone is debating whether that was a cuckoo move or the right thing to do.

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According to the mom, she frequents this park with her child all of the time and had felt intimidated by the man putting his hands on her child. Who can blame her? She says she wanted to feel safe, so she made the decision to call the cops on him. Apparently, the cops didn't do much, other than talk to the dad and explain that he can't go around touching children who don't belong to him.

It's not like a crime was committed here.

But even though the man's actions weren't criminal, I could totally understand why this woman felt frightened in that moment. You react viscerally when someone even looks at your baby the wrong way, so when a complete stranger has the nerve to pick her up and remove her from a swing, he has gone too far.

My first thought would have been: what else can this guy be capable of? Most likely, the answer to that is: nothing. He probably just wasn't thinking and did a foolish thing. But I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving it alone and I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable confronting a man who is stronger than me -- especially in front of my child.

This mom did the only thing she could have done in that moment and that was to call police. Yes, it's silly to use up such a precious resource over a stupid swing, but that isn't the point. The point is simply that he shouldn't have put his hands on her child and she was smart to call police to intervene rather than try and handle it herself.

Do you think this mom did the right thing by calling police? How would you have handled it?

 

Image via Ian D. Keating/Flickr

 

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