I ran into a bit of a conundrum the other day. I wasn’t sure how to respond to a certain situation. I’m still not sure what I should have done. In all the time I have spent thinking about it and pondering it, I have done nothing.
Here is what happened…
During my lunch break the other day I walked past a playground. I saw a young boy about the same age as my son (7 years old). He was alone on the swing set swinging very slowly and dragging his feet. On the ground next to him lay a baseball glove. Occasionally as he would swing past it, he would give it a little kick. His head hung low and he stared at the ground as he swung back and forth.
I was torn, I didn’t know what to do.
The dad/nurturing side of me wanted to offer him a kid word. Maybe even play a few minutes of catch with him. Maybe that’s all he needed, just someone to hang out with for a little bit. I don’t know his situation. Perhaps his dad is at work or not even in the picture. Either way, I know I would have felt better if I had just given him a moment of positive male influence.
As I said though, I was torn. There wasn’t anyone around, but I was concerned how it would look if a grown man approached a young boy on the playground. We’ve all seen Criminal Minds and shows like that. I didn’t want my actions to be perceived as “predatory behavior”. I didn’t want to get in trouble and try to explain myself should someone misconstrue the situation.
I was further torn because, while I’m not a predator, there may have been one nearby. Someone else may have walked up to the boy with malicious intent. This boy was only around 7 years old, the same age as my son. So I wondered, where his parents were. Why would they allow such a young boy to walk about alone? Should I be concerned about this? Should I have called someone? Should I have reported this?
Our minds work in different ways and it creates a struggle between our parent brains versus our concerned citizen brains.
This was a few days ago and I’m still thinking about it. How would you have handled this situation? What are your thoughts?