What would you do?
This is a tricky situation. I don't want to be the over-reactive parent, but I do want to make sure my child is safe at all times, especially from violent kids or bullies. However, I can't always have my eye on him & at times I have to trust that other people will keep him safe. Sometimes, other people aren't always going to protect him as well as I would.
This is the first time I've ever questioned the short term daycare situations that we use & I'm not sure when to make an issue of it. Logan goes to the gym childcare 2-4 times a week for about 2 hours at a time. He loves it there, always asking to go & talking about basketball & soccer. I've never even thought twice about it because he was always happy & rarely ever cried. This made working out so easy because it was "fun time" for both of us.
Yesterday morning after photographer friend & I finished our workout, we went to pick up our kids from the Kids Club. I saw Logan coming to the gate, red & blotchy with tears on his cheeks. "Why is he all red?", I asked one of the daycare attendants. "Oh, he was crying", she said & left it at that. Then as he came over to give me a hug, I saw red scratch marks around his neck & collar bones. "Why is he all scratched up? It looks like he's been strangled", I asked the same attendant. She didn't know what happened & asked another girl working in there with her. "What happened to Logan?", she asked her. "Oh, there was a sharing issue", the other girl stated & pretty much left it at that. Not knowing what to do from there, we got our kids ready to go as Little M was telling us that Logan got strangled. He seemed fine other than the scratch marks on his neck.
On the drive home I kept thinking about what probably happened. Now, I know Logan is not perfect (the last few temper-tantrum posts make that clear) but I do know that he is on his best behavior while in other people's care. He's also very good at sharing. This isn't to say that he wouldn't take a toy from another kid, but I know he wouldn't fight over it. Outside of the time-out temper-tantrums at home, he is not a violent boy. He has never ever hit anyone in playgroup & when he's hit by someone else, he is quick to give them a hug & forgiving them when they are still learning to say "I'm sorry". He really is a very sweet boy.
So, drawing my own conclusion because the Kids Club attendants didn't give much information to the situation, I'm pretty sure one of two things happened. Either another kid was playing with a toy & Logan took it from them then this kid got pissed & strangled him or Logan was playing with something & this kid attacked him while trying to take it away. Either way, Logan was violently attacked while I wasn't there to protect him. From there, one of the attendants probably broke up the fight & that was it. There isn't any type of discipline (time-outs) & if I didn't get details when I asked, I know for sure the parent of the violent child is completely clueless to the incident.
How do I make sure this doesn't happen again? I know I can't trust that it won't & that there will be times when Logan gets into fights. When do I teach him about self-defense & that it's OK to push a kid off of him if he's getting hit? Certainly a two year old can't differentiate between protecting himself & being a bully. How do I make sure he's just not standing there getting pummeled by some horrible brat?
Since this is the first time this type of incident has ever presented itself, I'm not sure what to do from here. If this happens again (& I'm sure it will) I should know what to do to make sure Logan is safe - or at least not getting the crap beat out of him while I'm not there to talk some sense into the child or their parent.