What is it that makes other parents believe that they have the right to impose their world view on others?
Today on the playground, Matthew caught a baby toad, and then later on some girls found a really large toad near a tree. True to form, Matthew caught the big one, with the idea that he was going to bring it home and make it a pet. That would never have happened, of course, so when a little girl came up to me and told me that he "had to let it go," I reassured her that he would, and that I would take care of it.
Just a few minutes later, another parent (the girl's mother, I believe) took the jar away from Matthew, and before I realized what was going on, she let the toad go, over the fence where no one could get it again and it would be safe.
Now, I have no problem with parents interfering where kids aren't getting along, or where there is damage being done to life or property. But this mother's actions seriously angered me. Regardless of her personal beliefs about whether toads should be caught and kept as pets, she had no right to impose her views on Matthew by taking the toad away from him and letting it go. I am his parent, and I decide whether he can hold the darn toad or not, and when it's appropriate for him to have to let it go himself.
I wanted to say something to her, but unfortunately never got the chance. Matthew was understandably upset, and though at the time he was handling it remarkably well (just some frustrated yelling from the tire swing), I thought it wise to leave the playground at that point. Of course, we would have been able to stay and play a little longer, if this parent hadn't taken it upon herself to decide the right way for my son to act.