Unless there is abuse, I see different parenting methods as just that. Different methods. Maybe not for me but maybe for them.
So at the pool the other day I saw a mom with three young boys, ranging from say 6 months to 5 years. She was 'playing' with them in the shallow portion of the pool. 'Playing' for this mom consisted of kicking (yes, kicking) her oldest in the stomach so he fell back in the shallow water falling completely in. He came out coughing from air he swallowed. She stopped, asking if he was OK. He nodded so she did it again. And this time, when he came out coughing, she laughed. Then she threw one of those balls soaked with water to her middle son, well not threw, more whipped it at his chest. Once again, fell over. And more laughter.
I turned to some life guards. The teenage boys were watching the mom with their mouths dropped open.
Then she sat back down with the baby she was holding the entire time and let the boys play. Please note, the baby never even touched the water or got splashed--both mom and brothers were very gentle and sweet to the little guy (he was very cute!).
I am still not sure what to think. I know my husband has bugged me about handling my kids, especially the boys, with kitten gloves. I am just not the 'rough house' type. I could never imagine doing this with my kids.
So I'm wondering. Is this normal? I mean they all seemed to happy and laughing (when not coughing). Am I just too 'soft'?