LO got out of school early today (as did everyone else in our school district). We went to the park and I was actually surprised it wasn't full of littles. My girl (4) was on a climbing structure that has several levels/platforms and slides. She was on the second platform and there is only one ladder to get to the next level. There was a boy who looked to be 3 with a pacifier in his mouth blocking the way. She said "excuse me, I'd like to get up, please move". I thought she was handling herself fine. He turned and open handed slapped her in the face three times. I intervened from the ground saying "Please don't hit" and then he looked at me and grabbed her hair (which goes to her bottom) and yanked it. At this point she just quivered, cried, hung her head and came down the platform to me for comfort. As I hugged her she just kept repeating, "Momma, he hit me in the face. That's mean."

The mom had two more children with her (one older and one younger). She approached me and asked if he hit her. I couldn't sugar coat it. I said "yes, three times in the face and pulled her hair". She replied with "I'm sorry, he's non-verbal". She did come over and attempt to have her non-verbal child apologize and my daughter did hug him.

But wowza. I've seen kids play rough before, but never this sort of blatant aggression. She ultimately told me he's special needs and has a speech impairment. I feel sorry for their challenges. But I really struggled as mama bear to watch another child lash out at mine in such a manner.

I generally try to be "hands off" and remind our daughter different families have different rules when it comes to playground behaviors. How would you have handled this?

I really just wanted to leave at that point.