First World Problems: A Playground Bully


Sep 10, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at contact@theswaddle.com (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately, or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: Judy, what’s your take on disciplining other people’s children? I am quite sick of my daughter being pushed by aggressive little terrors in the playground (whose nannies are not doing anything to stop them), but I also know I’m not the playground police. When do you think it’s OK to step in and discipline someone else’s kid?

Never. No, don’t say “but.” I hear you; they are Rosemary’s babies, and they are terrorizing your little princess. Been there, grinned and bore that. And guess what? I realized that Rosemary’s babies have a way of bringing out the Powerpuff Girl in delicate princesses. It’s like that thing about the external irritants causing the oyster to produce the pearl. Wow, what a timely analogy. Allow me to take a moment to acknowledge my own profoundness.

Moving on. So, it is possible that things could get out of hand and your child could get seriously hurt. And if you really think this is likely, and it’s not just your parental paranoia, take it up with Rosemary. And if that doesn’t work, just find another playground? At least you won’t have all the stress to deal with. Unless the other playground has that kid who owns Chucky. But… happy thoughts.

PROBLEM: A friend has been asking me to return a book I borrowed, but I kept telling her I already did. But going through some old things, I found it, and I realized it has a really personal inscription inside that would be (was) embarrassing for anyone else to read. Should I give it back? Or since she seems to have moved past, maybe I should just be quiet about it?

If it was that personal, she wouldn’t have let you borrow it. And yes, dear Book Lovers’ Nightmare, you should return it. Nobody moves past a precious book, especially one with a personal inscription. How do you not get this? Wait. You’re a millennial who’s never owned a book aren’t you? Sigh. There’s too many of you on the loose, these days. Too many of you.


Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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