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Do you mind people telling off your DC?

(84 Posts)
MrsKoala Tue 21-Jan-14 21:39:58

A quick question inspired by a thread on AIBU and something i had been pondering for a while.

When at soft play/toddler groups i automatically tell other children (as well as my own) off for being naughty/dangerous etc. It comes out instinctively. But i notice other parents don't tell DS off, and don't seem very impressed at me saying something to their DC (never shouty or nasty, just in a gentle tone 'no it's not very kind to take all the toys and not share' etc).

Recently a boy was standing on a slide and trying to kick all the children who came up the ladder in the face. I said 'No, don't kick people in the face' and the mum who had been watching looked at me like utter shit.

Now i actively want someone to tell DS if he's doing something naughty. I would get a bit irritated if a parent came over to tell me what they had witnessed without stopping it immediately.

However, i get the feeling i'm in a minority. So before i get a gob full (or a slap) can you tell me if you mind if someone steps in or if you prefer them to come to you to deal with it. (i don't mean anything physical, altho i think i would instinctively pull fighting children apart).

On another note, i also play with the other children and i have noticed the other parents don't do that either. I tend to play with DS and other children sort of stand on the edges creeping forward inquisitively, so i incorporate them into the games too. The parents tend to just stare at me like i'm strange tho.

So is it all interaction with other peoples children which i am meant to avoid? (i'm totally new to all this btw)

MrsKoala Tue 21-Jan-14 21:53:40

So no one cares one way or another then!? I shall just carry on in my own way and wait to be told to piss off. Cheers all grin

CommunistLegoBloc Tue 21-Jan-14 21:56:21

If the child in question was doing something dangerous or violent, absolutely.

Not sharing is a bit more of a grey area but as long as the admonishment was reasonable (ie not just someone saying 'it's not nice not to share' and taking the toy their DC wanted from some poor child who was playing happily) then I think that's fine too.

I do exactly the same as you - have words for naughty/dangerous behaviour and interact/play with other kids too. I think we're in the minority!!! I wouldn't mind someone telling off my kids for the same well I say that bit actually if and when it happens I'll probably get really uppity

ChippingInWadesIn Tue 21-Jan-14 21:57:35

MrsK I didn't dare not reply after yesterday on the trolling thread

I tell them off (gently --the first time anyway--) and I do play with them if they come and join us. I'd prefer to sit in peace with my coffee, but the 2.5 yo has suddenly decided (after a year of going in the Big Bit by himself) that he wants me in there and if I don't go in he hangs around me like a bad smell - so, for now, I'm being one of those annoying parents who get in the way inside the frame grin Little bugger - hope it doesn't last too long!!

I would be more than happy for others to do the telling off/encouraging to share/telling them to wait etc as long as the person doing it isn't shouty/scary, though where we live that would be most unusual - we're lucky. I guess I'd feel differently if some scary mary was shouting!

I'm not sure when this change in society took place and parents decided they were the only ones that should tell their children off, but it's not good. They don't 'belong' to us & they need to learn to 'fit in' with society.

but not bit

LEMmingaround Tue 21-Jan-14 21:58:57

See, if someone who i didn't know told my DD off i would be incandesant but thats because she is a little angel that never puts a foot wrong grin Only half joking, my DD is a sensitive soul and would be petrified if another adult told her off but then she wouldn't be kicking other children in the face either.

D0G Tue 21-Jan-14 21:59:29

I would rather someone tell mine off yes. I will also tell other children off or say in a nice way "please don't do that". Only time I've ever had someone cross about it was when my dc was climbing a huge tower net thing and was about 20ft high when another child started trying to kick him off shock I roared "don't you dare kick him" and got filthy looks from the parent.

Depends, if my dts were snatching toys of other dc or kicking etc I would be really grateful for someone stepping in, if I noticed I would step in and get them to apologise.
Other things can be a grey area, there are probably things I am a bit blasé about that other people wouldn't like, so I would be hmm if someone disciplined my dc for something I would just shrug off.
Not that I would lose any sleep over it grin

blackandwhiteandredallover Tue 21-Jan-14 22:04:38

I try to avoid telling off other people's children unless absolutely necessary. And if I do I try to do it in my best jolly cbeebies presenter voice, eg 'oh now we don't kick people do we? I think these other children want to use the slide, can you go down the slide now?'

I do of course expect others to pull my children up on things where appropriate if I'm not there, but it really winds me up though if people tell my children off when I am right there, especially for minor things. Eg if DD's picking at her food FIL will barge in with all sorts of ultimatums while I usually just leave her to it. Or my BIL told her off for running in a park hmm

And I try to avoid playing with them at soft play if at all possible! That's what I take them there for- to play with other kids so I don't have to! grin

MrsKoala Tue 21-Jan-14 22:05:05

Ha Chipping, i was starting to worry i had virtual B.O.

The thing is DS is big for his age and plays with older children but doesn't understand behaviour as well, so i am kind of relying on people guiding him not to snatch immediately when he does it. Because he wouldn't get it if i told him off later after i'd been told he'd snatched. If that makes sense. I just hate a kind of limp look another parent gives you as if they are clueless in how to say something. Like i said not shouty, but corrective if need be.

The one with the toys was one little boy gathering up all the soft play shapes to build a house then not letting other children in and pushing them out. DS (being young) just blundered in and the boy was pushing him. The dad just stood there helplessly. So i said 'there are lots of shapes and all the children here would like to play with them so it's nice to share'. Then took one.

Meglet Tue 21-Jan-14 22:05:49

I don't mind other people telling my DC's off.

This is a great question as instinctively I tell kids off for pushing and shoving etc. I'm not a very shouty Mum but would be mortified if my DS got told off (his naughty side is well hidden by shyness in most social situations).

NoWayNoHow Tue 21-Jan-14 22:09:49

If I'm standing right there with my DS and the admonishment comes from someone else within 0.465 seconds of something happening (I.e. Not enough time for me to even react) then I get MIGHTILY pissed off. If you think I'm a shit parent, give me a chance to prove it! wink

But I have no problem with others telling DS off if I'm not in the immediate vicinity or if i haven't seen/heard what happened. I would never stand by, though, while DS did something naughty or dangerous and let it slide. I appreciate that that's not always the case though.

I would say as a rule of thumb that if the parent is near and the incident has only just this instant happened, then give them a chance to deal with it themselves. If they aren't doing anything, then say something to the DC.

MrsKoala Tue 21-Jan-14 22:10:39

grin blackandwhite. DS is too young to play alone or with other children so atm i am his personal playmate/entertainer.

Once at an NCT gathering someone screamed in DS's face when he was 6mo "NOOOOO". He looked terrified. I looked at the mum and she said, he looked like he was crawling towards the toy x is holding, so i thought i'd pre-empt him' ERM wtf!? So i do think that kind of telling off is quite strange.

AllDirections Tue 21-Jan-14 22:11:13

I don't mind people telling my DC off as long as they would and do tell their own children off for the same things. <bitter experiences of some DC who can never do anything wrong in their parents eyes but when my kids do it then it's a problem>

I do tell other DC if they're doing something obviously wrong.

MrsKoala Tue 21-Jan-14 22:16:10

yes, i would only do it if the parent wasn't in the vicinity/doing anything. I also mean more aggressive behaviour. I once saw someone telling a little girl off for wetting herself, after the mum had already told her off. I thought that was odd and would never do anything like that.

minipie Tue 21-Jan-14 22:16:46

I think it depends on whether the parent is there or not.

in your kicking example the mum was right there watching - clearly she'd chosen not to tell her child off for kicking - in that situation no I wouldn't tell her child off.

if the parent was nowhere to be seen I might say something but tbh I'd be more likely just to keep myself and dd out of the child's way.

I remember being told off by random adults once or twice when I was younger - it mortified me and I felt awful about these occasions for years afterwards. And on at least one of the occasions the adult had got the wrong end of the stick, but obviously I (as a child) wasn't able to explain that at the time. So I'd be very careful about telling off any child that wasn't well known to me, as I think it can have a disproportionate effect on the child.

MrsKoala Tue 21-Jan-14 22:22:30

yes i understand minipie. I remember that too and it is horrible. In my experiences tho it was quite shouty and i remember being called 'stupid'. If, as, an above poster said, it's more gentle upbeat, 'let's all share now' is that still frightening? Hmmm Perhaps distraction may work better?

Smartbutdopey Tue 21-Jan-14 22:34:12

OP, interesting thread. I have to disagree with the majority of posters here though. I do not think its right to directly address or tell off other people DCs (unless you are in a position of authority like a teacher etc). It's your responsibility to teach yr DC that certain behaviour is not acceptable so if another DC was kicking children coming up the steps then I would tell my DC that behaviour is not acceptable and possibly remove them from the slide, but I would not tell off another persons child as it is not yr place to do so.

Artandco Tue 21-Jan-14 22:44:16

I would tell, other children off and expect parents/ adults to tell mine off if needed also.

Parents can't always be next to children so will kiss behaviour sometimes. I think it's good for children to learn that just because their mummy can't see it, it's still not acceptable behaviour.. ( especially the darling child who was trying to hold my 2 year old face down in sand!, luckily I was watching and stopped him straight away. He said he didn't want me to talk to him.!)

SlatternMissesherGrumpyCat Tue 21-Jan-14 23:22:47

I find this a difficult one. On one hand the intellectual part of me agrees that if my DC are misbehaving they should be told off if I am not around or do not see it. But, the other part of me automatically jumps into protection mode and I would not be happy about it.

My child is mine to discipline and I will do so and not necessarily in the public forum of a soft play area. I hope that I have taught my DC that kicking other children in the face is not okay, so hopefully the situation won't arise. But I just know that if it did my instinct would kick in long before my common sense would.

cakesonatrain Tue 21-Jan-14 23:26:16

At toddler group, I have confronted a gang of the older girls who were backing DS into a corner and making him cry. I didn't really tell them off, but went to rescue DS, and one of the girls said (smiling) "we made him cry", so I did my best Angry Mum face and said 'and that wasn't very nice, was it?"
I have also sat a younger toddler down when he was standing on his chair and looking wobbly, which his mum was grateful for.

I don't know about unknown children in the playground/softplay, but at our toddler group we all look out for all the children, and play with whoever wants to play. We often pick up each other's babies, and children are frequently found sitting on another mum's knee.

cakesonatrain Tue 21-Jan-14 23:28:05

...and no, I wouldn't mind another parent telling DS off, as long as it was a telling not a yelling, and was for a serious misdemeanor.

ChippingInWadesIn Wed 22-Jan-14 00:12:47

I would not tell off another persons child as it is not yr place to do so

Yes, it is actually, they are part of society. Society has 'rules' and if you wont enforce them, someone else will - and has every right to - especially when it directly affects them.

Someone else's child not eating their peas - none of your business.
Someone else's child not taking turns - your business.
Someone else's child kicking your child - very much your business.

If you don't like your child being told off by other people, keep a close eye on them and make sure you get there first.

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