shouting "that's really bad parenting" out of a car window is not reasonable behavior

(117 Posts)
reallybadparenting Thu 11-Jul-13 21:56:07

this was not my finest hour:

3yo DS was having a melt down. Ten minutes away from home he refused to scoot, be carried, or walk in a homeward direction. He let me pull him for a bit on the scooter, but ended up just wanting to push it down on the pavement and stare at it. The midday sun was baring down on us both. I tried to put some sunblock on him, he hates that so more screams. Eventually I found that if I carried the scooter he would follow me crying shouting for the scooter. Shameful, but at least we were getting towards home. We reached a road crossing with traffic lights. I asked DS to press the green button. He refused, so I did, queue another meltdown from DS. When the lights changed I tried to get him to follow me across. He refused. We waited for another green light, still no movement. When the third green light came I walked across to the centre and he looked like he might follow. The lights changed and he was at one side of the lane of traffic and I was at the other and I gave up and went back over to him. The traffic had been held up a bit and someone sounded a horn a few cars back. The cars started moving and some woman shouted out of a window "that's really bad parenting". I felt like shock shock angry blush

Yes, OK, I should not have let DS more than an arm's reach from me beside a busy road. I'm quite confident about his road sense, but I should not assume drivers are sane. Bad mothering! I also should have taken the pram.

So I'm not proud.
I would have been no more proud if I'd shouted that out of the window though.
AIBU to think if she'd wanted to be helpful to me or DS she could have shouted something else, like "careful" ?

xylem8 Thu 11-Jul-13 22:57:44

as a driver I find it quite scary when young children are unattended by the side of teh road and you don't know what they are going to do.The driver wNBU you were!

Deadhamsterssmell Thu 11-Jul-13 23:01:30

We all make mistakes, especially in the heat of the moment.

If she was that bothered by your parenting skills she should have got her judgey self out of the car and given you a hand.

apostropheuse Thu 11-Jul-13 23:05:48

Whilst it was obviously not nice to be shouted at, it was an incredibly stupid thing to leave a young child unattended at the side of a road.

Three year olds do not have sufficient road sense for that, no matter how much you think they do.

I would have been thinking just what that driver was thinking. I wouldn't have shouted it, but I would have thought it.

I would also have been annoyed at you holding up the traffic with your arsing around. Next time just pick your child up and carry him home, screaming or not.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 11-Jul-13 23:08:06

you need to perfect the carrying under one arm with legs kicking at the rear and arms pinned to side whilst simultaneously carrying whatever object you need in the other hand and having an expression that gives no indication that there might me a small screaming biting shouting object under your arrm.

it takes practice. i have had plenty of opportunity to perfect this method.

reallybadparenting Thu 11-Jul-13 23:08:30

Let me make it clear that I didn't cross the whole road. Just over one lane of traffic.
If I look like I mean it he's more likely to follow. I was ready to get him before the lights changed. I don't plan to do it again.

However, DS almost never walks along beside me holding my hand. Can you really enforce that?

I usually just walk between him and the traffic, or a few feet in front of him.
I guess that's where I'm going wrong.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 11-Jul-13 23:10:03

oh yes and you need to be able to do this one arm scoop up in the middle of the zebra crossing outside school and infront of all the parents and headteacher,, baley missing more than one step.

TheFallenNinja Thu 11-Jul-13 23:11:35

I'm afraid I would perhaps resort to reins. It's impossible to guess what a toddler will do.

The shouting was just a twats trick and shouldn't bear another thought.

IsItMeOr Thu 11-Jul-13 23:20:26

4yo DS still runs off sometimes, and winds me up no end by refusing to consistently obey the "stop" command. He had a major tantrum today because I called him back harshly after he'd climbed through a safety barrier and was making his way towards a sheer drop of about 10 feet. I was terrified, and I suspect that I scared him. Another family's kids were already playing there (why?!), so I think he mainly got confused.

Anyway, point is that you can expect this behaviour to continue for some time yet.

We insist that DS holds a hand for crossing roads, and almost always he complies (he very occasionally has been known to break into a run part way across and get free of us).

I think you need to do holding hands to cross roads as a minimum. I think reins are a last resort for a child of 3.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 11-Jul-13 23:20:29

I'm a driver as I guess many of us on here are, yes it is worrying when you see a toddler or young child not holding their parents hand but being a parent of a very wilful boy I can undestand how this happens

ds (5) refused to go to school today I dragged him along and somehow scratched his leg, he has a mark now and tonight said mummy you did that but it's ok it was an accident as I was being silly no you were being awful but seeing the mark I feel a bit bad blush

Blu Thu 11-Jul-13 23:28:12

If I was a driver close to that incident my heart would be beating in car the child ran out. If I had called out it would be because really I was terrified i could have hit your child,

You need a long drink after a day like that, but would cut her some slack, too.

ouryve Thu 11-Jul-13 23:28:24

It's bloody hard work and the comment from the car was far from helpful.

I have a 7yo with ASD who is regularly this difficult. He walked the entire km home backwards, a couple of weeks ago. If he's not willingly walking by my side, I have his wrist in a vice like grip. Both wrists, if possible. Not possible with a scooter, i know, but I think that, from now on, the scooter is a reward, when your DS gets home, rather than his means of transport. It obviously creates as many problems as it solves.

And DS2 is wriggly and 23kg and I have hypermobility syndrome, but if he gets serious spaghetti legs somewhere dangerous, I pick him up and move him (and take the good pills when I get home)

Blu Thu 11-Jul-13 23:29:41

I wouldn't let a 3 yo, esp a tantrumming being-unreasonable 3 yo walk without holding a hand when crossing a road or in traffic.

ouryve Thu 11-Jul-13 23:31:15

And yy to reins. We've only just stopped using them with DS2 (because he spins around and twists them around my hands). Life was so much less frightening when he would wear them.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Jul-13 23:37:52

I would never have shouted that out of a car window but I would definitely have been thinking it - sorry.

I get it was hot and your toddler was tantrumming (been there many a time with my 3 DC).

But not holding my hand was never an option, especially crossing a road.

I'd rather forcibly carry a tantrumming child or wait until they've calmed down enough to cross safely, rather than put them at risk.

I know that sounds judgey and I'm sorry but I've tried rewording it and it still did.

DaveMccave Thu 11-Jul-13 23:43:25

I'm just impressed with your patience. I have been in countless similar situations and know I would have been shouting and would have roughly dragged dd by her arm across the road or carried her kicking and screaming. I also used to pick up her scooter and threaten to bin it when she wouldn't scoot on it or be pulled. Your tactics were much better.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Jul-13 23:53:04

Picking up and carrying is the best tactic in that situation imo

But we all parent differently.

wilkos Fri 12-Jul-13 00:06:27

YABU. Pick him up next time, it was by a road with busy traffic, are you insane?

You and your DC are not the only ones stressed, tired, hot and needing to get home. Grow a pair.

Sometimes you just need to stick them under your arm and go.

Xihha Fri 12-Jul-13 02:46:36

Im pretty sure they deliberately save up tantrums like that for when you are on a main road/near judgey people. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to chuck a screaming child under my arm/over my shoulder or drag them across the road by their arm whilst listening to nosey gits tutting at me like their the only children to have ever behaved like it.

The lady who shouted was unreasonable, but had you of dragged your kid across the road she probably would of judged you for that anyway so I wouldnt worry about it too much

I remember pushing the baby in the pram, one twin walking nicely while the other wailed as I carried him like a carpet under my arm. He'd been a shit in Asda and clearly wasn't finished - at one point I was dragging him around as he refused to walk.

I was crying my eyes out all the way home with two three year olds and a baby - a kind word from someone would have been nice.

Sarahplane Fri 12-Jul-13 03:52:55

We've all been there. It wasn't a great idea to leave him near a road but we all make daft decisions at times. i would probably have carried dc across the road and probably triggered another meltdown though. It sounds like you've had a horrible day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. That woman in the car sounds like an unhelpful unsympathetic cow who either doesn't have kids or has forgotten what it's like.

NapaCab Fri 12-Jul-13 04:03:26

She was definitely BU for saying the dreaded words 'that's really bad parenting' but I can imagine in a similar situation I would have been sitting in my car, nearly wetting myself in terror at the sight of a 3 year old on the opposite side of the road to his mother. So maybe she just got a fright and felt like she had to let off steam. She was still BU though as she should have followed Louis CK's advice:

'Don't Judge Other Parents'

Can someone tell me also by the way when the blighters children finally do get the sense to either hold your hand or be carried? I was crossing a car park today with DS (21 months) and he stopped midway across and just rooted himself to the ground, trying to wrest his hand out of mine wanting to walk on his own. He KNOWS he is not allowed to walk on his own where there are cars and yet he still always tries to slip my grasp! I had my other hand full with a bottle of water and my wallet so he ended up falling over onto the ground although I blocked his fall with my foot so he didn't bang his head. Cue me grappling in the middle of the car park to pick him up and not drop the water or my wallet or car keys either - Christ! Luckily there were no cars coming but I can imagine some busy-body giving me disapproving stares if there were.

MidniteScribbler Fri 12-Jul-13 04:07:12

I wouldn't say anything, but I would be judging you leaving a child on the side of a road on his own. And also for you standing in the middle of the road.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Fri 12-Jul-13 04:30:23

She saw a fees seconds and judged all of us have done that

notsochic Fri 12-Jul-13 04:51:18

Yes I think you can - and should - enforce hand holdingat 3. And if you can't, use reins/back pack
You need to know you can keep your child safe while out and about.

If I was in a car I would have had to stay at a standstill until you were holding your child; no way would I have risked driving past an unaccompanied 3 year old, whichis what he was at that point.

I realise this may sound harsh but really you are lucky this turned out well and have been lucky every time if you have not habitually been holding his hand.

There is s poster on mumsnet who lost a child who ran out on to a road; I think of her all the time and while my 3 year old will hold my hand I stilk take his backpack reins if we are going somewhere v busy when I also have the baby's pram

Idocrazythings Fri 12-Jul-13 08:52:00

My three and five year old are like that. You poor thing I can just imagine you were at the end of your tether and it was the last thing you needed to hear.

It is VERY hard to carry a child who does not want to be carried plus your bag and the scooter and whatever else you had. Of course you won't do it again but sometimes when our buttons are completely pushed its hard to be everything.

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