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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" ?

Bogeyface Sat 13-Jul-13 10:48:08

I remember struggling to get DS into his car seat once, he was doing the old arching his back trick. The car door was open onto the pavement and meant that no one could get past. I tried to pull the door in to let this old biddy past and she said something about not having all day to wait for me. I snapped quite loudly at her to fuck off!

Not my finest hour, but the look on her face was brilliant grin oh and I think DS knew that the Mummy was on the verge of complete meltdown and got into his seat!

monkeynuts123 Sat 13-Jul-13 10:41:50

All sounds like standard practice in our house and thankfully nobody has ever been bold enough to shout at me in public! It's less than ideal and you know that but I have done similar things in a fit of peak or desperation and I think this is all normal life with a toddler. What a bitch she was. Don't dwell on it and enjoy the sun!

wasabipeanut Sat 13-Jul-13 10:32:05

Big sympathy here too. I remember being 8 months pg with DS2 and Dd was 2 and a bit at the time and refusing buggy but getting fed up halfway through DS1's school run and demanding to be carried. Once she sat down smack in the middle of the busy road we have to cross. Fucking nightmare - stuck with child, buggy, lumbering pregnant bulk and a car coming. Somehow I got them all out the way fast enough and screamed like a fishwife at her once safe on pavement.

Another mother stopped and I basically screamed at her too but all she was trying to do was ask if I was ok. I was on such a war footing I totally misread it. We always say hello now smile

I think most people would sympathise if they have ever had to deal with toddler strops and roads. It's hellish.

ifindoubtnamechange Sat 13-Jul-13 09:47:11

She didn't make the best choice of words but she probably got the fright of her life. Agree with other posters who say take this as an opportunity to have a plan for those meltdown moments. Am in full sympathy after having walked along the road on Thursday with DD under one arm also carrying toy bugg, doll, hat, sunglasses, shopping, juice, handbag... nice dusty footprints on my cream coloured trousers.

Huge sympathy from me. As the parent of a 3yo DS, I have been in this exact situation more than once.

I am 100% sure I didn't handle it perfectly, and would have been bloody livid at the drive-by parenting guidance you received. What an absolute bloody cow bag. I bet that on reflection she felt bad about it actually.

minouminou Sat 13-Jul-13 08:49:20

DD is quite a - ahem - character.
This Monday she threw a spectacular tantrum on the bus....pulling her own hair, hitting her own face and head, and biting her own feet (always a favourite).

An elderly woman on the bus was barking "You silly girl!" at her at regular intervals and I ended up snapping "Thanks for the input, but I've got this."

I just started talking to DS about his friend's birthday, and completely ignored her.....a few seconds later and DD had started to calm down.

The woman on the bus saw me doing what looked like nothing, but I was doing exactly what works with DD.....removing the oxygen of attention.

You took a judgement call based on your experience, at a very trying time. The bint in the car, if she was that great a person/parent, would have seen this and would have thought "Kids choose the best times, eh?" instead.

mezza123 Sat 13-Jul-13 08:42:30

I do the underarm thing for 2.5 DS too - he hates it - calls it 'being stuck under your arm' - and it will usually force him to walk. When do they grow out of this?!

minouminou Sat 13-Jul-13 08:37:53

Balls to her.

And that's that.

Whothefuckfarted Sat 13-Jul-13 08:24:51

Water off a ducks back, you know better, you do better next time. No one's fucking perfect. Especially not that good for nothing shouter!

elfycat Sat 13-Jul-13 07:00:15

It was another day when everyone survived. Some days that is my only goal. Don't worry over what had happened but reflect on what you could do better next time and have that plan ready to go. Sounds to me like you are a lot more patient than I am.

DD2 (2.7) is beginning to bolt and if she will not hold my hand then I grip her wrist until she agrees and from time to time we've sat down on the ground and waited. She used to be good at holding onto the side of the pushchair but after she let go and bolted into the roadway (internal to a hospital) 2 weeks ago I'm not trusting her. One of the ambulance crew leaped out at my yell and afterwards said he was going to tell me to hold onto her better, but my reaction showed that I had zero tolerance of her behaviour. She got placed very firmly in the buggy and strapped in.

I did think about maybe taking the kids out today. But I'm now thinking we should stay in where it's cooler and there's slightly less chance of meltdown mine probably.

Morloth Sat 13-Jul-13 06:08:36

They shouldn't have yelled out the window, but we have a 'hold hands on road' rule no ifs buts or maybes.

Fireman's carry or football hold, or as a last resort in the middle of the road, I will pull them up by their arm and drag them.

No fucking around on or near roads.

You have my sympathy, been there, done that.

Bloody kids.

mumbug Fri 12-Jul-13 23:43:26

Thanks everyone, especially all those who went to the trouble of being kind.
I'm happy to report a much better day today: no tantrums, not even any tears.
I was especially happy to be holding his hand every time we crossed a road and it wasn't even that hard to get him to co-operate. I half got the impression he actually enjoyed it in fact.

Idocrazythings Fri 12-Jul-13 14:23:41

I'm glad thebody and I hope the others meant the same.

At the end if the day though it comes down to individual personality. Two of my three have very strong personalities and I have had to develop a type of frog march to get mine going when reluctant to move. As wrist/hand holding does not work for us. I truly hate to think what people think of me sometimes especially this past week but I am glad not to have had critical remarks; that would truly tip me over I think. Sometimes on a really bad day, we need a little compassion. And wine. And chocolate.

Not for one second is it ok to leave a child near a road, but the op already knows this and does not need it rubbing in her face, any more than it has already been.

ouryve Fri 12-Jul-13 14:16:51

For me, drag is to grasp one arm firmly (not by the wrist, since DS2 and I both have joints that pop - I take care to make sure that I come out of it the worst) and have a hand on his back, holding his clothes, if necessary to keep him moving forwards and not spinning around. If he's wearing a coat, I hold the end of his sleeve, rather than his arm.

I had the pair of them melting down on the way home, one hot day, last week. It wasn't pretty. I was ready to sit down in the middle of the street and scream, myself.

thebody Fri 12-Jul-13 14:00:24

I think 'drag' means hold hand tightly and walk smartly across a road so child has to do the same.

Not physically drag if you see what I mean.

Idocrazythings Fri 12-Jul-13 13:56:17

I'm really surprised at the responses the OP has been given. She acknowledged she made a bad choice. She said it would never happen again she was not asking anyone if what she did was reasonable as in her mind it was not, and not a situation she would put herself in again. Unless i read her post wrong

She was asking if the woman who road raged her was reasonable. No that woman was not. She was rude and could have caused the situation to escalate further.

I'm also a bit shock at people saying yes you can drag a child. It only takes a second for a small shoulder to pop out or an elbow to dislocate. My DS has very flexible joints and whilst he has never dislocated anything I am very careful not to pull on him too hard. Because of his flexibility he can move his wrist in abnormal ways which makes it difficult to keep a tight hold of him too. Hence he goes in the ergo baby carrier quite a bit still. (He is also very good at getting out of prams)- with the ergo there is no escape!

Maybe I should put him in some contortionist classes??

5madthings Fri 12-Jul-13 13:16:32

My dd can do the meltdown not wanting to walk/scooter/be carried thing. But she either walks holding hands/with her back back or I carry her/put her back in the pushchair and sling scooter over top of pushchair etc.

Holding hands or wearing the back pack by the busy road is NOT negotiable at all. Either she does or she goes in the pushchair, this has resulted in her screaming the entire half an hour walk home from school, but she didn't get run over... Screaming tantrum v's child possibly run over, I will take the tantrum any day thanks.

As a passer by I would have been terrified to see a toddler near the road on their own, as another mother I would offer to help if I could tho is carry scooter/bags etc for you.

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 12-Jul-13 13:13:28

Eyesunderarock...great comment.

I am sorry but when you are crossing a road with a three year old behaviour is non negotiable...holding hands is imperative.

thebody Fri 12-Jul-13 13:12:20

I told said 3 year old to fetch me a 'bloody large glass of wine' last night. In my defence he's now 23 and remember with fondness the smack.

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 13:08:37

I've never smacked mine, or sworn in their company before they were around 16ish, and then only mildly.
They used to get a home-cooked from scratch meal every night, with preferences catered for. I have an art/craft cupboard to die for, and the garden is a delight and nature trail all in one.
I am cuddly and lovely, small children and their parents have wept bitter tears on finding their child not in my class. <twinkle twinkle>
But I have also been that exhausted woman with a 6 year old in meltdown on my shoulder and the community looking [shocked]

thebody Fri 12-Jul-13 13:03:36

Eyesunderarock 😃

To be brutally honest my then 3 year old ds did run away from my hand holding once and put a toe in the road, I smacked his bottom hard, one and only time, and he never ever misbehaved by the road again!

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 13:00:05

Sorry, I can be a very woo parent on many occasions but I think the OP deserves sympathy for being at the end of her tether whilst recognising that what she actually did wasn't good.
I'm not woo when crossing roads, and my 18 and 22 year old have not had their trust destroyed by any sense. In fact, in stressful situations they still often have an expectation that I'll know what to do to keep them safe.
Apparently I am an earworm. grin

DespicableYou Fri 12-Jul-13 12:41:29

<snort> eyesunderarock grin

<I was trying not to go down that route when I composed my reply, but tickled to see someone did>

cornypony Fri 12-Jul-13 12:37:34

unless the driver was intending to stop and help she should have kept her trap shut

juule Fri 12-Jul-13 12:37:11

"I don't see how she could have scooped him up like an aeroplane when she had a scooter and bags to carry, to be fair embracethemuffintop."

If she couldn't get everything and the child across a busy road, then she could have asked someone to help. Maybe someone could carry the scooter/bags while she carried her child. And then made sure she wasn't in that position again.
Or, if possible, hang bags on scooter, drag scooter across and carry child.

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