to have told the child in the supermarket to please stop staring

(210 Posts)
twilighteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 18:34:10

At the self service checkouts, I noticed a little girl (perhaps 7 or 8) looking at me. I had an "unexpected item" so assumed that was why she was looking, but then I became conscious of it and realised she was staring at me! I don't know why, as I wasn't wearing anything unusual and I don't think that I look remarkable, either in a positive or negative way.

As we were going out she was staring again and when I was getting into my car she and her mum (I presume) were getting into the one next to me and she was just staring. It was really making me feel uncomfortable and I said "hi, is there something I can help you with?" Girl turns scarlet, gets into the car and mum drives away. As I drove off she was staring again.

AIBU to think this is really rude? It made me feel really disconcerted (and yes I have checked and my skirt isn't in my pants or anything!)

Cravey Wed 24-Jul-13 14:37:16

It was me who said about getting a mouthful. I think I said it as I read the op as maybe slightly bullying. I may have been wrong I admit that but still don't understand the logic of the op. op didn't mention anxiety issues etc until later on in fact she came across as a little odd. As others have said maybe the child had issues herself, no need to say anything IMO apart from maybe give the kid a grin. Which the op didn't. I wouldn't have sworn or shouted by the way maybe just asked what the issue appeared to be. I also think the op should have enquired to the child's carer not the child.

Emilythornesbff Wed 24-Jul-13 14:32:23

Oh vivipru thank you.
I have wanted to ask that from the start.

ViviPru Wed 24-Jul-13 14:30:02

What's an 'unexpected item?'

Emilythornesbff Wed 24-Jul-13 14:26:37

No. I don't think anyone is "*acting like she abused the child*"

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 13:50:45

The OP asked a question. The vast majority of the responses have been on the mild side of 'think you were a bit OTT tbh'

The odd 'you are bonkers and mean'

and some agreeing with her.

This is AIBU. She hasn't been flamed. She has had answers.

Gruntfuttock Wed 24-Jul-13 13:45:52

Being stared at for a solid 10 minutes would make anyone uncomfortable, IMO, but I realise I'm in the minority.

MrsMongoose Wed 24-Jul-13 13:37:36

What if she was staring because she thought you were breathtakingly beautiful? Are you than insecure OP that you needed to worry so much about a child's gaze?

Gruntfuttock Wed 24-Jul-13 11:45:11

Quite agree, Winky (and have said similar) but I particularly noticed the poster who said "if you had said that to my child you would be getting a nice big mouthful back from me." which made me think that she may well have shouted and sworn at the OP!

Mind you, I absolutely love babies and toddlers and often automatically smile when I see a them, e.g. in a supermarket, only to realise the mother or father they're with are looking at me as if they want to give me "a nice big mouthful" for daring to notice their child. confused

WinkyWinkola Wed 24-Jul-13 11:34:50

I think if a kid stares at you For ten minutes it's unsettling. Whether you have anxiety issues or not.

And of course it's not akin to throwing poo hmm but it's not really acceptable to stare at people and make them uncomfortable. Even if you are a kid of 7.

Bonkers on this thread. There was no violence. No aggression. No raised voice. And you're acting like she abused the child. Crackers.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 10:21:49

Why would i ask if she was a student? confused

Of course it was relevant. You posted on AIBU. If you drip feed information you will get answers that refer to the information you give.

It is setting people up to look mean and nasty if you then come back and tell everyone how ill you have been.

Its really not a very nice thing to do.

twilighteyes Wed 24-Jul-13 10:11:12

Thanks. Mrs d it wasn't relevant at the time as I hadn't had people saying I was pathetic, get a fucking grip; I also didn't want people saying I imagined it. I didn't. Fwiw I am fairly accurate at age-ing kids as I was a primary teacher before I became too unwell to go back. And no before you ask she wasn't a student as that was a long long way from here.

Katnisscupcake Wed 24-Jul-13 09:54:39

twilight, YABU to put this in AIBU because it's clearly something that unsettled you. Sorry that you've had a flaming.

I would have felt exactly the same but probably wouldn't have said anything because I also have self-esteem issues and may not have liked the answer. Crazy isn't it? They're just children, but some people are effected by anyone staring.

I do also think that by that age, DC should know that staring is rude. I certainly did by that age... DD knows it now and she's just turned 4.

Emilythornesbff Wed 24-Jul-13 09:54:37

As an aside, I'm surprised by the strength of feeling about looking at people / staring being so unforgivably rude..
Like it's akin to throwing poo.
That's very rude.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 09:47:39

Of course they are winky because the OP had an unusually strong reaction to a child looking at her. She didn't just think it was rude. She felt paranoid and very uncomfortable
Because she is very anxious and has been unwell.

That makes her reaction understandable and it would have been helpful to have that information in the OP. Not at the end of a thread in which she asked if she had Been Unreasonable.

When I am feeling unwell I often feel that I am being looked at by strangers. I feel self conscious and feel I am being judged for everything from my hair to my children.
I realise that I feel like that because of my illness, not because I am actually being judged and stared at.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 24-Jul-13 09:33:37

And to add, a similar thing happened to me a couple if years ago. A 11 to 12 year old boy stood and stared at me for about 10 minutes. It culminated in home coming over and literally hugging me as hard as he could. I hugged him back, he was clearly upset. His carer helped him to let go and explained I looked like his big sister. I was not remotely offended. No harm meant or done.

EatYourCrusts Wed 24-Jul-13 09:32:13

Oh hang on, I meant the boy was rude as well as thinking DD was older, not rude as well as you!
Though I do think you overreacted.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 24-Jul-13 09:28:58

Yabu, OP. she is just a child and not causing you any real distress. If you had been in a wheelchair or had an obvious 'difference' then I could be sympathetic to you feeling uncomfortable at being stared at. As it is though the girl was probably looking at you because you reminded her if someone she knows. No biggie and not worthy of drama.

BlueStones Wed 24-Jul-13 09:03:42

I also think some posters have been way OTT. Twilight- for what it's worth I still think what you said was quite acceptable and even normal. This is how children learn - by adults NICELY letting them know where behavioural boundaries lie.

WinkyWinkola Wed 24-Jul-13 08:50:51

But her illness and anxiety have nothing to do with the issue of a child who was being a wee bit rude even if she didn't realise it.

The op didn't tell her off but a gentle admonishment would not have been out of order here.

I hope someone would do the same for my child if I hadn't noticed they were staring so much.

I thought it took a village and all that...

Pozzled Wed 24-Jul-13 08:07:50

OP, I think you YWNBU and I struggle to understand why people have reacted so strongly.

The situation you describe would also have made me uncomfortable. I don't have anxiety issues but I do have fairly low self-esteem sometimes and being stared at for so long would make me feel quite paranoid about what was wrong.

I'm also confused by the comments of 'she was 7, they do stare'. I honestly didn't realise it was considered normal for children this age to stare. I haven't noticed it myself.

I can understand that the child might have had SN- I would probably have made that assumption (rightly or wrongly) and therefore would not have reacted.

But I think that unless the OP used a rude/sarcastic tone then what she said was fine. Certainly not something to be attacked for.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 07:44:25

There was no mention of your illness and related anxiety issues in your OP.
Seems strange not to mention such an important issue considering your reaction to a little girl.
Particularly in AIBU.

RabbitFromAHat Wed 24-Jul-13 07:25:50

Assuming you weren't sarky and unpleasant in your delivery (which it doesn't sound like you were) I don't think you've done anything wrong at all OP, and some people here are being madly OTT. Nobody wants to be dropped into The Children of the Corn! grin

At the same time, what a bizarre list of things there seems to be to 'get wrong' in behaviour in Britain. At what point does people-watching, one of the world's oldest and most fun activities, turn into what's called 'staring'? Who decides it's rude? And if there's a point at which it's suddenly 'rude', how is 7 year old supposed to work out when that is? Straaaaange.

I am not British. grin

twilighteyes Wed 24-Jul-13 07:22:44

thanks smile

WinkyWinkola Wed 24-Jul-13 07:16:03

Well you're allowed to feel unsettled by it. I think most would after ten minutes of it.

Now forget about it and I reckon leave this thread because it's going nowhere. Next time post in chat or something.

twilighteyes Wed 24-Jul-13 07:10:04

thank you winky, I'm sorry others have had experiences with people being rude to them/their children for staring but I WASN'T. And, I DID ignore it to start with, but after TEN MINUTES yes I was feeling pretty paranoid and unsettled by it. honestly, try it some time, you may find its not as easy to laugh off as you may think.

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