For having a go at this Dad at activity

(100 Posts)
DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 13:35:28

I fear I may have been unreasonable as I'm not having a very good few days, so may have not been rational.

Took DD (1.5) to a play activity today which we regularly go to. I've been feeling a little annoyed lately that some parents aren't supervising their children properly. It's a kind of circuit you go around with your child, but quite often the parent isn't near their child and the children push in front of others etc. I just feel a bit annoyed usually but that's as far as it goes. I understand kids will be kids and don't say anything.

Today there was a dad with his 2 dc's. One was just walking so not really joining in and he was mainly carrying her, and the other was around 3ish. Twice the older child pushed my DD out of the way to go down a slide. That is my daughter was just about to go down and the child clambered over her and went down herself. I let it go - I couldn't see the dad anywhere (although didn't look for him) and my DD wasn't upset.

So... DD went to crawl through a hole. I took a few steps so I could go and meet her at the other side (she is a nervous child and has only in the last few weeks plucked up the courage to go through), and was met with the same child as earlier tearing through and DD was backing away. This time I saw the dad looking on. It really pissed me off that he'd watched and not said a thing. If he'd said "DD be careful" or just said "sorry" I'd have thought no more of it probably. I'm usually a quiet person but I loudly blush said to him "excuse me, this is the third time your child has shoved DD out of the way". He said actually she hadn't, that my DD had backed away. I said yes she backed away because there was a child barging past her. (It wasn't that DD wasn't quite at the hole and the other child had snuck in front). I told him I wouldn't have minded if it was the first time but it had happened twice before. He said why I didn't tell him then and I said because he wasn't there (he may have been nearish and stood behind me. I had presumed he wasn't there as he hadn't stepped in to encourage the child to wait her turn etc).

The child then goes onto the next part of the circuit and another woman starts helping her, saying to the dad "oh it's no problem to help. I know how hard it is with two children and you have your hands full". DD then goes onto it next, and when the person in charge looks at me I start crying (as I say I've not had a good few days) and so I go to leave. She comes over to see if I'm ok and I politely turn her away as I was trying to compose myself. We walk out of the door then DD starts crying and wants to go back in. I felt guilty as it wasn't her fault I left, so I returned to finish the class.

I feel like I don't want to go back, and that I must've been in the wrong as the other parent in effect backed him up. Plus I feel embarrassed. I'm prepared to be told I'm unreasonable as I did probably snap at him. But at the same time I feel like you should be making an attempt to supervise your child properly at this activity, and I think part of going there is to teach your child to wait their turn and be considerate to others etc. Quite often a child will "jump the queue" and their parent will tell them they must wait their turn etc, and I say not to worry. I do understand that's what children do! I just feel like it's a parents job to try and teach children how they should behave.

Sorry for such a long post for something that probably seems trivial to some.

TeaBelle Wed 30-Mar-16 13:40:25

It would have pissed me off. But we are currently thinking about trying for baby number 2 aand I have no idea how I would manage 2 children at such an activity. I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the issue, it is unreasonable to expect parents to see everything when they have 2 children to supervise

BarbarianMum Wed 30-Mar-16 13:42:32

flowers Sometimes these things really get to you. It does sound as though you were a bit snappy. It also sounds like he could have kept a better eye on his 3 year old (but it is harder with 2). And these activities are tricky for everybody when you try to balance up the needs of cautious tiny ones and excited slightly older ones.

Try and forget about it. Sometimes everyone just has a bad day.

Squiff85 Wed 30-Mar-16 13:43:34

I would be annoyed too!

He isn't the first person to have to care for 2 children at once, and IMO if he can't manage them both whilst there he shouldn't go.

I too would be satisfied with a "be careful of that little girl" but when parents see whats happening and ignore it, it makes my blood boil!

ASpiderInThebath Wed 30-Mar-16 13:47:15

The other parent shouldn't have butted in, it had nothing to do with her. She could've just said "no problem" and left it at that. I suspect that's what made you feel so shit, that she backed him up. I used to hate taking dd to things like this, you'd often get parents not watching at soft play and toddler group, taking toys, pushing and shoving etc. I managed to bite my lip and just hovered over dd like a neurotic parent grin.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 30-Mar-16 13:51:08

I see why you're upset but your complaint is a common one and I don't see the point arguing with the parents because if they were reasonable people you wouldn't be needing to point things out to them in the first place.

DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 13:51:38

Thanks. I think that's it squiff - you've summed it up better than me!

I agree with the others too.. I have no idea what it's like to handle 2 children and he may well be doing a better job than I ever could!! It seems very popular for people with two children at this class to have the younger one in a sling, but I understand that it may not have been a good solution for this family.

KP86 Wed 30-Mar-16 13:51:54

I suspect the woman was being a bit sexist and wonder if she would have been so understanding if it had been mum instead of dad looking after two kids? The whole bumbling dad giving mum a break scenario. Bleugh!

If his DD knocked yours out of the way three times then YANBU. I probably would have stepped in and told her off myself after the second time, but as you say, you are having a rough time of it at the moment.

Try to let it go, even if you were being unreasonable nothing can be done about it now. Model the behaviour you'd like to see.

DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 13:54:19

Sorry x post. That's true I suppose - reasonable people would be behaving reasonably in the first place grin

I think you're right spider.. the other parent is what made me feel so shit. If we'd just had a disagreement then that would've been that, but I felt like he had been validated in what he's done. She didn't even see what had happened, just heard us have words.

noeuf Wed 30-Mar-16 13:56:56

Oh for goodness sake. Handling two children is not an impossible task. It's perfectly simple to keep an eye out, and to call out rather than hovering. Don't have more than one if you can't see how you will control them?

BarbarianMum Wed 30-Mar-16 14:02:01

<<It's perfectly simple to keep an eye out, and to call out rather than hovering.>>

If you have cabbages maybe. Children - it may be possible (usually) but 'perfectly simple' - no.

NightWanderer Wed 30-Mar-16 14:11:48

It is annoying when parents don't say anything. I think if a child behaves badly and you can't see a parent then it's fine to give them a warning. Just keep your tone light. Go again if your daughter enjoys it. Don't worry about it.

DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 14:12:52

Just to be clear, the little one wasn't running off etc. He was carrying her, and I only realised she could walk a few steps near the end when we all gathered around for songs etc

LauraF94 Wed 30-Mar-16 14:14:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TeapotDictator Wed 30-Mar-16 14:15:53

I don't understand why in this situation you would feel you have to "let it go" because the dad wasn't there to start with.

I can only tell you what I would do in that situation which is that I would speak to the child and tell them not to do whatever it is that they've done (pushing my child out of the way). Parents cannot be all over the behaviour of every child there if they have more than one, why do you think you can't step in as the grown up who IS present and tell the child not to do it?

It sounds to me as though because you don't feel able to do this, the resentment built up and you then over-reacted at the third time it happened. If a child was treating mine badly, I would say something. It doesn't make you a monster and you're not overstepping the mark. I'd be grateful if someone did this to my child if I wasn't there to deal with it myself. Don't do the (frankly slightly passive-aggressive) thing of "letting it go" when actually you're slowly boiling with resentment.

All kids do things like that and it's normal for a parent who is there with more than one child not to be able to hover over both of their children.

ArmchairTraveller Wed 30-Mar-16 14:17:19

'The child then goes onto the next part of the circuit and another woman starts helping her, saying to the dad "oh it's no problem to help. I know how hard it is with two children and you have your hands full".

So she probably hadn't a clue about all the trauma and aggro that had just occurred.
I'd probably have been that other woman, stepping in to help.
I've done it before in playparks and the like, when someone appeared to be having a bit of trouble and seemed to need an extra hand. Was the dad happy to have her intervene, or did he snap 'I can manage perfectly well, thank you'?
He wasn't managing his children to your satisfaction, and someone else assisted. And now she's being judged for it!

Allnamesaretakenffs Wed 30-Mar-16 14:18:45

I think you have to accept that at these things there will always, at some point, be a kid who is not as supervised. Your kid will at some point be shoved or pushed or bumped into. The parent may or may not say something, but that's the unfortunate way these things are. I tend not to take my kids to these organised activities because of the lawlessness that can take place - it's way too stressfull to have to deal with other parents, especially if they're a bit overly sensitive/angry etc (my oldest who's almost three is way too boisterous for other children so for enclosed spaces it's just a no-no to take him to, I haven't since he was about 18 months old after another parent screamed in his face when I was a naive first time parent my self. Some parents just don't give a rats arse though what other parents think so will take boisterous kids along but then again it's not like there are any rules against this, they have a right to be there too but not often the wherewithall to discipline the kid, but again this is part and parcel unfortunately of these kind of young kid activities). Even at the park though where there's more space other parents can just sit back and watch their kid be little turds (the other week a kid of about 6 kept shoving my toddler out the way, then pushed him so hard he fell down the steps. The dad watched and said nothing. These parents cannot be told, so I just say loudly to my kids "we don't push, pushing is nasty" etc).

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 30-Mar-16 14:19:33

Ynbu to be annoyed, but. It really isn't worth getting into a slanging match with parents, over children. The children are speaking 2 minutes later and you're still screaming at each other.
Children are children. They push and hit each other all the time. It's just part of growing up. If you're going to get angry about it every time. You're in for a miserable existence.

MrsOs Wed 30-Mar-16 14:24:16

If it was me I would probably have said rather loudly to the child to be careful and to watch out for others.. it annoys me when kids barge past my little boy! I always say to him to be careful of others and to wait his turn. Don't be hard on yourself, it sounds like you need a hug! I'd definitely go back, no one will remember x

DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 14:28:25

Teapot - I let it go I guess because I only have experience with a young child (my own daughter) and don't feel confident parenting other people's children. If I think about it, I think I may be more confident to speak up with a child the same age as mine as I am used to dealing with her. I don't feel like I'm really making sense. But basically, I don't feel like it was my responsibility to parent someone else's child especially when her own parent had no where else to be or nothing else to do.

The dad didn't say anything to the other woman. I felt she was trying to make a point to me as he wasn't physically struggling to help his older daughter, and at least 50% of parents at this group are there with 2 children. I don't feel she'd be jumping at the chance to help them all, although I accept I may be wrong

GraysAnalogy Wed 30-Mar-16 14:32:03

You were too snappy. Why didn't you just speak to him properly firstly instead of 'letting go'.

Since someone told me 'you never know what's going on in someones head that day, what they're going through and how your words could affect them' I've found myself being much calmer and nicer in situations like this... initially.

DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 14:32:10

Thank you MrsOs I really appreciate that. I am feeling rather fragile today and I know I should just go back.

I live - you're right of course. I'm never usually the type to say something so I do feel silly. I now it isn't worth it, and that next time I would probably just ask the little girl to please be careful. DD does get shoved and pushed a little each time we go, and I realise that's just how it is. This just felt different.

theAntsareMyFriends Wed 30-Mar-16 14:32:32

OP if feel your pain. I have a very timid child and when he starts to come out of his shell its hard to see another child's behaviour send him right back in again.

If the dad saw I think he should have stepped in and at the least I think he should have apologised when you pointed it out. Its a parents job to teach their child to share, wait their turn and be gentle. However, I think pushing, snatching etc. are normal parts of childhood and children also need to learn how to negotiate these things for themselves too.

Its easy when looking after 2 children to have your attention take up and to miss things. He may not have shown it but he may have felt as bad as you. He was effectively being told he wasn't parenting properly and the other parent may have stepped in the reassure him, not to undermine you.

Everyone has a bad day but put it behind you and go back to the group next time and soon you will forget about it. If you don't go back, you may fester. At least I know I would!

FrizzlyAdams Wed 30-Mar-16 14:33:16

Agree with liveinalighthouse kids are kids and it's best to let things go in these situations.

Also agree with KP further up thread - the 'good old dad' getting cut slack for 'having to cope with 2, bless him'.

Hope you're ok now though, and that you are past your run of bad days thanks

DoopDoopBiscuit Wed 30-Mar-16 14:33:20

Grays - the first two times I didn't know where/who her parent was so couldn't speak to him then. I accept I was too snappy.

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