To have walked off and said nothing to this child/mother?

(141 Posts)
TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:28:16

Hello. Long time lurker.

Soft play. A girl of what I guessed was 4/5 walked up to my 21mo and totally unprovoked, shoves him in the chest. Hard. I'm biased, but he had done absolutely nothing wrong. Not even looked at her. No toy stealing or anything. He falls backwards onto the floor and bursts into tears (understandably).

Mother/carer of this girl doesn't acknowledge me or DS but takes the girl by the arm and tells her to say sorry. Girl ignores her and walks off. Mother does nothing. Says fuck all to me. Not even an apologetic look. By this time I've picked my son up and I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to calm him down.

I don't suffer fools and normally I would have said something. I was so shocked that I walked off with hysterical DS in tow. If he had done that to another child I would have died. Apologies all round.

Is this normal behaviour? Was her pathetic attempt to make her child show some kind of remorse sufficient and AIBU to think it was not? Should I have said something or was I right to just leave it?

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:32:44

It actually really bugs me that the number one concern for parents is to make their offspring apologise. If DS did this to another child my response would be something like this:
DS! You do not push. That is very naughty. If I catch you misbehaving like that again we are leaving and going home without a snack. Do you understand? Now, say sorry to the little boy.

I would also apologise to the parent. I really don't see that making my child apologise to the other child is going to do any good. It is certainly not going to deter him from doing it again.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:35

That's disgusting. Shit lax parenting at its worst. Just reading that made me upset for your ds sad. Well done for having dignity. I would have told that child off severely and let the mother know she needs to work on her mothering skills.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:47

I agree. Sorry; I should have actually worded that a bit better. I was annoyed with the fact that despite her child not apologising, she also did nothing. I accept that making the kid apologise should not be the priority.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 05-Jan-13 21:36:05

I think you were right to leave it.

No, I don't think the mother handled it correctly but I don't think you would have achieved anything by telling her that.

perceptionreality Sat 05-Jan-13 21:36:31

She probably felt embarrassed. She did try to make her child apologise - what could she have done to force her? A shame for your ds. I hate soft play centers as a rule!

WhySoSirius Sat 05-Jan-13 21:36:44

When I'm nannying I ALWAYS tell my extremely disturbed and violent charges off for this kind of behaviour, make them apologise and then sit in time out in full view of everyone.
a) gives them a chance to calm down b) removes them from the situation c) teaches them that aggression is NOT on at all and d) shows the poor parent and child that it is being dealt with

I then profuse apologise to both parent and child and explain that they are not mine

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:38:21

Sorry Twigs, I should have worded mine better too - I was agreeing with you.

The scenario just pushed some buttons for me about the way people discipline their children. I would be unlikely to say anything in real life though!

McNewPants2013 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:38:36

If my DC didn't apologise then I would grab my things and we would have went home.

SirBoobAlot Sat 05-Jan-13 21:39:17

In a few years time your DS is bound to do this, even if just the once. It is humiliating, and you cannot physically force a child to apologise. Yes, if the child didn't, the mother should have, but I think you were right to leave it.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:40:27

find it weird that people take 21 months old to soft play then complain when the kid gets poked

they're for children to run about and let off steam

not for babies and toddlers (imo anyway) and have worked at a few!

elizaregina Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:12

twig this is real bug bear of mine, not so much now dd is older and more sturdy but when she was smaller and very skinny and very sweet lovely little girl i would get so upset when older and violent children would run amok in soft play whilst parents left them too it...shoving pushing - punching even other kids - very violently...

I dont mean the good natured boy who likes to wrestle a bit with a big smile on his face, i mean the child that tries to reach another to hurty but cant so walks round to a differnet area to get access to then punch or hit ....

tbh - from what i have seen over the past four years - i would be v grateful that the parent saw and noticed and did at least try and get an apology.

I agree Jolly, mine would be the same - not acceptable - and do it again we would leave - I would be mortified if DD deliberalty casued another child pain like that...

JugsMcGee Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:24

Crikey, my 22m old (who can be a bit "pushy" at soft play if he thinks someone is trying to take his toy) gets more of a telling off than that. And I am always mortified and apologise to the parent.

No you can't force them to say sorry but you can make it very clear that that behaviour isn't acceptable and there are consequences.

Ok that last bit sounded a bit "Supernanny" but you get the idea!

perceptionreality Sat 05-Jan-13 21:42:09

it's also worth remembering you don't know the full circumstances. When my dd was at the child development centre being assessed there was a child there who pushed every child she saw really hard (including mine). Her mum told me it was her way of communicating (she had suspected ASD).

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 21:43:17

Discipline like this is one of the reasons we now have so many knobs in the world

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:43:42

uptheamp Fair enough, but I see plenty of kids the same age as my DS at numerous soft plays and don't think the age of either child is an excuse for that kind of behaviour or lack of apology from parent and/or child. And it wasn't a 'poke' she shoved him in the chest onto the floor.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:45:08

perceptionreality This is one of the reasons I didn't say anything. I didn't want the parent / carer to turn around and tell me that the girl had special needs or anything similar. Hence I just left it.

JugsMcGee Sat 05-Jan-13 21:45:21

Up the amp there are plenty that have different areas for different age groups. If my toddler was hurt in an area meant for older children then that's my fault but if older children come bulldozing through the baby bit and hurt DS I would be peeved.

Yes it's a place to run off steam. Doesn't mean kids can go round hurting others on purpose.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 21:45:42

Sirboobalot. I have a child of the same age as the one that hurt op's ds. No way in hell would he ever do that to another kid, unprovoked or otherwise. Aggressive behaviour isn't tolerated in my house not by me or dh or any of our family. The kids I've personally seen exhibiting this sort of behaviour have had issues at home such as domestic violence and lazy liberal parenting, sometimes one sibling out of seven others. Maybe you think I'm precious but my ds used to be pushed around and bitten til he bled in the company of those types of kids, hence why it really makes my blood boil hearing things like this.

usualsuspect Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:19

kids are always pushing and shoving each other not worth making a big deal out of imo

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:27

I think soft play near us must be different to softplay in other places. All ours have a specific 0-2 area that only littlies are allowed in. Surely if softplay was only for large children they wouldn't have these areas? We generally go at 9am on weekdays when the places are quiet so don't have lots of 4 year olds running around, just a couple of other 2-3s.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:47:44

she was four years old at a soft play session! having worked at soft play places i know i wouldn't take any child under 3 to them and not expect other children to tiptoe around them

the enclosed nature of them makes it hard to segreate the ages.

kids need to be outside in the fresh air in parks not in these awful stinky rubberised rat runs

then parents get all shirty when something happens beggars belief really

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:48:50

FWIW, I accept that DS may be younger than others at soft play (he's a big lad for his age so size not a problem) and therefore may receive the occasional knock form an excitable older child. I always stay near him but don't helicopter in. This does not excuse outright aggressive behaviour from an older child. Ever.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:48:52

they aren't really healthy, the amount of times i went around with a spray to get rid of skid marks wink

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:49:37

hold on, out right aggression for a four year old? lol

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:50:21

<searches for MN mute button>

JugsMcGee Sat 05-Jan-13 21:50:27

Really? One near me has the baby bit fenced off and the gate guarded.

Not shoving someone is not tiptoeing around.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sat 05-Jan-13 21:51:33

Any indication of possible SN? Not that it excuses the behaviour or the response but might explain, perhaps removing the older DC quietly was the best course of action

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:53:07

a mute button? oh so i don't agree with you? i just think you're being unrealistic if you expect other child to curtail to your expectation on how they should behave

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:53:24

Nolittle Not that I'm an expert but before I considered shooting my mouth off at the mother I did take a step back and couldn't see anything I would consider immediately obvious. I also looked over a couple of times post-incident and didn't spot anything.

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:53:29

I don't agree that children should be allowed to push and shove at all.

A child accidentally knocking someone when running past is totally different to walking up and pushing them over. Or to hitting them. My child would be disciplined for any intentional pushing or hitting as I do not think that is acceptable behaviour. For any age group.

usualsuspect Sat 05-Jan-13 21:55:22

no they shouldn't push and shove,but it's not worth all this angst.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:58:21

they shouldn't but they do, as they are children grin

they have to learn how to behave, imo closed soft play spaces aren't ideal as they will inevitably run into another child and probably hurt them as there just isn't the open space to run about that you would get in a park

find it depressing that people vilify othes children for being just that, children.

they don't have agendas they just react, that's how they learn!

hazeyjane Sat 05-Jan-13 21:58:49

Uptheamp, ds is 2.6, with sn, soft play has been recommended as good exercise for him, if there is nothing to say that the area is only for over a certain age, then what on earth is wrong with taking an under 4 to soft play (apart from the fact that they are evil hellholes, obviously!)

DuttyWine Sat 05-Jan-13 21:59:12

It's the behaviour of the parent at fault here not the child. Yanbu for wishing the mum/carer acknowledged you. Kids do mean things at play centre usually hyped up by loud techno music and E numbers. Maybe wait until he is a bit older to take him again as there is always older kids who push and shove.

lifeintheolddogyet Sat 05-Jan-13 22:01:38

awful stinky rubberised rat runs

PMSL. I'm going to say that to the DSs next time they ask me to go. grin

I think the child should have been made to apologise. Or at least the mother should have done, and the child sit out until she became calmer. My DS1 did random stuff like that a couple of times and it was always because he was wound up in some way himself. He'd feel much better for a sit and a think; he could say sorry properly then and go on to enjoy the rest of the session a lot more.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:02:04

nothing is wrong hazey but you would be naive to think other children would curtail their behaviour to fit in with your expectations, just wouldn't happen.

i do tend to think all children should be out in parks etc rather than the 'rat runs' that are soft play sessions. to me they are money making ventures that don't really take into consideration the real needs of children. and yes i have studied it and there is lots of research to support outdoor play.

notnagging Sat 05-Jan-13 22:02:27

I think that us terrible. I was in the park once when a mother came over to tell me one of my boys had been bullying her son. I was mortified. I apologised & made mine do so to. He gave the boy one of his books to say sorry & show he meant it. The little boy was over the moon & thought my kids were great after that. I still felt bad though.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:00

duttywine I understand and agree with the hyped up argument. However DS loves soft play and I do too when it doesn't give me rage so why should I wait until he's older in case he gets deliberately shoved? I don't want to take him to the park in the pissing rain and freezing cold in case he gets in the way of older kids. As before, I understand accidental knocks and bumps happen; this is no one's fault. Shoving in the chest is unacceptable.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:38

why should the child apologise?

if the children were left to play without interference from adults they wouldn't bat an eyelid to a incident like this (though i do understand the child is too young to understand)

there is way too much adult intervention with kids play

perceptionreality Sat 05-Jan-13 22:11:13

If any of my children had done this to another child (which none of them ever has), I would certainly have apologised profusely to the mother if the child wouldn't. Problem is that some kids are unkind to others, if not at soft play at school, later.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 22:14:54

Children can do both soft play sessions and have plenty of outdoor play. It's not an either/or situation.

OP, YANBU. The mother especially should have apologised and ensured that your ds was ok. Not because she needed to know that he was ok (although you'd think she would want to) but because she needs to model that to her child for her child to be able to learn by example.

I don't always agree with forcing children to say sorry. Sometimes it's clear that they don't mean it and they haven't actually been taught what it means. They are taught that if you do something wrong then you say sorry and then that makes it ok without having a clue what sorry feels like. It can take some children longer than others to develop the empathy that is needed to be sorry for something they have done, and until they have that, making them say sorry can, IMO, be counter productive. It's very difficult though, because obviously the child that has been wronged deserves a 'sorry'!

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:16:22

It is quite reasonable to take a child that age to a soft play session.

Obviously venues and facilities vary. But toddlers are fine.

Parents who sit and do nothing while their kids attack others are a disgrace. I don't believe in 'helicopter' parenting - but leaving pre-schoolers to kick the crap out of each other (invariably bullying and overwhelming any smaller or vulnerable children) is selfish stupidity.

I do see that the parent of the pushy child at least did something.... but trying to get them to aploogise and then giving up and doing nothing wasn't good. That was someone who didn't know what to do about their child's behaviour.

In all honesty, I can think of behaviour and responses from parents that were a lot worse - including the mother of a 'punchy' boy telling one of his victims to 'punch him back while I hold his arms' (seriously). But that's not a very positive response!

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 22:20:01

if the children were left to play without interference from adults they wouldn't bat an eyelid to a incident like this

I completely disagree with this. Some children have a very strong sense of justice, of right and wrong, especially when they are learning the lessons for themselves.

If they have already learned that when you do something wrong you should apologise for it, it can be very confusing when the adults supporting their learning do nothing when they see an incident that they think is wrong and an apology is needed somewhere. Children develop emotionally at different rates, and plenty of children would very much bat an eyelid at seeing a smaller child be pushed over.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:23:22

depends on what agre you mean clouds, children have to sort out their own problems to a certain extent at primary school

uptheamp are you deliberately trying to start an argument? You're sounding like a bit of an arse to be honest.

I take my DD and mindees to softplay regularly. They enjoy it and shockingly are all under 3. One of the children is a bit pushy / hits so they are punished and made to apologise because as a grown up my job is to show them how to behave in an appropriate manner.

lifeintheolddogyet Sat 05-Jan-13 22:24:15

There should be consequences to this behaviour because it's not boisterous play - it's being unkind and the child has to learn that, no matter how hyped you are, this is not acceptable. I'm all for letting them sort stuff out themselves but the incident described by the OP is just rather cruel.

DS got punched (hard) in the stomach today by his friend. They were playing roughly together , his friend got over excited and it happened. I certainly wasn't demanding apologies from him.

There are degrees of healthy parenting between helicoptering around your pfb and chucking them into a Lord of the Flies scenario then sloping off for a coffee and a read of the weekend paper. I'd have been cross if I were the OP too and I'd have been mortified if I saw one of mine do this to a younger child.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:24:58

Clouds - yes, indeed.

Children also come from different backgrounds, some less ideal than others. The three year old who comes from a chaotic home with background violence is likely to behave quite differently from one who is being supported to learn empathy/sharing and not to hit.

At this age, they still need adult input and appropriate supervision.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:26:27


rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:27:11

Children are not able to sort out their own problems to any degree if they have not been shown and taught how.

Just like they don't learn to talk or read on their own.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:28:51

really? i think they are perfectly capable. even really young children.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 22:29:30

Why? Why parent full stop then? Teaching a child what is right and wrong is so important. Otherwise the adult world would contain even more assholes than it currently does.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 22:33:17

Uptheamp. You sound delightfully like a former friend of mine who used to have the same attitude regarding adults interfering and telling me to "let them get on with it". Consequently her ds used to bite my son until he bled like I mentioned earlier, do sneaky punches and hits, grab his face and squeeze it with his fingers and generally bully him. Her theory was that as her ds was a boy, that was normal behaviour and there was something wrong with my ds as he was shy and I was too anxious (about him getting beat the crap out of). We aren't friends any longer. People like you and her are the reason for those self entitled and aggressive kids on a power trip, no guidance from the parents just, oh well, they'll sort it

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 22:33:52

At primary school, children are given support to work out problems and they are taught strategies to help them sort out problems. They are not left entirely to their own devices. They are not expected to start school at four years old and to know the answers to every social problem they might encounter.

DuttyWine Sat 05-Jan-13 22:35:56

Ok maybe wait until he is older to put him in with the over 4's? Most ones near me seem to have under 4's or under 3's areas. Even if kids are being mindful I imagine lots of accidental pushing and shoving goes on as they run around in such a hurry. The push was unacceptable but it's not the child's fault it's probably due to the parent not dealing with her effectively.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:37:32

oh thanks waynetta for your information i run holiday play schemes for kids for them to just play and let off steam, am proud to say i am a playworker who understands and acts as a advoate for kids right to play and spend lots of my free time getting grants and putting my views in to practice

you can judge me how you want

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 22:39:01

Unfortunately no segregated area in this particular hellhole soft play, it's quite open. As I've said, I have no issue with knocks, bumps and collisions. Shit happens. What I do get pissed off with is behaviour as demonstrated by to particular child. If there's a separate area for younger ones I keep him penned in there.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:41:08

Twigs - fwiw, there are plenty of us who will intervene when they see one child kicking the shit out of another at soft play or in the playground.

Even if the attacking kid's own parent is sitting on their arse doing sweet fa and 'leaving them to it.'

It's awful when you see parents of small children who are behaving in a difficult or challenging way being 'left to it.' They are kids that need parental help - it's so unfair on them.

hammyimo Sat 05-Jan-13 22:44:39

Really - you need to let it go.

A few pushes and shoves at soft play - fairly normal. Say to your dc - just keep away from them.

Nursery - there'll be a few pushers/shovers/hitters/biters - you won't be there nor witll there mums. You'll be relying on staff but they won't see or care about everything.

School - reception year - absolutely rife with pushers/shovers/slappers - some with nasty words to boot. Again - you teach how to deal with these types.

Age 7 - still 3 or 4 with difficult behaviour in the class - they push harder now (and cause real injuries). You say, keep out of his way, don't argue with him.

It's a none event in the grand scheme of things. You'll understand when your's is 4 and just does random things sometimes. Yes you need to teach right and wrong. But childrearing isn't a perfect science.

Fact is your's will at some time do this to another dc - could be physically or the verbal kind of abuse - you won't die but you'll try to deal with it in the best way you can and you'll hope that people give you a bit of slack/benefit of the doubt/some kindness.

Happymum22 Sat 05-Jan-13 22:45:46

DS at 4 was a bit of a terror, normally it was more silly stuff han hurtful but on ANY occasion he was unkind, physically or verbally, as OPs have said he would get a full explanation of why the behaviour is not acceptable, be made to apologise to the person saying 'I'm sorry X for ...' would sit out of the activity for 5 minutes, tell me why he had sat out, apologise again for the behvaiour, then rejoin. After a few months of this he eventually go the idea of what is and isnt ok.
Yes, he was a 4 year old who did these things and as a parent I felt mortified and desperate to help him behave well.

I cannot understand the mum's reaction, all I can say is did she not see or something? But definately YANBU!

I was at a Soft Play today for one of DDs friends 3rd Birthday Party.
DD (3.7) was playing with her other friend (3.11) when I noticed her friend being repeatedly kicked in the face by a child of a similar age/size as she was climbing up a ladder.
By the time my friend & I got to her she was cowering in a corner still being kicked while shouting "no thankyou" & my DD shouting "stop kicking x"
Luckily my friend, a play worker, stepped in & helped her daughter whilst telling the other child how unacceptable her behaviour was.

crookedcrock Sat 05-Jan-13 22:48:23

Badly done by the other mother, I would have told the other child off if the mother didn't.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 22:50:49

Be as proud as you want to be uptheamp. Don't really see why you had to big yourself up as an advocate of child care schemes etc, but with that whole "adults shouldn't interfere" theory of yours, I wouldn't feel my child was in safe hands if he attended one of your functions, particularly being a shy and less boisterous kid.

OwlCatMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 22:51:34

I'd have told the other child off, no question.

(I would pause for a few seconds to give the parent a time to reprimand/remove the child first!!)

Your child needs to see you standing up for them. I don't think walking away was right actually, I would definitely have said something.

shallweshop Sat 05-Jan-13 22:53:00

You were right to leave it and good on you for doing so.

Uptheamp, there's a difference between tiptoeing around and deliberate aggression! I don't particularly like softplay sites but when weather is shit and outdoors play is not a viable option they can be a great alternative even if you happen to have a 2 year old and a 4 year old!

DaisyBuchannan Sat 05-Jan-13 22:56:22

Ohhhhh so my DS is rough. Because his father hit me. Great. Keep piling on the guilt and reminding me how it is all my fault. Even though I left I STILL bear the judgement brunt. Too late for him now. He is now a product of his background at 3.5 and doomed to be rough for life. hmm Yes I make him apologise. If he doesn't we leave. If he does it again, time out, if he tries again, shoes on home time.

Ffs. I am going to home school and to let him out until he's twenty. That way I will never log on to MN to see a thread about what a shit ineffectual parent I am from people who have charmed existences by comparison. She was probably very embarrassed. Maybe she had dealt with this situation 25 million times already that week and was plain exhausted. Maybe everyone else is a perfectly consistent excellent parent who strictly enforces boundaries 100% of the time and the rest of us who, gasp, have the occasional off day are terrible parents who would really appreciate a critique on their 'mothering skills'.

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 22:56:50

YANBU at all, totally unacceptable. Sn aside, the parent should have apologised to you

shallweshop Sat 05-Jan-13 22:57:33

Uptheamp - are you a mum?

OwlCatMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 23:01:13

i can't believe some of the responses on this thread actually. I have a 5yo and if he behaved like this to a small child at soft play he would definitely be told off, and if for some reason I hadn't seen it happen I'd expect the other parent to tell him off and to tell me (if they can).

This 'they're 4yo and it's expected' is utter rot. a toddler should be able to go to soft play. A few bumps are to be expected, it's how it works - but a deliberate shove? Pfft.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:16

Just to sound a positive note...

When you get fairly pleasant older children at soft play, it can be great for littler ones to be around them, especially if they have no older siblings at home. Older kids are bigger, louder, more active and potentially a bit overwhelming - but with appropriate supervision and intervention if needed ("whoah - he's too small to jump off that, hang on!") it can be socialising and confidence building for the younger ones. And, y'know, fun.

It does depend on the older children not doing stuff like deliberately kicking your smaller child repeatedly in the head, for example. Which generally requires parents/carers to be responsible. Which is blindingly obvious but apparently still needs to be said.

Posterofapombear Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:25

Daisy are you ok love? No one was saying your a shit mum if your DC's go through a hitty stage, that's just kids. It's the lack of any real attempt at anything by the mum that's annoying.

You don't sound like that's what you do. You sound like you do your best and that is more than enough.

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:58

So Uptheamp what age uld it not be acceptable for a child to be pushed by anther child. I do hope you correct bad behaviour and advocate good paying at your play schemes!

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 23:05:32

Meant good playing. At no age is t acceptable for a chid to push another child and te adult in charge should correct the child's behaviour

OwlCatMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 23:06:59

I do remember a particularly charming child at soft play (he knew DS from nursery) who, when DS said he wanted to play with his friend, not him, proceeded to thump him and his friend over the head with a spacehopper!

His Mum wasn't there to see it, so my mate told this child off. Best Mum Voice I've ever heard. Child did bugger off, thankfully.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 23:12:36

Daisy nobody's implying you're not a good mum in any way. The kids I've seen who behave in certain ways due to DV and other issues are not 'bad kids' rather from the things they have experienced and picked up on, they're more prone to aggressive behaviour. That's just a fact, but consistency is key. Even if the mum was having an off day as you say, it's never an excuse not to correct the kids behaviour. It only takes a few times of them being let off to think they can do it again and I speak from really shitty personal experience.

DaisyBuchannan Sat 05-Jan-13 23:12:43

Ah not so much, tbh. Just a couple of posts implying that children exposed to DV are going to be violent and it is to be expected really annoy me. As though all the efforts I have made getting away and starting again were all pointless anyway. My son is rough. I worry about it All. The. Time. I feel judged all the time and I hate the fact I can't take my eye off him for a second in case yet another disgruntled parent comes to critise my son and me, yet again. I try to deal with his behaviour as best I can but can't keep the helicoptering up sometimes. It is EXHAUSTING. The implication that this constant effort is a waste of my time and its a foregone conclusion is soul destroying. So was trying to develop a little empathy for the other mother. Ignore me, am maudlin as well as ineffectual today!

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 23:19:52

Daisy, you are actively teaching your child what is acceptable and what isn't, and of course it's exhausting and difficult to keep up 100% of the time.

Try to remember that your son is still very very little and a long way away from being fully cooked. He has lots of time to learn these things, and he will if you are supporting him. You won't always be the only person he has to help him learn, he will get input and influence from teachers too, and I'm sure he will turn out to be lovely, because he has a Mum who clearly cares very much.

I hope you are ok.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 23:21:26

No way are kids who have been exposed to DV going to automatically grow up violent. I've watched a close friend struggle with her rough little boy, who was actually also a kind and friendly little soul in general. She had an awful time I remember and when I worked at a crèche he attended, the lead worker had to pull her aside and tell her about his behaviour, which made my friend blub her eyes out. I felt shit for her too as I knew her home life wasn't happy and her ds's behaviour was a result of that. Anyway, he's a beautiful and very bright kid and she's doing a lot better. I grew up in a household with a violent dad and apart from bad sleeping/anger issues as a kid, I'd like to think I'm a pretty well adjusted adult smile

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 23:24:07

My sincere apologies daisy if I hurt your feelings [hug] seen it all first hand myself and know how exhausting it is. My poor mum suffered but did her best. Prob why I'm so strict on my ds particularly when it comes to the treatment of little girls in his company

Posterofapombear Sat 05-Jan-13 23:25:40

Daisy the fact that you care enough to be exhausted by it tells me your LO will have the best chance at turning out to be great.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 23:30:12

Daisy, no one on this thread has said that children from difficult backgrounds will automatically grow up 'bad'.

They usually do have some problems, and inappropriate behaviour including violence towards other children is common.

I know this can be horrendous and very distressing for the parents trying to deal with this - but the point is, when they ARE trying to deal with it, then credit to them.

The parents who don't see there is a problem, or who refuse to address it, make me very angry, and are not helping that child.

But that is not you. So please don't be upset. You sound as if you are doing your best and it is very hard work. Your little boy is lucky to have you make such an effort for him.

FobblyWoof Sun 06-Jan-13 00:28:30

Wow! So many people on this thread saying that's it's normal for a 4/5 year old to push other children. I can accept that being excitable, and having a lack of awareness about personal space being that young, that accidentally running another child or bumping into them while trying to climb etc is perfectly normal.

But kids that age pushing each other? Not I don't buy that. I have younger siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews etc and they have never behaved like this. It's just totally unacceptable. And parents saying "oh, that's normal, I don't see the problem" are making excuses and making it acceptable for their children to do that.

If my mother had told me to apologise to another child I would have done it, and if I hadn't I would have been made to stand there until I did.

FobblyWoof Sun 06-Jan-13 00:30:57

Just like to point out that my post has nothing to do with what Daisy said! I think DV brings a whole different element to the debate.

notnagging Sun 06-Jan-13 01:11:46

Seems you can't win either wayhmm

Dominodonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 01:26:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Gingerodgers Sun 06-Jan-13 05:29:40

A little girl stole my sons ball the other day, her dad said, sorry, now give it back, she said no, so he said, sorry again, but you can't have it back, she wants to keep it, then they both walked off, hand in hand..........ffs!( with the friggin ball)

Nandocushion Sun 06-Jan-13 06:47:15

Push, poke, shove. Soft play, PFB. I remember storming around demanding reparations because my darling had been denied the trike for too long. (I am still very embarrassed about it too.)

OP, your DC will survive. And then, in a year or so, your DC will be the one doing the pushing. The other mother didn't ignore it. Don't make it into a big deal. It's not a bite and it hasn't left marks.

Mosman Sun 06-Jan-13 07:31:44

Avoid soft play, I spent far too much time in them in the UK when mine were little, we haven't stepped foot in one in Australia, I bought a trampoline for the garden and when it's 45 degrees or pissing down they are on that to burn energy without getting beaten up or subjected to other peoples brats. This is more for my good than theirs as I feared I was going to get punched by another parent if their cherub stole anything from mine, hit them, poked them whatever because I'd had enough and was about to start pointing out their shortcomings.

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 08:17:14

Ginger that is disgraceful, I would have told that actually its our ball, we paid for it so if we can just ave it back. He dd nt want to upset little diddums. My dd 5 has ASD and fixates into different things especially if they have pictures which she likes, if she had taken that ball she would be mad to give it bac if not I would take it from her and give it to the owner

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 08:18:29

If she pushed or was rough with another child I would apologise unreservedly to the child and parent even though I would be dying inside

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 06-Jan-13 08:43:18

'I didn't want the parent / carer to turn around and tell me that the girl had special needs or anything similar. Hence I just left it.'

Whatever the needs of the child, it doesn't stop the parent apologising and explaining though, especially as it wasn't a crisis/meltdown situation.

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 08:49:21

Exactly the nebulous, even though my dd as sn I still apologise if she has done anything,

RillaBlythe Sun 06-Jan-13 09:17:04

ginger that happened to me with our bucket & spade in the sandpit. DD was distraught & I was absolutely gobsmacked. It even had DD's name written on it!

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 06-Jan-13 09:22:15

I know piglet, I used to as well. smile
Having a child with sn is an explanation of behaviour, not an excuse.

Mosman Sun 06-Jan-13 09:22:34

Did you not just take back your property ?

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 06-Jan-13 09:23:31

Or say 'Of course, that will be ten pounds please'

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sun 06-Jan-13 09:23:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Grapesoda Sun 06-Jan-13 09:32:32

I'm with sirboobalot.
It's not true that only a child with problems at home would push another. That is frankly, a ridiculous statement. She pushed him, she didn't tie him up and beat him with a poker. It's upsetting when someone makes your child cry and brings out lots of mother tigress feelings.
Op, I think you were right to just walk away. Comforting your dc is the most important thing.

Grapesoda Sun 06-Jan-13 09:35:42

But the mother should have apologised and I would have expected a 4 yr old to do so when asked.

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 09:44:26

That's right TheNebulous I was trying to find a right phrase for it without upsetting anybody. Any chid from ANY background can be aggressive. My friends son is so aggressive towards dd becase of her sn, because if her sn he does not like her. My fiend is lovely, her dh is lovely and her older dd 8 is sch a star ad wonderful Wth dd. this little boy who is also 5 has aways had anger issues, I think that he might have some from of sn himself. I have never met a chi,d like him. My frend and I meet when the kids are at school as she I embarrassed

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 06-Jan-13 09:50:35

I agree with most of what upthump says.

I also never took mine to soft play when they were that young didn't see the point tbh and situations like you've described op would of wound me up. Now mine are school age and the soft play we go to convienatly (can't spell it) is attached to a pub I can sit there in peace while they run riot in another room wink

All dc end up hitting kicking pinching biting pushing and poking other dc at some point or another. Wouldnt get wound up about it if I were you this won't be the last time your PFB gets hurt by another child.

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 09:57:00

I disagree indeed children have to learn right from wrong, whatever age it is wrong to hit and push another chi,d, it would be unacceptable as adults and it's unacceptable as children. Funny how most children don't resort to hitting or pushing or aggressive behaviour to te off steam

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 09:57:07

Inneed - why are you even mentioning PFB? It doesn't matter what kid it is, to some people such as myself and others on here, letting kids run riot like a pack of feral dogs isn't particularly normal. There's a big difference between a bit of scuffling and hyperactivity in soft play compared to certain kids thinking its fine to indulge in aggressive behaviour. Be interesting to see how this whole 'leave them to it' attitude gets some parents in a few years. Shy and less confident children such as my ds for example pay a high price for it, in the form of getting bullied. Nice isn't it.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sun 06-Jan-13 09:59:06

A soft play attached to a pub? Location please.

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 09:59:14

Most soft places have designated play areas for under 5, my dd used to love sft play as a toddler why should she stay at home because arentdcsnt control their aggressive children. Should they be the only ones to dominat it hmm

LouisWalshsChristmasCloset Sun 06-Jan-13 10:04:11

So according to uptheamp parents can take their kids where they want but expect them to get pushed around and bullied by other children, then not expect an apology from parent or child because 'it's what children do' and we should just let them get on with it. hmm
People with attitudes like yours are the reason I avoid taking my 3 to play centers.
I tell you what I won't take mine out anywhere until they're all at least 10 and big enough to defend themselves and then they can go around pushing other kids smaller than them about with no fear of ramifications . Sounds great hmm

Is the 'play group' you run by any chance a training center for kids ufc ?

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 06-Jan-13 10:06:55

Mentioning it because if she had already had dc this wouldn't be an issue.

I also don't think it's anyone else's children's job to install self confidence in anyone else's dc.

Run riot was a turn of phrase, I meant boisterous happy dc running up and down. My dc and the friends we go go with dc know the rules and they're not out of control but they do run around play boisterous games and are very very loud in those sort of places. If I had shy quiet unconfident dc (I wish I wish I wish they were less loud and bonkers) I wouldn't take them to soft play and let them get on with it espcially of they didn't have a friend already to play with.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 06-Jan-13 10:09:41

Twigs it's great, there's this glass wall you can sit and watch them without having to hear them, and get on with MNing or reading grin

hazeyjane Sun 06-Jan-13 10:11:11

Sorry, Uptheamp, but I think you have it wrong. Soft play areas are for all children, there is usually an area for children under a certain age. Ds goes into these area, they are designed for small children to be able to climb and play and explore in a safe way. Ds falls a lot, and it is great for him to be able to clamber up a slide in a way that he wouldn't be able to in an outdoor park. If a child marches over to ds and thumps him (this has happened), then I think I have every right to ask the child not to do that, and hope that the parent will come over and apologise, and maybe monitor the child a bit more closely. The same rule would apply whether it is soft play, a play park or any other environment tbh.

AnitaManeater Sun 06-Jan-13 10:18:39

The parent attempted to make the child apologise - I think you should leave it at that.

The other parent might have been scared of how you (as the parent of the injured child) might react. I'm the proud owner of an ASD biter who I had to watch like a hawk. He bit another child at soft play when I took my eye off the ball (he was provoked but over reacted), I apologised on his behalf as he was non verbal at that point and the other parent growled at me like a dog and I was actually scared!

It is unrealistic to expect everyone to parent the same way as you.

duplotractor Sun 06-Jan-13 10:22:14

I agree that the girl and mother's behaviour was rubbish but unless you are just so full of rage that you have to say something I would just turn your back on them and comfort your child. Perhaps say something to your ds like " no that wasn't kind was it, she was naughty and shouldn't have hit you" . So your ds knows that you are acknowledging that something unacceptable happened to them. If you want say loudly enough for the other kid/mum to hear.

If it's at school/ nursery or with kids they know then you might need to do something a bit stronger (eg. talk to the mother ) as you don't want the behaviour repeated. But for a stranger I find best to just ignore the other kid.

So many times other kids ahve been sent over to apologise and just ended up diverting my attention from my own dc. IN fact not one of the "apologies" I've had from kids is from a kid able to talk sufficiently well to say sorry! They often push because they want attention, so best not to give them yours.

Imaginethat Sun 06-Jan-13 10:39:10

Sometimes your kids do let you down spectacularly though. We were at friends when my 2yo clonked the slightly smaller child over the head, totally unprovoked, unexpected etc. child and mother were so shocked, me too, how embarrassing. I would have thought the mother would have apologised profusely whether or not the child did. But not everyone has social skills we might assume they should, the tragedy of mixing with the public!

uptheamp Sun 06-Jan-13 11:01:23

wow some particularly nasty comments aimed at me on here

uptheamp if grants are wasted on that kind of crap no wonder the country is broke.!! lol was doing it for nowt but thanksfor the support !!

thanks guys, Is the 'play group' you run by any chance a training center for kids ufc ? whats do you mean by that?

do particularly hate the way certain children are vilified at soft play. and certain posters are twisting my words

3smellysocks Sun 06-Jan-13 11:09:54

I think the mother should have apologised on the child behalf.

TandB Sun 06-Jan-13 11:16:39

I think some parents seem to go a bit bonkers in soft play - understandable I suppose grin

I've lost count of the times parents have simpered and smiled weakly at me as their child attempts to twist DS1's head off or drag him off the slide by his ears. I've learned to take a fairly robust approach - if he's being repeatedly harassed by another child, or subjected to life-threatening violence I will intervene. If it's just an occasional bit of pushing and shoving I let him get on with it. I suppose I'm lucky because he tends to stand his ground but doesn't generally hit back unless really pushed to the limit.

You also don't always get the full picture. I'm in that annoying stage with DS2 where he's too big to just mooch about in the baby bit but too small to get around himself, so no more tea and MN for me -it's full-on following him around. Yesterday 2 little girls kept coming up to him and prising his hands off whatever he was playing with and pushing him away. One of them also went to hit him. I kept stopping them and telling them they had to leave him alone. Unfortunately the one time their mother saw anything, it was the time DS2 (just turned 1) screamed at them and pulled off a perfectly co-ordinated shove to one of them and hair-yank to the other - he had a wailing child in each hand. Much glaring and huffing by their mother. I apologised and said "I think he's getting a bit upset because they keep pushing him." She glared, said nothing and stomped off. No doubt she thought I was raising a tiny delinquent....

uptheamp Sun 06-Jan-13 11:20:56

and of course i would tell a child off for bad behaviour! feel really fucked off with the comments on here. in the real world parents support what i do so don't really know why i am getting would up by people who judge my work on one thread but parents do need to let children sort certain situations out for themselves, that's how they learn and they are perfectly capable.

ilovesprouts Sun 06-Jan-13 11:21:47

my grandson whos 2.7 went to his cousens party at a play gym [still open to public] two boys came up to him one bit his face and the other grabbed him by the neck mothers was sat there drinking brew never looked up so gs antie complained and they got asked to leave ,nice red mark on face today sad.

ilovesprouts Sun 06-Jan-13 11:26:57

oh and my grandsons other grandma who was there shouted GET OFF MY GRANDSON top of her voice then play gym went very quiet.

everlong Sun 06-Jan-13 11:38:17

I would have felt the same OP.

Normal people would have said sorry for this child's behaviour.

hazeyjane Sun 06-Jan-13 12:01:40

Uptheamp, I don't think I have been particularly harsh with you, but I just don't like the implication that if I want my children to use soft play, then I have to suck it up if they get whacked. I know that a certain amount of rough and tumble is to be expected, but some children are more vulnerable than others, and do not understand the idea of sorting out their own problems. if a child takes a toy of ds or whacks him, he just stands and takes it, sometimes he will get upset ( he will scream like a banshee if someone tries to touch him)but he has no idea of how to stand up for himself. I think it is important to intervene in children's play when they lack social communication skills.

uptheamp Sun 06-Jan-13 12:08:12

i just think older children do get villified at soft play by parents when they are just 'playing' of course they should be told off when they are hitting other children etc and i would as a worked interevene

the comments on here towards me have been really upsetting if i am honest and i never really let mn get to me. wonder why i am running these sessions if people think like some of the comments aimed at me on here. perhaps i'll just give up.

hazeyjane Sun 06-Jan-13 12:15:01

I do not vilify older children at soft play, if I take ds to the big out of town soft play, it is because I have older dd's (5 and 6) who like going. They understand that you do not push and shove other children and that you are careful around the smaller children. If they did go up to a child and shove it in the chest (as happened in the op) I would tell them off and apologise to the mother. I don't see what is wrong with that.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 06-Jan-13 12:38:22

uptheamp - people here are just picking up on what you have said, yourself. If you don't want to be judged on that, don't say it.

Example - I say upthread that 3 year olds 'still need adult input and appropriate supervision'. Your response was simply 'why?'

I responded: 'children are not able to sort out their own problems to any degree if they have not been shown and taught how. Just like they don't learn to talk or read on their own."

You said: "Really? I think they are perfectly capable. even really young children."

So no talk about your views being misrepresented, please. And btw, I would never leave my children to play on a playscheme or whatever it is you run if I knew that was the attitude of the adults 'in charge'.

simplesusan Sun 06-Jan-13 12:40:46

I think the mother should have made her child sit out fo ra while and explained to her why.
I also think the mother was probably consumed by embarrassment.

I think there is something true about what posters have described as soft play area being designed to "hype up" children as it were.
There are always hidden areas where parents cannot see their child.
They are noisy places. The food is full on crap. Total junk food upon junk food. They tend to be like cages encouraging racing around and throwing.
Having said that why should the op leave? Her child did nothing wrong.
I am so glad I don't have to go anymore.

uptheamp Sun 06-Jan-13 12:51:41

my 'why' was to the comment:

uptheamp are you deliberately trying to start an argument? You're sounding like a bit of an arse to be honest.

and i wasn't responding to your comments at all

do you think i deserved the comments then ? have reported one or two as they are personal attacks. not resonable debates.

hate hate hate aibu, attracts people who just want to argue and be abusive

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 06-Jan-13 13:23:30

I think teaching your child to sort out disagreements and stand up for themselves in a non aggressive manner is a very very important life skill. Just saying. smile

rainrainandmorerain Sun 06-Jan-13 13:28:40

uptheamp - feel free to tell me then who/what you were responding to when you said 'really? I think they are perfectly capable. even really young children.'

I think you have been quite clear here about what your approach to small children playing and being very rough with each other is.

I would not want to leave my children in the care of someone with such a laissez faire attitude.

I think we can all understand there's a difference between rough and tumble and deliberately bullying or unacceptably aggressive behaviour. I think it's also fair to accept that very small children should not be expected to display an adult-like control over their emotions and behaviour, because that's not fair or realistic. But that doesn't mean, to me, that therefore we should just 'leave them all to it'. You have given the clear impression of being opposed to any kind of intervention from adults.

Perhaps the fairest thing here is to ask if you want to give an example of when you WOULD intervene in a play situation, and how.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 06-Jan-13 13:32:16

Upthump I'd leave my dc with you, I prefer them to be independent then be hovered over and you seem to have lots of common sense. Take no notice of the sheep on here they love getting their claws stuck in and not pick over posts.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 06-Jan-13 13:35:15

Uptheramp, I think the problem has come because you said that most children wouldn't bat an eyelid at seeing a 4/5 year old push over a nearly 2 year old, and that they would have to deal with it when they got to school.

These things just aren't true, not in half decent schools anyway.

You implied that no intervention was needed in the situation that OP described, and then went back on that by saying you would intervene. Which is it?

I certainly hope you would intervene if you saw a child pushing over another child, even if they were the same size, never mind when one is much smaller.

Children do need to be taught what is acceptable, and if they are not, that's when they turn into older children that are not very nice people.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 06-Jan-13 14:30:09

I love my children being independent. I think it is HUGELY important to encourage them and equip them to make their own way in the world - as happy, caring children and hopefully the same as adults.

I will not have them bullying or being bullied. I will not stand by while one pre-schooler attacks another, or witness an abusive situation without intervening. I will take responsbility for my children's behaviour and be active as a parent when I need to be.

Not really a controversial view, I don't think.

WhySoSirius Sun 06-Jan-13 15:29:24

Uptheamp - I think you need to go back and read your posts from an outside perspective. No one here has launched a personal attack except you.

Children should be allowed freedom relative to their age and adults should step in to support and guide them. Deliberately shoving a child in the chest is not acceptable behaviour. It is physical abuse (albeit mild). I'm sure everyone here accepts that children will be accidentally shoved (perhaps because they are in the way) and this is to be expected however in cases of violence an adult needs to intervene appropriately.

I personally hate play centres as I always end up having to go into the multicoloured cage of doom myself and you can just see it crawling with germs and I'm very wary of stealth poo.

pigletmania Sun 06-Jan-13 16:28:08

Yes if the chi,dren are older ad do not have sn tan they should sort out their own problems to a degree ( unless bullying is involved). Toddlers do not have the understanding or cognitive skills to dirt out disagreements so do need adult intervention

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sun 06-Jan-13 19:05:43



Don't jump into a thread with a strong viewpoint then retreat, whimpering, with your tail between your legs when people react. Shit happens.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 06-Jan-13 20:58:06

It is funny that the strongest advocate of the 'leave them to sort it out themselves' anti intervention approach is the one who has reported posts on the thread to MN, and wants them to step in!

Having seen some real scraps on mn, then I really don't think there is anything here which is 'picking on someone' - it's not even been that much of a heated thread, really.

But even if there was some virtual 'pushing' surely amp should be able to sort it out herself? If toddlers can....

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sun 06-Jan-13 21:13:58

Oh the irony grin

Seriously, it's been really interesting seeing the different takes on this. If it happened to me again I still can't say what I'd do.

manormuppet Sun 06-Jan-13 21:20:53

Funny to see all the deletions on this thread, wonder who's been reporting smile

Dominodonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 21:34:01

I am disgusted that my post has been deleted just because someone has thrown their toys put of the pram. In my opinion amps approach is a joke and I resent the idea that she is trying to use tax payers money to promote her doctrine that kids should be allowed to run riot. Mumsnet - please grow a pair.

Dominodonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 21:35:28

If you have delete it because I used the word 'crap' then that is also ridiculous as I have seen plenty of far worse words used.

manormuppet Sun 06-Jan-13 21:41:52

Typical toys out of the pram poster domino, I am surprised mnhq went for it.

everlong Sun 06-Jan-13 21:42:53

Tbf OP I admire the way you reacted. I can't say for sure I'd have been so calm.

Dominodonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 22:02:46

manor thank you- at least half of the threads on AIBU are far more robust than this one. It's probably worth getting deleted for the classic irony of the situation though.

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