Help, DS scratched another child & parent very upset!

(52 Posts)
Franksmummy Wed 06-Feb-13 20:41:35

Sorry already posted this but no-one's replied so though I'd try again with a different title so this morning my childminder informed me 17 month old DS scratched another child the day before. To be honest I wasn't that surprised as he does scratch occasionally however it's never malicious only when he gets over excited and he is usually very sweet and caring. My childminder said exactly the same thing said it was just one of those things, I obviously apologised profusely and thought that was that.
However when I picked DS up she told me the mother was extremely upset about it and also seemed to suggest a) DS was violent & b) the childminder wasn't watching them properly. I almost burst in to tears, although I don't think either of these things are true.
I feel very upset about it, I feel as though the other child's mother is suggesting I'm a bad parent and she's better than me because her child would never do that. I don't think I would ever be upset/angry if another child hurt my son as I understand young children do these things.
Now I'm not sure how to handle the situation I'm worried about seeing the parent in case I fall apart, and I feel bad that the childminder's been blamed for my sons behaviour. It goes without saying I tell him off when he scratches and get him to apologise. I'm thinking of sending a card to the child from my son saying something like 'I'm sorry for scratching you and my mummy promises to keep a better eye on my nails!' just to ease any tensions.
Any other ideas? I think I'm probably being far too oversensitive about the whole situation but I think it really hit a nerve I think I'm also looking for a bit of reassurance :s.
Thanks for your help.

Don't worry. Sounds like the other mother is very PFB. I was like that when DS1 was a toddler - another child in the nursery used to bite him when cross. Sometimes it was noted by carers but other times we would find bite mark on his arm/back when undressing him at night. I even went as far as taking a photo to complain, but realised that was going too far. DS and the other boy were good friends and I knew that the other mother was mortified at what was happening.
The nursery did their best as avoiding such incidents and eventually the other boy grew out of it. So glad I didn't make a fuss as 6 years later DS and I are still good friends with other boy and his mother. smile

daytoday Sun 10-Feb-13 22:33:43

Pissupinabrewery - if my child's face were covered in scratches regularly at their nursery as you suggest your childs is I would be seriously worried about THE NURSERY not the other children.

My DS bit a little boy in his nursery class the other day. V out of character as he is usually very gentle and sweet. Nursery didn't tell me who he had bitten (they will never tell you those sorts of things) but as DS is 3 (so more responsible for his actions than your ds), he told me who. I didn't know the mother but I dropped her a quick email just to let her know that DS was really sorry, she replied briefly to say not to worry etc and it definitely cleared the air. My DD was bitten in nursery when she was 2, proper bite, bleeding finger. I didnt think a great deal of it (these thing happen) but the biter's mother called me, of course I said not to worry at all as I know what it's like, but it was nice that she called. So although I wouldn't send the card, no harm in a quick email or call, or just mention it when you see her, no point letting it fester. 17 month olds are just babies, no malice in it, but it is upsetting to see scratches (or in my dd's case bleeding bitten finger), even when you know what small children are like and how common this sort of thing is.

MrsMarcus Fri 08-Feb-13 10:13:19

I’m still not sure why the childminder has chosen to involve OP in the incident. It happened on her watch and she should be dealing with the other parent and try and reason with her about what is and isn’t acceptable/normal for children of that age. As I said in my earlier post, I think she’s being unprofessional.

I think I would get upset with our nursery if they came to me and told me that another parent had accused my DS of being violent – I’m not there to supervise him so it’s a bit limited as to how I can influence his behaviour which should be dealt with immediately after the incident with appropriate consequences.

It’s obviously completely different if it happens more than very occasionally (ie. it is a genuine behavioural issue) and in that case I would like the nursery to tell me but for a one off incident I think it’s their job to sort it out, with the child and with the parent.

Dinkysmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 23:35:16

There is a huge difference between one scratch and scratches plural!

Pissup there is obviously an issue with some child/ren at the setting your lil one is in and scratching.

From what I understand this is a one off and the other mum has gone a bit too far
'extremely upset'
'a) DS is violent b) childminder wasn't watching'

The other parent should use some logic and have realistic expectations...

How can anyone in their right mind accuse a 17mo of being violent! Also if she believes a childminder can supervise every minute her little one is there she is sorely mistaken. Should she forgo toilet breaks just to make sure nothing could happen?
I have been on both sides, of course I give a shit if my kid hurt someones kid. I feel bad for the kid, and I felt for my little one when she got scratched, hit over the head with toys ect. Difference... I felt bad for my kid when they were hurt. Not blaming the other child who is a baby. Or the childminder who might have been otherwise engaged for 30 seconds.

Like I said the parent seems bonkers because she doesn't have realistic expectations of the setting if she is going to get that upset over one incident.

HilaryClinton Thu 07-Feb-13 20:07:59

I don't think the mother will think you're a bad parent because your child scratched- but she might if (a) it is a deep, or nasty looking thing which could have been avoided with well trimmed nails or (b) she thought you were not treating the 'incident' with the same gravity as she does or (c) she has to defend the childminder to someone else not liking her working or some other issue you have no concept of and you have just dumped her in it.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Feb-13 16:56:50

I don't think you are out of step.
I think you are possibly misunderstanding what some people are saying. I don't agree with calling the other mother names. Just because a few posters said that doesn't mean that everyone disagreeing with you feels the same.

I can understand being upset that your child is scratched. Mine was bitten several times and itwas upsetting. But that doesn't make it anyone's fault.
Small children hurt each other. It is regrettable and everyone should work to minimise it. But blaming an adult who wasn't in the building doesn't seem helpful. Blah blah blah.

pissupinabrewery Thu 07-Feb-13 15:24:40

pagwatch it's not a case of me being more caring blah blah it's a case of me giving some balance as maybe the other mother isn't completely bonkers, mental, precious and the all other adjectives attached to her. The other mother didn't ask for a card-she was upset her child was scratched.
I get upset when I pick up my child and it looks like a cat has attacked her that doesn't make me precious, bonkers, etc etc and no I don't want a card. But I don't want it shrugged of as just one of those things either.

As I said I'm clearly out of step.

minecraftfansmum Thu 07-Feb-13 15:07:21

I've been there. I remember my DS when less than two years of age seemed to want to attack any child around his age. I was mortified many times over. I had a friend with a perfectly gorgeous well behaved son, and my little one, during an afternoon visit, attacked him several times with whatever he could lay his little paws on - definitely pre-meditated attacks. My friend was very nice and gracious about it (but I still, probably with a little touch of paranoia, felt judged - prob not the case at all) She and her and her son made a perfect picture waving to us and smiling as I drove my little DS home. I felt like we were the dysfunctional family! He's ten now and a great kid with good friends. - it's the other mum you mention, franksmummy, who needs to relax - but i'd give her a wide berth

ShhBoom Thu 07-Feb-13 14:51:02

I had a similar thing happen when my DS was about 1. He pulled another child's hair at a weigh in clinic. I was mortified at the time and burst into tears as I was already sat there talking to the HV about how I was struggling with DSs behaviour.
I saw the woman today (my DS is now nearly 3) and she STILL was very rude towards me. 2 years later I now know that at the time DS wasn't being malicious, but she evidently hasn't got over it!
As others have said, don't send the card. Your DS wasn't deliberately bring nasty, it's just one if those things. I know exactly how you feel tho, it's mortifying when your child hurts someone else!

Pagwatch Thu 07-Feb-13 14:44:49

Of course we all feel bad if our child hurts another child.
But that is different from feeling guilty as if there is anything you could have done if you were not there's

That's not an abdication of responsibility. It is just obvious.

And a child of 17/20/ 22 months may know not to throw. Another child may take a little longer.

Portraying other people who are being pragmatic about a situation out of the ops control is not the same as no one else being as caring or responsible as you. Tryingto portray that as indifference is a bit odd.

Of course parents feel bad when their child scratches or bites. But we are talking mall toddlers here, not 5 yrs old. A letter of apology is as OTT as the mother getting upset because a 17 months old has scratched her pfb!

sleepyhead Thu 07-Feb-13 14:28:31

Where are you getting that people don't feel bad? confused Seriously, I've re-read the thread and I'm getting no sense of people saying that they don't care if their child hurts someone.

There's just no point in them rending their garments and sending the other parent apology letters. That doesn't mean they didn't wish their child hadn't done it.

Just because there's nothing you can do about it, doesn't mean that you don't wish it didn't happen.

pissupinabrewery Thu 07-Feb-13 14:23:33

I know that if my child was scratching others I would feel bad-clearly I am the oddity. But my child hurting another child would make me feel bad. I don't abdicate responsibility for my child's behaviour just because I'm not there. I think at 19/20/21/22 months there is some understanding. My DD knows not to throw things.

But I'm clear out of step with everyone else. Fairly depressing really.

daytoday Thu 07-Feb-13 14:10:09

I think getting consistently scratched and marked and upset is very different. Thats sad.

My middle child is particularly sensitive and because of this I didn't send her to our lovely nursery as I knew she wouldn't cope. She's never hurt a fly. In fact, she was scared of babies when she was 4! So I sent her to a childminder where she thrived in the smaller setting. Nursery isn't for all children. My eldest absolutely loved it. Horses for courses.

I think its wrong to presume that because many parents see scratching as part of the process of growing children - that we don't give a shit.

sleepyhead Thu 07-Feb-13 14:05:28

So what shit do you feel they should give pissup? They weren't there. They couldn't supervise the child, they couldn't tell them off or move them away.

Is it the same child every time? Do they have long fingernails that the parent aren't taking care of? That's something that the nursery should be dealing with, and I'd have no problem with a nursery insisting that a child's nails were short if they had a scratching problem.

I was lucky not to have a biter or a scratcher, but there but for the grace tbh, I could never see any difference in my parenting and that of my friend whose little boy unfortunately was a biter for a while. She was mortified, but there was nothing to be done except reinforce good behaviour and for the nursery to supervise as closely as they could.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Feb-13 14:03:50

If your child is being scratched a lit at nursery, your nursery should be oing something about it.
What do they say about it?
The parents can't deal with it. They are not there. Very small children can't be taught about not scratching in an abstract way. You have to deal with it consistently whenever it happens

pissupinabrewery Thu 07-Feb-13 13:59:12

I'm in the unfortunate position where my child does get upset as she gets scratched a lot at nursery and she tells me she's upset. It really difficult not to get upset when your child I'd upset due her face being badly scratched time after time.
Of course I don't get upset in front of her but it really is far being nothing. If my child scratched other children and I have checked and at this stage she doesn't I would care quite a bit.
I hate to think the parents of the child scratching her don't give a shit.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Feb-13 13:57:22

I think if my child was constantly being scratched then my primary concern would be why the nursery seemed unable to recognise a pattern of behaviour and deal with it.

If a parent is overseeing the child when they scratch then they probably would feel upset and a bit guilty - human nature.
If the child is at nursery and scratched then it is hardto see why a parent should feel guilty as there is nothing they coud have done

sleepyhead Thu 07-Feb-13 13:52:48

Well of course a child is going to get upset when they're scratched and you comfort them. I suspect going in all guns blazing at the offending child or parent isn't going to be much comfort to the hurt child.

I have never seen a toddler though who was upset about a scratch 5 minutes after the event, never mind at pick up time hours after the event. I have never seen a toddler that was upset about a mark on their hand or arm or face. Have seen mothers get in a right tizzy about a scratch on their child's face though. Again, not much comfort to the child.

pissupinabrewery Thu 07-Feb-13 13:46:31

What of the child does get upset by it sleepyhead? How do I relax then?

sleepyhead Thu 07-Feb-13 13:29:29

The is, you only see the marks your own child gets, not the marks they give out (and they all do at some point or another).

For parents of "offenders", keep fingernails short.

For people who get particularly upset by it, take a leaf out of your child's book. Is child upset about it? No? Then relax.

MrsMarcus Thu 07-Feb-13 13:23:05

Our nursery don't tell parents which child hurt (scratched/hit/bit/pushed) the other child, I imagine precisely for this reason, the accident form just says "X was pushed over by another child". My DS has been scratched and bitten at nursery, it happens, they're children, I wouldn't ever think of criticising the child/parent.

Unless it's habitual or genuine bullying behaviour (which I would have thought is extremely rare in such young children) it's not an issue. IMO the other parent is overreacting and your childminder is being unprofessional, she should've dealt with the issue with the other parent, without getting you involved.

daytoday Thu 07-Feb-13 11:20:35

We all feel terrible when our children do these things. You are not a bad mum - all you can do is apologise.

Don't take it to heart - it is not about your parenting etc it is just what kids do. We having to lovingly encourage them to not do these things. But it takes time. Don't feel angry at the other mum.

I promise you that your child will do 1000 things like this - and you will learn how to navigate them.

Dinkysmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 10:52:01

OP, really don't panic... The other mum is bonkers!

My dd has hit and been hit at the childminders and school. Dos that make me a bad parent... I hope not... Does it make the other children's parents bad? No. Does it make the kids horrible... No. Are some parents OTT? Hell yes.
My dd broke her finger at the childminders... Should I blame the childminder for not watching her properly? No. She might have broken it when she was with me she slipped end of.
Do I care... Of course I do!
I don't want my kid being hit, and I don't want my kid hitting anyone else! I don't want to have to rush to the hospital because she had hurt herself and I wasn't there to comfort her...

The fact of the matter is... If anyone is aggrieved at the fact their precious children getting a small non malicious scratch then they shouldn't leave their kids with other children, or a childminder! Also how anyone could be stupid enough not to think the things are bound to happen is beyond me!

I would suggest if they have an issue and still insist on sending their kids and getting over dramatic about a small issue like that then they should get a mini zorb ball to stick their kids in!

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