DH was called a bully in B&Q yesterday.

(72 Posts)
sandyballs Mon 15-May-06 10:25:51

Our twin 5 year old DDs were running around the place, being really loud and hyper, despite several warnings from us. On the escalator they ran ahead of us and were running up and down it, so DH picked them up by the back of their jackets and removed them from the escalator and gave them a talking to. This didn't hurt them but they both started crying. A middle aged man and his wife who had witnessed all this, walked by DH and told him he was a bully . I couldn't believe it and really really wished I had said something back, but I was too surprised. DH asked him to repeat what he had said and he said it again really loudly, "You are a bully". . This is really bothering me for some reason, he's one of the least bullying type of men you could ever meet, he was just trying to discipline his kids.

cod Mon 15-May-06 10:26:10

Message withdrawn

suzywong Mon 15-May-06 10:27:36

it must have looked horrible to a passer by
I can understand why your dh did it but tbh I am very very glad that the man and his wife said something as that kind of public interference will help to keep the bullies in check. Good for them


heavenis Mon 15-May-06 10:30:21

You'll always get people who will tell you what they think. As long as you know what your dh is like then that is fine. Don't let it bother you,are strangers really worth it.

lucykate Mon 15-May-06 10:31:08

i think, when it comes to diciplining your children in public, you're damed if you do, and damed if you don't unfortunatley. if he had ignored them, it would have been 'look at those parents letting their kids run wild on an escalator'.

puddle Mon 15-May-06 10:32:29

'DH picked them up by the back of their jackets' does sound horrid.

But he was right to remove them - it's dangerous to play on an escalator.

bubblez Mon 15-May-06 10:39:14

Personally I think that parents are all too quickly jumped apon for the way they discipline their children. IMO your husband handled the situation quite well, if it was my dd and she had been given warnings, she would have had a swift smack on her hand and been taken outside.

I agree that it is agrivating that people can pass judgement on someone who they dont know and about a situation that does not concern them.

The fact is that, that same 'old man' is probably just as quick to comment on the 'youth of todays' lack of respect and discipline.

If I was your dh i would have told him to, with all due respect, 'mind his own'.

bubblez Mon 15-May-06 10:40:22

and i agree with lucykate

cod Mon 15-May-06 10:41:13

Message withdrawn

cod Mon 15-May-06 10:41:14

Message withdrawn

NotAnOtter Mon 15-May-06 10:41:49

horrid people -ignore

(imo lifting by coats better than arm-dragging)

Aero Mon 15-May-06 10:55:17

Well, I don't know so much about lifting by coats, but I believe that he was right to remove them from escalator as this is a dangerous place for them to be mucking about, and a stern word regarding this is important imo. Dd has had a near miss by mucking about on an escalator. She just ran off after ds1 who was halfway up before I could stop him, telling me he'd meet me at the top. We weren't even going to use it as I had ds2 with me in the buggy and was heading for lift. She tripped, but luckily righted herself before getting to the top, but I was on my own and didn't know whether to abandon buggy and run or not. Split second panic thing. So went for emergency stop option - button for which is totally impossible to spot if you are panicking btw!! Bloke in customer service desk shouted at me re 'allowing' kids to 'play' on escalators and I was mortified, but he didn't shift off his backside to help!! Was angry at the time, both with my dc and with him for embarrassing me, yet doing nothing to help when he could see my dd was in trouble. Could have been much worse, and believe me, ds1 and dd were both given a talking to and will never do such a thing again. Could have been a nasty accident if she hadn't managed to pick herself up in time. Felt like the world's worst parent at that point.

Btw - both of them know how to use escalators safely as they've often been on them with me or dh, but this happened in a second before I could stop it.

Chloe55 Mon 15-May-06 10:55:44

I can't see the problem in them being lifted by their coats, presumably this was the quickest/easiest method for removing two children who were playing on something that could have hurt them. Your dh didn't hurt them in anyway so I can't see what the old man's problem was. It would have upset me if a passerby commented on my/dh parenting.

Like Suzywong says it is good that an onlooker has the courage to step in if he sees something he thinks is bullying but from what you say it sounds like he stepped in unecessarily.

YellowFeathers Mon 15-May-06 11:00:52

Agree with others.
Coat lifting might not look nice but in these circumstances...
Maybe they don't have kids so don't know any better.
I certainly wouldn't have thought your dh was a bully though for doing it.

sandyballs Mon 15-May-06 11:04:38

Thanks for all your replies. I think that is very true Lucykate, we'd have been criticised for doing nothing if we had just let them continue running wild. And an escalator can be dangerous, as many of you have said. I shall forget about it. I'm very surprised that my DH didn't say something back to him.

heavenis Mon 15-May-06 11:06:51

Your Dh wouldn't have been expecting someone to say anything and he was busy making sure your dd's didn't get hurt.

Earlybird Mon 15-May-06 11:09:26

There were two of you, and two children. I think when you saw them starting to get wild, you should have each taken one of them by the hand until they calmed down/behaved. I've learned with dd that sometimes warnings don't work, and I must take action sooner to prevent the situation from escalating. I know how awful it is in public when they misbehave because it can be so stressful....

bubblez Mon 15-May-06 11:16:55

Is it really so commendable that an onlooker thought that they had the right to say something to sandyballs dh?? I mean, if he was chasing the children round with a stick, or using an excessive amount of force, or smacking them inapropriaty (eg too hard or on the face) then fair enough. But why should any tom, dick or harry feel as though they have the right to pass judgement on a parent who clearly handled the situation as they felt it best.

It seem funny to me that the public are so fast to judge a parent that disciplines they're child/children but not as fast to see that those 'well behaved' children are that way because they have recieve good discipline.

anniemac Mon 15-May-06 11:29:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniemac Mon 15-May-06 11:31:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 15-May-06 11:37:05

I dont like the sound of lifting them by their coats but other than that i cant see a problem with your DH disciplining his kids.

bummer Mon 15-May-06 11:46:43

I know what people mean about lifting them by their coats BUT sometimes you have to grab your children before they escape again otherwise you end up chasing them all over the place. The man's statement seems a bit over the top though.

Don't let it upset you. Some people will speak up to someone who looks as if they wont answer back and leave the real baddies alone.

bubblez Mon 15-May-06 12:18:27

AMEN anniemac!!!

lazycow Mon 15-May-06 12:31:50

Can someone tell me exactly HOW to get two (note the word two) children off an escalator when they won't do as they are told without it looking like you are using force? You are using force whatever way you do it and in my opinion it is appropriate force to pick them up by the jacket.

The other way is to drag them by the arm and that can result in dislocated shoulders etc (though we have all done that too)

So come on guys let's have a bit of parental sympathy here. God I despair

FWIW Sandyballs I think your dh did the right thing completely.

Caligula Mon 15-May-06 12:37:42

What's wrong with picking them up by their coats? If you need to pick 2 of them up together very quickly to prevent an accident, you do it however you can safely. Seems quite a good option to me, though I would never be able to do it becuase I'm not strong enough. (Even for one)

Feistybird Mon 15-May-06 12:38:42

He's not a bully, he did what needed to be done, both for their safety and for your sanity.

Forget it.

Nightynight Mon 15-May-06 13:36:26

omg, Im obviously a bully too then, I have frequently hauled my ds's out of dangerous situations by their coats.

I think this word was inappropriate in this situation.

franca70 Mon 15-May-06 13:49:33

your husband did the right thing.

serenity Mon 15-May-06 14:04:43

I work with someone who used to install lifts and escalators. There is a legal minimum distance in which an escalator has to stop when something gets caught in it, unfortunately that length is roughly the distance from a childs hand to the top of their head. We've got travelators at work (like in airports, but on a slope) and he gets very upset at the way some people let their kids play on the, because he's had to deal with the consequences.

SB - for what it's worth I think your DH did the right thing (and I'm a coat grabber as well)

wannaBe1974 Mon 15-May-06 14:06:57

I agree with bubblez, what gives anyone the right to stop and comment on someone else's form of parenting. It seems that our kids have become public property and that people seem to think that it is their god given right to pass comment on how all children are being raised. Well imo no-one has the right to stop you in the street or in a public place to criticize your way of parenting, it's none of their business.

I think we have become too much a society that has to assume that children are being abused if their parents dare to discipline them harshly, and yet most of us were probably smacked as children and yet I would imagine that not many of us consider that we were abused as children. I've never smacked my ds btw, but I do think that people seem to expect that children should be raised with this softly-softly attitude in case we hurt the poor little dears. Is it any wonder that kids have no respect for adults.

SB your dh is not a bully

FrayedKnot Mon 15-May-06 14:13:34

I was struggling with DS in our local shop last week, he was having the most almightly tantrum and grabbing stuff off the shelves and dropping it etc. At one stage iirc he was on teh floor and I picked him up by his t-shirt, rather than pull his arm.

If some smart ass had come past me at that point and in any way criticised my parenting skills I think I would have burst into tears.

frumpygrumpy Mon 15-May-06 14:14:43

Yeah, as a mum of twins, grabbing of coats sounds totally fine to me (one pair of hands, two kids). I regularly squash one of mine between my knees!!! Safety is the priority here. The man and woman didn't see the whole show.....

supakids Mon 15-May-06 14:16:28

As an onlooker a grown man lifting children by coats does look a little aggressive. so maybe I might of given him a look too. sorry

Caligula Mon 15-May-06 14:21:45

I suppose the problem is that any form of force used against kids can look aggressive. The coat thing - my brother lifts the kids up by their coats and swings them round when he's playing with them (obviously when the coats are suitable for that!) And if you remove them from a scene and tell them off, that method of removal will automatically look aggressive, just as picking them up would.

bubblez Mon 15-May-06 14:24:40

AMEN to wannabe1974 too!!

KateF Mon 15-May-06 14:25:06

A few weeks ago an older woman told me I was being "a bit harsh" when, after repeated warnings, I told dd1 aged 6 that she would lose her treats if she didn't do as she was told. I felt totally undermined and the little monkey has thrown it back at me several times. If you don't know the child and the background to the incident I think you should keep your opinions to yourself! Obviously this excludes someone actually hurting a child. Hope your dds didn't pick up on the comment sandyballs.

TinyGang Mon 15-May-06 14:34:25

I have four year old twins. When I just had my older first dd I could be more patient with time to explain about safety or bad bahaviour.

Now with twins, sometimes it's necessary to just act quickly to keep them out of danger. I know I sound like a sergeant major shouting at them when they run off near a road. People can stare all they want, I will not let any harm come to them, not ever. If I have to shout or grab them then I will. You can't always have a reasonable chat about it all when you're trying to keep twins safe and you have to be stricter in order to keep control of the situation.

I can understand why you feel bothered, because you know he's a good dad. It would bother me too. Better they think that than having to explain why they got hurt down at the hospital later when it's too late. It's not as if he was beating them sensless.

People see a snapshot of a situation and jump to their conclusion without knowing any background. The million times you have said and said don't do this or that because it is dangerous. With twins you are saying it twice as often too.

I usually do follow any shouting or telling off by me up with a calmer more measured chat later when we've all calmed down and are having a quiet cuddle. I even showed them a photo in the paper the other day of a little girl (their age) who had run in the road and was killed and we had quite a discussion about it. They seem to be getting the message.

spidermama Mon 15-May-06 14:41:34

My dh has been known to lift by the clothes and I tell him off for it. I find it hard to watch as it seems over bearing. I realise it doesn't hurt though and dh says I'm over-reacting.

You can't win though as Lucykate says.

Your dh may not have said anything back, but if he's anything like mine he'll be very hurt by the comment.

spidermama Mon 15-May-06 14:56:11

Don;t feel too bad sandyballs ... here's a tale from hell which might help.

Once my dd, who was about 5 at the time, was kicking off in Waitrose. Dh had taken her and her then 4 year old brother and they were misbehaving badly - grabbing stuff from the shelves, running away etc. Supermarket rebellion. DH then bought macaroons at the bakery and made it clear that those who misbehaved in the shop would NOT be allowed a macaroon in the car. DD carried on pushing bottles of wine, laughing maniacally (most unlike her).

So, when dh was packing the car, he followed through and refused to give her a macaroon but gave one to her brother. She went absolutely ballistic screaming at him. He had to put her in her car seat kicking and screaming. A well meaning onlooker called the police and said a man was kidnapping a 9 year old girl. She said the girl was shouting 'Help! Kidnap' ffs. My 5 year old dd had never even hear the word.

Anyway, the first I know of all this was the police at my door saying 'Are you the owner of a vehicle registration blah blah...? Is your husband or partner currently in possession of said vehicles with the children?' To my rising alarm. Obviously I thought there'd been an accident.

Then he got me to 'phone dh to check he really was with the kids. I did ... they were all in the swing park by now enjoying the sun. I was in my dressing gown with three police in my house including a detective. They were on walky talkies literally standing down the helicopers and saying, 'Yes.. I'm with the mother now .... we've established it seems to be a macaroon incident. Over ...'

The police apologised and said they had to take all these reports very seriously, which is understandable. DH was called home with the kids and the police were very nice to us.

That passer by was obviously not used to seeing a stroppy child kicking off. Kidnap fgs! I mean!

So in short, I sympathise with you, and with your dh sandy.

TinyGang Mon 15-May-06 14:59:38

Oh dear Spidermama I am lol That's one to bring up at your dd's wedding in years to come!

anniemac Mon 15-May-06 15:01:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DominiConnor Mon 15-May-06 15:22:12

Fatherhood is in my opninion something that if done well must look like bullying to a random outsider.

A couple of times I've done a loom on people who I see as going over the top, but I'm very reluctant to do it.

Most discipline ishould be gentle, we have programmed our kids to always stop when we call "stop !". Achieved with copious praise and playing the "stop game" with them at great length, they get to stop us as well.
But with some occasional issues like safety I believe you must make an impact. 2.0 once pulled away from me whilst crossing the road.
Exactly once.
I went totally ballistic, so much so that I caught myself doing it, though about the friends I'd lost on roads as well as my dad, and actually turned up the heat. Poor kid was frazzled.
Never happened again.

The gang of 2 are rarely shouted at, but I have expressed myself very strongly at point blank range where their behaviour merits it. Occasionally this results in tears. My personal view is that you can't always get messages burned in without some force.
As it happens, I really hate doing it, a lot, but I've seen the consequences of kids whose parents don't do this stuff at all, not nice.

Chloe55 Mon 15-May-06 16:14:10

Sorry Spidermama but I am PMSL at 'it seems to be a macaroon incident"

anniemac Mon 15-May-06 16:20:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spidermama Mon 15-May-06 16:23:40

I too could barely contain my hysterics but obviously couldn't give in to them until the officers had left. Unbelievable.

yumsymumsy Mon 15-May-06 16:24:40

Ohhhhhhhhh DominiConnor - you've made me come over all blustery!!!!!!!!!!! You masterful beast you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sugarfree Mon 15-May-06 16:25:28

I have dragged all of mine out of danger at one time or another by a hood or collar.
I have a phobia of escalators* and if one of mine had been buggering about anywhere near one they would have been lucky to get away with a coat pull tbh.

* A fairly recent development in my general mixed up head.I imagine its going to suck my shoelaces down or grab the kids feet.And as for parents balancing on them with pushchairs with bags hanging off.....<thud>

hunkermunker Mon 15-May-06 16:25:45

Thank heaven he bought macaroons. "a cream slice incident" doesn't sound NEARLY as funny! PMSL, SM!

spidermama Mon 15-May-06 16:27:51

A friend of mine who's a father of two boys has developed a standard response to well-meaning interferers.

When they pass comments he looks them in the eye and says, 'Mam, I'm a paediatrician'. It's a lie but he says it shuts them up.

katierocket Mon 15-May-06 16:29:50

LOL at the "macaroon incident"

hunkermunker Mon 15-May-06 16:31:51

SM, he'd better watch out - a well-meaning passer-by will no doubt think he confuse that with paedophile one day...!

spidermama Mon 15-May-06 16:44:55

Lol Hunker. Good point.

lucykate Mon 15-May-06 20:29:23

spidermama, pmsl at the macaroon incident

edam Mon 15-May-06 20:44:34

Sandyballs, agree your dh was doing the right thing in a dangerous situation.

<<guffaw>> at Spidermama's macaroons!

Blu Thu 18-May-06 14:25:00

I am sitting at my desk with tears of laughter down my face at 'macaroon incident'.

happybebe Thu 18-May-06 14:47:20

for goodness sake, sick of people always having to INTERFERE with parents and their children! i would have definately said something back along the lines of 'bog off before my husband does some real bullying!' there is nothing wrong in picking children up by their coats is just the same as pulling them up when they are wearing reins etc your husband was completely in the right.

Lio Thu 18-May-06 14:49:32

Spidermama that is fantastic!

arfy Thu 18-May-06 14:49:54

I'm nominating the macaroon quote for the quote of the week - it's BRILLIANT!

ComeOVeneer Thu 18-May-06 14:56:03

<<guffaw>> at Spidermama's macaroons!
That will teach me to read a thread backwards. I had quite a different mental picture from edams post .

QE Thu 18-May-06 15:03:17

wonder what the old geezer would have said if you had handed the 2 kids to him and said, "right then you show me how to do it then as you obvioulsy know far better than me!"

batters Thu 18-May-06 15:12:17

hahaha at The Macaroon Incident!

PinkKerPlink Thu 18-May-06 15:14:34

the one about the dragons having no nads was funny too

nailpolish Thu 18-May-06 15:17:49

The Macaroon Incident

classic spidey! pmsl

Angeliz Thu 18-May-06 15:45:50

Had to look and it has had me laughing my head of
(The macaroon incidnet)

Don't mean to be a pain but, i was reading (through links on here), something about Jamie Bulger the other day. It AMAZED me the amount of adults who had passed those boys and done nothing. Even when he was crying and being hit

Sorry to make a sad point but in some cases i think we should be ever thankful for interfering busybodys.

madmarchhare Thu 18-May-06 15:57:24

Lol SM.

DS is really into Herbie(the original one) at the moment and there a bit where Herbie doesnt let this woman out of the passenger side and she starts banging on the window shouting 'Help, Im a prisoner, I can't get out', which DS has taken to shouting everytime anyone walks past when we are in the car.

madmarchhare Thu 18-May-06 15:58:52

Sandyballs, you should have told them to mind their own bloody business.

Xavielli Thu 18-May-06 16:34:47

If a child is doing something dangerous I would grab the closest part of them and be done with it!

Your DH did the right thing, tell the nosey old buggers to mind their own!

2mum Thu 18-May-06 17:30:28

A couple of years ago i was coming down the escalator in primark with my dh and there was a sort of scary looking blonde woman standing with a few kids, she was shouting at her daughter the next thing she punched her daughter in the face and the wee girls nose started bleeding. I never said nothing nor did anybody, it sounds terrible that in a busy shop nobody said nothing but i dont know who else seen it my husband definetly seen it cos as soon as we were out of the shop he said he saw it. I think in your case the man reacted cos he saw the coat thing and probably put 2 and 2 together and thought your husband was a bully.

fullmoonfiend Thu 18-May-06 18:07:56

I grabbed my ds (6) by his collar and snatched hin out of the way of on oncoming car the other day. (he had run slightly ahead and hadn't stopped at the crossing.) Normally he is exemplary st stopping at crossings.
DS was hysterical, crying ''sorry mummy,sorrymummy'' because he knew he had been in danger and knew it had been his fault. I was really shaken, and then this woman came up and started bollocking me for grabbing him by the neck. ''Look, you've scared him with your roughness and shouting'' she said. I was speechless at her misinterpretation of the situation.

Tortington Thu 18-May-06 18:20:23

i always say " if i want your opinion i'll tell you what it is!"

maltesers Fri 19-May-06 12:34:21

Sometimes people need to mind there own business and keep their mouths shut. Sometimes kids can be a pain in the arse and you get mad with them. Makes me sick that people think they should make a comment when you are struggling and coping your best at the time. tell them to keep their stupid high and mighty opinions to themselves.

nicnack2 Fri 19-May-06 14:08:17

My DH get on at me because if DS is running around i get very worked up. Problem being i dont let DS run around but DH does. I have shouted in shops and DH has said evryone is looking at you. I would rather control my child by voice. But yes i have drag ds back to the car and personally i do noy like draging by the arm and if i was strong would use coat.

Incident happened to a friend. Her DD was having tantrum in trolley. Mum wouldnt give her a packet of crisps. A lady came up to friend and said this is awful and proceeded to open paket of crisps from friends triley and give to daughter.

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