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to think this child should have had a telling off not a cuddle...

(106 Posts)
Peculiarjulia Sun 14-Nov-10 13:53:17

Took my DC to their swimming lesson this morning & one of the kids (aged about 4) got her arm stuck in the drain thingy that levels the water out. I was sitting further along the pool so didn't see what happened but I heard the teacher tell her mum that it was up to her elbow & that he & the lifeguard had to help her pull it out even though it wasn't fixed in there. The kid was not unsuprisingly balling her eyes & clearly it had really scared her but I was a bit miffed by the mum's reaction. She got her out of the pool & cuddled her telling her "everything was going to be ok now." Now if the was either of my two I would have comforted them obviously but also given them a telling off about how dangerous it was & how they should pay attention in the pool & not muck about whilst the teacher is with someone else. I realise she may have done this later but as it was an immediate danger it should have been made clear to her immediately. My DH & mum say this is really harsh so what do you think?

thumbwitch Sun 14-Nov-10 13:56:43

I am in two minds over this. I think when a child is that distressed, telling them off probably doesn't have any impact - telling them later, when they have calmed down, what a silly thing it was to do might be more effective.

But I don't know - DS is not quite 3 so I'm not sure how much of anything goes in at 4yo (or at <3yo for that matter!). I am pretty sure my first reaction would have been the same as the mum's in your scenario though.

ANTagony Sun 14-Nov-10 13:57:02

I think that the issue needed to be raised with the child but if they were really distressed and scared then it would not have been an effective time for the message to sink in.

LetThereBeRock Sun 14-Nov-10 13:58:39

Surely the child shouldn't be able to get her arm stuck like that?

Unwind Sun 14-Nov-10 14:01:28

I like to think I would

1. Comfort distressed child, telling them off won't have an impact when in a state
2. Find out from the pool, why they failed to notice a grille was missing, and what they intend to do about it
3. Explain to child how important not to stick your hand into mysterious holes!

thisisyesterday Sun 14-Nov-10 14:01:54

i think a cuddle was exactly the right thing to do

she was 4! even if she was "messing about" she may not have realised how dangerous it was.

she had been stuck, she was distressed, of course she needed a cuddle and made better.

later she can have a talk about why it's not ok to mess around with things like that in a pool

tbh if it's that dangerous then all the children should have already been warned about it. you can't assume a 4 year old will realise dangers in a pool without being told

LetThereBeRock Sun 14-Nov-10 14:03:39

I think Unwind put it perfectly. The drain is obviously faulty if the child could get her arm trapped like that.

thumbwitch Sun 14-Nov-10 14:04:14

LTBR - if it's like the one we have, there is a bit of suction on it too - so while not physically jammed, she might have had trouble withdrawing her arm. DS stuck his arm in ours today - got told off immediately (but I saw him do it) and no harm was done. No grill over it, btw - it doesn't require one and having one would impede the cleaner thingy being attached.

MaudOHara Sun 14-Nov-10 14:04:16

The grille shouldnt have been missing - the child is 4 years old - was obviously scared, a cuddle was a necessity.

Dando Sun 14-Nov-10 14:06:53

When a child has calmed down, then you can talk to them about what/why etc.

Cuddle was definitely right thing to do. What is point in berating a distressed child, it won't go in for one. I'm sure I've done it (lost child) but not right thing to do.

Also, child should not be able to do such a thing in pool.


LetThereBeRock Sun 14-Nov-10 14:07:30

A public pool should certainly have a drain cover.

There's been several accidents and deaths involving faulty drains and children.

CountryDweller Sun 14-Nov-10 14:08:38

I agree with Unwind

You are being too harsh imo

earwicga Sun 14-Nov-10 14:09:40


How bloody harsh are you!

LittleMissHissyFit Sun 14-Nov-10 14:10:46

Erm , so your first reaction would have been to tell off a scared 4yo who had just been stuck in a drain, on the scene, there and then? sheesh. hmm

I'd have been scared to death myself if my 4yo was stuck in there and yes, LTBR, I'd be wanting to know WHY my DC had been able to get stuck.

I'd be relieved the child was free and happy to know he's OK.

Later when the fear and rational behaviour had returned, I would sit them down and calmly explain to them the dangers of doing that, and tell them not to do it again.

YunoYurbubson Sun 14-Nov-10 14:11:07

OMG YABU shock!!

If my 4yo had her arm stuck in a swimming pool and was scared and bawling of COURSE I would give her a big cuddle to comfort and calm her down. How terrifying for her.

Later on we would have a chat about it and I'd tell her then about how it was better not to put your arm in holes, and she would agree, having learned a very good lesson. Absolutely no need to be cross.

BoffinMum Sun 14-Nov-10 14:11:43

She's only 4, FFS!

Blu Sun 14-Nov-10 14:16:13

I'm not sure why you would be 'miffed' about how someone else spoke to their child when you were not involved, were not affected and did not see what happened.

It sounds a really unpleasant experience for the poor child.

I think you are being harsh and judgmental!

Lulumaam Sun 14-Nov-10 14:21:21

YABU for all the reasons already posted.

Personally, would have done calming and cuddles and a bit later, probably at home, when all in bed, have a big chat with the child about danger round pools/ sticking your hands down things etc etc.

a distressd child would not have taken in the telling off or the explanation at the time

DooinMeCleanin Sun 14-Nov-10 14:27:15

When dd2 got her arm stuck behind the radiator I smacked her arse and sent her to bed with no supper. It's her own fault innit, for putting her arm there in the first place. She was hysterical and terrified but still, her fault right?

I abolsutly did not let her eat peanut butter from the jar while waiting to be rescued to try and calm her down, and she certainly didn't get sweet tea and biscuits once she was freed. I

deaddei Sun 14-Nov-10 14:28:53

This brings to mind Stephen King's "It" and the drains......

Heracles Sun 14-Nov-10 14:29:13

I think she's learned that she shouldn't have done it. What good would it do to make her more miserable?

Peculiarjulia Sun 14-Nov-10 14:32:14

So clearly in this instance I am being harsh! I hate it when DH is right!

I'm not saying I wouldn't comfort/cuddle my DC or that I'd be "cross" with them just that I would explain to them at the earliest opportunity that would they had done was wrong & wouldn't coddle them because what had happened was their fault. IMO a 4 year old should be aware of the consequences of what will happen if they put their arms somewhere they shouldn't. All the kids in the swimming group were given a safety talk at the start of the class explaining not to touch the drains or go past the black line into the deeper end etc.

The drain BTW isn't a suction drain its a 30cm gap type without a grille - a bit like thumbwitch describes - so there was no danger of her getting further stuck in etc. From what I could see (I was at the other end of the pool) the teacher was right by her so I'm not sure how it happened but she could only have been stuck for a matter of seconds.

BuffDayKnickers0nMyHead Sun 14-Nov-10 14:35:09

Very harsh actually op. YABU.

sfxmum Sun 14-Nov-10 14:37:04

what Unwind said

Laquitar Sun 14-Nov-10 14:40:23

What blu said.

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