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to expect mums at toddler groups to discipline their children when they hit others

(28 Posts)
bozemum Mon 27-Jun-11 13:41:14

Am furious. My DS (20 months) was laid into by older boy (2.5) at playgroup this morning. DS is very gentle and happy boy. And this older boy often hits him. DS was just running around trying to keep up with older boys and fell over. The big boy came over and started hitting him while he was on the floor. I went over and said no hitting and took DS away for a cuddle. His mum was (as usual) looking the other way. So many mums seem to have a "boys will be boys" attitude and think its just part of growing up. But i think they should be told off and told its wrong? Shouldn't they?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 27-Jun-11 13:45:49

YANBU... they should be told off and, quite frankly, if the parent can't be bothered, you're well within your rights to do it for them. It's not unreasonable to expect a 2.5yo to apologise. If parent gets shirty... tough.

bozemum Mon 27-Jun-11 13:48:06

Yes I always say no hitting and phyiscally pull the older child back if necessary. But don't actually tell them off as such. But I do feel like I should, if nobody else is going to. Wonder if I might just stop going to playgroup altogether. Perhaps if it happens once more I will.

NoobyNoob Mon 27-Jun-11 13:49:19

YANBU - I had an incident the other day with my 18 month old DS and did the exact same thing. I went and found the mother (we were in a soft play center) and she was sat at the back of the room with a coffee and a magazine.

Told her that her son had purposely pushed over my son and that I've told him it's unacceptable. She was more than happy I told him off, then we had a chat and she turned out to be a really nice lady!

Lady1nTheRadiator Mon 27-Jun-11 13:51:31

If the other parent is too bloody lazy to step in then yes, do say something. I think it's important as they get older for your DC to see you stick up for them. I told a little girl off for shoving my DS at soft play last week. There was a swoosh of heads turning to see but FFS when it is outright nastiness I am not going to just smile sweetly and say 'play nice!'

But if the other mum just did not see, you could just tell her - now I have DD I can't hover over my DS all the time and if he was being horrid to someone I'd be happier to be told about it - and I'd also be happy for another parent to tell him off. But am aware that many aren't.

bozemum Mon 27-Jun-11 13:52:10

Nooby, sounds like you did a good job. I feel so furious that I find it hard to calmy tell the other mum. So I don't say anything, in case I end up coming over really angry with them. I just sit and fume to myself!

bozemum Mon 27-Jun-11 13:54:06

Next time I will maybe try saying something to the other mum. Cos it was really mean. He got about 4 punches in before I got over there. And DS was just sitting on the floor looking confused.

NoobyNoob Mon 27-Jun-11 13:54:14

I will add though, I was shitting myself walking up to her!!!! I've never had to do that before, I went all shaky and spoke really quitely thinking she might punch me in the head for telling off her DC!

But alas, all was well smile

fuzzypicklehead Mon 27-Jun-11 13:55:35

YANBU. I hate it when there's a tiny tearaway causing havoc whilst their mum is in the next room happily chatting away and drinking coffee. Does the group have a leader/organizer that you could enlist to restore order?

bozemum Mon 27-Jun-11 13:57:15

Not really. Just someone who opens the door and puts out the toys. They don't really get involved with disputes like this. Its more a mums ran thing.

SenoritaViva Mon 27-Jun-11 14:01:33

YANBU to expect it.

I think what Nooby did was brilliant. If I had been looking the other way (properly not metaphorically speaking as I don't do that!) I'd really appreciate a parent either coming up to me and saying 'really sorry but your DS has just given mine a bashing, could you have a word' or 'Your DS gave mine a bashing, you weren't around so I told him off'. I'd REALLY appreciate it. But not everyone would I suppose. You're definitely in your right to though if the parent isn't stepping in.

ragged Mon 27-Jun-11 14:01:46

Do say something to the other mum. tbh, I can't keep my eyes on DC 100% of the time. I had DS suddenly wallop a girl when he was 5 inches away from my elbow and I had looked away briefly to answer another toddler talking to me. Suddenly I had an angry mother hissing into my ear about DS smacking her tot.

She was right to be agrieved... although it would help if she discouraged her DD from reversing a ride-on toy into the space where DS was making a puzzle... thing is, I never would have realised that DS hit the girl otherwise. That's when I realised that I just physically cannot keep my eyes on him 100% of the time.

Sharney Mon 27-Jun-11 14:02:20

YANBU A few years ago at a small playgroup I attended with dd a boy the same age as her pushed her off a swing then kicked her leg whilst trying to get on the swing. I saw it happen and with barley any self control stood up and shouted "Hey you! What's your name and where's your mummy! The mother stood up and said "what's the matter" I told her the matter whilst picking up and comforting my dd. I must say she stood up to the plate. She made her ds say sorry and was much more attentive to his behaviour after that. As a result the boy was much better behaved. Sometimes you really do have to stand up and shout for your kids.

MogTheForgetfulCat Mon 27-Jun-11 14:14:38

YANBU - DS1 was a dreadful shover, and I used to tail him around playgroups for years, watching him like a hawk. I ached to just sit down and have a cup of tea and a natter like the other mums, especially when I was pregnant with DS2, but felt that keeping an eye on him was important as I was mortified by his behaviour. Anyway, it paid off - he is a really lovely 5yo now, thank goodness. And DS2 has never been a problem in that way, so have been able to have my fill of tea and natter since grin.

ILoveYouToo Mon 27-Jun-11 14:46:51

grin at Sharney "I saw it happen and with barely any self control stood up and shouted "Hey you! What's your name and where's your mummy!""
Good for you!


Cannotthinkofaname Mon 27-Jun-11 15:00:51


I have just came back from Surestart. I ended up leaving early as there was a little boy roughly 3year old and he was chasing my dd (2.9) around the outside trying to hit her with a bat shock, or he was shoving her, DD kept running to me or her dad to protect her and the little boy still kept going at her, no matter what we said to him. I asked him to stop and he shouted "NO, I CAN HIT LITTLE GIRLS, MY MUMMY TOLD ME I CAN NOW BE QUIET AND LEAVE ME ALONE" shock hmm. I looked around and found his mum sat indoors with her back to the door drinking a coffee. angry. I am not going back to surestart as I was told last time I went I had to supervise my dd all of the time. As I turned my back for minute and she spilled the paint. I only turned my back as a hv was talking to me. But other parents are allowed to just let their children run about and not be supervised angryangryangryangry .

Icoulddoitbetter Mon 27-Jun-11 15:09:35

Unfortunately I'm the mother of a hitter and shover (see my recent thread asking for help!). I do trail him round at groups as I can't trust him, and always respond when he does something undesirable. If I happen to miss something, I have no problem with another parent doing this as long as it's preportionate. He's only 20 months so shouting wouldn't work! As of yet I haven't met anyone who thinks this is normal acceptable behaviour so lets their child get away with it, thankfully!

TheShowgirl Mon 27-Jun-11 15:09:37

Cannot, the brattish child you met was very lucky. Had he met me he wouldn't have forgotten it for a very long time and nor would he ever attempt to hurt my child again.

I solved this type of dilemma very easily, before it even occurred. I just didn't take my children to any form of toddler group or the like. How anyone tolerates those places is beyond me. bozemum YANBU and if parents won't supervise/control/discipline their DC they shouldn't be surprised when someone else does it for them.

celebmum Mon 27-Jun-11 16:07:25

OP yanbu! I took my DS (14m) to a aft play recently and another boy about 2.5/3yrs was throwing balls at him, at first I just said ' ooh play nice', then he started throwing balls towards him not at him, trying to not intentionally hit him IYSWIM, so I tried 'ooh we don't throw balls' .. Next he began diving full frontal into the balls to get them to 'splash' up everywhere, so I decided to move DS to a safe zone grin......
...... The second I picked him up and turned, a ball hit me on the back of the head..angryhmmangry

What would you have done?

mummymeister Mon 27-Jun-11 16:16:07

This happened to me a couple of times when my kids were toddlers. worst incident was eldest being bitten really hard on the face by brat of a boy. i calmed her down, calmed myself down and then confronted the mum loudly. it is not for you to have to leave playgroup with your child but for the mum of the other lad to control him and if she can't then she should leave. The mum i confronted said pathetically that she couldnt control him and he was only 3! I know some parents will just tell you to off but the majority do try if pointed out to them. If you just leave then as kids get older even at 4 they pick up on the fact that you should always give in to bullies. I know its a nightmare to do but is there someone else at the group that could give you a bit of moral support next week? Good luck.

PanicMode Mon 27-Jun-11 16:21:03

I stopped going to a toddler group because every single week my son was picked on by another boy who consistently hit/pushed/snatched whatever he was playing with away from him. The mother never did anything even when it happened right in front of her, and I ended up disciplining her son, or said something like "that's not very friendly, let's share/stop hitting" etc, DS got more and more reluctant to go. I realised that the mother wasn't interested - it was her 'time off' going to toddler group.

I hate going to them anyway, so suited me fine grin and as DS3 has 3 other siblings to play with, I don't think that his development is being unduly affected by not going any more.


cece Mon 27-Jun-11 16:28:08

From the other point of view I am the mother of a child that does hit and push at toddler groups. TBH I find it exhausting and not enjoyable at all to take him. In fact it si very stressful. However, I know he needs to socialise in order to learn what he should and shouldn't do so we presist.

I do watch him like a hawk as much as I can but find that if i follow him around he does it more! Hence I watch from a distance. As a result though he can sometimes lash out before i can get to him.

He does say sorry and do time out though when he does make someone else cry.

I just wanted to say how it is from the other side. He is my third child and the other two were always a delight to take to toddlers. How I wish I could sit with my friends and chat! sad

ragged Tue 28-Jun-11 14:14:40

I know he needs to socialise in order to learn what he should and shouldn't do so we presist.

Exactly Cece. Maybe we should start a group for hard-core thumping toddlers in need of reform? All the mummies of Perfect Peters can stay at home since their darlings don't miss out on anything or need to be socialised, anyway. wink

GooseyLoosey Tue 28-Jun-11 14:18:04

Cece and ragged - I feel your pain. I was the mother of that child too and I can't say I ever found other parents tolerated it either. It was awful and after a few months I just stopped going to such groups with him as I couldn't cope.

cece Tue 28-Jun-11 22:02:22

My new strategy is to turn up 20 mins late, so he has less time to destroy grin sad

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