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To tell off other children at soft play?

(46 Posts)
ohchristmastree Sat 08-Dec-12 12:52:41

Took ds (17mo) to soft play this morning and one boy who was about 4 was pushing him out of the way quite forcefully and taking things off him. Poor ds looked quite shocked. The little boys parents were doing nothing. This happened maybe 5 or 6 times. He was doing it to other children too. I did tell him not to push as it wasn't nice but I'm not sure if I should have.

Can someone please tell me the etiquette on this? Do I take ds away or tell the boy it isn't nice to do that? It's only our second time at soft play, I try and avoid it usually but the weather was shocking this morning and I needed to keep ds away from the christmas tree out of the house.

Or am I being pfb and just let them get on with it?

HaphazardTophat Sat 08-Dec-12 14:14:04

YANBU. I've done it myself at these play areas especially when it's a much older child. I put as much disgust in my voice as possible when I ask the child what s/he thinks they are doing hitting a child so much younger, I then ask them to point out their parents to me. If they don't, I tell them I'll be watching them to see when they go back to mum and or dad and if I see anymore of this behaviour I will speak to their parents straight away.

Tailtwister Sat 08-Dec-12 14:14:41

Yanbu. Sometimes it's just boisterous behaviour and sometimes more than that. A gentle 'watch out for the little ones' or a more assertive 'no pushing/ hitting' is usually all that is necessary. I would do it for another child too if I had to. If the behaviour was particularly nasty or serious, I would speak to the staff. I once saw a young child of about 2 deliberately punched in the face. Very nasty and the child responsible was removed and banned.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 08-Dec-12 14:14:59

Oooh specialist subject this one, having had my son pinned up against a wall by his throat, then verbal off the mum for telling hers off (just a shout of 'get your hands off him'). According to other mother we should have left our son with the boys hands round his throat whilst we ask all the mums whose child it is so she could deal with it.
Actually I do expect her to post on this soon!

If the parents are nowhere to be seen (as in my case) and their child's hurting another (we'd already ignored the pushes and shoves from her boy) then I'm sorry but its going to fall to another parent to do the job. I'm not talking about hitting, swearing or anything like that - that's obviously a line. Equally if the parents witnessing and doing nothing, then I can't see any harm in a 'that's not very nice'. A friend of mine does 'could whoever a child is hurting mine sort them out please' loudly!

MousyMouse Sat 08-Dec-12 14:16:06

yanbu I would do the same.

maddening Sat 08-Dec-12 14:29:53


Even if neither is your child.

At one with ds and one little boy had another (both about 3) by the wrist and was squeezing and twisting it behind his back with the little boy begging to be let go so as I went past I bent down so we had eye contact and said "let go of his wrist please" and he did immediately - don't know if either parent noticed but all it took was a calm tone.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 08-Dec-12 14:48:49

YANBU. At all.

I intervene quickly when I see some hurtful behaviour going on - it doesn't have to be my child that's getting walloped. And I am grateful when other parents do the same. It is very hard to watch your child constantly - if I turn round and see my 2 year old getting the shit kicked out of him on the bouncy castle while 3 parents stand by awkwardly doing nothing, it makes me livid.

I use my 'teacher voice' - firm but not shouting! and keep it brief.

"No hitting, thank you." "That is ENOUGH pushing." "Stop that now, please." "we do NOT snatch, we take turns."

that normally does the job. When it stops, I say 'thank you' and make sure I don't leave the offending child 'out' of things - so if I've told someone not to snatch or steal toys, I say something like 'When this little girl has finished, you can have a go.'

If things escalate or the child is chopsy, I ask them to show me where their mummy or daddy or childminder is etc. They tend not to want to do this! Only then would I have a word with the parent/childminder etc.

I would not let bad behaviour go on before intervening. It is much harder to say 'stop pushing' after 8 times than after 1. I never bother with extended reasoning/explanation - it is not my job to parent someone else's child, I just want a quick resolution and on we play, iyswim.

piprabbit Sat 08-Dec-12 14:56:26

"I can see what you're doing" works well too.

quirrelquarrel Sat 08-Dec-12 15:56:03

It takes a village.....yanbu

pigletmania Sat 08-Dec-12 16:00:03

YANBU you are twin your rights especially if the parents are sitting about doing nothing. I would have said a bit more to him

pigletmania Sat 08-Dec-12 16:03:18

Uptheamp so you think it's ok for a child to hit another child, they are letting off steam hmm. Are you hat parent who sits round doing nothing whilst your child ' let's off steam' on other children!

exoticfruits Sat 08-Dec-12 16:10:30

Of course you can-give the parents chance to do something but if they don't YANBU.

Tigresswoods Sat 08-Dec-12 16:12:30

Soft play is a nightmare for this very reason. One day your DC will be the one pushing the littlies. It is no fun being either parent.

AnnaRack Sat 08-Dec-12 16:49:56

You did right op, it's an awkward situation but it just has to be done if the other child's parents are doing nothing. Uhnfortuhnately soft play seems to attract these types.
It sometimes helps to say to the offending child "If you dont play nicely I'll have to tell your mum/dad".

Lavenderhoney Sat 08-Dec-12 17:06:02

I would say something, like a gentle " steady on, no pushing, did you want to get by? Say excuse me! Thank you...."

If it carried on, or was really violent I would say gently" no hitting, let's find your mum shall we?"

Normally mums are horrified and a bit red faced they have been chatting and probably having some time to talk to another adult instead of lo, but I suppose you could be unlucky and be shouted at.

Your child has to know you will protect him/ her though, ESP if they can't walk yet or are very young. It doesn't have to be aggressive to the other child, who may have older siblings and be used to fending for themselves.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 08-Dec-12 18:46:16

Once a child ran up to my 1 year old, pushed him over and then jumped on this tummy! After rescuing my baby, I found the mother and relayed what had happened. She didn't know where to put herself but told me that other children have done that to her child. She then promptly disappeared from the soft play center. I think removal from soft play was a very appropriate punishment for a three/four year old.

If I couldn't see the mother, I'd probably say 'be gentle' or 'stop hitting,'

TheJoyfulChristmasJumper Sat 08-Dec-12 19:05:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pandemoniaa Sat 08-Dec-12 19:11:59

Soft play had only just been invented when my dcs were small. So I was mercifully spared the worst of it. But we do take dgd down to our local soft play place and she loves it. YANBU in telling the child off in the circumstances and I'd do similarly. However, I wouldn't necessarily tell off a boisterous older child outside the toddler area if they weren't deliberately targetting dgd or being nasty. Which is why we tend to keep well away from soft play once schools are out.

quoteunquote Sat 08-Dec-12 19:18:28

A good loud, "Whoever is responsible for (description of child) he/she needs some supervision" usually gets the message across.

lovelyladuree Sat 08-Dec-12 19:21:04

Why does anyone go to indoor softplay? If you kids aren't catching the winter vomiting bug, they are getting bullied by other bigger children. Softplay is the work of the Devil himself. Just stop going.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 08-Dec-12 20:48:43

And this is why I refuse to go to soft play (what is it that makes even well behaved children go mad, in a way that they don't at eg an outdoor playground?)

YANBU. I tell other children off, including if they are being mean to other children ie not my own. A simple "that is not acceptable behaviour, please stop" usually works, often because children are a bit taken aback at being told off by a stranger

bellarose2011 Sat 08-Dec-12 20:59:01

I had a horrible experience with a 7/8 yr old girl bullying my 18 month old.
I did tell her to stop and then didn't take my eyes off her. I kept catching her going near my DD and checking to see if i was looking, then pretending she was doing something else. Evil little cow!
The problem was caused because the evil girl had brought toys with her but didn't want anyone else touching them, so why the hell did her mum let her bring them?!
Her mum sat chatting the whole time.

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