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To have walked off and said nothing to this child/mother?

(141 Posts)
TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:28:16

Hello. Long time lurker.

Soft play. A girl of what I guessed was 4/5 walked up to my 21mo and totally unprovoked, shoves him in the chest. Hard. I'm biased, but he had done absolutely nothing wrong. Not even looked at her. No toy stealing or anything. He falls backwards onto the floor and bursts into tears (understandably).

Mother/carer of this girl doesn't acknowledge me or DS but takes the girl by the arm and tells her to say sorry. Girl ignores her and walks off. Mother does nothing. Says fuck all to me. Not even an apologetic look. By this time I've picked my son up and I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to calm him down.

I don't suffer fools and normally I would have said something. I was so shocked that I walked off with hysterical DS in tow. If he had done that to another child I would have died. Apologies all round.

Is this normal behaviour? Was her pathetic attempt to make her child show some kind of remorse sufficient and AIBU to think it was not? Should I have said something or was I right to just leave it?

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:50:21

<searches for MN mute button>

JugsMcGee Sat 05-Jan-13 21:50:27

Really? One near me has the baby bit fenced off and the gate guarded.

Not shoving someone is not tiptoeing around.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sat 05-Jan-13 21:51:33

Any indication of possible SN? Not that it excuses the behaviour or the response but might explain, perhaps removing the older DC quietly was the best course of action

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:53:07

a mute button? oh so i don't agree with you? i just think you're being unrealistic if you expect other child to curtail to your expectation on how they should behave

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:53:24

Nolittle Not that I'm an expert but before I considered shooting my mouth off at the mother I did take a step back and couldn't see anything I would consider immediately obvious. I also looked over a couple of times post-incident and didn't spot anything.

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:53:29

I don't agree that children should be allowed to push and shove at all.

A child accidentally knocking someone when running past is totally different to walking up and pushing them over. Or to hitting them. My child would be disciplined for any intentional pushing or hitting as I do not think that is acceptable behaviour. For any age group.

usualsuspect Sat 05-Jan-13 21:55:22

no they shouldn't push and shove,but it's not worth all this angst.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:58:21

they shouldn't but they do, as they are children grin

they have to learn how to behave, imo closed soft play spaces aren't ideal as they will inevitably run into another child and probably hurt them as there just isn't the open space to run about that you would get in a park

find it depressing that people vilify othes children for being just that, children.

they don't have agendas they just react, that's how they learn!

hazeyjane Sat 05-Jan-13 21:58:49

Uptheamp, ds is 2.6, with sn, soft play has been recommended as good exercise for him, if there is nothing to say that the area is only for over a certain age, then what on earth is wrong with taking an under 4 to soft play (apart from the fact that they are evil hellholes, obviously!)

DuttyWine Sat 05-Jan-13 21:59:12

It's the behaviour of the parent at fault here not the child. Yanbu for wishing the mum/carer acknowledged you. Kids do mean things at play centre usually hyped up by loud techno music and E numbers. Maybe wait until he is a bit older to take him again as there is always older kids who push and shove.

lifeintheolddogyet Sat 05-Jan-13 22:01:38

awful stinky rubberised rat runs

PMSL. I'm going to say that to the DSs next time they ask me to go. grin

I think the child should have been made to apologise. Or at least the mother should have done, and the child sit out until she became calmer. My DS1 did random stuff like that a couple of times and it was always because he was wound up in some way himself. He'd feel much better for a sit and a think; he could say sorry properly then and go on to enjoy the rest of the session a lot more.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:02:04

nothing is wrong hazey but you would be naive to think other children would curtail their behaviour to fit in with your expectations, just wouldn't happen.

i do tend to think all children should be out in parks etc rather than the 'rat runs' that are soft play sessions. to me they are money making ventures that don't really take into consideration the real needs of children. and yes i have studied it and there is lots of research to support outdoor play.

notnagging Sat 05-Jan-13 22:02:27

I think that us terrible. I was in the park once when a mother came over to tell me one of my boys had been bullying her son. I was mortified. I apologised & made mine do so to. He gave the boy one of his books to say sorry & show he meant it. The little boy was over the moon & thought my kids were great after that. I still felt bad though.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:00

duttywine I understand and agree with the hyped up argument. However DS loves soft play and I do too when it doesn't give me rage so why should I wait until he's older in case he gets deliberately shoved? I don't want to take him to the park in the pissing rain and freezing cold in case he gets in the way of older kids. As before, I understand accidental knocks and bumps happen; this is no one's fault. Shoving in the chest is unacceptable.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:38

why should the child apologise?

if the children were left to play without interference from adults they wouldn't bat an eyelid to a incident like this (though i do understand the child is too young to understand)

there is way too much adult intervention with kids play

perceptionreality Sat 05-Jan-13 22:11:13

If any of my children had done this to another child (which none of them ever has), I would certainly have apologised profusely to the mother if the child wouldn't. Problem is that some kids are unkind to others, if not at soft play at school, later.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 22:14:54

Children can do both soft play sessions and have plenty of outdoor play. It's not an either/or situation.

OP, YANBU. The mother especially should have apologised and ensured that your ds was ok. Not because she needed to know that he was ok (although you'd think she would want to) but because she needs to model that to her child for her child to be able to learn by example.

I don't always agree with forcing children to say sorry. Sometimes it's clear that they don't mean it and they haven't actually been taught what it means. They are taught that if you do something wrong then you say sorry and then that makes it ok without having a clue what sorry feels like. It can take some children longer than others to develop the empathy that is needed to be sorry for something they have done, and until they have that, making them say sorry can, IMO, be counter productive. It's very difficult though, because obviously the child that has been wronged deserves a 'sorry'!

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:16:22

It is quite reasonable to take a child that age to a soft play session.

Obviously venues and facilities vary. But toddlers are fine.

Parents who sit and do nothing while their kids attack others are a disgrace. I don't believe in 'helicopter' parenting - but leaving pre-schoolers to kick the crap out of each other (invariably bullying and overwhelming any smaller or vulnerable children) is selfish stupidity.

I do see that the parent of the pushy child at least did something.... but trying to get them to aploogise and then giving up and doing nothing wasn't good. That was someone who didn't know what to do about their child's behaviour.

In all honesty, I can think of behaviour and responses from parents that were a lot worse - including the mother of a 'punchy' boy telling one of his victims to 'punch him back while I hold his arms' (seriously). But that's not a very positive response!

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 22:20:01

if the children were left to play without interference from adults they wouldn't bat an eyelid to a incident like this

I completely disagree with this. Some children have a very strong sense of justice, of right and wrong, especially when they are learning the lessons for themselves.

If they have already learned that when you do something wrong you should apologise for it, it can be very confusing when the adults supporting their learning do nothing when they see an incident that they think is wrong and an apology is needed somewhere. Children develop emotionally at different rates, and plenty of children would very much bat an eyelid at seeing a smaller child be pushed over.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:23:22

depends on what agre you mean clouds, children have to sort out their own problems to a certain extent at primary school

glenthebattleostrich Sat 05-Jan-13 22:23:27

uptheamp are you deliberately trying to start an argument? You're sounding like a bit of an arse to be honest.

I take my DD and mindees to softplay regularly. They enjoy it and shockingly are all under 3. One of the children is a bit pushy / hits so they are punished and made to apologise because as a grown up my job is to show them how to behave in an appropriate manner.

lifeintheolddogyet Sat 05-Jan-13 22:24:15

There should be consequences to this behaviour because it's not boisterous play - it's being unkind and the child has to learn that, no matter how hyped you are, this is not acceptable. I'm all for letting them sort stuff out themselves but the incident described by the OP is just rather cruel.

DS got punched (hard) in the stomach today by his friend. They were playing roughly together , his friend got over excited and it happened. I certainly wasn't demanding apologies from him.

There are degrees of healthy parenting between helicoptering around your pfb and chucking them into a Lord of the Flies scenario then sloping off for a coffee and a read of the weekend paper. I'd have been cross if I were the OP too and I'd have been mortified if I saw one of mine do this to a younger child.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:24:58

Clouds - yes, indeed.

Children also come from different backgrounds, some less ideal than others. The three year old who comes from a chaotic home with background violence is likely to behave quite differently from one who is being supported to learn empathy/sharing and not to hit.

At this age, they still need adult input and appropriate supervision.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:26:27


rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:27:11

Children are not able to sort out their own problems to any degree if they have not been shown and taught how.

Just like they don't learn to talk or read on their own.

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