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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?

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:28:51

really? i think they are perfectly capable. even really young children.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 22:29:30

Why? Why parent full stop then? Teaching a child what is right and wrong is so important. Otherwise the adult world would contain even more assholes than it currently does.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 22:33:17

Uptheamp. You sound delightfully like a former friend of mine who used to have the same attitude regarding adults interfering and telling me to "let them get on with it". Consequently her ds used to bite my son until he bled like I mentioned earlier, do sneaky punches and hits, grab his face and squeeze it with his fingers and generally bully him. Her theory was that as her ds was a boy, that was normal behaviour and there was something wrong with my ds as he was shy and I was too anxious (about him getting beat the crap out of). We aren't friends any longer. People like you and her are the reason for those self entitled and aggressive kids on a power trip, no guidance from the parents just, oh well, they'll sort it

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 22:33:52

At primary school, children are given support to work out problems and they are taught strategies to help them sort out problems. They are not left entirely to their own devices. They are not expected to start school at four years old and to know the answers to every social problem they might encounter.

DuttyWine Sat 05-Jan-13 22:35:56

Ok maybe wait until he is older to put him in with the over 4's? Most ones near me seem to have under 4's or under 3's areas. Even if kids are being mindful I imagine lots of accidental pushing and shoving goes on as they run around in such a hurry. The push was unacceptable but it's not the child's fault it's probably due to the parent not dealing with her effectively.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:37:32

oh thanks waynetta for your information i run holiday play schemes for kids for them to just play and let off steam, am proud to say i am a playworker who understands and acts as a advoate for kids right to play and spend lots of my free time getting grants and putting my views in to practice

you can judge me how you want

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 22:39:01

Unfortunately no segregated area in this particular hellhole soft play, it's quite open. As I've said, I have no issue with knocks, bumps and collisions. Shit happens. What I do get pissed off with is behaviour as demonstrated by to particular child. If there's a separate area for younger ones I keep him penned in there.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 22:41:08

Twigs - fwiw, there are plenty of us who will intervene when they see one child kicking the shit out of another at soft play or in the playground.

Even if the attacking kid's own parent is sitting on their arse doing sweet fa and 'leaving them to it.'

It's awful when you see parents of small children who are behaving in a difficult or challenging way being 'left to it.' They are kids that need parental help - it's so unfair on them.

hammyimo Sat 05-Jan-13 22:44:39

Really - you need to let it go.

A few pushes and shoves at soft play - fairly normal. Say to your dc - just keep away from them.

Nursery - there'll be a few pushers/shovers/hitters/biters - you won't be there nor witll there mums. You'll be relying on staff but they won't see or care about everything.

School - reception year - absolutely rife with pushers/shovers/slappers - some with nasty words to boot. Again - you teach how to deal with these types.

Age 7 - still 3 or 4 with difficult behaviour in the class - they push harder now (and cause real injuries). You say, keep out of his way, don't argue with him.

It's a none event in the grand scheme of things. You'll understand when your's is 4 and just does random things sometimes. Yes you need to teach right and wrong. But childrearing isn't a perfect science.

Fact is your's will at some time do this to another dc - could be physically or the verbal kind of abuse - you won't die but you'll try to deal with it in the best way you can and you'll hope that people give you a bit of slack/benefit of the doubt/some kindness.

Happymum22 Sat 05-Jan-13 22:45:46

DS at 4 was a bit of a terror, normally it was more silly stuff han hurtful but on ANY occasion he was unkind, physically or verbally, as OPs have said he would get a full explanation of why the behaviour is not acceptable, be made to apologise to the person saying 'I'm sorry X for ...' would sit out of the activity for 5 minutes, tell me why he had sat out, apologise again for the behvaiour, then rejoin. After a few months of this he eventually go the idea of what is and isnt ok.
Yes, he was a 4 year old who did these things and as a parent I felt mortified and desperate to help him behave well.

I cannot understand the mum's reaction, all I can say is did she not see or something? But definately YANBU!

Pleasenomorepeppa Sat 05-Jan-13 22:46:45

I was at a Soft Play today for one of DDs friends 3rd Birthday Party.
DD (3.7) was playing with her other friend (3.11) when I noticed her friend being repeatedly kicked in the face by a child of a similar age/size as she was climbing up a ladder.
By the time my friend & I got to her she was cowering in a corner still being kicked while shouting "no thankyou" & my DD shouting "stop kicking x"
Luckily my friend, a play worker, stepped in & helped her daughter whilst telling the other child how unacceptable her behaviour was.

crookedcrock Sat 05-Jan-13 22:48:23

Badly done by the other mother, I would have told the other child off if the mother didn't.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 22:50:49

Be as proud as you want to be uptheamp. Don't really see why you had to big yourself up as an advocate of child care schemes etc, but with that whole "adults shouldn't interfere" theory of yours, I wouldn't feel my child was in safe hands if he attended one of your functions, particularly being a shy and less boisterous kid.

OwlCatMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 22:51:34

I'd have told the other child off, no question.

(I would pause for a few seconds to give the parent a time to reprimand/remove the child first!!)

Your child needs to see you standing up for them. I don't think walking away was right actually, I would definitely have said something.

shallweshop Sat 05-Jan-13 22:53:00

You were right to leave it and good on you for doing so.

Uptheamp, there's a difference between tiptoeing around and deliberate aggression! I don't particularly like softplay sites but when weather is shit and outdoors play is not a viable option they can be a great alternative even if you happen to have a 2 year old and a 4 year old!

DaisyBuchannan Sat 05-Jan-13 22:56:22

Ohhhhh so my DS is rough. Because his father hit me. Great. Keep piling on the guilt and reminding me how it is all my fault. Even though I left I STILL bear the judgement brunt. Too late for him now. He is now a product of his background at 3.5 and doomed to be rough for life. hmm Yes I make him apologise. If he doesn't we leave. If he does it again, time out, if he tries again, shoes on home time.

Ffs. I am going to home school and to let him out until he's twenty. That way I will never log on to MN to see a thread about what a shit ineffectual parent I am from people who have charmed existences by comparison. She was probably very embarrassed. Maybe she had dealt with this situation 25 million times already that week and was plain exhausted. Maybe everyone else is a perfectly consistent excellent parent who strictly enforces boundaries 100% of the time and the rest of us who, gasp, have the occasional off day are terrible parents who would really appreciate a critique on their 'mothering skills'.

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 22:56:50

YANBU at all, totally unacceptable. Sn aside, the parent should have apologised to you

shallweshop Sat 05-Jan-13 22:57:33

Uptheamp - are you a mum?

OwlCatMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 23:01:13

i can't believe some of the responses on this thread actually. I have a 5yo and if he behaved like this to a small child at soft play he would definitely be told off, and if for some reason I hadn't seen it happen I'd expect the other parent to tell him off and to tell me (if they can).

This 'they're 4yo and it's expected' is utter rot. a toddler should be able to go to soft play. A few bumps are to be expected, it's how it works - but a deliberate shove? Pfft.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:16

Just to sound a positive note...

When you get fairly pleasant older children at soft play, it can be great for littler ones to be around them, especially if they have no older siblings at home. Older kids are bigger, louder, more active and potentially a bit overwhelming - but with appropriate supervision and intervention if needed ("whoah - he's too small to jump off that, hang on!") it can be socialising and confidence building for the younger ones. And, y'know, fun.

It does depend on the older children not doing stuff like deliberately kicking your smaller child repeatedly in the head, for example. Which generally requires parents/carers to be responsible. Which is blindingly obvious but apparently still needs to be said.

Posterofapombear Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:25

Daisy are you ok love? No one was saying your a shit mum if your DC's go through a hitty stage, that's just kids. It's the lack of any real attempt at anything by the mum that's annoying.

You don't sound like that's what you do. You sound like you do your best and that is more than enough.

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:58

So Uptheamp what age uld it not be acceptable for a child to be pushed by anther child. I do hope you correct bad behaviour and advocate good paying at your play schemes!

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 23:05:32

Meant good playing. At no age is t acceptable for a chid to push another child and te adult in charge should correct the child's behaviour

OwlCatMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 23:06:59

I do remember a particularly charming child at soft play (he knew DS from nursery) who, when DS said he wanted to play with his friend, not him, proceeded to thump him and his friend over the head with a spacehopper!

His Mum wasn't there to see it, so my mate told this child off. Best Mum Voice I've ever heard. Child did bugger off, thankfully.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 23:12:36

Daisy nobody's implying you're not a good mum in any way. The kids I've seen who behave in certain ways due to DV and other issues are not 'bad kids' rather from the things they have experienced and picked up on, they're more prone to aggressive behaviour. That's just a fact, but consistency is key. Even if the mum was having an off day as you say, it's never an excuse not to correct the kids behaviour. It only takes a few times of them being let off to think they can do it again and I speak from really shitty personal experience.

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