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To expect a mother to teach her child to stop being a little shit

(279 Posts)
Loopyhasanotherbean Fri 19-Apr-13 21:07:46

We go to a toddler group and there is one child who attends who persistently gives an evil stare to other children before running at them and pushing them over. This has resulted in tears from the other children almost every week for months on end. He is 2 and is doing this on purpose and the others are too nice and kind to retaliate, not that we would want them to really. He also snatches whatever toy he wants from any other child or baby, using whatever force necessary to get his own way. None of the other children do anything to provoke this, they are all gentle well behaved toddlers and getting very upset and not knowing what they have done wrong to mean they get hurt.

She never apologises on his behalf and he won't say sorry (he isn't at all sorry). Are we all being unreasonable to expect her to start disciplining him, taking responsibility for his behaviour and teaching him how to behave towards the other children?? We don't know what to do, but I am not sure I can bite my tongue much longer. She is as far as I know a nice woman, but she does not tell him off and he doesn't go to nursery do there is no one else to discipline him....

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 13:08:53

I'm wondering what sort of weird sub set of the population you dwell in though

It was circumstances rather than choice.

I'm not sure if I was in the right place at the wrong time.

Or the wrong place at the right time.

My general population is normal(ish) grin, but I was in a sub set in terms of educational choice and due to certain personalities taking charge the rapid growth of the ed.choice became dominated by a definite leaning in terms of parenting philosophy. To the point where I made my excuses and ran for my sanity left. Because I was a tiny minority within a tiny minority due to the educational choice becoming a sub set of the the parental choice rather than the original other way around.

It's all good. I created my own parenting lable in self defence. I am a WAPEer (warm authorstative principled eclectic)

Anybody want to join my cult group ?

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 13:15:13

at the repeated use of 'sheeple'

The Outraged with google alerts primed to call a massed charge cannot descend in great numbers and get histrionic if I merely repeat the same linguistic choices they use in the same contexts.


Or MNHQ will kick me up the arse repeatedly once they've done cleaning up the boards from all the bun crumbs post invasion.

PacificDogwood Mon 22-Apr-13 13:15:59

Will you be our Leader, Carpe <<worships>>

I think I am a WAOI (warm authoritative occasionally impatient) - doesn't have the same ring to it, I'll go with your cult.

How on earth did people every parent children (and how much time did they spend on agonising over their parenting choices and what philosophy to follow) when they also worked 6 days a week, had to cook each meal from scratch from their homegrown vegetables, wash their clothes by hand etc etc?
I all seriousness, I often wonder how my greatgrandmother coped. 12 children (from 18 pregnancies!), widowed by the time she was 28. None of the surviving children grew up to be sociopaths as far as I am aware.
I am no way saying thing were better in the 'Good' Old Days, but I think some people nowadays overthink things a bit.

PacificDogwood Mon 22-Apr-13 13:18:06

Oh come on: would the Outraged really be bovvered??
Is there a Mission to Convert the Non-belivers??

Too. Much. Time. On. Their. Hands.

<<wanders off tutting to do some coercive parenting. Like taking them to the park>>

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 13:33:39

would the Outraged really be bovvered??

The Outraged like being bovvered to the extent that it is debateable how much time or energy they actually have available to do any non coersive parenting at all. Hence the google alert set to high and networks set up to send out the "To Arms, To arm!" battle cry ASAP.

And no I will not be the leader, we will be a --rabble- collective.

I've seen what Guruhood can do to previosuly perfectly nice (if slightly odd) women and I think DH has enough trouble with all my coersive dictatorship in the home without me extending it To a WAPEer World Domination Endevour. grin

I'll be the wine monitor instead I think.

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 13:35:29


ffs, iPad, pull ypurself together !

<iPad cradles damaged psyche due to coersive dictatorship insensivitivty>

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 14:13:50

I often wonder how my greatgrandmother coped. 12 children (from 18 pregnancies!), widowed by the time she was 28. None of the surviving children grew up to be sociopaths as far as I am aware.

Becuase she didn't parent, she brought them up?

A small but, potentially important differnce. Lingistic invitation for mission creep perhaps.

ToysRLuv Mon 22-Apr-13 14:23:23

bet the parents on 16 and counting would argue otherwise, but I suppose they have washing machines, hot water from the tap, dish washers, tesco home deliveries etc. Oh dear..


ToysRLuv Mon 22-Apr-13 14:29:51

Personally I think all parenting philosophies/camps are for sheeples- sorry Carpe! I prefer to just make it up as I go along, a lot of the time. I'm really THAT good. grin

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 14:36:50

Personally I think all parenting philosophies/camps are for sheeples- sorry Carpe!

I am being oppressed by your corersive value judgements ?!!?!

<develops persecution complex^

LittleYellowBall Mon 22-Apr-13 14:38:57

Aaaah. Home schooling?

Igo2work4Arest Mon 22-Apr-13 14:52:51

I think you can expect that type of behaviour at mums and toddler groups it is how the parents handle that is improtant. I have three children and have always gone to toddler groups and there is always one or two parents who seem oblivious at the behaviour of their children. Very often 2 year olds will snatch things and push or smack and hit other children...... it is the mother who should then correct her child when this happens, if any of my children have snatched or pushed or hurt, I have stopped chatting and explained that they would have to wait their turn if they snatched a toy and if they push or shove another child, again explain that that is not nice behaviour and not what you want them to do.

It is the parents of these children that piss me off and OMG watch out if you get two siblings close in age who are like that it is sheer carnage especially if you have a parent who does nothing..... I have seen it and numbers of the toddler group drop massively.

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 15:16:02

Aaaah. H* sXXXXXXXX ?

Holy keyword on the google alert batman! grin

I liked HS well enough, way better than our local schools anyway, but didn't realise I was signing up for a lot more alt than I'd bargined for until I was in up to my neck.

I take comfort in the fact that me and my ilk are heralded as The Next Big Thing in HSing. I will at some point be in the majority!!

Probably fifteen mintues after he has left for uni knowing my luck.

LittleYellowBall Mon 22-Apr-13 17:12:20

Oh my god - do they follow you around the internet?!

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 17:49:24

Usually the worst case scenario if a less than flattering chat is going on, is that there is a mass flying squad to the defense of the methodology, wherever such defence is needed. Many bun crumbs to sweep up.

And every so often few unsuspecting bloggers get flattened when their (key word infested) blog post doesn't get its typcial two responses but instead a 7 million post onslaught from the persecuted, with so many sock puppets that no child would have to go barefoot ever again.

But recently it hasn't been quite so much a case of "what happens on the internet, stays on the internet".

And mumsnet threads recently got dragged in as "evidence" so ... I have kept keywords to the bare min.

But the convo is mostly at the end of a thread that is now too bulky to skim stright to the juicy stuff. So I think it's safe.

If not.... brace, brace, brace. grin

BegoniaBampot Mon 22-Apr-13 17:59:28

OP - YANBU ( apart from 'little shit'). my child was quiet violent to other children from 1 yrs old. I tried best I could to deal with it. He was timed out with a warning and then taken home. it was bloody horrible but it's the mum's job to make sure he can't harm other children when she knows he has this problem. The other parents and my friends were very good about it because they could at least see i was trying to deal with it. he is older now and grew out of it and is a sweet natured, easy going polite child. i feel for the other mum but 2yrs isn't too young to deal with it.

MogTheForgetfulCat Mon 22-Apr-13 19:51:03

Why are you being so snide? Most parents do their best to teach their children how to be kind and good - not just superior, smug parents. Some children just take a LOT longer to get the message and it has to be spelt out to them much more loudly (not literally) and clearly than with others.

If your child is 2 and is as compliant, kind and gentle as you say, then he clearly got the message more quickly and more easily than others do. My DS2 was the same, a delight and always kind and gentle. DS1, unfortunately, was a fiend - a shoving, snatching, fiend. I went to playgroups and wanted to disappear as he rampaged around - it was mortifying. I was very on top of it, and repeated the simple messages calmly and consistently. I used to go home and sob my heart out because of feeling judged by people like you, all sitting there tutting and thinking he was a little shit (nice). It just took him aaaaages to get it - just one of those things. Not to do with my bad parenting, or his lack of intelligence (but I am not going to boast about that smile). He is now delightful, kind and thoughtful, so wasn't a budding sociopath.

BE proud of your son - of course you should be, he sounds lovely. But don't for goodness sake write a child off at the age of 2, particularly when you've done nothing to help. It is his mum's responsibility, but a bit of support is always appreciated, no?

LittleYellowBall Mon 22-Apr-13 20:31:02

It does sound like they would confirm most of the stereotypes of the HS brigade!

mylittlepuds Mon 22-Apr-13 20:53:37

He is TWO!! Show some compassion and understanding for the mum.

mylittlepuds Mon 22-Apr-13 20:56:54

Oh my God this has made me fume with anger re reading. Don't be shocked if your 'well behaved' toddler suddenly decides not to be.

mrslaughan Mon 22-Apr-13 21:09:15

What's the point of making a 2 year old apologize ? They are not going to mean it.... And actually the point is not the apology, but that the behaviour is unacceptable. That needs to be the focus of the adults response....otherwise you edn up with a battle over "you will apologize " not this is un-acceptable behaviour.
What I find hard about these thread is the demonizing of one child - they are bad and the rest are angels....
They are 2 - the reason we do play groups and school is so they learn these things, excluding, labeling a child as bad, is not going to help.
You also need to realize that children need to learn these things, it is trial and error at 2 - and for many years after.

BegoniaBampot Mon 22-Apr-13 21:14:50

depends - if a child is being violent then the parent needs to do something to help her child learn acceptable behaviour and to protect the other children. If the parent does nothing failing to protect the other children then they need to be told and of course other parents will probably judge.

PacificDogwood Mon 22-Apr-13 21:17:22

Oh, now I really, really want to know some 'key words' - you could PM me, Carpe?? <<weedles>>

I do think the keyissue re aggressive toddlers is how the mother/carer handles it wrt how tolerant any given group will be.
I have been to 'my' toddler group for 10 years on and off ('tis a foreign language one, my kids are bilingual) and I know that most of the mothers there know me well and know I intervene etc etc.
A 2 year old that has been trained to say 'sorry' may well say the phrase to get their mother off their back, but will have no concept what it means.
And I have to say, to have a hitter/biter/pusher-over is draining and v hard work. As a word of warning to the OP, my DS2, now 9, who was the most placid baby and unflappable toddler now has issues with anger and controlling his temper. Quite scary when they are so big...

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 22-Apr-13 21:31:33

The point of a toddler's apologising is so that the other children see him apologise. They learn the transaction before they understand the meaning - like please or thank you. At first it is just a noise; later they can mean it.

Small children care very much about justice and parity. They want hurts acknowledged.

CarpeVinum Tue 23-Apr-13 15:42:05


I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would follow such an utterly selfish self centred philosophy.

I just saw something fairly new posted, and when I read it I thought it might possibly answer your question. IF your friend is involved off line or on line in communities designed to helping her way with TCS there can be a peer pressure thing that builds up. It can be quite unpleasantwhen you observe the tactics used. The more islolated a person's parenting causes them to be in RL, the more they tend to get involved with the TCS/RU specific communities, and so the peer pressure can move up a few hundred notches, making it harder to re-evaluate the actual real live child she has, who might not be a carbon copy of the unreal "TCS Child" promised by the theory. (Bearing in mind as well that unlike RU, TCS communities often do not permit a practisioner to discuss their actual child, they are required to talk about ideals and practices in theory, not with direct examples.)

Anyway, here is a part of the extract from the mum struggling with how her child is behaving after she gave up coersion and setting limits. It's RU, but despite all spluttering to the contrary, they have a lot more in common than they don't with TCS.

When I try and google search to try and find other people who are, or have been, in a similar situation to me, all i seem to come across is either people talking about how wonderful R U has been for them (and it does work wonderfully for some people), or people who dont really understand R U talking about how it is child neglect and unparenting etc. There is loads more i can say about my upset and frustrations with our R U experiment and the type of advice and responses i have got to my questions from people in the movement but this is long enough. Can anyone relate to what i am saying?

And if so how did you transition back to taking a bit more control over your life and the lives of your children? I dont want to be a control freak but at the same time i cant carry on the way things are.

I want to start cutting back the tv again and somehow encouraging more healthy eating habits. I feel a bit lost and daunted when i think about how to do this and feel guilt and sorrow as i feel if i had stuck to my limits on the tv he may well have been starting to read himself by now.

I also feel very alone as I realise this post and my feelings are very offensive to people immersed in R U – there is a whole culture of – if its not working for you its because you’re doing it wrong – and that makes me very reluctant to post about this anywhere – i’m hoping this can be a bit of a safer place to post than others.

That is hard to read. It reeks of very genuine isolation and fearfulness even within the communities allegedly there to support. Unfortunatly (IME) parents getting to that point is a lot more common than people realise thanks to mod deletions and scare tactics via dog piling.

But to some extent it does answer your question. Why? Sometimes cos they started it thinking it was a good idea, and when they found perhaps it wasn't quite what they'd hoped for they had isolated themselves from original freinds, and their new friends would spit in their eye and denounce them if they posted the truth rather than saying the kid a joy, was doing great and life was so much better now they were a free thinking non coersive parent.

Since she is is a freind and I may have just deeply depressed you with that excerpt, It might cheer you up to see what might be a fairly recent thrust, an organised leaping in to defend a parent's need to say so if thry find the philosophy less than desirable in practice, without being labelled "you are doing it wrong, you big fat failure". You can see the rest of the mums post and the defence of how she is feeling here.

Possibly the "no coersion, cos it's bad" styles are in a new phase, where they are big enough and established enough to no longer be able to claim the place of the underdog. So new under dogs emerge and the gurus have been dicatorial and economically sucessful from the philosophy enough that they are now being seen as fair game for an arse biting from the new "anti silencing parents at the sharp end" trailblazers within the movement.

If your friend does find herslef questioning her choice in the future, I think there is a better chance than there used to be that she won't feel forced to hide that and keep going regardless despite misgivings.

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