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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 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:04:47

Holy Lost Train of Thought Batman!

"and it will be interesting to see if the motivation (currently centred on guru/VIP power struggles I think) turns out to be something similar

CarpeVinum Wed 24-Apr-13 14:02:47

I've read more and more forum posts and they are universally humourless, pontificating and judgemental. Everything that parenting shouldn't be

Well if it helps, (because of this thread my old obsession reignited and I've been neck deep in latest developments for the last couple of days) I've discovered a new (as in organised, under an umbrella, with wording designed to neutralise the typical "loaded statement" rebuttals from The Outraged so a Tsunami of "how very very dare you, go educate yourself you ignorant non free thinking sheeple!" doesn't drown out debate) push to fight back against the concept of coercion being absolutly almost anything a non TCS/RU parent says or does when they interact with their kids.

They are getting away with boldly shining a light on the rife "unparenting" that has allowed things like kids poo in the middle of a conference floor, telling other hotel patrons to "fuck off", smashing up bits of the conference centre and generally making other people groan. The comments are just as informative as to the wind of change as the piece itself

It's possible that a tipping point has been reached and people with leanings towards freer or free range children are pulling back from the more radical interpretations because it goes against their instincts, or they have seen enough evidence that the "my kids are great, learning and terribly well behaved" is a bit of a fib/overstatement when the kids are actually met in person. So far it seems to be centred in the states, but there is a bit of a kerfuffle in the UK at the mo, and it will be interesting to see if the motivation (currently centred on guru/VIP power struggles I think)

Carpe is it a PFB thing? How on earth can one apply that theory to more than one child?

PFB can the entry point, there's been a rise in hardcore attachment parenting which does tend to feed people into these sorts of strategies as babies grow, but I've seen nothing to suggest that people are limiting family size in order to keep doing it. Actually in the states there seems to be this "secular Quiverful-ish, earth mothery, birth junkie-esque" vibe accompanying it and families with 4, 5, 6 or more kids abound. Plus the "can't get behind The Pearls" Gentle Christian homeschoolers are taking it up by the bucketload, and they tend to lean towards more kids rather than fewer too. The big gurus have several kids. This video is one of the more famous ones with her 4 kids, I think they were all RUed from birth. She's just been on Wife Swap as well, and doesn't appear to feel her family is being misrepresented by the media that she keeps on whoring her family's lifestyle out to before somebody starts yelling at me about "evil TV editing something from thin air".

I do kind of feel I don't need to watch my key words so much anymore, kind of think The Outraged have too much on their plate to start with the Flying Monkey squads on mere generic forums at the mo. Not while they are dealing with the seeds of "civil war".

HorryIsUpduffed Wed 24-Apr-13 13:05:57

Carpe is it a PFB thing? How on earth can one apply that theory to more than one child?

Manyofhorror3 Wed 24-Apr-13 12:22:27

God don't some people take everything so SERIOUSLY! I've read more and more forum posts and they are universally humourless, pontificating and judgemental. Everything that parenting shouldn't be, in fact.
I don't think my friend is quite as hardcore, and she doesn't HS but the posts certainly shed light on what I receive to be her more bizarre moments. (Like taking the last two cups of water for the kids at playgroup, so that her DD could choose the cup colour she wanted, and seeing as DD wanted both, another child got none. That sort of thing.)

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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?

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

Aaaah. Home schooling?

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^

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

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..


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.

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 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.

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