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shouting "that's really bad parenting" out of a car window is not reasonable behavior

(117 Posts)
reallybadparenting Thu 11-Jul-13 21:56:07

this was not my finest hour:

3yo DS was having a melt down. Ten minutes away from home he refused to scoot, be carried, or walk in a homeward direction. He let me pull him for a bit on the scooter, but ended up just wanting to push it down on the pavement and stare at it. The midday sun was baring down on us both. I tried to put some sunblock on him, he hates that so more screams. Eventually I found that if I carried the scooter he would follow me crying shouting for the scooter. Shameful, but at least we were getting towards home. We reached a road crossing with traffic lights. I asked DS to press the green button. He refused, so I did, queue another meltdown from DS. When the lights changed I tried to get him to follow me across. He refused. We waited for another green light, still no movement. When the third green light came I walked across to the centre and he looked like he might follow. The lights changed and he was at one side of the lane of traffic and I was at the other and I gave up and went back over to him. The traffic had been held up a bit and someone sounded a horn a few cars back. The cars started moving and some woman shouted out of a window "that's really bad parenting". I felt like shock shock angry blush

Yes, OK, I should not have let DS more than an arm's reach from me beside a busy road. I'm quite confident about his road sense, but I should not assume drivers are sane. Bad mothering! I also should have taken the pram.

So I'm not proud.
I would have been no more proud if I'd shouted that out of the window though.
AIBU to think if she'd wanted to be helpful to me or DS she could have shouted something else, like "careful" ?

Idocrazythings Fri 12-Jul-13 08:55:19

not so chic not every child will wear reins. Mine lie on the ground kick and scream like a stranded beetle and I have two choices- drag them, or don't use the reins. Short of dislocating a limb it does not work. All children are different.

cory Fri 12-Jul-13 08:59:11

NapaCab Fri 12-Jul-13 04:03:26
"She was definitely BU for saying the dreaded words 'that's really bad parenting' but I can imagine in a similar situation I would have been sitting in my car, nearly wetting myself in terror at the sight of a 3 year old on the opposite side of the road to his mother. So maybe she just got a fright and felt like she had to let off steam."


If, God forbid, a tantrumming 3yo ever ran out in front of our car, I would find it very difficult to forgive the parent who left them unattended and crossed to another lane of traffic just to make a point.

Yes, you can enforce handholding (easiest if you hold them by the wrist). Yes, you can pick them up and carry them.
Yes, you can make them wear reins.
But no, you can not trust their road sense ust because they've never run into the traffic before. Especially not when they are in a tantrum.

Burmillababe Fri 12-Jul-13 09:02:32

I think the heat is making people more arsey, tbh. That said, if you were holding the traffic up and people saw your DC on his own, I understand why they were angry - they were probably worried that your DS was going out into the traffic.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 12-Jul-13 09:03:54

I feel a bit sick reading this. I would have got a terrible fright if I had seen this as I would have assumed that DS wasn't with you and was lost. If i could have stopped safely and DH was in the car to look after the baby, I would have probably put my hazards on and stopped and run out and got him. I would not know, assume or trust that a very small child had good road sense. Particularly when he was het up and could have bolted across the road to his mother.

And them when you went back to get him and the traffic was delayed - I presume it was a green light. I'd be so worried that some twat not paying attention would just shoot off.

She should not have shouted at you but sometimes - when people get a big fright, which she might - then the adrenaline can make people act very aggressively. I also wonder if she was trying to impress on you (badly) as she couldn't stop to talk that what happened had the potential to have horrible consequences

Sorry - I know you were very stressedetc but I cannot in all conscience post that you made a good decision

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 12-Jul-13 09:07:09

And yes - as above - you can enforce hand holding. You grab by the wrist or by the upper arm. I'm a mistress of doing this with my dear nephew - who is nearly 3.

He's pretty good with hand holding though as be knows it is never, ever negotiable. Ever. If he tanantrums, he's in the pram the next time he is taken out. If he goes rubber legged, he's picked up and carried. I

TheMoonOnAStick Fri 12-Jul-13 09:07:54

I do sympathise with how difficult it all is but I'm afraid I'm going with the YABU camp on this.

'I'm quite confident about his road sense' He's 3shock. I find that a worrying thing to assume.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 12-Jul-13 09:10:20

My son had a very very similar melt down when he was 3. He had many. But several are etched on my mind forever, and this is one of them.

It was summer too and we too had a scooter. Except my tantruming toddler reFUSEs to walk mid tantrum. We lived up a huge hill as well, I had to half carry half drag him because he was the size of a 5 year old and I was pregnant. It was horrible, I was getting so hot, hurt (physically) and more and more wound up.

I couldnt walk off/walk away because his road sense was and still is 3 years on, terrible, he would have wondered into the road. Ive dragged him out the road countless times.

Honestly it was horrible, I really, really, really disliked him that day. Carrying him under my arm, hot and pregnant whilst he screamed shouted and kicked and I tried to carry his bastard scooter too.

Fucking horrible morning that was.

juule Fri 12-Jul-13 09:13:25

Idocrazy with reins you can also lift them off their feet and carry like a bag with a handle in short bursts. It gets them moving and generally mine were not that keen and would walk rather than be lifted. Not ideal but it kept them moving and out of danger.

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 09:14:30

My Aspie DS has had several public meltdowns and I used to pick him up and carry him if necessary, yelling and howling. Even when he was 6.
It's embarrassing and you get a lot of judgy looks and comments.
I have also collapsed on the pavement and refused to go any further with the yelling and screaming and been on the verge of tears.
I have also manhandled him when it has been necessary and he wouldn't move, and it must have looked like a clip from The Sweeny on occasion.

But you left your DS on the other side of a busy road, and yes, that is bad parenting. You know what could have happened. Pissing off the drivers wouldn't even register on my radar, but he could have been killed.
Perhaps the yeller was so astounded that they wanted to make you realise it?

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 09:15:52

'Idocrazy with reins you can also lift them off their feet and carry like a bag with a handle in short bursts. It gets them moving and generally mine were not that keen and would walk rather than be lifted. Not ideal but it kept them moving and out of danger.'

Yes, done that many, many times too. grin
Not as dangerous as dragging them by an arm either.

Fenton Fri 12-Jul-13 09:15:56

Poor you, that must have been a shitty thing to hear but honestly, I think if I'd have seen that as a snapshot, i.e. a child on his own on any part of crossing a road, I would have been a bit shocked too, - there's no way that motorist could know whether or not you were in charge of the situation.

It sounds like he has rather too much control over how things go when he's walking with you. Hands held whenever crossing the road IME - no argument.

3 is too young to really have reliable road sense especially during a meltdown.

SallyCinnamonandNutmeg Fri 12-Jul-13 09:19:07

The OP has already admitted this was not her finest hour and she is not proud. Think she is well aware that what she did was "bad parenting" in the heat of the moment - I'm not sure that everyone repeating this fact is really helping.
OP have a brew

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 09:36:38

Don't know Sally, do you think she'll leave him alone and out of grabbing range next to a busy road again?
Because if people pointing out that carrying him, yelling at him, dumping the scooter or giving him a wallop would all have been less life-endangering than leaving him on the other side of a stream of traffic makes her think 'That was stupid, I'll never do that again' then I think there is a point.

cory Fri 12-Jul-13 09:44:21

It is also worth pointing out that other people do have a right to judge you on issues that could potentially affect more lives than one. A child who runs into traffic could easily cause a traffic accident which kills a child travelling in one of the cars in the subsequent traffic pile-up.

When you are out and about your decisions do not only affect you and your offsprings but other people around you. You can't take decisions in isolation.

ThePowerof3 Fri 12-Jul-13 09:54:53

No ones perfect, next time I'd go for a fire and lift but you'll probably find someone who'll object to that too

ThePowerof3 Fri 12-Jul-13 09:55:08

Firemans lift

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 10:32:47

Of course they'll object, but that's not the point. confused
Your child is unlikely to be killed as a consequence of you carrying him in a fireman's lift. Likewise him yelling and wailing will make them tut and hiss like vipers, but won't endanger him.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 12-Jul-13 10:37:39

What a cheeky bitch. You would not have been unreasonable to have covered your Dc's ears and screamed back 'Get fucked, cock chops'.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 12-Jul-13 10:41:26

I feel your pain- I've been there so many times myself. But I'm sorry I'd have judged you a bit too. I would never ever shout at someone in the street about it but I'd have freaked out seeing a tiny child standing by the side of the road on his own mid tantrum. He's 3. He has no road sense whatsoever, especially mid tantrum.

Honestly next time pick him up and carry him at least across the road. Or failing that, firm grip of the wrist or upper arm. Like I said been here plenty of times with my nearly 6 year old (and as DS is still only 2 got loads of these scenarios to come!). Hand holding to cross the road is non negotiable imo.

thebody Fri 12-Jul-13 10:42:47

No 3 year old has road sense and you got off lightly in that he didn't get run over to be honest.

However you are far more patient than me.

I didn't do tantrums and I would have dragged him across the road.

Think the heat makes us all a bit crazy though.

kotinka Fri 12-Jul-13 10:44:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

xkittyx Fri 12-Jul-13 10:45:45

Yes she would have been. The yelling motorist wasn't the one endangering her child's life.

Eyesunderarock Fri 12-Jul-13 10:46:13

Think about it though, OP.
You on the island in the middle, you look at him and he runs to you.
Right in front of a van.
If you do this again, that might be the consequence.
All the judging and criticism about noise, rudeness, fussy eating, clothing, pierced ears and the rest of the petty crap that gets picked over on here and out IRL is nothing compared to that

Feminine Fri 12-Jul-13 10:48:35

I wouldn't have shouted.

To be fair though, the driver probably felt scared.

I am really surprised you felt confident enough to leave your son confused

You need to take control next time.

I'm sounding bossy now too sorry smile you might have caused an accident for others also.

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 10:53:38

As a car driver, if I had seen the mum starting to cross and the child not moving, I would have just waited for the mum to come back to him. I wouldn't have been worried about hurting the child because I was NOT moving (light was red before) and therefore no risk of hurting anyone.

The problem wasn't there. The problem was that a few people got hold up for a bit and got annoyed (effect of the heat). It wasn't a reason to take it on the OP though.

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