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about what people think about my little boy?

(96 Posts)
LeBFG Tue 17-Dec-13 12:55:07

I winced inwardly recently on a couple of occasions where my 3yo boy has been doing stuff, totally harmless, and mums over reacting. I can't decide if I'm being overly precious.

The incidents are nothing especially interesting: DS was checking on a baby in a pram and mum barged up (baby was asleep) and pulled DS hard enough for DS to fall over. She just automatically assumed DS was going to wake the baby or do something nasty. I can't help feeling he would have been treated very differently if he was a girl. The other occasion was rolling around on the mat in playgroup - one mum smartly told him to watch it. There are two other girls of the same age doing the same thing and everyone was laughing good naturedly at them.

I know my DS is a gentle creature but I think a lot of people (women says DH) are seeing his sex and assuming gender stereotypes that just don't apply. This makes me feel sad and I wonder what the future holds for him.

Am I being a totally over-protective wobbly mummy?

FluffyJumper Tue 17-Dec-13 12:57:53

A bit, yes.

Lullabyte Tue 17-Dec-13 13:02:29

I've already wondered some of the same things and my DS is only just over 10 months old. (Although he is an early walker and loves to give big, sloppy open-mouth kisses!)

It's worrying indeed. I come from a family of girls and only have nieces, so this is all quite new to me. I'm interested to hear what other posters will say. I hate the thought of this type of behavioural discrimination.

gamerchick Tue 17-Dec-13 13:03:10

A little bit but I wouldn't have been very happy at somebody pulled on my kid that hard for something non dangerous.

Lullabyte Tue 17-Dec-13 13:04:37

(Unfortunately, I think you might get lots of "YABU, PFB" comments!)

LingDiLong Tue 17-Dec-13 13:08:04

I think the mum in the first example was completely out of order. She pulled your boy so hard he fell over?! What a ridiculously violent over reaction when a simple 'sh! Baby's sleeping!' would have done. Did you say anything to her?

Lilicat1013 Tue 17-Dec-13 13:08:33

I can't comment on the playgroup one as I think you would have had to be there to see what happened. Sometimes when children are rolling around their feet can get close to accidentally kicking someone.

I have a baby (and a three year old both boys) and if the baby had been sleep I would prefer your son didn't touch him because I would be desperately wanting him to stay asleep. I wouldn't have pulled him away but I might have told him the baby was sleeping in the hopes his Mum would move away.

If he hadn't been asleep I wouldn't have mind it but I would have gone over to supervise as little children can be rough without intending to be. A small child hurt my eldest when he was a baby, he was crying and as I was prepping his bottle a child tried to drag him from his pram by his leg (to take him out because he was crying). It wasn't the child's fault she didn't know better but her mother didn't say a word even as my baby screamed in pain. I could have punched her.

So sometimes there is a reason people are paranoid about older kids near their babies.

pinkdelight Tue 17-Dec-13 13:10:18

I wouldn't read too much into it. Mum 1 just didn't want her baby waking, no reason to bring gender into it. It's you who's saying it'd be different it were girls etc. Mum 2 is such a tiny incident - whether your son was being more boisterous is a matter of opinion, whether she noticed the girls and was joining in the good natured laughter at them. Gosh it's so minor, I don't know why I'm banging on about it. Anyway, don't worry about what the future holds for him on that score. Enjoy the present.

IsawJimmykissingSantaClaus Tue 17-Dec-13 13:11:59

I don't think you are. I have come across some 1st time mums who act as if their child is the only child in the world and no one else matters.

We (me and DD1 aged 3) have been barged past, tutted at, glared at etc in places like Mothercare, IKEA, cafes (usual parent hang outs!) I want to scream 'they all grow up you know!' at them. And like you, I know DD isn't doing anything wrong but you do start to question yourself.

I don't know about the gender aspect but at our swimming sessions we are (well, I feel this to be true) unpopular with the parents of quiet, neat girls and boys. Again, my DD isn't being boisterous or rude but because she isn't sat absolutely still and not speaking we are committing some sort of heinous crime.

I know some people will read this and think 'oho, sounds like a brat to me' but that's not true at all. I come home from swimming completely deflated after the looks and comments and over analyse the afternoon. If I could pinpoint a crime I would be relieved as I could sort it out.

I think if you allow a pre schooler off your hand and to speak above a whisper, you will always encounter dismay from certain other parents.

perlona Tue 17-Dec-13 13:15:31

How was the mother supposed to know what your son would or wouldn't do? What if he had tipped the pram over? She doesn't know whether or not he's going through a pinching/ biting/ hitting phase. Why should she risk her babies safety so as not to offend you? Supervise your child and other people won't have to worry about any potential harm he may accidently cause.

LingDiLong Tue 17-Dec-13 13:18:14

But there was no need to pull him over!! He's 3! Put yourself between the child and pram, gently pull his hands away if necessary but why on earth be so rough? The irony of justifying a grown adult hurting a 3 year old because they don't want their own child to get hurt!

Mutley77 Tue 17-Dec-13 13:22:37

I am really grumpy when any kids are looking in at my baby Dd in pram or even worse touching her (!) . She is number 3 so not pfb but I hate the thought of kids disturbing her or breathing germs and I wouldn't let my older kids lean into prams or touch babies for the same reasons.

I wouldn't pull a child away or even touch them. However it does really irritate me and I usually passive aggressively make a comment or give a look.

I think you need to consider the impact on the other child/parent and not just whether your child is purposefully doing something bad, which it doesn't sound like he was...

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 17-Dec-13 13:24:09

OP... Is your DS 'big for his age' or perhaps a little bit enthusiastic or clumsy? I don't mean any offence by that; I grew up the oldest of four children, one girl - three boys - and they were exhuberent to say the least.

I probably wouldn't take steps to get in between a child peeping into a pram but I would keep a weather eye, I suppose.

My mum was always reprimanding my youngest brother to be more 'dainty' shock and he responded by doing these affected ballerina-style steps to make a point, instead of his usual thundering about. It used to make me laugh... (((my brothers))) grin

Sparklingbrook Tue 17-Dec-13 13:25:51

I do think (as a mother of two boys) that people always imagine boys are going to do something naughty. sad

scaevola Tue 17-Dec-13 13:27:54

Yes, gender stereotypes are wrong.

But do allow for the possibility that the parents who don't appear to mind what the other DC are doing may be doing so because they know those children, whereas your DC is unknown to them.

DorothyParker1 Tue 17-Dec-13 13:28:35

DS was checking on a baby in a pram

Why was he allowed to do this? Not unreasonable to expect you to keep your child from "checking" on an unrelated baby. She didn't know what he might do.

Sparklingbrook Tue 17-Dec-13 13:29:55

He was probably just having a look at the baby. sad

TheCrumpetQueen Tue 17-Dec-13 13:31:57


LingDiLong Tue 17-Dec-13 13:34:07

Oh I don't know Sparkling, he was probably breathing all those nasty pre-school little boy germs on the poor defenceless baby too.

DeepThought Tue 17-Dec-13 13:35:20


people do have different expectations of gender. The rolling on the mat frowns to your boy and indulgent smiles to the girls are not uncommon ime

I have boys btw and a gentler crew you could not imagine. It's horrible to be on the receiving end

Agree though that no child to approach a sleeping baby without invitation.

Sparklingbrook Tue 17-Dec-13 13:35:36

Ooh yes- small boy germs. Much worse than normal germs. sad

LucilleBluth Tue 17-Dec-13 13:35:51

Yabu, boys can be more well, boisterous but so can my DD. My boys love a bit of rough and tumble.

I have noticed people be rude to DS1 who is 12, just for being, when in shops etc.

SolomanDaisy Tue 17-Dec-13 13:36:00

Yep, I get this with my DS who I have never seen intentionally hurt a child. Part of it is he is tall for his age and pretty loud and enthusiastic, so I can see that might concern people. But I also think people would judge a talkative girl enthusiastically playing with the toy kitchen differently.

DeWe Tue 17-Dec-13 13:36:19

I would say if anything I noticed it the other way round. I have 2 girls followed by a boy, and I've called ds over to stop him doing things and had "oh he's just being a boy" or "boys have so much energy he's fine" and never had comments stopping either girl doing similar things.
And ds rolling round on a mat would be much more likely to do some accidental damage than either dd, so it's not that he's less tigger-like.

I would stop any of mine peeping into prams with sleeping babies. Even assuming they don't touch, a toddler cry of "mummy, baby sleep" straight into their faces can easily wake them.

Sparklingbrook Tue 17-Dec-13 13:37:22

For boys it seems 'loud and enthusiastic' = naughty unfortunately.

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