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Was I Unreasonable to this child?

(365 Posts)
iamsoannoyed Sat 01-Mar-14 23:24:54

I was at a party with DD (aged 5)- she was a guest, not her party. It was at a place which has a soft play area beside the cafe (party rooms upstairs). The children had just played ten-pin bowling, and were coming through to play in the soft play area.

I was sitting with some of the other mums having coffee when one of DDs friends, whose mum I am reasonably friendly with and has been to our house/DD has been to hers, came over. She poked me in the stomach and said "haha, your kid came last". Those were her exact words.

I was a shock. I said to her "please don't talk to me like that, it's very rude. And you can't be the best at everything, so it's not very kind to tease people for being last.". I did not shout or raise my voice and did not get out of my chair.

She went red, ran off and I thought no more of it.

Her granny had brought her to the party. I don't think granny had noticed this exchange, but one of the other mums did and we both just raised an eyebrow. This little girl has been known to throw strops with the other children if she doesn't get her way and is also known as a bit of a madam at times, but is basically a normal little girl.

I got a phone call tonight from the girls mum to say she was very cross that I had "disciplined" her daughter. She thought I should have waited until I got home and then called her to raise my concerns.

I explained what had happened, and stated while I thought it was rude and fairly unpleasant behaviour on her DDs part and she needed a reminder that you shouldn't speak to adults like that, I didn't think it warranted a phone call home after the party (and hours after the "incident") as that was just making a mountain out of a molehill. Had the girl's mother been there, I would have mentioned what had happened.

I imagine her DD would probably have forgotten all about the incident by the end of the party, and would have been a bit confused as to what the fuss was about.

Was I unreasonable? I really genuinely don't think I was.

I would expect any other adult to have acted similarly if my DD had spoken to them like this (and would have been fairly mortified that she had done so).

TBH, I think I should just avoid play dates with DD and this girl, as I will not have a child in my house who I cannot even ask to behave in an acceptable manner in my own home in case her parents are upset by this.

WorraLiberty Sat 01-Mar-14 23:28:13


Yet another parent who doesn't know what the word 'discipline' means.

I would have said the same sort of thing as you, only a bit shorter.

phonebox Sat 01-Mar-14 23:29:00

YANBU, of course the other girl was being rude and she needed telling so at the time in a calm manner, just as you did, since by the time you'd have told her mother, the moment would have passed and the girl likely would have forgotten all about her comment and so the "discipline" would not have been effective.

Personally I would have said less to the girl as I am more reserved with other children, I'd have pulled a sad face and something like "no, we don't say things like that about each other, it's rude" then hoped she would run to her mother and asked why it was rude, but I think you acted very reasonably.

Abbierhodes Sat 01-Mar-14 23:29:21

Good lord, if that was my child my phone call to you would have been to apologise!


badgerknowsbest Sat 01-Mar-14 23:30:03

Yanbu and I definitely don't think what you said warranted a phone call from the mother. I must admit I get pleasure in annoying little twerps hearing some truths but maybe that's just me...?

I would be mortified if my dd spoke to an adult like that.

Custardo Sat 01-Mar-14 23:30:25

no. you acted appropriately.

I experienced a similar thing, talking to a girls grandparents - mid conversation - said child aged about 10 just started repeating my name as she wanted my attention, i simply said, " please don't interrupt when i am talking to your gran, when i have finished, i will talk with you"

the gran was shock and hmm as the GC was the only GC and treated as a precious angel on high

i on the other hand had days on end of trying to hear three children vying for my attention

brokenhearted55a Sat 01-Mar-14 23:32:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouTheCat Sat 01-Mar-14 23:33:42

Oh the poor little precious angel hmm

The mother is clearly an idiot. Who the hell calls someone over that?

Plus you were dead right to pull the little madam up on how she spoke to you and the gloating.

DarlingGrace Sat 01-Mar-14 23:34:41

She poked me in the stomach and said "haha, your kid came last".

And people wonder why the right to clip a brat round the lug was done away with.

TheFabulousIdiot Sat 01-Mar-14 23:36:07

Yanbu but it does sound a bit like you just dn't like this little girl very much anyway.

DarlingGrace Sat 01-Mar-14 23:37:02

* think I should just avoid play dates with DD and this girl, as I will not have a child in my house who I cannot even ask to behave in an acceptable manner in my own home in case her parents are upset by this*

Avoid? you have no need to extend home-for-tea invitations.

phonebox Sat 01-Mar-14 23:37:32

I imagine the little girl would have told her DM that night that you had shouted at her (she clearly felt guilty so it made an impact - good!) and been really mean.

Her DM might have had a shitty day and phoned you to let off steam.

That's the only explanation I can think of for such an overreaction, and it's still U of her.

Hogwash Sat 01-Mar-14 23:39:19


WorraLiberty Sat 01-Mar-14 23:42:43

That's the only explanation I can think of for such an overreaction, and it's still U of her

See I can think of a much more common explanation and that is that we as parents, do find it a bitter pill to swallow sometimes when we hear that another adult has had to have words with our kids.

But part of being a parent is accepting that this will happen occasionally if our kids step out of line with other adults.

So as a PP said, the only phone call I would be making would be to apologise...even though I would be a bit red faced.

scottishmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 23:42:44

In fairness,the account the mum received may have been markedly different

Devora Sat 01-Mar-14 23:43:07

YANBU, obviously. I really can't get my head round parents who don't want other adults responding to their children's bad behaviour. I always think it's MUCH more effective if my kids know that it's not just their mum yakking on, that adults act in solidarity to maintain certain standards of behaviour.

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Sat 01-Mar-14 23:43:51


scottishmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 23:44:17

Let's be clear any clipping in lugs and I'd be calling police reporting it
That daft auld in my day anecdote is rubbish

WorraLiberty Sat 01-Mar-14 23:48:17

In fairness,the account the mum received may have been markedly different

Yes that's true

But all the more reason to phone and ask what happened, especially as the child is only 5.

phonebox Sat 01-Mar-14 23:52:48

But the mother immediately jumped to conclusions and blamed OP, rather than taking a neutral stance, which would be the 'adult' thing to do.

She's not U for phoning in the first place but she is BU for taking the attitude she did.

BratinghamPalace Sat 01-Mar-14 23:58:54

I think yabu. You suggested to a little 5 year old that she should be kind in a very unkind way. There are many ways to get your point across without shaming a little child. You said she went red so you did, at the very least, embarrass her. Not all little children are the same and it takes some longer than others to understand this world of ours.

Goldmandra Sat 01-Mar-14 23:59:22

YANBU if you used a fairly calm, neutral tone. The child approached you. It's not as if you were intervening in something that didn't involve you.

However, she wasn't teasing your DD about being last. She was gloating to you which is different. Children can be very literal at this age and she may not have been explicitly told that gloating to someone's parent isn't acceptable which might explain why she was so upset. She probably wasn't expecting a negative reaction from you so she will have come down to earth with a big bump.

Her mother would have been better using her energies to explain these social niceties to her DD rather than phoning to tear a strip off you.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 02-Mar-14 00:14:07

My goodness YANbU it's because of her mother that her dd behaves the way she does. Mum should have apologised.

YouTheCat Sun 02-Mar-14 00:17:04

There is nothing wrong in embarrassing a child. It won't harm them or anything as a one off.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 02-Mar-14 00:17:29

Beratingham the op did nothing wrong, tge child was rude for poking op in tge stomach and not saying a nice thing. Op told her it was not nice in a measured way. My goodness so your not allowed to correct a child, no winder there are precious little madams and masters about. We used to get far worse as kids and we survived. I expect she won't do that again!

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