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AIBU to have judged?

(42 Posts)
pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 16:48:11

I was in a pub garden on Saturday. It's a family country pub with an outdoor play area for the kids. It was really busy with the nice weather.

I heard a woman shrieking get here Thomas (not real name) repeatedly to her child. He eventually came over and she started shouting at him loudly enough for people to turn around.

Thomas looked at least 9 or 10 but probably more like 11 or 12. Apparently Thomas had got his willy out (her words) in front of everyone. And his mother proceeded to shout in front of everyone how disgusting it was, that people were eating, how dare he get his willy out. And made him sit down for the duration of their visit. Thomas looked pretty embarrassed and started crying but struggled to sit down after being told off and was crawling around under the table.

Please don't flame me as I have no real idea if this is normal behaviour for a child this age, my dc is still small. And perhaps the mother disciplined him well. But I can't help thinking that if that was my son I'd be very worried about that sort of behaviour and taking him straight home for a serious talk about appropriate behaviour and why he did it. Rather than shouting and screaming and letting the whole pub know. Even those who hadn't even seen what had happened.

Like I say please don't flame me, I did judge but I'm willing to accept I might be wrong, but I'm sure that isn't just normal playing up for such an older boy.

thatstoast Mon 10-Mar-14 16:54:44

I guess it depends what he did with it once it was out!

Seriouly, I think there's a massive difference between a nine year old and a twelve year old in terms of how they feel about their bodies so age is key here. It's really difficult to comment further without knowing an exact age.

YouTheCat Mon 10-Mar-14 16:56:35

Child might look 9/10 but actually be 7/8 for a start. The child might have additional needs.

I wouldn't have judged the boy but I would have judged his mother for not keeping a close enough eye and for shouting like a banshee when a quiet chat would have been more appropriate.

steff13 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:56:55

I have two boys, ages 15 and 12, and neither of them have ever exposed themselves in public. I would consider maybe the age of 5 to be the threshold for that sort of behavior, barring some sort of developmental issue. But, I think that's neither here nor there.

The issue is the mother's behavior, and I don't think that was appropriate at all. As you said, she should have taken him home and had a talk with him, and disciplined him as necessary. Also, if she was embarrassed by his behavior, why shout about it and draw everyone's attention to it?

pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 16:58:19

Yes I was judging the mother for shouting about it not the boy, sorry.

picnicbasketcase Mon 10-Mar-14 16:58:48

I would assume the child had some SN but I would judge my arse off at the mother for humiliating him.

eightandthreequarters Mon 10-Mar-14 16:59:41

I'd be less worried about a boy of unknown age having his willy out, and more worried about the effect of public humiliation. Even if he's 12 - perhaps especially if he's 12 - this should be dealt with quietly and calmly. No need to alert the whole pub. Poor kid.

steff13 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:59:43

Seriouly, I think there's a massive difference between a nine year old and a twelve year old in terms of how they feel about their bodies so age is key here. It's really difficult to comment further without knowing an exact age.

We had to have conversations with both of our boys about touching themselves in public, and how that is not appropriate. They both grasped that by age 4 or 5. I think an average 9-year-old can certainly grasp that penises are private.

daisy0chain Mon 10-Mar-14 17:02:29

I always remember my brother whipped his penis out to show the two girls next door just to prove he had one. He also proceeded to pee on my tricycle to prove he could wee standing up hmm

He could be younger than you suspect. My nephew is coming up for 9 but could easily be mistake for 11 or 12. However in any instance it obviously needs addressing, possibly the mother did it in the wrong way, perhaps this is a recurring theme and she just lost the rag.

You judged, YANBU for this. But it will be the same as one time your child does something and you raise your voice in public (which you most likely will at one point) people will have every right to judge you too.

pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 17:03:25

I felt sorry for him as he looked completely humiliated. Even if he was being a little bugger I had one of those moments where I thought it's not wonder your kids acts like that when you act like that.

She was probably embarrassed and wanted to loudly show that she was disciplining him.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 10-Mar-14 17:04:39

I have a child with SN and I would still be mortified and tell him off if he exposed himself in public. Fact is that I wouldn't allow him the opportunity to expose himself as I would keep an eye on him and keep him close by due to his SN.
But let's imagine that this child doesn't have any additional needs or not to the point where he doesn't know right from wrong or understand what acceptable behaviour his (because I would like to think that his mother would keep a closer eye on him if he isn't capable of understanding those things) then it isn't acceptable for him to expose his genitals whether he is 7,8 or any age above. He is old enough to know better and the mother is old enough to know better than embarrassing herself by bawling in public about something that is clearly a product of her parenting.

<Off to stand under by bullet and flame proof judgy pants umbrella.>

RiverTam Mon 10-Mar-14 17:05:52

horrible for the mother to have humiliated him publicly like that - almost sounds like she was 'playing to the crowd'. Raising your voice is one thing, but this sounds more sustained than that.

Birdsgottafly Mon 10-Mar-14 17:06:22

It isn't ideal parenting but I had a friend who had shared care of her boys.

Their father seemed to revel in teaching them more and more obnoxious behaviour, including exposing themselves, going the toilet, were they chose.

She was exasperated and at times used humiliation to get her point across.

If she had of left whenever they did something, they would of had their way (so would their Dad) and would of learnt nothing, so she made them "suffer" in the short term, to try to benefit them in the long run.

They are now adults and understand why she resorted to what she did at times. The hate their Father.

I don't agree with humiliating a child, it eats away at self esteem, so does belittling.

But without knowing more details, you cannot accurately deem how judge worthy one incident is.

Viviennemary Mon 10-Mar-14 17:11:01

Of course it's not usual behaviour. The only thing I can think is that the Mother might have made a threat to broadcast it if he ever did it again. Even though this might not be the wisest thing to do she may have thought that public humiliation was the best way to stop it. Who knows.

Tryharder Mon 10-Mar-14 17:14:20

Meh. If the boy was "publicly humiliated" then he's not likely to repeat the offence is he?

I shouted very loudly and publicly at my son for running out in the road the other day. Loud enough to make people look. Perhaps they all judged me? [shrugs]

shouldnthavesaid Mon 10-Mar-14 17:21:55

Probably some sort of additional needs - mum and I were mortified when then 17 year old sister (severe autism and LDs) whipped her trousers down in the post office to check if her periods had started.

It isn't an ideal reaction on her part by in my experience, calm control of the situation wasn't easy, initial reaction was "Oh dear God, no, trousers up, we can't do that here!!" so I can understand she might have been shocked.

That said, if it were a case of him having additional needs (as sounds likely), public humiliation isn't ever a good idea, wouldn't make much difference ime, quick distraction would probably have been best followed by a more detailed discussion at home.

pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 17:22:50

Try harder, it's not the loud parenting in itself. But the incident teamed with the loud parenting. I would have thought that an older child exposing themselves would be a bit concerning and warrant a serious talk at home.

pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 17:28:45

He definitely could have had additional needs, he seemed young for his age, which is why I guessed at 9-10 looking more like 11-12, I know tall kids can often get a raw deal because people expect them to act as old as they look.

daisy0chain Mon 10-Mar-14 17:31:38

OP you don't know that they aren't going home to discuss it properly. Like others have said maybe the woman was embarrassed didn't handle it the best way. Maybe it's something that happens a lot and she was trying to embarrass. Ok, again maybe not the best idea. Definitely not everyone's style of parenting.

I don't really understand why this has bothered you so much. They aren't friends of yours, it didn't affect you directly other than offending you ears. What's the issue?

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 10-Mar-14 17:45:54

I would think its pretty clear the boy had SN so you were being VVVU to judge him.

11 or 12 and crawling around under a table? You have to ask if he has SN?

My DD (7) kept pulling her nappy down to scratch her bum yesterday. I did tell her not to do that. But it goes in one ear.and out of other.

I hope people arent watching and judging her as some awful brat exposing herself.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 10-Mar-14 17:46:58

My DD looks 9 btw

daisy0chain Mon 10-Mar-14 17:48:01

Fanjo I think the OP was judging the Mum not the boy really.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 10-Mar-14 17:49:52

Well it was U to judge the mum.

She could have been totally stressed and at end of tether.

Or feel she had to make a big show or telling him off to stop people tutting judgily.

It is very tempting. Even if it wont have effect on the child.

Or maybe he was like my DD..she doesn't understand a serious talk and you have to tell her off pretty firmly to make her realise you are annoyed.

pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 17:51:00

Fanjo my ds looks much older too, always has, I've had the looks when he was 3, acting 3 but looked 5.

I can't say whether this boy had special needs or not but either way I judged the mother not the boy as SN or not I thought her behaviour was unhelpful, I felt quite sorry for the boy.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 10-Mar-14 17:51:48

You dont know their story.

So to be shocked and criticising on here is wrong IMO.

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