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if your child started playing with a mum's phone would you intervene?

(28 Posts)
m0therofdragons Mon 08-Dec-14 15:09:30

In soft play with my 2 pre school dc. We were about to eat and just waiting for lunch to arrive. Dd asked if she could play cbeebies on my phone. Rather than get her back in the soft play then out again in minutes for lunch I said yes. She sat playing and another boy (2 years older) sat almost on her watching. His mum said he had to ask if he could watch so he did and dd said yes. They sat nicely for a few minutes then the food came. I started cutting it up at the table and heard the boy ask dd if he could play. She said yes and gave him my phone as she came and sat up.
I guess I expected the mum to step in as I know I would have. I wouldn't let dc go to soft play and use a random parent's phone. Yes dd said he could but she's 3!
I ended up nicely saying to the dc that my dh might message me so I needed it back. I removed the phone and dc went into tantrum. His mum proceeded to tell him I was making up excuses because I didn't want him to have it and I shouldn't have let him have it (I didn't and anyway I believe in giving dc reasons rather than just saying no) and anyway it will rot his brain and its very bad for him. Dc had a tablet that he'd been on previously. Overall it was very odd. His mum carried on but I stopped listening.
It just made me wonder if I'm unusual. I'd be embarrassed if any of my dds just picked up a mum's phone they didn't know and would tell them to give it back to the owner or leave it where they found it - that's surely the usual reaction isn't it?

SquinkiesRule Mon 08-Dec-14 15:12:26

No you aren't weird. She's nuts. I wouldn't let someone elses kid mess with my phone she can get her own out for him if it's that important.
If my kid picked up someone elses phone I'd take it off them and hand it back.

Seriouslyffs Mon 08-Dec-14 15:20:39

I would expect another adult to be able to say no to my toddler.

PrimalLass Mon 08-Dec-14 15:21:52

Yes. The other mother was a nugget.

MrsKoala Mon 08-Dec-14 15:28:01

If she said all that at the end then she sounds stupid. But, no, I wouldn't intervene if I was the parent in the first part of your OP. I would assume that as you were close, clearly engaging with your dd, that when he asked and she said yes, that you would say no actually and take it back. I also think saying you are waiting for a text sounds a bit lame and as she said a silly excuse that you don't really need. No I want my phone back, I don't let other children play with it would have been clearer.

TimelyNameChangey Mon 08-Dec-14 15:30:04

Some people are weirdly relaxed about their phones and then complain when their toddlers delete all the pics! YANBU

whatsagoodusername Mon 08-Dec-14 15:30:34

Unless an adult handed my DC their phone directly and said clearly that they could play with it, I would not allow my DC to play with it.

And I would probably watch what they were doing in case they ended up calling someone or messing with settings.

MrsKoala Mon 08-Dec-14 15:30:48

Also the end of your OP you say just picked up a phone. But he didn't really did he? He asked and was handed it. Quite different from a scenario when a child wanders up with no interaction and takes something. I would intervene then yes.

minipie Mon 08-Dec-14 15:32:48

I think the way she reacted after her DS tantrummed was very weird.

However I don't think she shoudl have intervened before that to stop her DS looking at your phone. I'd assume that if you minded, you'd say something. I also wouldn't mind if a random child played with my phone, in the circs you describe (ie he is right next to your DD and moments before they were playing with the phone together).

BertieBotts Mon 08-Dec-14 15:38:09

No I think YABU. It's not the same. You gave permission for him to interact with the phone, the mum probably thought you were fine with it. I'd have said "Actually I think <child> is a bit too little to play that game, sorry, <child>, maybe another time." and put the phone away. It was up to you, not her, you'd already made it clear the phone was available for DC to play on.

You said "I wouldn't expect a child to go to soft play just to use a phone" but then you let your DD use your phone! And he's three, but your DC are preschool age so can't be that much older.

BertieBotts Mon 08-Dec-14 15:38:39

But YY agreed mum's reaction to toddler tantrum odd.

Bulbasaur Mon 08-Dec-14 15:41:28

Also the end of your OP you say just picked up a phone. But he didn't really did he? He asked and was handed it. Quite different from a scenario when a child wanders up with no interaction and takes something. I would intervene then yes.

Yes, but even then, the child was 3. The mother should have understood that a 3 year old is not old enough to give authority on who can play with the phone which is an adult gadget.

I would have taken the phone back too. It's my phone and I wouldn't want a random child I didn't know playing with it where he could possibly drop it or run off with it. The OP was nice enough about it, the child understandably got upset, but his mother should have talked him down and not catered to it.

BackforGood Mon 08-Dec-14 15:42:45

I agree with MrsKoala and BertieBotts. He didn't just pick up your phone and start using it.
1. You'd handed it to a 3 yr old to play with, therefore implying it is a plaything (I know people who have an old phone that their child is allowed to play on)
2.
You gave permission for him to watch / interact
3. He asked nicely if he could then have a go.

Personally, I wouldn't let a child play on my phone, but if you are happy for that, then I don't see that he did anything wrong. To my mind, it would be just the same as if he's asked for a go with your dc's yo-yo or something.

Other parent's reaction seems a bit odd though.

december12 Mon 08-Dec-14 15:42:48

Yes, I agree with the others. He behaviour after/during the tantrum was very odd but I would have assumed you were happy for him to continue playing in that circumstance. I wouldn't have let him wander off with it and I certainly wouldn't let him "just pick up" a random phone, but that isn't what happened.

MrsKoala Mon 08-Dec-14 15:46:19

I would never let a child play with my phone either, but if my child was close to an adult who owned a phone and they wanted it and were indeed handed it, I would expect that adult to say straight away. I really hate the idea that only a parent can direct a child. And everyone sits around waiting for a parent to say something. I am quite happy to speak to and direct others children. This kind of thing comes way better from the owner of the possession.

DoJo Mon 08-Dec-14 15:48:56

I would have thought the onus was on you to take the phone away if your daughter had handed it to him - I have allowed other children to play on my son's tablet when he has been kind enough to share with them as I encourage him to share all the time, so want to affirm that when he remembers, even though it is always at the most inappropriate times. In her shoes, I would probably have intervened anyway, especially as you were clearly about to eat, but I don't think it's necessarily wrong not to jump in if the person whose phone it is doesn't seem to mind.

Her ranting afterwards, however, is a bit odd and YANBU to think that she was a little unhinged based on her subsequent comments.

m0therofdragons Mon 08-Dec-14 15:56:21

I was in ear shot but was cutting up 2 plates of food and sitting my other dd up at the table. His mum was sitting nearer than I was. I don't think I was saying I don't expect dc to play on a phone at soft play, it's more about it being other people's phones. I couldn't really work out how to say no you can't watch my dc as he was only watching and as I'd let my 3yo play I couldn't use the excuse that he's too little as he was 5. Finally, and I think I'm answering any questions or misunderstandings, I was waiting for a message from dh as he's away and dd knows that if the message symbol comes up she hands me my phone. Phone also on airline mode so she cannot get on the Internet and photos backed up on a cloud.
Was I demonstrating good parenting? No I've been up all night with 2 of my 3dc and today is about survival.grin

m0therofdragons Mon 08-Dec-14 16:04:07

Btw I don't think the child was in the wrong and he was polite. I just assume phones are like purses - If I saw a dc playing with their mum's purse then fine but if my Dd went over and started playing I would stop them. While I was sitting supervising then it makes sense for me to be the one to say no but once I was away and preoccupied I would expect dcs mum to intervene.
To be fair there were some other barmy comments but hard to explain context.

SeattleGraceMercyDeath Mon 08-Dec-14 16:11:23

How do you get messages in airplane mode? I think YABU, as above you indicated the phone was suitable to be used by small child, you didn't tell him to buzz off initially and if there was no damage he could do I don't see what the harm was to let him play for 5 mins if he was behaving himself.

Bowchickawowow Mon 08-Dec-14 16:16:09

YANBU. A phone is an expensive item, and I let my DC's do things I wouldn't let just any child do (lick my ice cream, play with my car keys) the OP's DD handed him the phone and if I was his mum I would have intervened at that point. In fact I would and have if the adult in question was a friend.

DoraGora Mon 08-Dec-14 16:21:13

Some people are just happy if their children are wrecking the joint and it's not their joint.

m0therofdragons Mon 08-Dec-14 16:31:54

I let dd play because I believe she will be careful as she's a delicate child. If she breaks it it's on me. Doesn't mean I'm happy for every child to play with it. Good point about airline mode - didn't really think about that but then that explains why dh didn't message me lol

FrenchJunebug Mon 08-Dec-14 16:41:49

but the kid did ask you DD! It's not has if he grabbed the phone from your or her hand? You are the one who should have intervene if you didn't want the kid to use your phone on his own.

Bulbasaur Mon 08-Dec-14 16:55:07

How do you get messages in airplane mode? I think YABU, as above you indicated the phone was suitable to be used by small child, you didn't tell him to buzz off initially and if there was no damage he could do I don't see what the harm was to let him play for 5 mins if he was behaving himself.

I would find the risk of my own child dropping the phone worth entertaining her and keeping her happy for a bit. I really don't care if someone else's child is happy and entertained. That's their parent's job. Not mine.

OP did nothing wrong. It's not like she snatched it off him and told him to bugger off. She politely took it from him and he got upset.

But let's not pretend all children are the same as your own, and what's good for yours is good for them. I'd let my own daughter take a few pieces of food off my plate. Doesn't mean I'd be ok with every child in the restaurant eating off my plate.

BertieBotts Mon 08-Dec-14 17:07:30

His mum said he had to ask if he could watch so he did and dd said yes.

This was her implicitly asking for your permission, IMO.

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