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Parents who tell other people's kids to "be careful"

(181 Posts)
PurpleSweets Fri 17-Jul-15 00:29:47

At playgrounds, parent/toddler groups or various events there always seems to be someone who insists on constantly shouting "be careful" at every opportunity.

I'm watching what my kids doing and have assessed the risks of whatever is happening I get incredibly annoyed when some random woman starts telling my child to be careful.

If I allow my son to splash in puddles, stand on rocks, go near stinging nettles etc. I don't expect other parents to try to over-rule my decision about what is or is not safe or deliberately try to provoke anxiety about minor risks.

UrethraFranklin1 Fri 17-Jul-15 00:31:26

And your aibu is.....?

BiscuitMillionaire Fri 17-Jul-15 00:33:20

Maybe they care about children in general. Maybe they're not 'deliberately trying to provoke anxiety' but just saying be careful. confused

clmustard Fri 17-Jul-15 00:33:58

Sometimes it is an involuntary reaction and I am sure it isnt personal or making a judgement. They arent telling your kids to stop or dragging them away. I think you are over reacting as much as they are really.

LilyMayViolet Fri 17-Jul-15 00:39:08

I think some people see risk very differently to others. I teach young children and am painfully aware of how much trust is placed in me by their parents every day. I'm probably over cautious about some aspects of safety and can't help feeling the same when I'm out and about.

I have occasionally done this eg called "be careful" to a toddler standing up in her high chair wobbling when her mum was on her phone and not looking at her. The woman looked up, grabbed her child and sat her down and gave me a dirty look. Ok!

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Fri 17-Jul-15 00:41:06

Well I am guilty of this op. As a parent for the last 26 years it's ingrained in me to see danger and risk. Yes it can be fussy and a pita but it can also be an instinct born of experience.

It can also just be something to say!

Incredibly annoyed sounds a total over reaction though.

Cloggal Fri 17-Jul-15 00:44:00

I do this,sorry. And 'be gentle' if I see kids being rough with littler ones.

'Be careful' because I assume it's words they are familiar with and so I don't have to touch them and look like even more of a neurotic loon

TheyreMadITellYouMaaaad Fri 17-Jul-15 00:44:15

I'm not a mind reader. I don't know that you're aware that your child is playing near nettles and that you're happy for them to learn to avoid nettles the hard way. If I see a little child exposed to danger or distress I do not and will not assume that their parent is fully aware and in control. I will look out for that child's welfare. Just as I hope any other parent would look out for my child.

That is not over-riding your parenting, nor is it panic-mongering.

YABU (except for busybodies who take 'being caring' too far)

FirstWeTakeManhattan Fri 17-Jul-15 00:45:04

Over-thought overreaction from you OP, YABU.

I don't expect other parents to try to over-rule my decision about what is or is not safe or deliberately try to provoke anxiety about minor risks

Is this seriously what you think when people just shout out a well-meaning 'be careful' to your child?

'Incredibly annoyed'? Not even 'mildly irritated'? Like I say, bit of an overreaction. It's just one of those things that people say without a great deal of thought.

MitzyLeFrouf Fri 17-Jul-15 00:45:54

Yeah you're overreacting. It's often instinctive for an adult to tell a child to watch out if you they think a bump or fall might be fast approaching them.

People are looking out for a child not deliberately trying to undermine you as a parent. And I sincerely doubt they're 'deliberately trying to provoke anxiety'.

MarionHaste Fri 17-Jul-15 00:46:56

I have never used the expression "be careful!" to a child. I cannot think what purpose it serves. Either give a clear instruction, such as "hold my hand while you walk along the wall" or "there is a roundabout ahead so watch for traffic coming from the right" or leave the child to concentrate on what they are doing, having ascertained that if they fail the consequence will not be fatal.

BuyMeAPony Fri 17-Jul-15 00:48:48

I can't help it. Although I'm more often heard saying, "Be gentle" to some unsupervised thug.

Finallyonboard Fri 17-Jul-15 00:51:19

How ridiculous.

Cloggal Fri 17-Jul-15 00:53:39

marionhaste totally understand that specificity with an older child but with a very young child I'm afraid even the brightest will react more quickly to a 'be aware'/'be careful'/'be gentle' or appropriate

Cloggal Fri 17-Jul-15 00:54:41

(And in this case we are talking about other people's children!)

MarionHaste Fri 17-Jul-15 01:00:23

Well I think "be gentle" has a proper meaning, so I will give you that one.

happygelfling Fri 17-Jul-15 01:02:22

I have two children with different interests to supervise at any playground. I am very happy if another parent spots them at risk when my "eyes in back of head" have momentarily failed!
I do understand the annoyance at someone being interfering though; my village vicar once commented, "I hope she's wearing sun cream" about DD when I was pushing her in the pushchair in hot weather, and I felt livid about that - what kind of loon did she take me for?

Cloggal Fri 17-Jul-15 01:06:20

I know what you mean marionhaste and when it comes to my own I try to tell him what I'm asking him not to do - but when another kid is trying to step off a climbing frame or the like, 'be careful' is swift, hopefully recognisable and I'd hoped until now a fairly 'beige' way of checking children. Wouldn't want to have to step into admonishing specifics. Nightmare. I think with your own a more specific instruction is always useful, though especially for my 'why' stage DS grin

PerspicaciaTick Fri 17-Jul-15 01:08:02

"Be careful" is usually said in a loud enough voice for the child's parent to hear and step in. It isn't really aimed at the child at all.

Cloggal Fri 17-Jul-15 01:12:28

That's always my main way of saying it perspicaciabut I also think even at a tangent it's the kind of phrase most kids will have hard, so it might stop them for a minute... Or ten seconds!

Jewels234 Fri 17-Jul-15 01:46:54

YANBU. My MIL constantly tells me to be careful. I'm 30. It drives me mad.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Fri 17-Jul-15 02:43:50

When I say it to someone else's child, what I actually mean is "get off your arse and parent your child you useless fucker" and it is totally aimed at the parent generally speaking.
I say it when someone's little darling is about to do something that will injure/damage one of my children, me, or our things.
It's not that I care what their child does to itself, I just don't like having to deal with mine being caught in the crossfire/aftermath of whatever little Jocasta/Tarquin is doing that they shouldn't be.
grin

maras2 Fri 17-Jul-15 02:49:54

They're being nice.Don't be so bloody daft.

totallybewildered Fri 17-Jul-15 02:50:03

What a strange attitude MarionHaste. At what stage do you think a child can start to develop their own judgement with an adult prompt, or are you still giving such specific instructions to teenagers?

TiggerLillies Fri 17-Jul-15 02:58:36

I said it to a grown woman / stranger after she dropped her phone the other day whilst walking in front of me. blush
Definitely an automatic reaction.

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