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To have hugged this small boy?

(75 Posts)
CrohnicallyAspie Mon 27-Jul-15 13:30:54

At toddler group with DD, there was a small boy (maybe around 3 years old) that had interacted with DD a couple of times. He was trying to engage people in play (adults as well as children) so I played with him a little then had to move away after DD moved to a different activity.

I'm not quite sure what happened next but a much bigger boy did something he shouldn't, his mum went to intervene and the small boy went bright red, and aimed a kick at the big boy. The mum turned round and shouted NO! and pulled the small boy away by the arm. The small boy burst into hysterical tears, frantically looked round and then dashed over to me with his arms outstretched. I instinctively scooped him into a hug and rubbed his back while he sobbed on my shoulder. I looked round for an adult and one of the play group supervisors brought his mum (she had been supervising a younger sibling) so I whispered in the boys ear that she was there and he went off happily with mum again.

I did feel very awkward sat there hugging this boy that I had only clapped eyes on 5 minutes before! So should I have fended him off or was it ok to comfort him seeing as he approached me? And isn't it unusual for a child to go to a relative stranger for comfort?

In the interests of not drip feeding, I think he may have been autistic, partly because of the fact that he came to me for comfort and partly because of the way he played (mainly spinning objects and rolling cars down a slope). If he is autistic would that affect whether or not IWBU?

kewtogetin Mon 27-Jul-15 13:34:10

YANBU to have hugged him. You are however being massively unreasonable for assuming he was autistic, after all, in your own words you 'only clapped eyes on him 5 minutes before'
Concentrate on your own child and leave the diagnosing of others at home.....

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 27-Jul-15 13:34:34

I'd have done the same as you - I think it's pretty mean not to give comfort to an obviously distressed small boy

LittleLionMansMummy Mon 27-Jul-15 13:38:25

I'd have done the same just as if I wasn't around I'd be very happy for another mother to comfort my ds until I arrived.

Mulligrubs Mon 27-Jul-15 13:39:32

YWNBU to hug him back. But, you can't possibly tell whether he has autism from that, some children are just more friendly with strangers than others.

swisscheesetony Mon 27-Jul-15 13:41:03

I would hope if one of my DC's were crying and needed comfort an adult would not turn their back. YANBU. It's a sad indictment that you feel you need to ask.

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 27-Jul-15 13:41:36

I didn't assume he was autistic or diagnose him. I said he might have been. And I mentioned it in the OP so that if it came up later I wouldn't get accused of drip feeding.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 27-Jul-15 13:42:23

I would have hugged him too.

Is playing with spinning things a sign of autism? (Don't know much about autism it's a genuine question). Ds is obsessed with spinning things and vehicles. First word/words were round and round.

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 27-Jul-15 13:44:05

swiss I asked because I am autistic and often worry that I have misread social situations or have overstepped the line with other people's children.

tomatodizzymum Mon 27-Jul-15 13:46:39

What the other mother did to another persons child was awful and he needed comfort from someone, an adult stranger can be very frightening and intimidating for a small child.

Some children are much more huggy and friendly than others. One of my children would not accept hugs from anyone he didn't know and even ones he does know cannot hug him when he's upset, my youngest would do exactly what that boy did (he's nearly 3) he has known to hug nursery staff on their first day, he doesn't have SN.

If he is autistic which you couldn't possibly know (all my sons played like that) then that wouldn't make any difference. He needed a hug and you gave it to him. It would have been worse if you'd turned him away IMO

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 27-Jul-15 13:47:21

It can be a symptom of autism- it falls under 'a preoccupation with objects or parts of objects' under the old diagnostic criteria. It can however also be a typical development stage. Obviously you can't diagnose based just on that, autism is characterised by significant impairments in 3 different areas, spinning would be one symptom in one of the areas.

squoosh Mon 27-Jul-15 13:49:03

Awwww. He initiated the hug so of course it's fine.

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 27-Jul-15 13:51:47

Thank you tomato I am much more reserved with my hugs as is my DD, there is no way either of us would hug a strange adult!

When you say the other woman was 'awful', just how bad are we talking? The boy tried to kick her son, what would have been acceptable?

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 27-Jul-15 13:53:35

Thanks crohnic He is only 20 months and he doesn't seem to have any other traits just obsessed with spinning things.
I think you handled it really well, I would always hug an upset child

LHReturns Mon 27-Jul-15 14:03:56

You sound lovely, and I really want to hug the little boy now too. I don't have a very huggy baby so will take whatever I can get!

Lurkedforever1 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:14:42

Yanbu. I'd have done the same without thinking, and have done similar before and I'm sure will do again. And was always grateful if someone did similar for dd.
Yabu about the possibility of autism, but not in an unreasonable way iyswim. Many toddlers and even reception age children have habits and behavior patterns that on the surface look similar to autistic traits, but thats all it is, rather than them authentically replicating the full thought process, because in an nt child they are just a passing phase.

tomatodizzymum Mon 27-Jul-15 14:24:53

I'm not sure I understand if the mother pulled her own child by the arm or if she pulled the small boy by the arm (if it was the small boy then that is awful) and if she just shouted NO then that's completely wrong too. She should have got down to his level, there are other methods, several depending on the situation/age of children etc, but shouting is never one of them.

RachelRagged Mon 27-Jul-15 14:28:39

Awww No OP YANBU it was lovely thing to do

Dontloookbackinanger Mon 27-Jul-15 14:29:10

YWNBU. If it were my son, I would have been really grateful for your kindness.

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 27-Jul-15 15:56:56

tomato it was the small boy she grabbed, he tried to kick her son but the mum grabbed the small boy and pulled him away so the kick didn't land. I know there are other methods to deal with bad behaviour but that normally means talking after it happened, in this instance her actions actually prevented her son being hurt. I'm not sure if she maybe reacted out of instinct rather than a premeditated 'telling off' of the other boy, I'm not sure how I would have reacted in that situation. I did shout 'NO!' at an older child when I saw they were about to put a plastic bag over my DD's head but I apologised straight away and said 'I'm sorry for shouting but that is really dangerous and I needed you to stop quickly' and explained why.

tomatodizzymum Wed 29-Jul-15 12:22:15

That's the difference CrohnicallyAspie you shouted and then explained. She shouted and walked away from a toddler without even taking him to his mum or trying to explain why it was wrong, leaving a small child frightened, alone, crying and needing to run to a stranger.

CrohnicallyAspie Wed 29-Jul-15 16:00:44

Ok thank you for explaining that, I was just confused because you said there are many methods but shouting is never one of them, I would say shouting is ok for emergencies and exceptional situations but not for discipline.

TTWK Wed 29-Jul-15 16:45:48

OP did nothing wrong, but I wonder if a man had hugged a little girl in the same circumstances, would he'd get the same level of approval?

CurlyBlueberry Wed 29-Jul-15 16:49:57

YANBU, and if I was that boy's mum I'd be very pleased someone had comforted my son. He did initiate it too.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 29-Jul-15 16:56:00

I'm a bit confused. The small bot went to kick the bigger boy and when he got told off for it he cried and you cuddled him?

He needed a time out/telling off not a cuddle. I think you had good intentions but the boy had been naughty and you undermined the "no"

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