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in telling this kid off?

(51 Posts)
Hedgehogsdontbite Fri 14-Aug-15 16:18:39

I spent the day in the park today with DS who is just 2. The floor of the park is thick rubber and there's a small marked area where there is nothing underneath. So it's bouncy at the bit but not like a trampoline. All morning there were children of various ages running or bouncing across it. The little ones seemed to have the most fun there. DS loved it.

Later on there were 2 older kids, I guess about 7 and 9 ish and DS playing. At first everything was fine. Then there was whispering and their game seemed to be to bounce as fast and hard as they could at the same time past DS so close that he fell over. DS looked a bit bewildered each time but got up laughing. I moved over right beside them though as there was something a bit mean spirited about how they were playing, so I wanted to quietly let them know I was watching. It did the trick and they backed off a bit, although carried on with their 'game'.

The older kid then kept reaching out to DS's shoulder as he bounced past, giving him a bit of a nudge as he was falling any more. I told him nicely to stop it a couple of times. Then when he thought I wasn't looking he put both hands on DS's shoulders and shoved him over onto his face. Cue serious telling off voice from me. I can't remember what I said something along the lines of 'don't you dare put your hands on him again'. I think it was the tone more than the words. The boy looked shocked and then ran off. I saw him speaking to a bloke and pointing at me but he never came over.

When I told DH he said I was wrong to tell this boy off as I had no idea who he was and how the adults with him would react. He says I should have just removed DS from the situation and kept us both safe. To be honest I never thought of any backlash, I just reacted to the situation. Although when I was being pointed out I did feel a bit scared.

So was IBU to tell him off? WWYD?

Sansarya Fri 14-Aug-15 16:20:02

There'll be people on the thread you'll say YABU as you don't know what this boy's life is like etc etc but I don't think you were at all. I'd have told the little shit off too.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Fri 14-Aug-15 16:21:37

If anyone had deliberately pushed over one of my children I too would have raised my voice and told them in no uncertain terms to leave them alone.

You reacted on instinct, I think most of us would.

amicissimma Fri 14-Aug-15 16:22:04

Of course YWNBU. Having a tough live doesn't make it OK to go around shoving toddlers about.

Katie2001 Fri 14-Aug-15 16:22:57

You weren't aggressive, you didn't swear, you just told him sharply not to hurt your child. Perfectly fair in my view.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 14-Aug-15 16:23:01

You did exactly the right thing. I have no
idea why people say its not ok to tell other children off. Just ridiculous.

Coffeemarkone Fri 14-Aug-15 16:23:40

I think you did well although I can also understand your DH's view, after all some children do have very ''''difficult''' parents....

WorraLiberty Fri 14-Aug-15 16:23:41

You're not BU at all

In fact it's quite refreshing to hear from an OP that actually did something in this situation, rather than running home to start a thread.

I don't get your DH's attitude at all to be honest.

Even if the parent had come over and had a go at you, he would have had no right to.

Kym134 Fri 14-Aug-15 16:23:58

I don't think you are unreasonable to tell a child off if they are being mean to your child. Also what is the harm in telling a child off. Even if you don't know what they are like, a telling off won't harm them.

mikado1 Fri 14-Aug-15 16:25:23

You were absolutely right (and v restrained until then!).

CoogerAndDark Fri 14-Aug-15 16:25:50

YWNBU. I have always been happy to tell DC off that aren't mine, or known to me, if they are doing something stupid or nasty. Worst that ever happened was a gobby mother shouting at me. Who cares?

MrsCs Fri 14-Aug-15 16:28:33

I would have done exactly the same and have in similar situations. I would like to see any parent come back over to me. Only one ever tried and firmly told her sweary little self to quiet down before I insisted staff remove her from the premises. Funny her three friends remained very quiet, control the situation and even difficult parents generally fall in line.

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Fri 14-Aug-15 16:28:52

You weren't unreasonable at all.

Tbh I would have (and have in the past) just brightly breezed in and got my child and loudly encouraged him to do something else before it got to that point. But I don't think that is necessarily the best course of action.

Hedgehogsdontbite Fri 14-Aug-15 16:30:27

I think DH is just being protective as I have autism and he knows I can't handle confrontation. We also used to have a neighbour who blew her stack if anyone told her son off. She tried to hit a policeman with a hammer because he told her son off for climbing to the top of a street light. That's probably what's in his mind.

QueenBitchFromHell Fri 14-Aug-15 16:32:17

You did the right thing and I would of done the same. I'd of probably actually went and told the parent too. But to be honest as soon as I noticed they were trying to knock my ds over I'd of moved him over to another part of the park to play.

cariadlet Fri 14-Aug-15 16:38:08


I can still remember being on holiday with dd many years ago when she was a toddler. We went to a playground and I told off 2 older boys who were being unkind to dd. The mum of one boy came and had a go at me, but I couldn't care less and had a go back (I'm afraid I did lose my cool and rant at her).

I'm normally pretty calm and I hate confrontation, but I think there's a huge instinct to protect our little ones and the primitive, instinctive part of our brain sometimes rushes in and takes over from the rational, socialised part of our brain.

If we don't stick up for our children, especially when they are too young and innocent to stick up for themselves, who's going to?

DoJo Fri 14-Aug-15 16:38:24

My life became a lot easier when I stopped worrying about other children's parents and started just having a word with anyone who I saw behaving in a dangerous manner or one likely to cause injury, especially to a smaller child. Most take it in their stride, some complain to parents, but I have never had a parent approach me, presumably because if they are far enough away to not be able to see/intervene themselves then they cannot complain if someone who is there and watching the situation play out deal with it as they see fit.

The only thing I would have done differently is to intervene as soon as I saw that they were deliberately trying to make your son fall over. A reminder to 'play gently' or 'look out for the smaller children' is often better received than a yell when someone does something that actually hurts.

gamerchick Fri 14-Aug-15 16:42:27

I prefer my kids to see me stick up for them in cases like this. I don't have a problem with telling other people's kids off whether they confront me or not.

SuperFlyHigh Fri 14-Aug-15 16:43:44

I'd do the same. He was doing something deliberately hurtful to your little boy and not stopping when asked and no-one (the bloke) was disciplining him where he should have been.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 14-Aug-15 16:46:05


I probably wouldn't use hammer woman as a model of usual behaviour. Most people are normal enough and what you said was fine.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 14-Aug-15 16:47:54

My response to a child coming over saying "that woman was horrible to me/said blah blah blah" or whatever is ALWAYS "And what did you do first?".

Not that mine push small people over in the park unless the small person is their sister and I've told them to leaver her alone multiple times first.

daintydavey Fri 14-Aug-15 16:49:47

Ywnbu at all. Appropriate response. I am still raging about had a somewhat similar experience yesterday with ds who is seven and dyspraxic. He was playing with a group of boys on a campsite we visit yearly. He knows these boys well and while there was the beginnings of some low level bullying at the start of the season all had been going well for ds since. Unfortunately another boy arrived to stay with some of the boys and 3 or 4 of them jumped on my ds in an area out of sight of parents. They (mostly this one boy) jumped on ds friend too but not as much. His back is covered in bruises. I went nuclear was very cross but didn't shout at the boy. I told the adult in charge of him who said he'd speak to him about it. The boy was back outside playing 5 mins later. I hate confrontation and felt sick at the thoughts of speaking to the other adult but sometimes you just have to do it - one of the joys of parentinghmm

MagickPants Fri 14-Aug-15 16:49:56

The reality is that men are accustomed to the fact that some other men are looking for a fight and need to inflict physical violence to redress "loss of face". Women are more used to being wary of sexual assault. But men are pretty used to the reality that they might get hit.

there is no doubt you were not in the wrong that the boy needed to be stopped from being a git to little kids. But your husband isn't talking about whether you are in the wrong or not, but about his experience of what (some) men do in the world to assert themselves.

youarekiddingme Fri 14-Aug-15 16:52:12

You did the right thing IMO. Just a firm don't do that. I'd have told any child I saw shoving another over to stop - even if the shoved child or shover wasn't mine.

Ahemily Fri 14-Aug-15 16:52:45

You showed incredible restraint. Your poor little DS.sad Horrible little sods.

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