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To think you don't reprimand a 7 year old for not giving directions home?

(33 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 27-Nov-15 17:03:59

Dd3 is 7.5 and goes to the same brownies as a girl at her school who she doesn't get on that well with. It's nothing terrible, just a case of she did this, she said that etc. Probably six of one and half a dozen of another tbh.

Brownies had a trip recently at a venue which was a bit of a way from home. I had other running around with my other two dds that day so the mother of this girl very kindly offered to bring my dd home from the trip (she lives quite near me). I didn't think it would be a problem for dd and this girl to put up with each other for the half hour journey home.

Anyway, I was waiting for them to return, the doorbell rang and dd ran in in floods of tears. The mum looked/sounded very stressed, said the journey was terrible, she couldn't find our house and had asked dd for directions. Dd either didn't know (from where they were at the time) or sent her the wrong way or something. The mum had told dd off and asked her why she didn't say the right way to go. It sounded like it had got very heated and the daughter had also got involved in the conversation somehow. She also said dd had shouted her dd down when she tried to say something.

I'm always the first to admit if my child has done something wrong or been naughty and from the way this mum told me the story it sounded like dd was in the wrong so I said I would talk to her and apologise if needed. Dd was very upset, her point of view was that she wasn't sure of the way home and had spent the entire journey in this car feeling unliked/despised by both the mum and daughter. She was crying and probably let her emotions get the better of her.

The mum said some not very complimentary things about dd, I think she thinks dd is very strong willed and her dd is sweet and kind and has never had any issues with girls in her class before.

I know the journey must have been stressful but to take it out on a 7 year old? I would always treat a guest child (even if just in the car) kindly and make them feel comfortable. And I wouldn't rely on a child to give accurate directions!

wasonthelist Fri 27-Nov-15 17:08:38

Yanbu, it's nuts (of that Mum) to expect perfect directions from our dd. I know plenty of adults who struggle smile

HeartShapedBox Fri 27-Nov-15 17:09:58

Why didn't you pull her up when she was on your doorstep?

Why did you allow her to say " not very complimentary things" about your daughter?

WorraLiberty Fri 27-Nov-15 17:09:51


Not everyone is good with directions when they're on an unfamiliar route home, especially a bloody 7 year old!

My DH is 48 and completely fucking useless.

The kids have suggested getting him microchipped!

wasonthelist Fri 27-Nov-15 17:11:26

Bah! Our=your of course op.

Brioche201 Fri 27-Nov-15 17:13:55

said dd had shouted her dd down

are you sure that wasn't the main reason she told her off!.

Dancergirl Fri 27-Nov-15 17:32:19

I really don't know brioche, I wasn't there so don't know exactly what happened. If dd shouted and/or was rude I am not excusing her behaviour at all. But I felt rubbish after the mum left as it sounded like dd was terrible and her dd was an angel!

I imagine dd felt a bit ganged up on by the mum AND her dd which was why she was so upset.

summerainbow Fri 27-Nov-15 17:34:55

Surely your dd know your address and post code and your phone number?

TrinityForce Fri 27-Nov-15 17:37:58

She didn't say she gave the wrong address, but that she had trouble with DIRECTIONS.

Your poor DD. brew

ofallthenerve Fri 27-Nov-15 17:38:03

Yanbu. I still struggle to direct people and if anyone got arsey with me over that I'd tell them to fuck of and get out their fucking smart phone or map shout them down too. Your poor DD. I'd keep clear of this pair tbh. Who makes a 7yo cry over something like this? Dick.

(Sorry I'm not usually this horrible about strangers but this got my goat).

gandalf456 Fri 27-Nov-15 17:39:20

Mine wouldn't have known the above. I think I'd have been a bit stunned and not said much at the time but you could always come back later and tell the mum how you feel. Saying that, she may go on the offensive. It just sounds as if she got stressed and went a bit ott

Unreasonablebetty Fri 27-Nov-15 17:40:32

It sounds like your DD was hanged up on. But I do like to jump to my own often inaccurate views of how things go down...
Can you speak to this mum maybe over coffee, aNd figure out exactly what was going on? Obviously it's a bit dodge to trust a 7 year olds directions 100%.

I feel sorry for your DD tho, we've had Interactions with some awful children, but we've always smiled sweetly and soldiered on, to then go, never ever again once they're home. Its never ok to let a child feel bullied. Some mums!!

sadwidow28 Fri 27-Nov-15 17:40:29

I would just learn from this experience to be honest.

I don't expect a 7.5yr old child to direct me when I am driving.

But I did ask DN once if he recognised any familiar shops, corners, roads etc when I was driving him to his chess club 50 minutes away. He said he'd been there twice but always played on his iplayer whilst traveling and knew nothing because he didn't look out of the car window! I did actually end up shouting at DN saying, "For goodness sake, look out of the window and tell me where we are" blush I even phoned DN's Mum in Edinburgh and she finally admitted that she had never taken DN to the chess club - another Mum had - so she couldn't even direct me when I finally found the front door of the school. (Chess club was held in an annex that had another entrance.)

After that dreadful experience, Mum and I always exchanged venue postcodes for scouts, swimming, football and used STREETMAP so that I knew exactly where I was going.

SatNav works on postcodes or street addresses if the Mum has one.

Your DD will have felt anxious if the Mum was asking for directions which she couldn't give. Your DD will get over it with your calm help and support. There may have been some anxiety that if the adult is 'lost' then how will I get home.

Do you walk DD around your area?

Does she know the local landmarks? (A big pub, a police station, a huge farm gate, a local shop, the big park, the post office etc etc etc)

On a funny note: My late-DH was a traffic cop for 9 years and couldn't read a map if his life depended on it. Apparently, when traffic cops were assigned to new routes (before SatNavs) they coasted around the area for 2 days and found their own routes because it is then fixed in their minds. But that always gave DH the excuse to never have to figure out a new 3 hr journey - because his mind didn't work like that! If we went wrong, it was my navigational skills in question, not his driving! grin

I hope that helps OP.

sadwidow28 Fri 27-Nov-15 17:54:15

OP, just another very supportive hint to help you hopefully.

I once had DN and 2 of his friends on a narrowboat with me. DN's Mum also came to join up for that day. Whilst the Mum of the 2 friends would have happily driven 2 miles to collect her 2 boys, DN's Mum was leaving the narrowboat and would be passing within half a mile. (DN was staying on the boat for the rest of the week). It made sense to have DN's Mum take the 2 friends back home.

But I checked that the eldest friend (aged 10 yrs) could talk ME through how he would direct DN's Mum to their address. We had to discuss whether it was left after the flower shop or before the flower shop. I then also reminded the 10 year old that he would have to help DN's Mum to get back out of their estate by pointing directly down their road, turn right then turn left.

We did a final check before DN's Mum set off - so she heard it all as well.

They did get a bit lost within that 2 miles, but because it was so well-rehearsed, they recalled all the practices and worked it out as a team.

junebirthdaygirl Fri 27-Nov-15 18:01:19

I was dropping dd to her friends house. They were both 19,. We got lost so called the friend. In spite of being a straight A student he gave us completely wrong directions. He hadn't a clue how to actually direct us. So mean to expect that from a 7 year old. It's frightening for a small child when an adult gets cross with them. Not on.

Dancergirl Fri 27-Nov-15 18:10:44

Thank you.

I am generally very honest about my dc and I know that dd does have a temper and is prone to emotional outbursts. But what surprises me is that these are usually reserved for us and she can hold it together at school and other people's houses. I have always got good reports about her behaviour from people generally and they say she is polite and well behaved. I think she must have been really upset to have lost it in the car. She felt both the mum and daughter hated her sad

Atenco Fri 27-Nov-15 18:18:26

It certainly sounds like the mum was a bit nuts expecting a 7 year old to give her directions and then ganging up on her with her dd. Your poor dd.

However I think you did the right thing as a spontaneous response to listen to the mother and say you would talk to your dd.

It's a fine line between making our children feel awful because we believe other people before them, which is horrible, or being that type of mother who just blanket denies anything their children have been accused of, which is even worse.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Fri 27-Nov-15 18:32:53

The mum should not have relied on your daughter. I'm nearly 30, and still mess up my left from right - people know not to ask me for directions! In this day and age, it's not difficult to pull over and ring the addressee, or better still, use a postcode in a SatNav/Google Maps. If she needed to go on the word of a 7 year old,who would hardly know one street to the next in a car (especially in the dark), then she certainly needs to get a grip.

On the emotional outburst, I think your daughter needs to be reassured that no one 'hates her' - certainly not an apparent adult. I would have been upset as well if someone was getting so frustrated with me (without good reason), however nothing was obviously gained from her becoming so overly-emotional as a response. Does she have an 'emergancy phone'? One may be appropriate in future, or can you write down directions and go through some 'landmarks' with her of the local area? She may not be able to give direct instructions, but she may feel more confident in her surroundings and not get stressed out if asked again.

Booyaka Fri 27-Nov-15 18:39:53

Could your daughter have claimed that she knew the way and then given the Mum the wrong directions? It sounds like that might be what happened and the woman's daughter tried to correct her and your DD shouted her down so they went on a wild goose chase. That's the only reason I can think of for her Mum to be cross about the directions and shouting down her DD.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 27-Nov-15 18:41:10

Unless your daughter's name is TomTom the mother was being vv unreasonable.

StealthPolarBear Fri 27-Nov-15 18:47:33

I've had directions from a five year old before but thay was in addition to the hazy idea that I knew vaguely where I was going. If we'd not got there it would have been my fault not hers

Topseyt Fri 27-Nov-15 18:56:26

If the other Mum lives quite near you as you say then it shouldn't have been beyond her to more or less find your area on her own. Very unfair to expect full directions from a 7 year old.

None of my DDs would have been able to direct a driver very much at that age. They got into their teens before it improved. DD1 is 20 now, and pretty good. DD2 is 17, not so great, but not terrible. DD3 is 13 and shaping up to be OK at it.

Honestly, I doubt I would have been as restrained as you were. This woman should know that if you are going to drive children about you must also be your own navigator. She could have phoned you surely rather than being snarky to your DD.

Even if she has no satnav, most mobile phones can double as one and do a pretty good job of it. I occasionally use the satnav app on my phone if I need to find something along roads I don't know too well.

mrsjanedoe Fri 27-Nov-15 18:59:48

poor kid, totally unfair and the other mums' fault if she wasn't prepared and didn't know where she was going.

I don't think it's ever right to reprimand another child (and worst to shout at them) unless he (she) is at risk of hurting himself or others.

Dancergirl Fri 27-Nov-15 19:09:36

Exactly topsey if I had been in the same situation and it was all getting a bit heated in the car, pull over, let everyone calm down and phone for directions.

I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want a row and she was doing me a favour bringing dd home. And I was just so surprised to see dd in that state I didn't know what to say.

It just really bugs me that she has such a low opinion of my dd whilst hers can do no wrong.

alltouchedout Fri 27-Nov-15 19:11:38

At the age of 34 I cannot be relied upon to give directions and I think any adult who tells a child who cannot do so off to the point that they are crying is a fucking bullying idiot.

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