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WIBU to intervene?

(15 Posts)
Narnia72 Sun 14-Aug-16 16:59:15

In the park today, my kids playing happily (for once), I am sitting on a bench reading the paper. I hear screaming, full on screaming, and look up to check it's not my kids. No. But there is a boy (approx 8-9) bashing, as in full on thumping a girl's head and shoulders (she is possibly a year or so older). She is screaming, his face is contorted with anger and he's not stopping. Everyone is looking but no parents are coming over to intervene. So I run over and shout at him to stop. By this point she is curled in a ball on the roundabout sobbing, and he is kicking her, pretty hard.

I pull the girl away from him and ask where her mum is. Between sobs she tells me their mum has gone to walk the dog round the adjoining field. I walk with her to the gate and we look for her mum. After a few minutes we spot her, and I ask the girl to stay in the park and I go to have a word with her mum. In talking to the girl I've established the boy is her brother. I start telling her what had happened, keeping it low key and factual (something along the lines of I think your children fell out, but I intervened because your little girl was being badly hurt by her brother). She looks at me with annoyance and shrugs her shoulders, says "they're always fighting". I'm a bit nonplussed so I just reply "ok, hope she is ok" and walk back to my kids. As I go she says quite loudly "bloody busybody" and I turn round, shocked, she's glaring at me.

She then goes into the playground, yanks the boy off the roundabout and shouts at him, then they all leave.

As no-one else intervened, should I have just left them to it? She was clearly being hurt, and wasn't fighting back, she was sobbing her heart out and he was being vicious. My kids fight sometimes, but never to that level. I get the mum was probably embarassed, but wouldn't you at least say thank you. I obviously don't know the family dynamics, and it may well be that she'd wound him up to react like that - I know my daughters really wind up their little brother, but I've not seen that level of violence between 2 little kids before. It shocked me, to be honest.

Feel like I'm just having one of those weeks (I asked someone to sit still in the theatre and caused a fight earlier in the week!) - I don't want to get involved in anyone else's lives, but I do speak up if there's a problem, rather than tutting behind my newspaper (as others in the park were doing).

Rainbowunicorn73 Sun 14-Aug-16 17:06:30

She's probably overwhelmed by the amount of falling out and fighting they do, had left them alone for a few minutes to clear her head/calm down and was embarrassed and defensive that you had to intervene.
In my view, if another child's getting hurt it's never wrong to intervene.
She was rude because it made her look bad (probably)
Put her out of your mind. smile

HughLauriesStubble Sun 14-Aug-16 17:07:29

Ywnbu op. Sounds like a relative of mine who has a ds who has been diagnosed with adhd and a dd a year younger. Her ds carries on like this without any proper remonstration, it just gets put down to his adhd and so he gets away with doing whatever he likes. The poor dd is a quiet thing who gets an awful doing from him and the mother stands on shouting or else just blatantly ignoring.

DesignedForLife Sun 14-Aug-16 17:11:27

YWNBU, but you can't always expect a reasonable response for "interfering" with other people's kids. You were right to try and stop serious injuries though.

Vickyyyy Sun 14-Aug-16 17:13:55

YWNBU. I couldn't watch that without saying/doing something. My kids fight, but its more the odd hair pull or pushing over, I can't imagine having to deal with proper violence like that...

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 14-Aug-16 17:16:06

You see you can Understand where people are coming from when they say. Oh I'd just turn a blind eye and not get involved when you get comments like "Busy body" for trying to help. Thank Goodness you did intervene. It seemed he was determined to her serious damage.
God help his future wife. You know the saying.
If a man is good/bad to her sister/mother.
He'll be good bad to his wife. Okay all that's way off yet.

silverduck Sun 14-Aug-16 17:17:34


I have intervened in a similar situation once, I didn't want the sister to think it was acceptable for people to hit her, as with you it was beyond normal sibling messing around. The parents weren't there, I told the boy that it wasn't ok to hurt people like that and he looked ashamed.

ThatStewie Sun 14-Aug-16 17:22:40

You did the right thing. He could have seriously hurt her. Doesn't matter that the mother doesn't care how violent her son is. You stood up for her daughter and you made it clear to her that her brother has no right to hurt her like that. That little girl needed someone to stand up for her. To stop her brother from hurting her further.

If this is normal behaviour in the house, then that little girl needs to know that it isn't normal.

Narnia72 Sun 14-Aug-16 17:43:49

Thanks all. I wasn't looking for praise and thanks, just was a bit hacked off by the busybody comment.

I hadn't thought of ADHD or anything like that, but I am very sad if that's a daily event for her, and her mum doesn't stand up for her. I can see that it must be so wearing as a parent to deal with that all the time, but it really wasn't ok to leave them together if that was likely to happen.

hertsnessex Sun 14-Aug-16 17:44:01

You did the right thing IMHO. I would have done the same and i also would have said a lot more to the mother after her comment!!

BabooshkaKate Sun 14-Aug-16 17:49:54

You certainly were not unreasonable to intervene but I do worry where the boy has picked up such violent behaviour.

akkakk Sun 14-Aug-16 18:18:54

At least that girl will grow up knowing that some adults do care - if that is the attitude of her parent(s) and brother then she might never have experienced that otherwise...

Roastandgravy Sun 14-Aug-16 18:24:14

I would have reported that to social services. If this was a one off then the mother should have been absolutely mortified and thankful that you intervened. Social services could monitor the situation, and ideally offer support to the parents or see if this is a wider issue.

A young girl is basically being physically abused. A friend of mine was regularly beaten by her brother all the while she grew up as her parents left them to it regularly. If the mother is not coping, well that is tough, no child should be unprotected from anyone, including and especially anyone within the family including siblings.

Roastandgravy Sun 14-Aug-16 18:25:33

And basically thank god you did intervene.

0nTheEdge Sun 14-Aug-16 18:52:25

I think you did the right thing as the parent was not there to intervene. I would not stand by and watch that happen either, and I would also be really upset and a bit indignant at the busy body comment! I would try to brush it off though as it being her having the problem and take it as being worth it for helping a child in need. Let's hope it's not a case of the poor girl having to put up with that kind of thing often and more of a rare occurrence and the mum acted badly in the moment due to embarrassment, etc.

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