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Wibu? Child safety in busy shopping centres.

(50 Posts)
nothingisnothing Sun 04-Sep-16 08:10:50

Out shopping in busy large(ish) town centre with Dp and soon to be 4yr old.
Lay out is large middle bit with shop lined streets coming off. All pedestrianised, all busy.
On occasions I'm walking ahead and I stop for them to catch up to see that Dp has Lo trailing a good few feet behind him.
I don't feel safe with this. My fear is someone snatching Lo. I know it's unlikely, but the slim chance is there.
So I ask Dp not to do this. To either hold his hand or have Lo walking ahead/ in eyesight.
Dps reaction is to get enraged. Massive argument in the car ensues.
Apparently, I'm saying he's incapable of looking after our child.
Massive sulk and scilence for a few hours from him.
In the evening, once Lo is in bed, I ask if we can talk about it.
A huge heated 1 hour discussion happens.
Basically, I've caused him a huge insult. He's aware of where Lo is and I'm trying to control his relationship with Lo.
That I shouldn't put my paranoia on him. It is mine to deal with, not his.

In my mind, I've only asked that he doesn't let little one dawdle behind in busy places. Was I bu or is his reaction?
In the end, we've had to agree to disagree. But I'm still a bit hurt by what he's said.

coolandcalm Sun 04-Sep-16 08:15:11

Yanbu the risk of someone snatching a child is always there. Can I just ask though, what does Lo stand for?

Hamiltoes Sun 04-Sep-16 08:15:47

You probably should have walked behind with LO yourself if you were that concerned rather than asking/ telling him how he should do it.

Thats my take anyway, but I don't think it's a massive deal.

Caffeinator Sun 04-Sep-16 08:15:48

YANBU. Mine was the same and I had to have firm words with him about it. Fortunately for me, he listened. Yours doesn't sound as if he will.

Sootica Sun 04-Sep-16 08:17:56

LO is little one I think
Used a lot on Facebook/Netmums

StealthPolarBear Sun 04-Sep-16 08:17:59

I'd not be too worried about child snatchers (are they really as common as people seem to belive? )
I would worry about the child getting distracted, stopping to look or turning the wrong way and getting separated from us.
Not in this case obviously but my main worry is cars.

Ratbagcatbag Sun 04-Sep-16 08:17:59

I'm with you and so is my DH. Not so much for your LO being snatched but for that split second they decide to shoot off down a busy street/into a shop or behind some market stall or street seller. In front of you a few feet fine, but not behind.

cansu Sun 04-Sep-16 08:18:58

I agree with you. It is just common sense to have them close at least so you can see them. More likely to wander off to pat a dog thsn be abducted but still worrying. The OTT reaction is likely because he knows you r right. In future take charge yourself. I find my partner quite slack on things like this so I tend to keep dd with me. Ridiculous but at least I know she is safe.

VioletBam Sun 04-Sep-16 08:21:49


But I wonder why you're ahead and they're behind?

Couldn't you hold his hand?

But this wouldn't solve your worry when your partner is out without you...

My DH got told by an elderly woman M&S...he was looking around apparently and DD was trailing.

An elderly lady said to him "Watch takes seconds. Hold her hand"

And since then he's never let DD slip behind him. Something about an older woman telling him made it sink in.

user7755 Sun 04-Sep-16 08:22:01

If you feel that strongly why did you walk ahead and leave him dawdling behind?

You didn't need to start informing your DH of how wrong he was in his parenting, you could have just waited for them and held your child's hand. That said, it sounds like he is overreacting if this is really all there is to it.

m0therofdragons Sun 04-Sep-16 08:22:44

We always keep dc in front or hold hands. But I guess it's how you worded it to dh. We have had occasions like this where I gave essentially criticised dh and it's never going to go down well. I either word it very carefully or snap and accept a dull but at least he'll get the point. It's very rare though.

wheresthel1ght Sun 04-Sep-16 08:23:19

Your child being snatched is a ridiculous argue end. The chances are way too small. However the chances of a 4 year old becoming distracted and wandering off and getting lost - HUGE risk.

Your DH was a twat. But I guess it depends on how you spoke to him. All guns blazing and accusations that he is a shit dad are likely to cause an argue meant with the most placid of people. Explaining your concerns calmly and asking him to be more considerate of the risks is ok.

isthistoonosy Sun 04-Sep-16 08:23:32

I.agree one of you should have sight of your kid but by walking ahead and presumably faster than your LO your husband was left trying to keep up.with you / not loose you in the crowd and keep an eye on the kid.
You should have all just walked together.

CheshireDing Sun 04-Sep-16 08:29:21


I know realistically the chances of them being snatched is tiny but it's a fear of mine too.

Is it worth saying to him to imagine how he would feel if child disappeared ? The fear, the panic ?

We all have our foibles, can't he just humour you on this one ?

NerrSnerr Sun 04-Sep-16 08:33:02

I agree with the others that the bigger risk is him getting lost then him getting snatched. It seems over the top he would cause such an argument.

nothingisnothing Sun 04-Sep-16 08:35:36

Thanks everyone.
Lo means little one - apologies.
I did go and take lo's hand every time I saw him trailing behind but felt I should mention it to Dp.

I feel like whenever I call him on something, however big or small, his reaction is all wrong and tends to make me think it's me that's the unreasonable one.
He's a nightmare sometimes.

BombadierFritz Sun 04-Sep-16 08:36:52

he is just distracting you with the massive over reaction. a little kid can wander off/stop to look at something/go into a shop in a second. of course you shouldnt leave them trailing behind. but by walking ahead you yourself are forcing the pace and letting this happen.

BombadierFritz Sun 04-Sep-16 08:38:18

dh over reacts like this. took me years to see it for what it was. now I.just stay clam and say 'you can shout all you want. its not distracting me'

wheresthel1ght Sun 04-Sep-16 08:39:09

"Calling him on something" suggest you are having a go at him. If he constantly feels like he is under attack and you don't trust him then his reaction whilst out of order is somewhat understandable.

Try and imagine how you would feel if you were constantly being told what you were doing with your child was wrong.

He is automatically going to be on the defensive.

Try trusting him and laying off

LagunaBubbles Sun 04-Sep-16 08:39:11

I would be more worried about the risk of them toddling off in front of a car than getting "snatched" to be honest. I honestly don't get how people seem to spend their children's entire childhood worrying about this, what a load of unnecessary anxiety.

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 04-Sep-16 08:41:28

YANBU. He knows he's in the wrong and shouting is just his way of trying to push his shitty behaviour onto you.

I have a 5 year old who loves to stop and look at stuff, dance when there's buskers, have a little stroke of folks dogs, touch a few windows, all sorts of japes. I hold his hand, and if I don't DH does. Abduction doesn't worry me, but being lost in a huge shopping centre does. Stand your ground and tell him he's being a knob donkey.

FayKorgasm Sun 04-Sep-16 08:41:53

Why should the OP have to do all the parenting when the other parent is right there? Any person knows that small children can disappear in seconds if something catches their eye.
I am sick of returning lost children to parents who can't be bothered to hold their hand.

insancerre Sun 04-Sep-16 08:42:32

So, you're in front, DH is behind you and DS is behind DH?

How do you talk to each other if you are all in a line?

Would it not be better to be 3 abreast so both of you could hold one of DS' hands?

Or, go on your own next time

E ading your op, I think the problem is not what you say to him but how you say it

NicknameUsed Sun 04-Sep-16 08:44:02

"Try trusting him and laying off"

Well, clearly, he can't be trusted can he?

No responsible adult walks on ahead leaving their small child trailing behind in a busy shopping centre.

happypoobum Sun 04-Sep-16 08:45:20


DP sounds like a childish knobber.

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