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To trust dads, more than men without children, at parks? :(

(323 Posts)
debson Fri 23-Sep-16 22:20:17

I feel bad about this, but I have no clue if it's a normal way to feel and I can normally guess what Mumsnet would say so don't bother, but I really don't know about this.

I was in the park earlier with DC (5 and 9) I always sit on the bench closest to the only exist.

There have been a couple of times when a father (who clearly has DC at the park) help youngest DD onto the monkey bars for example, then just go with their kids on to a different bit of equipment. We are a friendly village and do tend to interact with the DC (if it's obvious they go to same school, etc.)

However, I've had it once where (and this is with 9 year old DD and no contact involved) a man was pointing to bits of the rope that DD should put her foot onto (you know, to help her get to the top) and I went over and made casual convo and he had no children there hmm

Is it wrong to have not even thought for a second about that dad, but felt uneasy about that man for the rest of the time while we were there?

Soubriquet Fri 23-Sep-16 22:22:33

He may not have had children there but he could have children somewhere else

I know why your feeling a bit cautious but as long as your supervising there's no need to be. Not really

ollieplimsoles Fri 23-Sep-16 22:23:42

I wouldn't be happy with any random person 'helping dd onto the monkey bars' tbh, regardless of gender or if they had children on not.

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:25:23

Yes it is wrong. Not all men are paedophiles and not all dads are not. My dad has 3 children and 2 grandchildren and doesn't dare sit in a park to eat his lunch when out working (travels a lot) in case people think he's some sort of predator.

debson Fri 23-Sep-16 22:25:45

It was just a quick lift, as they're too high

callycat1 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:25:46

Same as Ollie.

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:26:12

Because of attitudes like that, I mean.

cloudyday99 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:26:20

I don't think that's odd to be uncomfortable with that.

It's not that all dads are safe. Much less that non-dads are all child molesters. But why would a man without children be in the park in the first place?

He may be just sad and lonely and like children, but it's still odd and most men would realise it would be seen as odd (unless he was there with a sibling/friend/ etc and their DC I guess)

SaucyJack Fri 23-Sep-16 22:26:48

Was he of retirement age? I tend to assume people who have nothing better to do than hang around public places talking to strange children are simply monumentally bored, rather than sinister.

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:27:48

Was he stood next to her helping? Or sat on a bench calling out? Because I'd have done that prior to having DD. I wouldn't help a child up without asking a parent first though.

debson Fri 23-Sep-16 22:29:03

He was middle aged. I don't know, just thought it was odd.

No of course, not all dads are safe, but a quick lift on the monkey bars didn't bother me.

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:29:07

cloudy why shouldn't a man be in a park though? It might be a nice place to sit and enjoy the sunshine.

debson Fri 23-Sep-16 22:29:53

He was stood up, pointing directly to the bit of rope.

callycat1 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:30:43

I think it's odd to be in a park as in children's swings and slides without children.

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:30:59

Right next to your child? I think he was probably being nice.

BrightOranges Fri 23-Sep-16 22:31:11

So you are concerned about the person pointing to where your child should step but not by the person who physically touched your child.
Do men with children not abuse children then?? hmm

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:32:14

Why though cally? If the park is the only place with benches nearby wjy shouldn't a man sit? And even if not, does a man sitting in a park alone automatically make him a weirdo?

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 23-Sep-16 22:32:18

I know lots of men who now feel they must leave a child alone if they have fallen and hurt themselves in a park or street. It's going against their human instinct to keep on walking in these situations but I suppose people fearing men without children has to have repercussions for society.

What if a childless woman was doing the same? I recently stayed in a hotel and had a 5-10 minute conversation with a child in the lobby, who was telling me about his first day at school. I helped him put books in the front pocket of his suitcase when he was struggling. To all intents and purposes, I looked like a childless woman.
Does childlessness around children a predator make?

debson Fri 23-Sep-16 22:33:13

No but it was just a quick lift confused that's like saying not all teachers are safe, so do you have an issue with them changing your child if they have an accident hmm no, nobody does.

He was just being nice.

Maybe the other person was, but I didn't see why he needed to get up to point and everything.

Fair enough, IABU

callycat1 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:33:35

Champagne because why would you sit in something designed for children without children?

I don't think it's weird to sit in a park without children as in, sit on a bench by a lake or on grass. But it's a bit odd to sit in the midst of play equipment.

PinkBrainsTasteGut Fri 23-Sep-16 22:33:56

Yanbu. I'd be more bothered by a man approaching my child on the park equipment who didn't already have a reason to be on the park equipment (ie a child with him). I'd also be bothered by someone (male or female) who approached my child and started chatting/playing with them. It's different if your child wanders over to them and starts the interaction.

SaggyNaggy Fri 23-Sep-16 22:35:57

It depends on the park in my opinion.
If the play equipment was fenced off, as ypou say you sit near the exit, and a random childless man was in the boundary and interacting with the children, I'd find that very odd.

ChrissieLatham Fri 23-Sep-16 22:37:06

After watching crimewatch about the legoland incident I am going to be a lot more wary in parks from now on.

cloudyday99 Fri 23-Sep-16 22:38:05

Depends what kind of a park I think champagne. The parks near me all have a really well defined kids play area with fences around it only really used by kids, and a bigger grassy area with benches used by everyone. If you were close enough to be helping a child in the monkey bars you'd have to be in the kids play area. If the park is really small and the only place to sit is near the play equipment I guess that's a bit different

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 23-Sep-16 22:38:12

cally so are you suggesting all childless men in parks are paedophiles? The play area is designed for children yes, but the parks are community areas, and essentially what you are saying is that a lone man shouldn't be allowed to sit in a community area without sudpiscion.

Some people are very lonely-this just isolates them further in my opinion.

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