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Incident in play centre

(72 Posts)
Setsailwithallmylove Tue 25-Apr-17 23:36:58

I was going to an exercise class in a local play centre. It is held at 9.30 before the place is officially opened - small group of perhaps 6 or 8 mums led by an instructor. The kids play while the mums exercise. The owner walks around keeping an eye on the kids but mums keep an eye on them too. I have a son who is 3 and a half and a daughter who is 2.

The class was excellent and my two kids seemed to enjoy going there each week. They would run back to me regularly throughout the class and I would go and check on them a few times during the class. Class was about 45 mins.

Last week the class had only just started when I heard a child crying. It wasn't my child but I realised my child might have caused the crying so I ran over. The other mum said my son had bit her daughter. I was really shocked and apologised immediately. She was really angry and said I had no control over him and her child had being having nightmares about my child!! This was complete news to me - she hadn't said a word before this (we've been to about 6 or so classes together). I haven't noticed her child being upset the other weeks? No one has said a word about my son before this and I hadn't seen him misbehave at all in there. I'm not saying he didn't do it - just that I can't understand how she can say he's been causing her child to have nightmares? This means he's been bold in the past but she said nothing?

Neither of us saw the bite happen- both kids were on the top floor of the play centre. Her child is 4.

She walked away and I followed her to get my son to say sorry to her child - she then gave out to him.. saying don't go near my child,etc. I again said how sorry I was and that I would take him away. Even though I had just paid for the class I walked out immediately, taking my younger child too.

I've been so upset about this. My son has bitten his sister before but not in more than a year. His preschool says he is getting on really well there. I am so surprised and disappointed he did it. I can't go back to the class now as I don't feel I can leave him out of my sight at all.

My husband thinks I should go back to the class - that the woman completely overreacted.

I think I would be too worried about it happening again. Also anytime I go to a play centre the kids often go in opposite directions - how can I watch them both every minute?

GinSwigmore Tue 25-Apr-17 23:45:06

You should have stayed put* and you should indeed go back.
You tell your son biting is unacceptable and remind him before the next session.
Ignore the other mother entirely. If she is so unhappy let her vote with her feet.
* you should only have left if you were leaving as a consequence of DS's actions and he understood that/made the connection that biting= straight home.
Otherwise you should have stayed.

DonkeyOaty Tue 25-Apr-17 23:48:25

So no one is supervising the children, they're in a different room? How secure is the building?

I think you would be too anxious to get much from the class in future, that's a shame.

GinSwigmore Tue 25-Apr-17 23:49:23

^ I have 3 kids. Two of whom have been bitten/scratched by others, one of whom was a biter (but only of siblings for the grace of God). "You are not a dog" was a refrain for a while and unfair to dogs
At 3 they are old enough to know better but they are still very young. Other mother giving out to him not exactly modelling good behaviour either.

Guepe Tue 25-Apr-17 23:49:51

she then gave out to him.. saying don't go near my child,etc.
Sorry, but could you explain what happened here? Not following.

catsarenice Tue 25-Apr-17 23:52:40

I've not heard the phrase 'gave out to him' - is it the same as 'she had a go at him'?

5OBalesofHay Tue 25-Apr-17 23:54:13

Child care sounds a bit adhoc and unsatisfactory. How about a gym with a proper creche?

Blimey01 Tue 25-Apr-17 23:55:53

It's not a big deal. Young kids bite occasionally. I remember when my Ds was 3 he bit his friend on her face! I was totally mortified but luckily her Mum was a childminder and pretty laid back. No damage done and years on he's not a crazed biting animal! I did keep a close eye on him for a while after, just so i could quickly intervene incase he got the urge again 🙄
Ignore this Mum, she OTT. You've told your DC off and dealt with it.

Stressedout10 Tue 25-Apr-17 23:56:20

What a horrible woman, kids will be kids. Both of mine did similar things you were behaving very well I would have told her to jog on

GinSwigmore Tue 25-Apr-17 23:56:30

In my head it's an open plan layout gym with Wacky Warehouse type equipment they were at the top of, or something similar?
I think all participants of class must know therefore that there is a finite chance of an altercation at that age.
As for general supervision in ballparks/play areas, as long as you're not the mum never looking up from her mobile while her kids are feral, then you do a risk assessment, stick closer to the smallest and let your elder son run off steam whilst still being on stand-by. You can't climb all the apparatus with them all of the time.

MadamePomfrey Wed 26-Apr-17 00:03:12

Her child has been having nightmares about a child at this place and yet she has continued to go back and made no effort to speak to you or the manger or someone about what was happening!!! Sounds off to me! You went over and checked you apologised it seems reasonable to me I would go back and maybe ask the manger to keep an extra eye out for you

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 26-Apr-17 00:12:35

Her child's having nightmares about your child. I think she needs to get a grip and the quicker the better. (The parent obviously not the child)
I agree with pp kids are kids. They push hit bite and scratch each other a thousand times a day, but. Then they're playing together as if nothing has happened. Not worth getting excited over and screaming like a banshee. That achieves zero zilch nada. She needs to chill out.
Oh and with the best will in the whole you can't watch them all the time.

TheRealPooTroll Wed 26-Apr-17 00:13:44

I think it sounds like your ds needs a closer eye on him than you are able to give at a class like that for the time being.

Italiangreyhound Wed 26-Apr-17 00:21:18

Setsailwithallmylove I am sorry this has happened and I do think you should go back and continue with the class.

I don't think the other mum is quite as horrible as some are making out.

To my knowledge neither of my kids have bitten anyone (outside the family) or been bitten by anyone, but if a child at a creche or toddler group bit my child I would probably go a bit angry!

However if my child was having nightmares about another child I would speak to the other parent.

Flossimodo Wed 26-Apr-17 00:34:26

They push hit bite and scratch each other a thousand times a day

I must have lived a very sheltered life then. Pushing, hitting, biting and scratching was not something I saw everyday, and certainly not dismissed as kids being kids. All of those things are unwanted behaviours that should be dealt with, and should not be accepted as the norm. It really isn't.
And if my child had been bitten I would be furious and maybe would even give the biter a harsh word or two. Maybe that's not the right thing to do but when your child is hurt it must be hard not to.

EineKleine Wed 26-Apr-17 01:06:58

Mine are older but when they were little, one was a bitee who did have nightmares about one particular child, and the other was a biter. Biting does seem to be particularly emotive, possibly more to parents than to children, and it really does bring out the mother hen instincts in the bitee's parent.

I think you should observe your DS very carefully over the next week or so, check in with preschool again, talk to your son if he can tell you, and then decide. In principle I think you should go back - and tbh you might as well because there is a decent chance the other mum won't come back. However if he is going through a bitey patch (teething?) then he may need closer supervision than you can give him in this set up for the next few weeks. It's technically true that you can't watch them all the time, but you can watch them more than you were when you were exercising and they were out of sight at the top of the playframe!

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 26-Apr-17 01:56:17

Well yes things should be dealt with but. Not by screaming in children's and adults faces, when they're trying to Apologise.

BarbarianMum Wed 26-Apr-17 06:00:41

Well either the other woman is lying or this isn't the first incident bw your son and her daughter. In your position I'd hesitate to go back unless i could do more supervising of my children because I would be concerned that he might be being unkind more frequently. I think some kids do go through a phase of hitting/biting or whatever but it needs to be picked up and acted on.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 26-Apr-17 06:17:08

How about going back next week and do more observing than exercising just for that class? See what happens.

ArtemisiaGentilleschi Wed 26-Apr-17 06:23:25

It sounds like none of you are keeping an eye on children who are far far too young not to be kept an eye on. That's the problem.
If my child had been bitten by another (and seemingly not the first time something like this had happened) and the parent was blissfully ignorant about it, I'd tell him to stay away from him as well.

If the OP's child had been the victim of the biting this thread would have very different responses. hmm

Crisscrosscranky Wed 26-Apr-17 06:25:05

My daughter was bitten and bullied by one child when she was younger - his behaviour was sneaky (he knew when he'd get away with no one seeing) and she worried about it when he wasn't around too. One day I lost my temper, albeit with nursery manager not the child/mother, as there was a relatively minor incident that was the final straw.

Your post reads like you could well believe your DS is a biter. Therefore until you have a child who is bitten I think YABU to think the other parent overreacted.

As an aside the childcare arrangements for the class sound dangerously inadequate.

CassandraAusten Wed 26-Apr-17 06:35:43

I never had a biter thankfully, but one of my DC went through a pushing / hitting phase. It's a normal phase but while it was going on I supervised him very closely and tried to intervene if I thought an incident was about to take place (not always successfully, but I tried).

So I think that this class possibly isn't the right thing for you and your DS at the moment. I don't agree with your DH that this woman over reacted (unless you think your DS didn't actually bite the other child?) - it's awful when your child gets bitten.

insancerre Wed 26-Apr-17 06:41:20

Children need supervising
It sounds like an odd set up
It's not the children's fault if they are left to their own devices

Trifleorbust Wed 26-Apr-17 06:45:05

I think you should give yourself a break. This has happened once. You know now that it is a possibility and can tell him off, then supervise him more closely during the class.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Wed 26-Apr-17 07:03:53

So this is potentially 16 pre-schoolers being loosely supervised by one adult? That is way over the ratio for a nursery. I wouldn't have been happy to take my DS there when he was 2-3. It's just a recipe for exactly this kind of thing to happen.

If you want to take a class why don't you put your DC in a crèche where they will be appropriately supervised?

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