to think these girls were a bit mean to my dd (2.10) in the park today?(51 Posts)
dd is very sociable far more so than me, she always approaches other children to talk to them, very confident.
got on the roundabout today with 2 girls of about 4/5 years old, tried talking to them they stared at her and ran off, didn't really bother me as they were only little. Then they teamed up with a few other girls who they obviously know a bit older prob 6ish? and all got on the roundabout together. everytime dd trid to get on they went deliberaetly fast so she couldn't make it in time and one of them said "quick go fast so she can't get on with us" meaning dd. dd looked so longing and hopeful, she just wanted to be included, broke my heart a bit .
then they got off and started cycling around, dd followed them on her scooter saying "hello hello" but everytime she got near they tore off laughing. dh was with her at the time, even he who's far less senisitive than me said he wished one of them would just answer her or smile at her or something, he said he felt they were quite rude and nearly said something. As did I re the roundabout as in "that's not very nice" but I held my tongue. Their mums were near and didn't once say "say hello to the little girl" or "let her have a turn".
Upset me too much probably, I was incredibly shy as a child, didn't really have eny friends and was often deliberately excluded, made my school years miserable. Cannot stand the thought of the same thing happening to dd.
I suppose it's life though and an early initiation into the nasty bitchy world that is groups of girls/women on occassion.
On a brighter note dd didn't seem bothered and had a good go on the roundabout when they'd gone with a lovely boy, obviously quite a bit older than her but chatted to her and took the time to spin her round and play with her .
agree with shineon. If you are concerned about your dd being excluded etc like you were then IMO the best thing you can do is advocate for her in these situations; speak up, politely but assertively, take charge...she will learn how it's done from watching you and she will be grateful that her mum speaks up for her.
I think it's easy as parents just to really WANT our kids to not be shy, excluded, etc - and not to focus on ourselves and remember that if we are quiet and allow bad behaviour to go unchallenged, we are simply teaching our kids to do the same.
Agree as well that these are only 5 yr olds, too young to blame for their behaviour; they needed a bit of adult guidance, and if it's not going to come from their parents, IMO it's perfectly acceptable for it to come from you!
Would have said to my dd (and the other children) something like, "just give these girls a few spins of going fast then we'll slow it down and get you on for your turn." and then whilst spinning it chatted to them all.
When other kids have been unkind, dh or I will either will either go and noticeably supervise or take dcs on something else.
I agree with the others maybe you could have just said oh let's just stop the roundabout so dd can get on. In my experience most kids then pretend not to have behaved badly at all and go out of their way to include your lo.
DD won't be bothered though so don't worry. If it was my dd4 or my ds7 i would have said something to them , think the mothers should have intervened too!
As the girls were twice her age I'd have distracted her and had her playing on something else. Bigger kids do want to go faster and it's not fair to ruin their fun on the roundabout just so my child can go slowly. If kids hog a play item then I usually ask if my kid can have a turn now, but I don't demand my child goes on something the minute thay see it if someone else is playing with it. Older kids generally aren't interested in playing with younger kids, unless there's no-one their age to play with. They weren't being unpleasant, just being 5 year old kids rather than 2 year old kids. They were a group of friends, they didn't want to play with her. That's OK. I wouldn't have let her trail round pestering them once it was obvious they weren't interested.
I feel your pain. I get really sad when 4/5 yr olds ignore DD's witterings (she's just 2). I know they don't have to include her, but it makes her sooo happy when they do!
This isn't just a girl thing btw -DS1(4) suffered in a similar way with some boys (aged 4-7yo?) at a campsite recently.
It really knocked his confidence. DH and I sat watching wanting to shout "just let him join in", but obviously you can't do that. They were much more rough and tumble that DS is and I think they sensed that, also DS2(2) was trailing around after them all too - he usually has no problem making friends.
"I suppose it's life though and an early initiation into the nasty bitchy world that is groups of girls/women on occassion."
I'm 41 and have never really noticed this world (except on Mumsnet )
I would have said - in a level voice (no indication of threat or suppressed anger)
(a) please slow the roundabout down my little girl wants to get on
(b)She is trying to say 'hello' to you, please say 'hello' back
...the latter being more for the other children's general education than any other reason. I would then have distracted dd since on many levels it is understandable that the older children did not want to encourage / be encumbered by a 2 year old.
I never got upset when my kids got left out by older kids and just saw it as part of life and reassured them that it's just because the children are older and usually tried to point them in the direction of similar age kids or distract them away from the big kids.
Maybe the fact that I was an older child makes a difference in that I can empathise with big kids not wanting to play with little kids and just wanting to be left to play with their friends in peace. It's different if the younger kid is a relative or has been invited round, but I've never felt that kids of any age should feel obliged to play with other kids they don't know in the park if they don't want to.
I understand how you feel. My DD is 2.2. She is also very confident and goes up to other children in the park and says "hello" and tries to talk to them and join in. They just look at her as if she is mental!
It does break my heart a little for her but she never seems to bother. I just usually say "come on DD why don't you have a go on the swing etc."
As others have said, the other children are only little themselves and haven't got great social skills yet. I was shy as a child and I really don't want DD to be the same way.
FWIW I do think that little girls can be quite catty towards each other as they are growing up too. When we have met little boys in the park they seem a lot more willing to talk to DD, whereas girls tend to look at her as if she has escaped from the looney bin!
I think that you are reading your own experience into it. Your DD was quite happy, the other DCs were double her age and didn't want to bother with a small one, had they been slightly older they would probably have been mature enough to play with her. I would just have left it-distracted her and if they had hogged it for too long have asked if she could have a go. I really wouldn't worry-if she is so sociable, she won't have trouble with other 6 yr old once she is 6 herself.If you think about it a group of 10 yr olds probably wouldn't want to include a 5 yr old, however friendly.
there's a girl in the class about DD1 who does this to her.
but i take comfort in the fact that, well, she's a bit of a cow just like her cow mother.
If it's someone in the class then that's more like bullying, although I think children have to learn that if someone in the class doesn't like you you look for another group to hang around with rather than trying to be part of a gang that doesn't really want you. I made myself miserable at about 11 by continuing to want to hang around with a girl who really wanted to play with another girl and wasn't wanting my company any more so wasn't nice to me when I hung around with them. At the time I felt bullied, but in retrospect I should have moved on to another group of friends before I did and stopped trying to make her like me. Not relevent to 2 year olds though. They just need to be moved away from older kids who aren't interested.
I do think that children often do stick very much to their age group - they bigger girls probably wouldn't have seen your dd as someone they could play with - she's too little for them.
They should have let her have a go, though, and I would have made sure she got her turn by saying something like "Could you slow it down for a while so that dd can have a go - she's too little to spin as fast as you can"
In my experience, 4/5 won't play with 2/3. But 7/8 will often play beautifully (if patronizingly!) with 2/3! It's not a girl thing, it's a child thing.
It does seem a bit mean, especially when they said "let's go fast so she can't get on", and I would never allow my kids to be deliberately nasty to a little one, but I don't think you can automatically expect older kids to be interested in your 2 year old. Some are, some aren't. As a parent of older children I find it equally annoying sometimes when parents insist that their little ones join in a game where the older children then have to spend the rest of the time making sure the younger child can keep up, understand the rules etc. Letting little ones loose in soft play designed for older kids then tut tutting when the older ones don't slow down to toddler pace is a pet hate of mine
I think 2rebecca makes a lot of sense, if one of the children had been related to your daughter, then you might have expected more inclusive behaviour.
They weren't mean to her, letting her get on the roundabout and spinning it too fast would have been mean, or letting her think she was being included and then running away.
They were enjoying themselves, without your daughter, and at 5 most children are still very egocentric.
Playing with toddlers is tricky, especially if the parents are there. If something goes wrong and the little one starts wailing, it is usually seen to be the fault of the older children. Why invite trouble?
hi, I have a really friendly dd2 who is that age (2.5) and makes 'best friends' with everyone she meets in the park and likes chatting to strangers, and I have a less friendly dd1 who is 4.5 and that age where they suddenly realise that being 'in a group' can feel empowering and can make them more confident. To anyone who doesn't have a 4/5 year old girl it may be hard to fathom, and easy to assume that this is mean behaviour but it isn't. your dd's behaviour was sweet and normal, the behaviour of the girls (not sweet) was also 'normal'. 4/5 yr olds might 'gang up'/exclude on a 2 yr old, 7/8 year olds would probably have put her on their lap and found her endearing.
i can only understand this as have dd's of both ages.. just trying to provide some insight for you so you can see they weren't 'mean' as such but i can see why you'd feel upset.
Oh, sunnydelight, that struck a chord!
I think one of the difficulties is that parenting seems to evolve with your children, so that if your child is young, that's where you are too. If you have an older one and a younger one, you can sometimes see things from more than one perspective.
I had a reception child stomp up to me in the playground and scream 'X is being mean and won't share'
When I went over to X, she was clutching a special 8th birthday toy that was hers and crying, terrified that I would enforce the sharing of her possession with the enraged infant.
Infant had to come to an understanding of compromise, school things are shared, personal possessions are exactly that. I wonder what the 5 year old's version of events was when she got home.
thanks for your replies, fwiw i don't think she was "pestering" them, just saying hello. It was the purposeful thing at the roundabout i.e. they would let it slow down then as she approached smiling, all alugh at her and jump back on again so she had to back off. That's not just playing, that's being nasty, one of the girls was at least 6 and imo the ringleader. I totally understand the little ones stage of development and probably not "getting" it but the older girl knew what she was doing and even dh thought she was being catty.
there was some very deliberate stuff going on, again the 4/5 year olds probably weren't at that stage where they know what was going on but the older gilr was. Almost seemed to be goading her iykwim. I expect children of all ages to say hello back, out of politeness, if dd ignored a child saying hello i'd have words with her.
I think in future i'll speak up, it's hard to explain the context of it if you weren't there but for dh to notice (he's usually v v laid back about such things) it was pretty apparent.
Thanks for your advice will assert myself a bit more in future.
dd often potters about quite happily on the periphery of groups of slightly older children when we're at barbeques etc. friends kids, they don't go to huge efforts to include her as such and i totally understand why, usually their play is a bit rough and tumble (mostly boys). However there isn't that deliberateness that i felt was there yesterday, that kind of edge of meaness for want of a better word.
she's quite happy to be alongside them and they're happy to let her totter around near them, smiling at her and saying the occassional hello. After a while she'll often come and find me and say "there are too many boys here for me mummy" shaking her head
I think it was worse of the other mothers than the kids to be honest. I'd make my DD slow the roundabout down for a smaller child if she didn't do it herself.
It's interesting. My kids go to a village school of about 150 kids. It's very obvious the bigger children have no issues with talking to little ones, infact they delight in playing with them, even the boys.
I agree with posters who says to intervene at some point and say something.
Most children though have not been brought up with kindness, a sense of inclusion within the community or manners sadly, especially those in larger cities
Agree completely with 2Rebecca. I'm afraid 2 year olds are very boring animals to 5 year olds if there are kids of their own age around and there is no reason on earth why they should be expected to play with her, lovely as she undoubtedly is. I have a particular bugbear about this, in fact- I think people's expectations of older kids playing with babies can be way OTT- many 5 plus year olds want to play fast and furiously in a big group. A 2 year old is not only counter to requirements but a definite liability if you want speed and action! I would be v surprised if this, rather than maliciousness per se, were not the reason behind the girls speeding up the roundabout to prevent your daughter joining in. Obviously if they were hogging the equipment they could be asked to take turns but expecting them to talk to or play with your daughter is unrealistic, imo. I think you are right to consider that your own horrible experiences may be making you feel a lot worse about this than you need to, tbh.
I don't think we should expect older kids to play with our toddlers but it is also upsetting to see your child upset because other kids are ignoring/excluding them.
Had a similar experience with dd at GP surgery a couple of weeks ago, they have a corner with a bead table and some happyland stuff in and 2 5 year old were playing in there (they were talking about their age) and dd (3) went in and said hello, what's your name? and they just stared at her and laughed. DD then said "you're 5 aren't you? I'm 3 so I'll be 4 then I'll be 5 like you" and they just laughed again. DD then came over to me and said "why aren't they talking to me". I tried explaining that sometimes older children don't want to play with younger ones and she then went back over. DS (1) followed her over and the boy made some comment about being surrounded by babies and not wanting to play with babies. DD said "I'm not a baby" and they started chanting "baby, baby, baby" at her so I just went and got some of the toys for dd and ds to play with elsewhere. DD was in tears though and the parents of the older kids didn't do anything. I was actually fuming, I wouldn't expect them to play with her or even talk to her really but hello wouldn't have cost them anything and I felt like chanting baby at her was almost bullying.
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