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Wise women of Mumsnet help me to decide whether to write a mild letter of complaint or not bother

(36 Posts)
RedChrysanth Sun 11-Oct-09 08:33:42

I have namechanged as, if I do complain, I don't want to be traced through this thread.

We were at a theme park yesterday and the DCs were on an activity where they have to be shown what to do first, without parents present.

When they had done their thing and we were walking away, DS1 (9) said:

"By the way, when we were shouting, we didn't mean Daddy."

I didn't know what he meant so asked him.

He said "The ladies got us to shout out XX STINKS because of that man who'd been annoying them" (XX being DH's name as well, conincidentally.)

I said "What man?" thinking WTF and he pointed to a normal late-teens-early-twenties, nice-looking young man who was working on the activity.

Obviously I immediately knew what had happened. They are young, and there's flirting and banter going on and as part of this "office joking" the girls decided to get the kids to chant something mildly offensive to tease the guy. I am happy that he thought it all a good laugh.

However I felt quite uncomfortable that my DCs and others are being encouraged to chant something insulting en masse to someone whose feelings they know nothing about. If they did the same at school to another child it would probably be classed as bullying and land them in deep water. Which is not of course as serious as the feelings of the poor little victim. One of DS1's friends has already been bullied and DS1 says the bullies said he smelled sad.

Of course I will explain to the DCs that grown ups tease each other in funny ways and that they weren't really being horrible to the man, and they had better not do that, etc.

But I wondered whether I should write a mild letter asking those in charge to 'have a word' asking the young staff to not rope the children into their teasing, as they just don't get it.

Am now hoping you'll all tell me to get over myself so I don't have to bother my arse to actually write in grin.

justaboutautumn Sun 11-Oct-09 08:36:19

Message withdrawn

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 08:37:00

Might it have been part of the "script"?

hercules1 Sun 11-Oct-09 08:38:17

It would rile me too but like you I probably couldn't be arsed to complain.

RedChrysanth Sun 11-Oct-09 08:41:50

Was not part of the script any other time I have sat in. I don't know why I decided not to hide what/where it was, it was Legoland Driving School.

As I said, I don't think they were "bullying each other" I thought that they were flirting. But DCs don't really know that.

RedChrysanth Sun 11-Oct-09 08:42:24

uh! "decided to hide"

< too early >

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 11-Oct-09 08:42:51

Hmm, I sort of agree with the principle of what you say, but what he told the kids to shout was not hugely offensive, and was just a standard sort of way of getting the children to listen and bond. I wouldn't have a problem with it.

choosyfloosy Sun 11-Oct-09 08:42:54

I might talk again to the Dcs about it, but i wouldn't complain. I see why you are thinking about it though.

purepurple Sun 11-Oct-09 08:44:24

Sounds perfectly harmless to me.
YABU to consider complaining.

RedChrysanth Sun 11-Oct-09 08:44:57

oh and when I described the chap as "a normal late-teens-early-twenties, nice-looking " I meant that I thought from what DS1 said that they were being annoyed by a smelly drunk or something.

Just realised it reads a bit hmm

Trying desperately to fill in gaps so I don't get accused of stealth AIBU.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 11-Oct-09 08:45:27

If DCs don't know they were flirting, it doesn't matter. I actually think, given the pure hell that is Legoland, that the young staff are really good with the children we have been there 4 times).

I don't like it when people in these places have a can't be arsed attitude to children, but I don't think this fits into this category.

It was banter, not bullying.

iLikeDots Sun 11-Oct-09 08:49:17

Agree with purepurple. YABU. Is this a joke??

LowLevelWhingeing Sun 11-Oct-09 08:49:32

is it really worth the effort, in any circumstances, to write a mild letter of complaint?

nah

RedChrysanth Sun 11-Oct-09 08:50:51

I know it was banter not bullying.

That's my whole bloody POINT!

So if any of the DCs in that session go to school on Monday and get all their friends to chant out that "So and so stinks" it'll get called banter by the school, will it?

Sad thing is it probably will?

My point is that we are trying to teach our DCs that saying nasty personal things about people are wrong and encouraging other people to join in with you is bullying.

So they go somewhere like this and people whom we know are just teenagers but to them are akin to teachers lead a chant, and then we say: oh that's OK, it's just a bit of fun.

Which it IS. But I think it sends the wrong message, and is confusing.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 11-Oct-09 08:56:52

Yeah, sorry, it's early. I do know what you mean Red. I suppose I just think that children are able, with our help, to work out the difference. The chant was against an adult, so maybe that makes a difference.

I don't really know why I have less of a problem with it, given I get quite agitated by "Prank Patrol" on CBBC (children setting up elaborate and mean practical jokes to get their friends back).

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 09:03:01

Thinking about it, I would write raising the issue. I don't think adults condoning this sort of behaviour is at all a good thing.

purepurple Sun 11-Oct-09 09:05:17

Being able to tell the difference between a bit of friendly banter and malicious bullying is a very important skill to learn.
Teens have very different ways of talking to each other.

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 09:08:19

I don't think they would be teens at the Legoland driving school........

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 09:09:05

And teens to have a very different way of talking to each other - which adults shouldn't emulate!

purepurple Sun 11-Oct-09 09:10:12

I was just quoting the op,
"late-teens-early-twenties"

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 09:28:37

Sorry, misunderstood. But surely if they are in charge of a ride at a theme park they are in "responsible adult" mode and should behave accordingly?

Or am I being an arse?

purepurple Sun 11-Oct-09 09:32:46

no, you are not being an arse grin
but being a 'responsible adult' is sooo subjective

SolidGhoulBrass Sun 11-Oct-09 09:37:34

Do you want to turn your DC into cat's-bum-mouth wet blankets at an early age? While I appreciate that bullying is a problem that parents need to address and be aware of, if you fail to distinguish between malice and banter and stop your DCs being able to make that distinction, you are setting them up for awful bullying (if one DC in a class/group is the one who always runs bleating to teacher at the mildest, friendliest teasing then that DC is going to be the least-liked kid in the school).
Pious humourlessness is a very unhealthy trait to saddle your DC with.

carocaro Sun 11-Oct-09 09:38:37

An arse, really. It was just silly fun that your kids engaged in, were you not a young woman once who loved the thrill of the flirt and fun at work?

It's not as if they had their tongues down each others throats or your kids were told to chant 'hey big tits fancy one?'

You have to get it in perspective, they were not at school, they were having a good day out at a theme park, it's the setting they were in. I am sure your kids get they won't be able to do it at school.

Just say to your kids it was a bit a silly messing about that they should not really have been encourage to take part it. You are going to make it into more of a bit deal if you keep banging on about it.

Don't be a crusty and go make a fuss about nothing. You want and your kids want to remember the fun of the day out not the supposed incident.

iLikeDots Sun 11-Oct-09 09:42:24

what solidghoulbrass said . Couldn't of put it better myself !

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