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To have walked off and said nothing to this child/mother?

(141 Posts)
TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:28:16

Hello. Long time lurker.

Soft play. A girl of what I guessed was 4/5 walked up to my 21mo and totally unprovoked, shoves him in the chest. Hard. I'm biased, but he had done absolutely nothing wrong. Not even looked at her. No toy stealing or anything. He falls backwards onto the floor and bursts into tears (understandably).

Mother/carer of this girl doesn't acknowledge me or DS but takes the girl by the arm and tells her to say sorry. Girl ignores her and walks off. Mother does nothing. Says fuck all to me. Not even an apologetic look. By this time I've picked my son up and I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to calm him down.

I don't suffer fools and normally I would have said something. I was so shocked that I walked off with hysterical DS in tow. If he had done that to another child I would have died. Apologies all round.

Is this normal behaviour? Was her pathetic attempt to make her child show some kind of remorse sufficient and AIBU to think it was not? Should I have said something or was I right to just leave it?

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:32:44

It actually really bugs me that the number one concern for parents is to make their offspring apologise. If DS did this to another child my response would be something like this:
DS! You do not push. That is very naughty. If I catch you misbehaving like that again we are leaving and going home without a snack. Do you understand? Now, say sorry to the little boy.

I would also apologise to the parent. I really don't see that making my child apologise to the other child is going to do any good. It is certainly not going to deter him from doing it again.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:35

That's disgusting. Shit lax parenting at its worst. Just reading that made me upset for your ds sad. Well done for having dignity. I would have told that child off severely and let the mother know she needs to work on her mothering skills.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:47

I agree. Sorry; I should have actually worded that a bit better. I was annoyed with the fact that despite her child not apologising, she also did nothing. I accept that making the kid apologise should not be the priority.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 05-Jan-13 21:36:05

I think you were right to leave it.

No, I don't think the mother handled it correctly but I don't think you would have achieved anything by telling her that.

perceptionreality Sat 05-Jan-13 21:36:31

She probably felt embarrassed. She did try to make her child apologise - what could she have done to force her? A shame for your ds. I hate soft play centers as a rule!

WhySoSirius Sat 05-Jan-13 21:36:44

When I'm nannying I ALWAYS tell my extremely disturbed and violent charges off for this kind of behaviour, make them apologise and then sit in time out in full view of everyone.
a) gives them a chance to calm down b) removes them from the situation c) teaches them that aggression is NOT on at all and d) shows the poor parent and child that it is being dealt with

I then profuse apologise to both parent and child and explain that they are not mine

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:38:21

Sorry Twigs, I should have worded mine better too - I was agreeing with you.

The scenario just pushed some buttons for me about the way people discipline their children. I would be unlikely to say anything in real life though!

McNewPants2013 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:38:36

If my DC didn't apologise then I would grab my things and we would have went home.

SirBoobAlot Sat 05-Jan-13 21:39:17

In a few years time your DS is bound to do this, even if just the once. It is humiliating, and you cannot physically force a child to apologise. Yes, if the child didn't, the mother should have, but I think you were right to leave it.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:40:27

find it weird that people take 21 months old to soft play then complain when the kid gets poked

they're for children to run about and let off steam

not for babies and toddlers (imo anyway) and have worked at a few!

elizaregina Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:12

twig this is real bug bear of mine, not so much now dd is older and more sturdy but when she was smaller and very skinny and very sweet lovely little girl i would get so upset when older and violent children would run amok in soft play whilst parents left them too it...shoving pushing - punching even other kids - very violently...

I dont mean the good natured boy who likes to wrestle a bit with a big smile on his face, i mean the child that tries to reach another to hurty but cant so walks round to a differnet area to get access to then punch or hit ....

tbh - from what i have seen over the past four years - i would be v grateful that the parent saw and noticed and did at least try and get an apology.

I agree Jolly, mine would be the same - not acceptable - and do it again we would leave - I would be mortified if DD deliberalty casued another child pain like that...

JugsMcGee Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:24

Crikey, my 22m old (who can be a bit "pushy" at soft play if he thinks someone is trying to take his toy) gets more of a telling off than that. And I am always mortified and apologise to the parent.

No you can't force them to say sorry but you can make it very clear that that behaviour isn't acceptable and there are consequences.

Ok that last bit sounded a bit "Supernanny" but you get the idea!

perceptionreality Sat 05-Jan-13 21:42:09

it's also worth remembering you don't know the full circumstances. When my dd was at the child development centre being assessed there was a child there who pushed every child she saw really hard (including mine). Her mum told me it was her way of communicating (she had suspected ASD).

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 21:43:17

Discipline like this is one of the reasons we now have so many knobs in the world

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:43:42

uptheamp Fair enough, but I see plenty of kids the same age as my DS at numerous soft plays and don't think the age of either child is an excuse for that kind of behaviour or lack of apology from parent and/or child. And it wasn't a 'poke' she shoved him in the chest onto the floor.

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:45:08

perceptionreality This is one of the reasons I didn't say anything. I didn't want the parent / carer to turn around and tell me that the girl had special needs or anything similar. Hence I just left it.

JugsMcGee Sat 05-Jan-13 21:45:21

Up the amp there are plenty that have different areas for different age groups. If my toddler was hurt in an area meant for older children then that's my fault but if older children come bulldozing through the baby bit and hurt DS I would be peeved.

Yes it's a place to run off steam. Doesn't mean kids can go round hurting others on purpose.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 21:45:42

Sirboobalot. I have a child of the same age as the one that hurt op's ds. No way in hell would he ever do that to another kid, unprovoked or otherwise. Aggressive behaviour isn't tolerated in my house not by me or dh or any of our family. The kids I've personally seen exhibiting this sort of behaviour have had issues at home such as domestic violence and lazy liberal parenting, sometimes one sibling out of seven others. Maybe you think I'm precious but my ds used to be pushed around and bitten til he bled in the company of those types of kids, hence why it really makes my blood boil hearing things like this.

usualsuspect Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:19

kids are always pushing and shoving each other not worth making a big deal out of imo

JollyToddles Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:27

I think soft play near us must be different to softplay in other places. All ours have a specific 0-2 area that only littlies are allowed in. Surely if softplay was only for large children they wouldn't have these areas? We generally go at 9am on weekdays when the places are quiet so don't have lots of 4 year olds running around, just a couple of other 2-3s.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:47:44

she was four years old at a soft play session! having worked at soft play places i know i wouldn't take any child under 3 to them and not expect other children to tiptoe around them

the enclosed nature of them makes it hard to segreate the ages.

kids need to be outside in the fresh air in parks not in these awful stinky rubberised rat runs

then parents get all shirty when something happens beggars belief really

TwigsWithStupidLittleLightsOn Sat 05-Jan-13 21:48:50

FWIW, I accept that DS may be younger than others at soft play (he's a big lad for his age so size not a problem) and therefore may receive the occasional knock form an excitable older child. I always stay near him but don't helicopter in. This does not excuse outright aggressive behaviour from an older child. Ever.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:48:52

they aren't really healthy, the amount of times i went around with a spray to get rid of skid marks wink

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 21:49:37

hold on, out right aggression for a four year old? lol

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