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Other parents telling your child off

(23 Posts)
ellie333 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:06:47

To cut a long story short, today my son was shouted at by an older lady (assuming grandmother) of a little girl at his play group. He has been going to this play group since he was 1 week old as i took my older son also so have been going myself for 4 years.
This is the first time this lady and the little girl have been.
So hes 2 and half in the midst of terrible 2's and a boisterous little one, with older brother that said weve never had a problem like this at this playgroup before.
Today he was playing, the little girl approached and he patted her on the head..(all be it too hard! It wasnt a hit or remotely aggressive in nature!) This is something he has started to do with children younger than him. And ive stopped him a few times in other places. I would guess the girl was about a year younger than him. The girl was completely not bothered and continued to play near him. I was watching the situation from about 5m after a few more minutes, he lifted his arm to do it again.. I was ready to step in and tell him off. But this grandmother got in first.. She jumped up lifted her arm to block any hit from my son and shouted full volume at him telling him she did not like his behaviour. That loud the whole room stopped and watched. My son got a fright and burst out crying.. I was stunned.
Granted he shouldnt be raising his hands to anyone.. I was about to tell him off myself but in a more redirection 'we dont hit that will hurt, come on lets play this' kind of way.. Like all other mums there do. I have no problem with someone telling my som not to behave in a certain way but she was very aggressive in her approach and scared him. She noticed my son crying his eyes out and was not at all bothered shed made him cry and even when he was still sobbing on my knee 5mins later didnt approach me to explain why she told him off or check he was ok.
Im just a bit stunned by it..
What would you have done in this situation!?!?

Buzzardbird Wed 16-Nov-16 13:11:32

She was out of order but it's hard to see it from her perspective.

The upshot is that it is unlikely it will be a problem in the future.

Gizlotsmum Wed 16-Nov-16 13:15:13

Did you say anything the first time? Her manner was wrong but if a child had done that to my child, and nothing had been said by a parent, I would stop it if I saw it about to happen again and not wait to see if the parent said anything a second time.. I would also have told my child not to do it the first time

HandbagAtDawn Wed 16-Nov-16 13:15:57

Tbh I wouldn't mind all that much if it was justified.

If my toddler is playing up, she needs to learn she will get bollocked, whether by me or someone else. In fact it's scarier when someone else does it. Which means she's less likely to repeat the behaviour. Win.

DaysLikeThis1 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:17:18

I would have 'redirected' him the first time he hit the little girl on the head thus preventing (hopefully) him from doing it again and at the very least showing her grandmother that I was monitoring my child. But then I too am an 'older woman' so what do I know!

ChocolateBudgeCake Wed 16-Nov-16 13:29:27

I would have stepped in but wouldn't have shouted. I'd have made it clear that I didn't approve though. Once, let it go. Twice? No way. Especially if I didn't see you address the behaviour first time around.

The fact it was a tap not a whack doesn't matter, as a parent I'd be worried next time it would be a whack. I don't blame the other lady for protecting her DC.

Buzzardbird Wed 16-Nov-16 13:34:30

The age of the other parent is not applicable and neither is how long you have been using the play group.

OlennasWimple Wed 16-Nov-16 13:37:28

Agree with what the others have said...

I wouldn't have shouted, but I would have stepped in to stop my child / grandchild being hit by a toddler who had already hit her once and whose parent didn't seem to be bothered by it.

I suspect your DS's reaction was as much shock at being told off by someone else as it was about the way this lady did it

m0therofdragons Wed 16-Nov-16 13:40:19

She saw you ignore his behaviour once so stepped in to protect her child. Would I have shouted? No but would I be annoyed with her? No. 2 year old potentially about to hit 1yo and mum is ignoring would have been how the other lady saw it.

ellie333 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:42:05

I didn't mean anything by the older women comment!! Just that i was assuming she was the childs grandmother! I agree he shouldnt be putting his hands on any other children. But like i say this wasnt a hit. He was smiling and patted too hard. It was play. Just heavy handed and too physical for a child younger than him. Not that she reacted at all. The first time he did it he looked at me and i gave him a stern look which he understands. I didnt jump up cos there wasnt really any incident, Granted the grandmother may not have seen me watching and the looks between me and him But to be honest if a child had done the same to my son i wouldnt have thought much of it, or expected anyone to jump in it was a pat on the head. And the girl didnt react at all. Was he about to do it again, yes, was she right to intervene before he did, yes .i was just about to myself, that wasnt my issue, my issue was the way she shouted so aggressively at him.. And the subsequent attitude from her not to talk to me afterwards when she seen how she'd frightened him and him crying on my knee, everyone in the room was stunned and taken aback by her. He wasnt behaving aggressively, or fighting or anything he was smiling and just needed some direction. the little girl wasnt hurt or crying, the incident in my opinion didnt warrant such an over the top reaction.

Buzzardbird Wed 16-Nov-16 13:47:19

You may not have seen a problem but she did...regardless of the fact you have been going there for years

Buzzardbird Wed 16-Nov-16 13:50:42

Think you need to practice your 'death stare' it's not working winkgrin

ellie333 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:55:35

I did see the problem, ive recognised the problem with his behaviour in the posts above. To look at it from her pov if it were me i would have ignored the first pat and stepped in at the second like she did but i would have directed the play. I may have told the child its not nice to raise hands like that and explained to him she doesn't like it.. I then would have played with them until i was sure the temptation to do it again had passed...if i had upset the child telling them off i would have without doubt explained to the mother why he was crying what id said and why and checked he was ok.. Maybe explained a bit more to him afterwards to calm him down. Ive had plenty incidents where its been my children being pushed or hit or jumped on or name called or whatever and as parents weve alwaYs just come together to sort it out. ive never known anything like this reaction

ellie333 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:01:57

Oh and i know him going to that playgroup longer doesnt give him any rights to be naughty. Just meant all the parents there know all the other kids and parents.. We all direct play and step in when needed but none of them shout at others like she did.

Enidblyton1 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:08:16

Her approach sounds a bit heavy handed, but on the upside the shock of being shouted at by another person might just stop your DC doing that again.
I would have been annoyed in your situation too. However, no harm done really and you might end up being grateful if it stops the behaviour wink

ellie333 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:14:30

Yeah i do agree with that enidblyton1

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 16-Nov-16 14:20:48

Of course it's possible that the little girl has some problem with her head which you know nothing about.

My friend's son had heart surgery at 12 months and a push in the chest that may have looked gentle to anyone else could have caused serious problems.

That kind of thing.

ellie333 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:51:15


Buzzardbird Wed 16-Nov-16 15:53:54

EnidBlyton just repeated what I said in my first post OP.

panad317 Wed 16-Nov-16 23:26:38

If the pat on the little girl's head was a polite hello then he shouldn't have been shouted at. At this age he's learning a lot through trial and error. The first time he said hello to her (a pat on her head) the little girl carried on playing alongside him which shows she was happy and he carried on playing with her. He wanted to communicate with her again, tried, and was faced with an aggressive lady shouting at him!! I agree with you OP. Positive reinforcement would've been better here but should've been dealt with aftsr the first time.. "you're playing nicely with the little girl, this is how we say hello..."
I understand the patting may have been too hard to begin with but it's not like he was trying to hurt her. So to those saying well done to the lady for stopping "that behaviour" maybe he won't bother trying to communicate next time because he didn't know which part he got wrong!

altik Thu 17-Nov-16 18:00:15

She shouldn't have shouted, but you should have dealt with it the first time.

People have different perspectives on things. By your own admission, your child is older, boisterous and used to dealing with an older brother as well as having a habit for bopping people on the head. If the younger girl was a pbf, she's probably not used to such behaviour, and so it would have seemed so much worse to her mum/ nan. If it was a nan, she might have felt even more protective of the child, because she's got to take her back to mum at the end of the day.

But if your child had done this to mine, I'd have been pretty pissed off that you'd done nothing about it the first time. I would have sternly told your child no, the second time although I wouldn't have shouted.

Oblomov16 Thu 17-Nov-16 18:19:18

You should have said something after he did it the first time. You know this. You should have said it for his benefit and also to let grandmother know you had acknowledged it/seen it.

OzzieFem Thu 17-Nov-16 19:25:28

MilkTwoSugarsThanks - Of course it's possible that the little girl has some problem with her head which you know nothing about.

There was another thread recently about a child having to give up all contact sports after having a shunt inserted to drain fluid from his head. I'm not saying this child has the same problem but how does one know, especially if the child is new to the nursery?

This woman may have shouted to make everyone in that room know she would not tolerate any abuse to that child, especially as nothing was done after the first episode. You don't know the home situation, just as she does not know your child. It would be nice if you just have a polite, non-aggressive chat to her next time and try to amicably resolve the situation.

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