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so finally, my 3 1/2 year old boy has got me shouted at in public....

(79 Posts)
pollypeachum Fri 07-Aug-09 16:49:15

Sorry about the length of this, but this incident has upset me.
My older twin, very tall for his age, has had an unfortunate prediliction for pushing and shoving other children for no good reason. It used to be much worse but he's growing out of it and has practically stopped. Nor entirely though, sadly....
On the basis that he seems to be a good hearted child otherwise, I am assuming (hoping!) that its a "stage." I have deliberately avoided things like soft play places where he could have run riot though, and stopped going to our local toddler group when his bigness for his age made him too big to be rough, compared to his peers/younger children. If you see what I mean.
The fact that he's a twin doesn't help of course because I can't keep an eye on both of them at once....
Anyway - there we were on our local highstreet at the end of a long day running errands. Both children had been good as gold. Then, just as we were about to go back to the car park, my boy for no good reason gives another child a shove - I was out of earshot but he probably told said child he was going to put him in jail - its the game they're playing at home.
Mother of said child immediately rounds on my boy saying very loudly and very repetively what a horrible, rude, nasty child he is. Her child by the by is not crying and has not been hurt. Not that thats an excuse - I have told my boy until blue in the face not to shove other children. Anyway, I tell him off but decide against sending him over to say sorry because she's still expostulating about how vile he is and I very much doubt he'd have wanted to approach her. I say that he is only three, although he seems much older. She says thats no excuse. I say I'm very sorry, she says he should be the one apologising, not me, and that he's vile. I say again that he is only three, she says I should teach my children some manners. I say I do! and she pulls a face and says not much. I decide discretion is the best course and we beat hasty retreat.
Its been bothering me ever since. Yes, my boy can be rough but he's three and a lot less rough than he used to be. Its not as if he punches, bites, kicks, nips - he just gives the odd shove and sometimes stands in the way, being bloody minded, and saying that no other children are allowed on the slide. He's always been very affectionate and these days he generally plays well with others and is a popular child.
So - I'm afraid to ask this because the truth might hurt - am I wrong to think that being three explains his behaviour, as I was trying to say to the other mother? Or is she right and am I effectively a sh*te parent for not teaching him some manners? I think she overreacted and jumped to the wrong conclusions. For example, I think its extremely bad manners to shout at and insult a stranger in the street!
Sorry to ramble - I've been stewing over this for a week!

chocolaterabbit Fri 07-Aug-09 16:52:58

I think she was wrong tbh. I would be upset if my DD was pushed but wouldn't dream of saying a child was vile - certainly not to the child or to its parent (although poss to DH later). There was an AIBU on this recently where the wording used to tell off another child was something like 'Please don't do that, its not very nice' and that was generally deemed acceptable. I think to go much further than this is very unhelpful.

Sounds like you're doing well and managing this generally so don't worry about it anymore.

shootfromthehip Fri 07-Aug-09 17:02:36

IMO the other Mum was wrong- you should have made your DS apologise immediately but when you and he did say sorry she should have graciously accepted it. She has obviously never been a conscientious parent of an unruly child (I on the other hand have and apologise even if the behaviour was moderate or ambiguous).

I wouldn't let it worry you as you didn't let him away with anything and she sounds like an old cow-bag <<childish emoticon>>.

Keep up the good work!!!

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 07-Aug-09 17:10:02

Oh that woman sounds foul, I kind of hope she's a mumsnetter and reads this so she can realise how horrible she was, yes, its not nice to see your child get hurt (tbh from your op it didnt sound like much harm was done) but to call your child 'vile' is awful!
You sound like you are doing a good job, try not to let people like this get you down. smile

Slubberdegullion Fri 07-Aug-09 17:13:04

Try not to worry about it. Your ds is exhibiting normal behaviour for his age, and as you say he is growing out of it, and you sound like you are dealing with it appropriately when it happens.

wrt ranty street lady, well she did overreact BIG time, but you know a couple of months ago dd2 was bitten at a play park by another child and I was completely overwhelmed by my mother-lion ROAR reaction. I was literally shaking with anger at this little boy who was grinning from ear to ear while his father told him off.

The only thing that held me back from transmogrifying into something beastly and frothing with rage was the thought that I might end up on a mn thread being the 'Other Horrid Mother'.

An unpleasant experience for all I imagine, but he'll stop shoving soon enough smile

TheProfiteroleThief Fri 07-Aug-09 17:14:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Barmymummy Fri 07-Aug-09 17:18:44

Do you know what I am sat here feeling enormous relief reading this. My DS (just turned 4) is EXACTLY the same. Has always been the same since 18 months old. Has always pushed or shoved. Never bitten or kicked etc just like your DS, but I am always on the watch out for pushing. He is particularly bad with DD.

I swear I have told him until I am blue in the face, he has had every punishment under the sun and whilst it works for a while he soon 'forgets'. The impulse hits before the brain kicks in so to speak.

Like your DS he used to be awful but is alot better now but he still pushes at playschool from time to time. I am getting to the point where age is no longer an excuse and I am just at the end of my tether with it.

He starts school in Janaury and half of me is hoping he will get sorted out properly there for pushing but I am also hoping he has stopped by then.....hmm

Think the other woman is an evil old doubt her children are perfect in every way hmm

amisuchabadmummy Fri 07-Aug-09 17:23:47

She sounds bonkers.

Dont worry about it.

She's probably on MN penning a thread about how she unreasonably went off at some poor woman today and called her child terrible names !

wannaBe Fri 07-Aug-09 17:25:35

well, being a three year old doesn't excuse his behavior, however, you had told him what he'd done was wrong so it's not as if you just sat back and watched him push over someone else's child.

The other mother on the other hand totally overreacted, and tbh anyone who can call a child like that names in that way always leaves me wondering how they speak to their own children at home.

You did nothing wrong. No your child was wrong to push over the other child but you dealt with it - there is no such thing as a child who never wrongs another child..

Confuzzeled Fri 07-Aug-09 17:29:29

I think the other woman was horrible and treated you and your ds in a very nasty way.

A Mum in my anti-natal group has stopped hanging out with us because her dd (2.5yo) has started shoving other kids. She has been dealing with it well and we keep telling her she doing the right thing but she has chosen to cut herself off, I miss her company.

I feel bad for you that you've cut yourself off from groups, it's a shame people can't be more understanding.

KembleTwins Fri 07-Aug-09 17:37:18

Poor you. What a vile (!) woman she sounds. OK, so shoving another child isn't the greatest of things to do, but at 3 years old, how many kids have never done that? I've never been one to shy away from pointing out to other kids that their behaviour isn't very nice if they hurt one of my DTs, but I would never ever do what that horrid woman did. I agree - once your DS had apologised, she should have graciously accepted. We had a mum at our playgroup with lovely, but rowdy boys, and she stopped coming because one obnoxious woman over-reacted when the boy in question was a little too rowdy near her own child. The mum with the boys hasn't returned because she doesn't want the situation to happen again, and we all really miss her.

I would have been seething angry if I were you.

pollypeachum Fri 07-Aug-09 18:20:37

You have all made me feel much better - esp BarmyMummy - I feel that you and I know what we are going through!
I completely understand that any mother would be protective if their child was pushed and to that extent I can't blame the other mum. In fact, had I not had a boy like mine, I wouldn't have believed it possible for a child to be actually ok but still behave like he deserves an asbo from time to time.
Thank you for replying. It does help to work things out this way!

screamingabdab Fri 07-Aug-09 18:21:59

She over-reacted, and from what you describe, you are doing all the right things.

Please don't doubt yourself, because in my experience, that alters the way you parent (shrieking at them, so that you are PROVING to everyone else how seriously you are taking it, instead of reacting calmly-but-firmly)

Having been the mother of one who used to BITE (eek !), and one who used to get bitten, I know which felt worse.

I probably was a bit smug because DS1 was not in the least physical. Karma will hopefully come to this woman in the form of her next child .......

SolidGoldBrass Fri 07-Aug-09 18:24:13

Oh FFS what a silly up-herself bitch she sounds. Small children do shove each other sometimes. It;s not nice or desirable behaviour but they are small children, they do not have great impulse control yet and so shit happens sometimes. (Yes, my DS has shovey spells too). You dealt with it fine, she's got the problem - oh, and your DS will grow out of it soon enough, as well. But she is a bit big to grow out of having a stick up her arse, unfortunately.

AitchTwoOh Fri 07-Aug-09 18:35:40

poor you, it's mortifying when they do this, isn't it? and they ALL do. what will happen to mrs perfect when her kid inevitably shoves another, will she tear his head off too?

Tryharder Fri 07-Aug-09 18:35:45

You sound very nice - I think I would have apologised/got my son to apologise and if she had continued to rant/rave would have told her to get over herself. I really would not take kindly to someone calling my child "vile" and I am afraid you were far too polite about it IMVHO.

The way some women carry on about toddlers pushing and shoving is unbelievable - particularly a PFB wink

My DS1 (4) was pushed off a wall by another child the other day - he was OK but cried a bit, I picked him up, dusted him down, told him to stop crying, he was fine. The other mother was beside herself but I told her not to worry. A week later, DS1 pushed another boy and inadvertedly knocked him over.....

Boys will be boys and all that...

waitingforbedtime Fri 07-Aug-09 18:48:22

Havent read whole thread because wanted to reply instinctively. My son is 2.5yrs old and is very tall for his age, people often think he is 4, the fact he is a great talker doesnt help in that preception either.

I have been in a similar situation - my son knocked into a girl (by accident ^I think^) and the wee girls mum said he was a 'horrible big boy' and that her daughter was not to go near him again. I did send my son over to say sorry (against by better judgement) and she replied ot him 'yes, you were a naughty horrible boy werent you'. In my opinion she made a fool of herself - I think the same in your situation. Though, to be honest, I just ignored her comments, if she had called him vile I would have absolutely challenged her on her own manners and indeed morals at verbally attacking a child.

You did not do wrong, you didnt ignore it, you werent letting him run wild (I presume) and she was being foul to him and you. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she was just that 'sort'. However, I guarantee her child will or will have hit a kid at some point and she won't be so high and mighty then.

screamingabdab Fri 07-Aug-09 18:52:11

I think it must be really really hard if your DCs look older than they are.

DS1's small stature actually helped when he was still having gargantuan head-banging tantrums at the age of 4, as he looked 2 and a half.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 07-Aug-09 18:56:54

I think you did everything fine and the other mum was out of order for calling your child vile. The behaviour might not have been very nice but I am sure your son is delightful.

crokky Fri 07-Aug-09 18:57:47

I'm going to go against the grain here...

I think that if your DS had pushed someone in a softplay like this, it would have been OK (with apology) - 3yos do this (I have a 3yo DS myself). I also have a 1yo DD.

However, if I had been in the street with my children and an unknown 3yo shoved one of them whilst his mother was out of earshot, I would be quite unhappy. Not unhappy about the actual behaviour of the 3yo, because I do understand that they do that. But unhappy that you were not closer to him and supervising him. My DS is 3.4 and I would not hesitate to put him on reins in a similar situation. My DS might be inclined to go and shove another child, but I wouldn't allow it to happen in the street as you've described it. I would either have my younger one in a buggy and the older one on reins or both on reins.

However, the woman shouldn't have been so rude to your DS about the incident. She should have told him that shoving is not nice and that it had upset her child - and asked him to apologise (IMO).

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 07-Aug-09 18:59:35

Mad, quite mad (the other mother).

piscesmoon Fri 07-Aug-09 19:18:19

I can see that she might have been upset by the incident but she didn't handle it well. She waded in without knowing any of the circumstances and I don't think that she should have called a 13yr old 'vile' let alone a 3yr old. She should quietly have pointed out to him that she didn't like his behaviour-not attack the DC.

MollieO Fri 07-Aug-09 19:28:36

Was the other child a girl? If so then I suspect the usual stereotyping was going on - all boys are rough all girls are soft and girly. Not true at all but I've seen parents who think that.

My ds is big for his age. When he was 3 he was the size of a 5 yr old but behaviour of 3 yr old. He would regularly have tantrums in shops - laying down screaming type. I would walk off not so far that he didn't know where I was but a little distance so he knew I wouldn't tolerate his behaviour. We got lots and lots of comments about his behaviour and it made no difference if I said how old he was. I really got the impression that they didn't believe me. I wonder if the same happened with you? Doesn't excuse other mother's behaviour.

Why do you avoid places? Surely it is the best way to try and train him out of it? Eg go to a soft play place and if he does misbehave then leave? Hopefully that will teach him that his behaviour is limiting the treats he gets.

nellie12 Fri 07-Aug-09 19:29:30

this is 3yo boys. Apparently 3yo are the most violent group in society! Poor you that was an unnecessary over reaction on her part. Lets hope her next child is also lively and she finds out what its like to have to apologise every time she goes out. wink

If its any comfort I cant walk round tesco's without ds attacking other peoples trollies. Luckily people usually laugh. I do try very hard to keep him reined in but he can be attacking them from the trolley seat tooblush. I made the mistake of going in waitrose with him the other week.. wont be doing that in a hurry again.

OrmIrian Fri 07-Aug-09 19:30:07

What a cow. Poor you and poor DS sad

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