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Five year old aggression towards family friends (long sorry)

(23 Posts)
Vivia Mon 05-Oct-09 09:52:04

I'm new here and I don't have children, but am wondering if we dealt with this situation correctly.

Babysitting a friend's five year old son, we told him it was time for bed. He was perfectly fine about this, changing into pyjamas and brushing his teeth without fuss.

He then tried the classic 'My parents let me choose whether I go to bed or stay up all night'. We explained to him that he needed rest.

And then he seriously lashed out. He started punching my DP - a forty year old man - in the face and biting and kicking him. He hit DP over the head with a large metal loo roll holder and caused a cut to DP's head. DP tried to restrain him and honestly it was impossible - the strength in his little body was extraordinary. He got out of DP's grip (DP was being very calm, I thought he'd be shouty and impatient). The room is near the staircase and he very intentionally ran into me with such force that I went flying down the steps. DP lifted him up at this point (the child was unprepared as DP was behind him) and carried him into bed. There, the child started biting and punching him again, screaming various obscenities and breaking anything he could get his hands on.

DP switched off the light and left, but child began head-butting the wall. We didn't shout at him or - of course - manhandle him. But the anger and upset in my voice must have kicked in, because suddenly he was calm and apologetic. He lay down and we left him alone. TBH, my DP was left quite shaken - with another person's child it is hard to know what to do.

Anyway, an hour later, we were sitting watching a DVD when the child snuck in, and whacked me round the head with a box of lego and screamed 'bitch!'.
DP said nothing to him and carried the child back to bed.

The parents returned three hours after the agreed time. They asked 'any trouble?' and we tried to explain the events. They are exceptionally 'posh' and 'yummy mummy' - they responded 'ha! the naivety of the childless'. I am left horrified!

AIBU to expect a proper conversation about this? And how should we have reacted towards child at the time? He is so placid normally, the shock really threw us off kilter and we have no children. What a bizarre evening.

FimbleHobbs Mon 05-Oct-09 10:01:09

Your friend's son's behaviour is absolutely appalling. Your friend's reaction (and being 3 hours late) really takes the p1ss. I would have nothing to do with the parents or the child until I had a proper apology from them.

Vivia Mon 05-Oct-09 10:03:38

I should add that at the beginning of his odd behaviour, we were speaking calmly and fondly to him. We were trying to make him laugh. As it got worse, we were not passive aggressive or shouting at him, we were stern and straightforward. My above post sounds silent, we were certainly trying to communicate with the LO.

Vivia Mon 05-Oct-09 10:04:44

Thanks so much Fimble - I absolutely agree, I'm not doing that again without serious respect and understanding from those adults!

clam Mon 05-Oct-09 10:07:12

Bloody hell! I'm gobsmacked. "Naivety of the childless?" So, they were passing it off as normal behaviour, then? He has no recognised SEN?

Well, I take it that not only will you not be babysitting for them again, but that they're also off your Christmas card list.

Vivia Mon 05-Oct-09 10:46:49

No SEN at all, clam. Just parents who treat children like mini-adults - the poor LO is only five, he hasn't been able to be five with so much agency and choice and lack of discipline. I would say he's totally overwhelmed. We'll certainly be keeping our distance.

HKT Mon 05-Oct-09 12:45:27

So do the parents put up with this behaviour too, or did he just put on a show for you?
"Naivety of childless" - I have 3 DC's and have never had an outburst like this! It does sound like this little boy has some serious issues - or his parents do!

clam Mon 05-Oct-09 13:42:13

Interesting that they haven't had any more children!

Vivia Mon 05-Oct-09 13:43:31

Ha! Indeed, Clam.

Stigaloid Mon 05-Oct-09 15:34:16

Unbelievable. If my DS acted like this i would be horrified. he sounds like a monster and YANBU to expect a proper apology from both the parents and the child. I would never offer to babysit again. their lax attitude probably explains a lot about his spoilt behaviour, but i promise - not all kids are like this. not at all!

mollythetortoise Mon 05-Oct-09 16:27:28

crikey that sounds dreadful.reminds of a 4-5 year old boy on the tube the other day, his behaviour was absoltely dreadful, swinging around the ole into the other passengers and laying on tube floor on peoples feet and kicking his legs. I felt very very sorry for his mither who did look very harrased but when someone complained she said "he's a child , thats what they do" and I did think, no they don't.
I've never seen a child do that on a tube before. It made me lose my sympathy for the mother as she didn't even try to curb his behaviour.

Dominique07 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:34:25

They probably don't realise how badly their child behaved because you probably didn't get much of a chance to explain it to them, and probably don't want to know. Just don't babysit for them again.

Dominique07 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:37:40

And they sound like they've become used to their DS behaving like a spoilt brat, but just because they've got used to it doesn't mean its acceptable behaviour! I'm sure they're going to get a lot of trouble from the teacher and other parents from school if their child acts this aggressively. You don't need to tell them.

clam Mon 05-Oct-09 18:12:27

But molly, it's so easy to judge - and, hands up, I've done it myself. But how many mums have come on here upset because people have tutted at their SEN child for exhibiting "abnormal" behaviour in public. The boy on the tube might well have ticked those boxes, whereas this kid in the OP doesn't seem to.

franklymydear Mon 05-Oct-09 18:16:42

that is not normal behaviour, there's something wrong with that child / family situation - something seriously wrong

MovingOutOfBlighty Mon 05-Oct-09 18:20:21

Shit - I would be horrified if my dd ever spoke to anyone like this!!!!

Please dont babysit for them again. I would gently explain that your 'naivete' prevents you from wanting to be assaulted by 5 year olds.

ICANDOTHAT Mon 05-Oct-09 21:10:25

I would be more concerned that he is mimicking behaviour he has seen ie: shouting bitch after hitting you over the head seems a very un-child like thing to do in my opinion hmm If I were you, I'd stay well away from that one, too much of a compromising situation

MunkyNuts Mon 05-Oct-09 21:13:45

Flabbergasted! I have 2 DC 4yo and 3yo if at 5yo they turn out like this - I´m leaving

Sakura Tue 06-Oct-09 08:00:52

That is awful.
I`m shocked about hte box of lego.
THats not normal behaviour at all.
And aNy normal parent would sit you down for a chat about it, or at leat apologize . Any normal parent would be gushing with gratitude towards a friend who had looked after their kid for the evening, even if all their child did was quiet and read a book.
Your friends sounds insane, sorry. HOw close to them are you?
Or if not insane, then they are in serious denial about their son, poor boy.

cory Tue 06-Oct-09 08:15:06

My dd did actually use to have violent tantrums and I used to have to restrain her (well beyond the age of the little "monster" you describe). But that was with her own parents, never ever with other people, there was a big understandable reason, and of course being her own mum I had no compunction about restraining her.

I felt fairly sure that she would never do it with anyone else, but even so I didn't leave her with sitters at that age, partly for this reason.

The language used by this little boy might well also be a cause for concern.

All in all, it sounds quite worrying. And I would certainly not babysit him again.

Sakura Tue 06-Oct-09 08:32:00

I agree Cory, my DD is no saint with me. She has tantrums and I`ve been upset by her a few times. But she is 3 and she has never been anything but sweetness and light with other people.
And thats how its supposed to be, because they`re supposed to feel safest with their parents, with whom they test boundaries.
This little boy was trying to communicate something, I think.
Yes, he may have special needs, but the parents` reaction is very very suspicious and tells me that there is lot going on behind the scenes.

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 06-Oct-09 08:38:56

And if this is his normal behavour why didn't his parent warn you? Terrible would be staying away from them.

Vivia Wed 07-Oct-09 16:32:23

You are all wonderful thanks for the support!

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