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Would you have said something...?

(19 Posts)
Moomina Wed 26-Jan-05 22:06:25

Can't stop thinking about something I saw at the playground the other day. I feel as if I should have said something at the time - but didn't. There was a little girl there, with her father (I assume), she was probably about 3 years old. The father was pushing her in the swing (baby swing with a bar across the front) whilst chatting on his mobile.

Thing was, he was pushing her so high that the swing wasn't actually even swinging any more, just dropping straight down from a height virtually parallel with the top bar, IYSWIM. She looked terrified, wasn't laughing or even screaming, was just very quiet and her head was snapping back every time the swing fell. He was really shoving the swing, not looking at her, didn't seem to give a toss. I wanted to say something but - and this is where I feel pathetic - he looked really intimidating and I didn't want to be a busybody.

I know there's nothing I can do now but I can't stop thinking about it. I wish I had told him not to push her so high. Would you have said something? I feel awful about it.

jampots Wed 26-Jan-05 22:09:49

sadly - i dont think i would have said anything either as you really can never be too careful - it could have made for a much worse situation for you and your child and also his child who was probably terrified.

Moomina Wed 26-Jan-05 22:14:02

There were other people there though - the worst he could have done (to me at least) would have been to have a go at me. Feel like a complete coward.

starlover Thu 27-Jan-05 10:23:24

I've been in similar situations. Once when I was at work (in a shoe shop) there was a woman getting her little one fitted for shoes. She had an older boy with her (about 7ish) who kept messing about and she yelled right in his face and then hit him so hard that he fell off his chair!!!!

I didn't say anything, but I felt SO bad afterwards.

I am too much of a coward to say anything to anyone in case they are nasty to me... it makes me feel awful but what can you do?

Mothernature Thu 27-Jan-05 10:28:13

I think I would have let it be known that behavour like that from an adult to a child is not acceptable, alright I wouldn't have gone straight up to them and said so, but I think me strutting my stuff, tutting and staring would have made them think 'what the hell?'

hippi Thu 27-Jan-05 10:50:24

Sorry just highjacking a moment ........starlover no news yet!

hippi Thu 27-Jan-05 10:51:18

Oh and i think i would have been like you moomina- not said anything then constantly thought about whether i was right or not.

Blu Thu 27-Jan-05 10:56:31

I have been known to intervene on a few occasions, and what I have learned to do is not go straight into it, but take a secind to think how I'm going to say it. It's something you can practice - instead of all those imagined conversations we all have in hindsight, practice strategies for next time.
If I had seen that I might have considered saying 'is she in training as an astronaut, then? She's going a bit high!' and taken it from there. Or, I might not have had the prsence of mind on the spur of the moment.

But lots of times I have felt you can't say anything that will help - slaps etc.

crystaltips Thu 27-Jan-05 11:00:12

My brother intervened on a similar situation .... and got punched as a result! So .... tough one!

flashingnose Thu 27-Jan-05 11:14:10

I wouldn't have said anything directly to Dad because I'm a complete coward but I have started talking to the child in similar situations which brings the parent's attention back to their child/what they're doing e.g. "Ooh you're going ever so high sweetheart, are you OK?" or "Are you alright there right at the top of the climbing frame?"

jangly Thu 27-Jan-05 11:17:34

But if she was unhappy wouldn't she have screamed? Perhaps it looked worse to you than it was. Or am I just trying to make you feel better. I guess I would have just stared pointedly. Probably wouldn't have helped much!

suzywong Thu 27-Jan-05 11:21:54

That sounds like the kind of behaviour I used to see on Sundays in Playgrounds all around North London ; Dads who had been forced to take the child out for the morning by mum and who just didn't get that it is a complete occupation not something you can do with one hand and your mind in the mobile.

Used to make my blood boil. I never saw it to that extent of that poor little girl but I would always make loud comments (seemed to be the local custom not to say anything directly ever). If I saw it here in Australia I would definitely say something outright.

colditzmum Thu 27-Jan-05 11:52:32

I saw a couple drive off from a petrol station whilst their baby daughter was crawling around on the back shelf!!!!!! The mother saw me staring, and shouted "What are you gawping at you fat slag!"

To which I yelled (yes yelled) "Don't you love your daughter?!"

suzywong Thu 27-Jan-05 11:53:32


Joolstoo Thu 27-Jan-05 11:55:29

yes - in this day and age we tend not to get involved - but you can bet your boots that if something terrible happened to these children in these situations - it wouldn't be the parents fault - they'd find somebody or something else to blame - that's the culture these days!

Marina Thu 27-Jan-05 11:58:52

That is a good indirect strategy flashingnose, I'll remember that. I would have been reluctant to tackle someone like that head on, too.
Jangly, unfortunately some children are too petrified of the adults around them to let out so much as a squeak

colditzmum Thu 27-Jan-05 12:01:17

I know SW, I don't normally yawp in the streets

nailpolish Thu 27-Jan-05 12:10:22

i was in a cafe last wk and a mum had an older girl about 11, and a younger one about 3. the 2 girls sat very quietly at the table while the mum was at the counter getting lunch etc. until the older one grabbed the younger one's Barbie and threw it across the cafe. the little girl started crying and i got up to get her Barbie (it was under my chair). as i went over to give it back the mum was asking who had done that. the little girl pointed at the older one and said 'she threw my barbie'. the older one said 'mums shes lying she did it herself' and patted the little girls hand. the mum then belted the little girl, telling her to stop telling lies.

i had to stop myself jumping in, my mum said it was nothing to do with me

suzywong Thu 27-Jan-05 12:34:26

oh not you Colditzmum, I think you showed great restraint, I mean those awful people. People like that are known as "ferals" over here

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