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Another adult being rude to your child!! What do you do?

(26 Posts)
colie Sat 20-Sep-08 16:27:50

DD1 who is 6 was on the swing in park today. I had looked over at her every 5 mins to make sure there weren't any other kids waiting to go on. Durning this time on the whole there would be one or two other swings free. She came over to me and I said"are you finished now and she told me that a man put his daughter onto a swing she was playing with and when she told him she was playing with it, he said "tough".She had been taking a few steps back from the swing and then running and throwing herself back onto it.
Anyhow, I thought possibly he had been waiting to put his dd onto the swing and was annoyed that she wasn't getting off it , which is fair enough. But, I was a bit annoyed as I thought he didn't need to be rude to her. He could have politely said he had been waiting a while or something along a similar vein.
On leaving the park I said to him "excuse me, my dd said when she told you that she was using the swing you put your dd on you said "tough", you didn't have to be rude to her". He denied it and said he was 28 not 3. I walked away as I had my 3 kids and didn't want a big scene in front of them. I had to keep turning back as my 2 yr old was walking at a 2 yr olds pace to check where she was, during this time he kept pointing to me and making indications with his hand that I was crazy. hmm

I didn't want to say anything to him, I hate confrontation, and he was also with 3 other women and a few kids.
The reason I did say something, was because I want my daughter to know that I will defend her and also that it is wrong for someone to be rude, so that she knows it is wrong for her to be rude.

Would anyone else have said anything to the man or would you's have left it.
I think i did the totally wrong thing and my whole neighbourhood will be talking about me. I probably am already known as "that crazy women" who goes about accusing people of things.hmm

What do you think you would have done in this situation?

sallystrawberry Sat 20-Sep-08 16:34:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 20-Sep-08 16:36:50

tbh, I would probably not have approached him, unless my dd was pretty upset about it. I usually deal with rude people by saying something to my kids in their hearing like "I'm sorry that man was rude, darling, but maybe noone bothered to teach him nice manners like yours"

But I am a confrontation-coward too! I doubt all your neighbours will talk about you- it's not the actions of a crazy woman! Worst case scenario is that they think you are a wee bit over-protective, and that's not such a bad thing, is it?

colie Sat 20-Sep-08 16:54:17

Thanks ladies.Sallystrawberry, I liked your bit about poking him in the eye with his own finger!!
Joolyjoolyjoo- l know I am a coward, once he was making his hand guestures I thought,he is quite clearly right, I am crazy. Although how his partner whom one of the woman seemed to be, didn't tell him to behave is beyond me shock

Weegle Sat 20-Sep-08 17:06:28

Actually I think well done you. And even if he did do the bravado thing to you in front of his friends he will have thought about it afterwards (I hope). My 2.3 yr old was prodded in the ribs by a FATHER at a soft play party this morning, to the point it made him cry. He was going down rather than up a bit I guess you should be going up. I was livid but couldn't get there soon enough and then I couldn't pick him out from another bloke and didn't want to make a fool of myself. So I really do think well done for saying something and doing it calmly with dignity.

colie Sat 20-Sep-08 17:14:13

Weegle-thanks. I thought all replies would have been, you are crazy, possibly your dd was lying etc... Your replies have cheered me up.

I just don't know how you teach your kids and set examples for them. DD1 is my first child and I feel I am doing this parenting malarky blind at times!!

I want her to know that if anything sad/bad ever happens to her that she can tell me. I would hate for her to think there is no point telling me because I wouldn't do anything about it.

Although after today she will probably think that when she is big it will be great, as she can confront everybody, cause arguments and create a scene blush.

Bucharest Sat 20-Sep-08 17:16:49

Well done from me too....I'm always having that kind of confrontation....(am not in the UK and where I am it's basically a free for all and kids are allowed to do absolutely anything with no consideration for others) I'm getting myself a reputation as some madwoman foreigner with a tourettes-like syndrome.

UniS Sun 21-Sep-08 20:30:33

"Tough" is hardly rude. Get over yourself.
I say "tough" to my son and or his friends when they whinge that the world isn;t quite the way they want it to be.
I'd almost certainly say "tough" to a big kid in a playground who is playing a with swings in a way that leaves it unclear if shes finished or not and then whinges that she hadn't finished after I'd plonked my toddler on the swing. I know my toddler will scream blue murder if I immediately take him off and your dd sounds old enough to have switched to another swing or deal with the fact her go is now over.

handlemecarefully Sun 21-Sep-08 20:37:50

You sound nice UniS hmm

Colie, I don't think you handled it inappropriately. It doesn't sound like you were aggressive, just pointing out to the man concerned that this was inappropriate. I agree with you that it is a positive thing for your dd to see you backing her up / supporting her, and you were not heavy handed in your approach at all.

The man's reaction illustrates what type of person he is ....

Tortington Sun 21-Sep-08 20:39:36

i think you are crazy to approach a man in a park and accuse him of something

he could have done anything

he could be on drugs

had a knife

anything

handlemecarefully Sun 21-Sep-08 20:47:35

custy - come on, not very likely if he was there with his child...unless it was in Moss Side / some sink estate

Saturn74 Sun 21-Sep-08 20:52:59

I would have played it down, I think.

I'd explain to my DC that some people are rude, and that they are best ignored.

I'd remind them to come and find me if they were worried about anything, and then left it at that.

Plonker Sun 21-Sep-08 20:58:07

What HC said

TheArmadillo Sun 21-Sep-08 20:59:32

I agree wtih unis

I really don't think 'tough' is an awful thing to say to a kid and if she was mucking about like that he may have assumed she was finished.

morningpaper Sun 21-Sep-08 21:01:44

I don't think that an adult saying 'tough' to a child who appears to be hogging the swings is a problem, or particularly rude.

handlemecarefully Sun 21-Sep-08 21:09:37

You lot are wierd sometimes. If I got up from my chair at a cafe to fetch a newspaper or something and some fella sat in my momentarily vacated seat (left empty for all of 20 secs but obviously still in use), I wouldn't then expect him to say 'tough' to me, and if he did I would think him surly and aggressive and would tell him so.

Why do we think it's okay to treat children any differently?

According to the OP there was always at least one other swing free. The man concerned sounds like a bit of a wanker.

colie Sun 21-Sep-08 21:39:32

Unis-you are obviously just on for an argument. As I stated my child is 6 so was not on a toddlers swing, therefore the child that went onto her swing was at least 7/8 yrs old. 6 yrs old is not a big kid and particularily no where near as big as 28.

Children older than the toddler stage play with swings in exactly the same manner as dd was doing. It doesn't mean she shouldn't be using it. So why because you are an adult and she is a child should you decide her go is over. She was two steps away from it. (which is not very far at all when your steps are only little size 10 feet).

Armadillo and morningpaper

Quite clearly the man thought what he said to dd was rude otherwise why deny it hmm.

Cust- he didn;t look drunk or high on drugs. He was with three other women who appeared sobre. There were plenty of other people around and i knew if he acted in any aggessive manner that I would walk away. I made sure I spoke to him very politely and calmly. Also, didn't think many people went to the swing park with their children armed. Will give that consideration next time I want to approach someone who is rude to any of my children wink.

tazmosis Sun 21-Sep-08 21:51:40

I think to say 'tough' to anybody is rude and to say it to a small child is bullying as they aren't equipped to respond to you as an equal.

Colie I think you did the right thing and don't sound crazy at all.

morocco Sun 21-Sep-08 21:52:20

it's not that rude - if that's what he said. I'm not sure I'd trust my 6 year old to recount an encounter like that fully and accurately tbh. you didn't see the event so how do you know that it happened as you described - ie she was 2 steps away from it and it was clear she hadn't finished playing on it? (just curious)

to answer your question, I would be worried about getting into a fight with someone unreasonable and it upsetting my kids so I prob wouldn't have bothered seeing as it was hardly insult of the century. for worse things, I'd go over and have a word about it, but at the time, not later on.

stroppyknickers Sun 21-Sep-08 21:56:04

I have gone away and thought about this, and I think that you are being very precious about your dd. Sorry. Other people don't appreciate the finer qualities of your child/ren and his kid wanted a go while yours was just being annoying. (I would think that too). 'Tough' is not exactly rude. Teach her a bit of thick skinnedness, not to think she is entitled to do exactly what she wants.

wheresthehamster Sun 21-Sep-08 22:02:23

Colie, maybe he denied it because he didn't actually say it? Not saying your dd is lying but as morocco says young childrens' perceptions of things aren't necessarily accurate. I wouldn't have said anything myself, being a scaredy cat grin

handlemecarefully Sun 21-Sep-08 22:06:30

...and rolls eyes at Stroppyknickers

Colie - ignore them, they are insane

stroppyknickers Sun 21-Sep-08 22:09:43

much appreciating your very polite disagreeing with me, h.mecarefully! Very pleasant after witnessing other mumsnet abuse for expressing different opinions on other threads! smile

colie Sun 21-Sep-08 22:37:17

Stroppyknickers- my daughter is so precious she just couldn't possibly lie.

Obviously my daughter tells lies so I did consider this. I thought this was a big thing to make up. I know all kids can be devious but she didn't know this man so why would she have any reason to lie to me about him. Also to come up with that particular story. I just don't think she would be able to come up with that story. I can usually tell when she is lying and I didn't think she was lying. I actually saw her speak to him, but couldn't hear the conversation, which was why I also thought she wasn't lying.


The man bullied my daughter, he knew he could be rude/ off hand with her because she is only little. Kids in the park have annoyed me on occassions too, but I have never been this rude to them. I say things like, she will just be 5 mins then you can have it, or on this occassion, I would have said, "could you go on another swing as we didn't know you were using this." If a child had said "tough" to her then I would have told her to either deal with it or forget about it.

I am pleased I approached the man about it. As weegle said - it will certainly make him think twice next time.

I just wanted to know what you's all usually do when another adult acts in a way that you perceive as rude/wrong towards your child. From the responses most have said they would not have said anything. I an clearly crazy. I had a baby 8 months ago, can I use that as an excuse for my brain being like mush and forcing me to accuse innocent liverpool fans of being rude to my daughter.

Unis and all you like minded posters- I will have to get over myself.

handlemecarefully Sun 21-Sep-08 22:48:09

Colie don't give it another thought - the man was a fuckwit. His response after you challenged him (the screw loose mimicking gestures etc) is evidence enough of this. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not engaging their critical reasoning faculties (lies down after concerted effort to be polite in last sentence)

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