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Mothers who always assume someone else's child is in the wrong

(14 Posts)
Lethal Sun 12-Jun-05 09:09:38

In the last two weeks I've had two instances where mothers of younger children have approached my ds (nearly 5) and told him off, assuming he'd done something wrong, when in fact he hadn't. Considering I was standing right there BOTH times and saw exactly what happened, I'm amazed at how quick they are to have a go at another child - just because that child happens to be older & bigger than their own.

Today we took ds to a festival where there were lots of different children's activities happening. It was crowded (of course) - lots of parents with prams, toddlers, you get the idea. Anyway there was a 'music' section where a number of different types of drums & chimes had been set up, and kids of varying ages were standing around banging on the instruments with little drumsticks. As usually happens, there weren't enough drumsticks to go around, so I told ds to stand and wait until another child had finished having a turn. He happened to be standing next to a toddler who was banging away on a drum, & ds just stood watching him for a minute. The toddler then looked up at ds, smiled at him and handed him the drumstick, so ds took it from him (nicely) and started to bang on the drum. The mother suddenly appeared from nowhere and charged up to ds saying "DID YOU TAKE THAT AWAY FROM HIM???!!!" Before she could grab it out of ds' hand, I told her that her child had actually GIVEN it to ds and that I wouldn't have allowed him to take it away from her child. When she realised I was his mother, she was suddenly nicer and said "Oh, Oh, that's ok then." After a similar thing happened to ds last week, I was just fuming at the fact that half the time, the other mothers haven't even SEEN what actually happened - they just assume that the older/bigger child must've somehow mistreated their precious little toddler. Don't get me wrong, I would've stood up for my son at that age too, but I would want to be 100% sure about what actually happened before I told another child off. Having a young, lively boy myself has made me a lot more understanding and patient when it comes to other children.. and I don't automatically assume that the other child must be in the wrong. I know toddlers need to be protected by their parents but this attitude REALLY gets on my nerves

Mud Sun 12-Jun-05 09:13:14

first time parents reaction to a tee and there's nothing you can do about it because any 'bigger' child is viewed as being fully capable of 'thinking things through' in relation to their far more delicate toddler/baby. I find mothers change when they have more than one child - ie when their precious firstborn is the older sibling and they have to manage the expectations of a '5 year old' and a toddler

tigermoth Sun 12-Jun-05 09:15:10

leythal, as the mother of two lively boys, I have been in this situation many times. To a stranger's eye, big, loud and lively can equate with 'naughty' much too easily.

As my sons get older, we naturally go to less and less places where they are in direct contact with toddlers. If they are going to be in the same place as lots of toddlers, I now have a toddler talk with them beforehand, saying that they have to be extra careful of both the toddlers AND their parents!

HappyMumof2 Sun 12-Jun-05 09:58:04

Message withdrawn

Lethal Sun 12-Jun-05 10:21:26

Happymumof2 GRRRRR

If my son had done that to another child (dragged him across the ground), I would've apologised profusely and then told ds off for doing it. But NO - somehow, some parents will always (amazingly) assume that even that type of behaviour must've been another child's fault. It never ceases to amaze me.

HappyMumof2 Sun 12-Jun-05 10:25:18

Message withdrawn

ScummyMummy Sun 12-Jun-05 10:47:52

Oh dear- hate all this. I'm afraid I agree with mud- there are people out there who are terribly precious about their toddlers. I particularly despise the ones who allow their wobbling 1 year olds onto play equipment clearly marked for over 5s and then tut at the bigger kids rushing around using the equipment as it's designed to be used. Battersea Adventure playground always contains some numpty parents doing this and there are 2 little kids playground right next door!

jampots Sun 12-Jun-05 10:54:34

Scummy - thats presumably because their 2yo are too advanced for the under fives playground

We had some friends over last summer and they have younger children than ours. Their little boy is on the go constantly running, dashing, crashing into things and he came up to mummy crying and said "me and XXXX (my ds) had knocked heads" My friend told him to tell my ds not to play so rough!!! That pee'd me a bit because my ds is not a rough player

ScummyMummy Sun 12-Jun-05 10:55:36

I wouldn't be surprised jampots.

Blossomhill Sun 12-Jun-05 10:58:32

I have a big problem with anyone other than school and close family/friends telling my children off. Unless it is absolutely necessary if they are being really nasty or harming someone I really don't think in an incident like that another parent should approach your child. I would've been absolutely furious. Speak to you and you decide what action to take.

coppertop Sun 12-Jun-05 11:00:48

Some parents still do this even when their own child is the one who is bigger/older. I've posted on here before about the time I took ds1 to a soft play centre not long before his 4th birthday. An older boy of about 7 was going around picking on the younger ones while his mother was busy talking to her friends. When this child hit ds1, ds1 retreated to the playhouse. The older boy followed him in there, presumably thinking that a 3yr-old was an easy target. I got to the playhouse as the screaming started - and it wasn't ds1 who was doing the screaming. The older boy had learned a very painful lesson in what happens when you attack a child who feels very little pain and has no understanding of the concept of feeling intimidated by someone being older than him. When the boy's mother eventually came rushing over she told her son to keep away from "that nasty boy". Grrrrrr!

tallulah Sun 12-Jun-05 11:08:12

I've posted this before, but when DS2 was 5 months old I took him to an NCT meeting. He was crawling & pulling himself up on the furniture. All the other babies were laying on their backs. The other mothers started this "be careful" to him every time he got near their precious offspring and one told him off for grabbing their baby's rattle. Turned out he was all of 2 weeks older than their babies but because he was mobile they thought he was older. We left at that point (seething!) (They did look suitably embarrassed when told he was only 5 months old)

Lethal Sun 12-Jun-05 13:35:57

I'm glad it hasn't just happened to me. It makes me so angry whenever I think about the reactions of these women - and to approach my son while I'm standing right there next to him , is unbelievable. If my ds had gone up and smacked some kid in the head I could completely understand another mother getting uptight about it, but having a go at him just because he's a big boy and he's dared to go near their toddler just infuriates me. He's just a kid.. and it makes me wonder what would happen if I wasn't there to come to his defence. GRRR

saffy202 Sun 12-Jun-05 14:48:38

The exact thing used to happen to ds1 - he was tall for his age and lively therefore the blame automatically went on him. Had someone say at toddler group "well he should know better" - Why??? He was the same age just taller Gave up going in the end.

Now I have ds2 who is smallish for his age and he has had it so much easier as no-one ever blames him.

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