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this is such a small thing but it's made me feel awful. i told off someone else's kid today and i feel really unsettled.

(24 Posts)
swottybetty Fri 06-Nov-09 13:29:45

at a mother and toddler group. the kid was really aggressive with dd.

i spend my life at M&T groups and routinely see dd pushed and shoved and knocked and not a problem, all part of rough and tumble.

this time felt really different. dd is 19mo, the boy was three i reckon. i could see him pushing and shoving her to get to a box of playthings. next thing was him with his arm round her neck trying to force a plastic toy into her mouth. she struggled away and then he came down on the small of her back and when she was on the floor tried pushing the thing into her mouth again. it all felt very aggressive. really, i am quite laid back about these things normally.

i was really angry but i am fairly sure (oh please i hope so) that the boy did not see my anger when i spoke to him. i think i said "no. we do not put things in peoples' mouths. we do not hurt people." even tho i was not shouting or loud, it was quite a small room and i think loads of people saw it and it all felt like a bit of an incident.

i was really shook up and still am. i can't place my finger on why. i feel really embarased but i'm not sure why. i've never seen anyone tell anyone else's kid off. it was my first time at the group and feel like i was a bit of a crazy lady.

one of the people who run the group and was nearby apologised to me after but i can't remember exactly for what.

mum hadnt seen, like me she also had a little baby with her. i didnt talk to her after. just left as quick as i could cause felt weird. afterwards i thought maybe i shouldnt have said anything to the boy, but said something quietly to her. but maybe that would have been worse - ie i am worrying her and telling her to do something about him.

thoughts? <ducks and prepares for flaming>

morningpaper Fri 06-Nov-09 13:31:15

You've done nothing wrong AT ALL

Please don't feel bad

If only more people were prepared to step in when they see bad behaviour then life would be much better

Make yourself a cup of tea, you did the right thing xx

mrsruffallo Fri 06-Nov-09 13:33:47

You sound very reasonable to me. Please don't worry or be paranoid, your actions were totally understandable.
I would maybe have preferred the mother to deal with it but seeing as she was unavailable I think you did the next best thing.
You were protecting your daughter. It's instinctive.
Stop worrying.

abra1d Fri 06-Nov-09 13:34:00


Pinkjenny Fri 06-Nov-09 13:36:29

Sounds like you handled it perfectly. I would have struggled to deal with it as calmly as you did. I actually think I would have said something to him even if his mother had been there <PFB alert>

(My own mother actually smacked a little girl who pushed me over when I was two shock shock I'd like to say in her defence that it was the 70s, but I'm not sure that's entirely relevant.)

andlipsticktoo Fri 06-Nov-09 13:36:50

You haven't done anything wrong, but I can see why you feel upset by it, I always feel awkward telling other people's dc off and I used to be a teacher!
If the mother had a small baby and didn't see the incident but you did, you had to deal with it. If I werte the other mother of the boy I would have felt embarrassed by the incident but I would not have blamed you for it. You were the nearest responsible adult who witnessed what was happening, therefore you had to do something - and it sounds like you handled yourself very well.

Can you call a friend to chat about it? Then put on some music, have a dance with dd and try to forget about it.

EverythingsPink Fri 06-Nov-09 13:37:18

Sounds like you acted very reasonably to me. I don't think you need to worry about what anyone else thought you did the right thing.

Besom Fri 06-Nov-09 13:37:42

You were perfectly right (and within your rights) to do this.

You're probably just having a come down from the adrenaline rush/stress of it. So, yes, have a cup of tea and some chocolate and don't worry about it any more.

I told a child off last week for pushing dd off a chair and I know what you mean, because it is a bit of a socially difficult thing to negotiate, and leaves you feeling a bit shaky. Luckily for me the mum did not see what happened but immediately told her son to apologise.

BikiniBottom Fri 06-Nov-09 13:38:23

please dont worry, if my child was behaving aggressively I would not mind another mum telling the child to stop in the manner you did.

Bucharest Fri 06-Nov-09 13:38:42

Nothing wrong...
Consider it a social duty well

waitingforbedtime Fri 06-Nov-09 13:39:17

Are you honestly feeling like this? There is no need to. I never understand why people get so upset to be honest and I dont mean that in a horrible way.

I always have told kids off if they need it and their parents arent doing it / arent around. I am pretty lenient and like ds having 'rough and tumble' play especially as he's an only child so, like you, I only step in when need be. There's nothing wrong with telling a toddler not to hurt your child, of course there isn't so stop thinking about it and worrying about it. Only thing I'd have done is not left afterwards and just continued on as normal, honestly, things like this happen 832974837 times a day all over the country!

Oh and just a thought but the boy might not have been 3 - people have assumed ds was 3 since he was not even 2. Not that that makes it right, Id be really shocked if ds ever behaved quite so violently to be honest.

swottybetty Fri 06-Nov-09 13:40:15

when i wrote my post it occured to me that they were standing by the toy kitchen and am fairly sure the box of toys was acessories for the kitchen. which would explain the forcing in mouth thing, it must have been a bit of play food.

ty all - i feel better now -- if slightly embaressed for writing such a shameless plea to be told i did ok

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 06-Nov-09 13:44:08

I routinely tell other peoples children offblush and I would expect them to have a word with my dd if she was being rough or spiteful with their child - although I doubt she would be.
Don't worry about it Betty.

thatsnotmymonster Fri 06-Nov-09 13:52:58

Oh I do this all the time! Have never felt bad about it.

I think people should step in when they see other children misbehaving- just as you did.

I would hope that people felt they could do this with my children.

I am fairly chilled too and know that a lot of rough and tumble/physical stuff goes on when toddlers play so I would only step in in certain situations.

I have told off older children in softplay when they have been leaping around the baby section/throwing soft blocks around or climbing up the slides etc. Always just said something like 'boys, this area is only for babies, you are too big to play here' or 'it's not a good idea to climb up the slides, there are smaller children playing here'

On these occasions I have always wondered why their parents have not done it first but there you go.

PyrotechnicToadstool Fri 06-Nov-09 13:57:49

Nothing wrong at all, as the others have all said.

If that had been my DS I'd have been mortified and glad that you felt able to reprimand him, I'd hate the idea of behaviour like that being ignored.

DippyDino Fri 06-Nov-09 14:51:06

Tbh I think your dd needed you to come to her rescue, I think you did the right thing - if a little boy or girl did that to my dd I think it would warrant more than a quiet word in the mum's ear.

squeaver Fri 06-Nov-09 14:54:41

God I'm always telling off other people's kids. And would have no problem with them dong the same to my dd if it was warranted (which this clearly was).

Give yourself a pat on the back.

andlipsticktoo Fri 06-Nov-09 18:42:51

I think the point is not every parent does accept others telling off their children, I have been in many situations where I have felt the need to tell a child off for dangerous or unacceptable behaviour and the parents have been less than happy with me.

I now feel awkward telling a child off if the parents are around. Although I have no problem with others telling my dc off if it is necessary and I am not available to deal with it myself for whatever reason.

shockers Fri 06-Nov-09 18:50:28

I would feel a bit shaken if I had seen a child holding my child down and shoving something into his mouth.
Your inner lioness wanted to spring forth but you subdued her... that adrenyline has to go somewhere, which is why you found it hard to feel calm after the event.
That cup of tea sounds goodgrin

shockers Fri 06-Nov-09 18:51:42


dittany Fri 06-Nov-09 18:58:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swottybetty Fri 06-Nov-09 19:56:12

dittany i think you are right that it seemed a very strange thing at the time. i hadnt clocked it was playfood then - now it makes a lot more sense. it was just an extra layer to make the whole thing a lot weirder. that and the fact dd was trying to get away from him when he did it again.
really, i have never seen red like that before.

with a little bit of time now elapsed i think the reason i am still obsessing about it is cause it was a new group and i had been having a rubbish time there. the one woman i knew all but blanked me and a couple of other times i tried to join people they were Not Very Forthcoming. I had just got chatting to someone when it happened and then it turned out that person was mates with this boy's son. and then i jsut was really freaked out after. god i am such a Weirdo at times. i really feel rubbish still sad.

thanks for listening guys. i am cracking into some wine, tomo this will feel better.

t875 Sat 07-Nov-09 09:00:13

You shouldnt feel bad atall, good for you for saying something, I would have done the same.

Lets hope the child gets the message! x

katnkittens Sat 07-Nov-09 23:37:17

God no, you sound very calm.

I would have done the same thing. I have done the same thing. Please don't worry!

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