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What would you do if you were one of these mums....(28 Posts)
A group of children aged 7-10 were playing in a sand pit in a public parks. Their mums were sitting on a bench right by them having a chat.
A mum comes along with her child (who happens to have Down's Syndrome) and starts playing with him.
The parents briefly pause their conversation and watch the child for a while.
The children start laughing and pointing saying loudly "Aaaarrggghhhh!!!! Look at his freaky face!!!! Get away from him!!!!".
The child is thankfully blissfully unaware of what they are saying, but the mum feels it best to remove her little one from the situation.
The other children's parents watch in silence and say nothing. Then resume their own conversation while their children carry on playing as though nothing happened.
What would you have done in their position?
I'm just asking out of interest more than anything.
I'd have got in between and started making friends with the DS child and introduced to the children
making eyes at them to bloody behave and accommodate
Some people are shit though!
If any of my children behaved like that they would:
1 be told that their behaviour was absolutely unacceptable,
2 they would be made to apologise to the mother
3 I would apologise to the mother
4 they'd be removed from the park
5 the punishment at home would be about as strong as I could think, no play dates/screens for at least a week.
Get into the sand and remind my child that thats not a nice thing to say. Encourage my child to play with the other child, apologise to the other parent.
How old were these children? I would be mortified, i have not brought my children up to talk like this.
I would be mortified if either of my children or any of my friends behaved like this, I would do what WonderfulWonders suggests with my children and relook at my friendships
I would be disgusted if any if my DDs did that.
I would immediately remove my child and have a stern word.
I would apologise to the mother, my child would be apologising to the mother.
I would then want my child to learn about the difference in people and that differences are ok and we can learn something from any body. I would encourage my child to actively try to play with the child if the mother would allow it.
I would tell my child off and make them apologise to the other child and their mother.
It would be made very clear that what they said was unacceptable.
Did they hear what was said? Even if they were looking and close by, maybe they really just weren't tuned in?
The whole thing doesn't sound very realistic tbh. Playing in a sandpit is the kind of thing maybe a 2-5yr old would do, definitely not 7-10! That reaction is much, much more likely of much younger children as well, although obviously it's still an unusual reaction and certainly one you'd expect parents to correct straight away. I don't think it happened, not as described anyway.
Thank you. That's very reassuring to know it appears to have been a one off unfortunate experience that we encountered and not what would normally happen.
I've been trying to widen his social experiences (he's seven but looks a lot younger).
I will try not to let it put me off taking my child to play parks in future.
Playing in a sandpit is the kind of thing maybe a 2-5yr old would do, definitely not 7-10!
My 10 year old, very mature for her age, would not be able to resist a sand pit! She would possibly use playing with her sisters as an excuse though. In fact, I am 32 and would possibly want to play too!
Roseblossom my DS 9yrs still happily plays in a sandpit. If he behaved like that I would be furious at him. I would quietly pull him out the situation take him straight home and tell him exactly why that was not acceptable. There would be big consequences for this. I would hope that he would never do this however as we have had many discussions about all of us being different in our own ways, him included. I am so sorry OP. What a rubbish experience.
They were messing around and laughing in general when we entered the sand pit (as opposed to "playing").
It's not something I have ever come across before and hopefully won't again.
Believe me these past seven years have really opened my eyes to society.
The majority people are lovely (I like the ones who don't bat an eyelid best) but ocasionally we do come across situations like that.
That's awful OP . Don't let it put you off.
If that was my child they'd have had a stern telling off, told to apologise and removed from the sand pit. I try to educate my children why people can look different and why it's important to treat everyone with kindness. I won't tolerate bullying behaviour under any form.
My daughter has complex additional needs, she is 11 and has a mental age of 2-3 year old. It happens to us often, people laugh, talk about her, it's endless. I even had a group of parents remove their children from the sideline of my son's football match, just because she wanted to play with them!! I was heartbroken, thank goodness for sunglasses!!
Luckily my children see any child with a disability as person, just like they and their friends are! She is adored by their friends!
I am stubborn and remain where ever we are, she has feelings too.
To the mum in the sandpit with her child, my heart goes out to you, one day we will teach the world about inner beauty Xx
DS1 who is 12 is autistic and can be too honest sometimes and has no awareness of what can be hurtful, but he wouldn’t be so hurtful and nasty, and if he did say anything I would be having stern words and he would be apologizing.
We get looks and stares and comments in public and it’s hard isn’t it
And my 10 year old loves sand pits he’s straight over to them, and I love them too, you’re never too old to play in sand!
Sounds like you encountered a bunch of awful people. So sorry this happened to you. I would be mortified if my child had done that.
In my naivety I really thought that attitudes to non NT children were becoming a thing of the past, with more inclusivity in schools and hobbies/activities.
My oldest sibling was born with DS and she was an ordinary big sister as far we knew (it was all we knew). Somewhere along the way the realisation dawned that she was special and vulnerable and needed minding. The tables turned.
I can remember collecting for Mencap when I was about 17 with my sibling. The comments from a few people shocked me. Mongol, spaz and a few other delectable phases were bandied about. I wish I had as much spunk then as I do now.
OP, I am shocked and disappointed on your behalf. I’d write to a few local schools explaining what happened and ask for empathy and understanding. Dont schools give rewards for acts of kindness? They do at my grandson’s school.
Thats awful ! How old were the children involved?
My dd is just about to turn 5 and another child having DS is not something that she would even register, she would just see another child.
Disgusting behaviour anyroad.
Sadly it sounds like there is no hope for their upbringing. If that's how they reacted, it would appear they have been dragged up. You learn from your parents, in this case the parents are twats
To be honest any kids I was in charge of wouldn’t have known what hit them, but that’s because ds also looks different. Was cute when he was small but now people can be unkind. Generally I’m quite a reasonable “walk it off type” person but I’ve had to explain to my young child that some people are deliberately horrible and think people that are different are worthy of ridicule. Then explain that he looks different.
It does work the other way sometimes, I love the kids that are instantly friends with whatever kids happen to be near them.
I'm a mum to a severely disabled DS who is 8 but functions 18-24 months. I generally don't have many problems in the UK and if I do I address the child and explain why my child is different. If the parents want to listen and get involved they can. We are in USA at the moment and have seen adults and children staring, laughing behind hands and generally being disgusted by my DS. He's fed via a gastrostomy.
I generally stare at the adult or child until they realize they are starting ...if they want to engage then I will. We've also had some wonderful people who have communicated with my DS and high fived and another family who left the restaurant and the waitress came over and said they have paid for our dinner.... People are people ... engage and explain ...do not remove your child!!!!
My beautiful 18 month old son is an absolute joy and just happens to have Down"s Syndrome.
We have also encountered children staring and commenting, sometimes I ignore but if I am feeling particularly brave I do gently introduce my son to the children and parents.
I find the attitudes of other adults, including some formerly close friends more challenging eg. I have been questioned as to why we choose to continue with our pregnancy and told our other children will suffer because our boy is different. Even though I feel angry at times , I take a deep breath and smile whilst I explain that our boy is wanted and loved, he has a life worth living and our lives are better for having him in our family.
Op I am sending you big virtual hugs after your horrible experience today and I am so thankful your boy was not upset.
As an aside when did Mumsnet get so nasty? Soneknobend your post was not needed, shame on you.
I would have gone over and had a word with the children about difference and playing nicely. It’s shocking that those parents did nothing. Teaching their children nothing!
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