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To be surprised no-one else intervened regarding upset child

15 replies

calidadsuprema · 23/06/2013 16:55

I was at my local shopping mall today. It's quite a large one with a Debenhams store. I was browsing when I heard what sounded like a very upset young child crying. The bit of the store I was in opens into the interior of the mall.

I looked out towards the mall concourse and a little girl of no more than a very young three was crouched on the floor crying for her mummy. She must have been there for a couple of minutes. I looked around to see if her mummy was coming forward, but no-one did. One passer by asked me if the girl was mine! I walked over to the little one and got down to her level and asked her if she was OK and where was her mummy. The child was very distressed, lots of tears.

I looked about for a parent but still nothing. After about 30 seconds, a woman came out of Debenhams - she was the mother. The mother said she had left the wee one there as she "wouldn't come in to the shop". The mother said she could see the girl from where she was standing. The mum seemed to be with a man and another adult. I had not seen the mum or the adults and it seems they were out of sight of the child behind clothes rails. It seems that the child had had a tantrum and the mother had just left her there and had gone in to the shop to watch her have the tantrum from afar.

I realise children of that age have tantrums but I feel this was a strange way to deal with it. My DD had a tantrum aged about 2 in the same mall a few years back and we just bundled her up and took her home. I would never have just left her in the middle of the mall without being able to see me with people walking by. I feel sorry for the child.

OP posts:

ThisReallyIsNotSPNopeNotAtAll · 23/06/2013 17:03

My toddler fell to the floor in a tantrum and wouldn't get up so I went and sat on the bench. He wanted toys and I wanted to go in to superdrug. I was a little away from him but I could see him and get him with ease. He was refusing to move and with shipping bags so carrying him as well wasn't possible. I had to wait for him to get over it

I wouldn't wander into a shop without him though.


MammaTJ · 23/06/2013 17:03

I used to walk off when my DD was having a tantrum. She always sorted herself out and followed pretty quickly. I honestly don't know what I would have done if she had called my bluff though.


ThisReallyIsNotSPNopeNotAtAll · 23/06/2013 17:05

TJ My son calls my bluff. He will climb on a ride and I will say 'bye then and I'm off in here' and walk so slowly towards a shop. He just waves!


Tee2072 · 23/06/2013 17:21

My bluff has been called more than once. It's not pretty. Grin

I do think maybe the parents could see the girl, she just couldn't see them.


edam · 23/06/2013 17:24

Strikes me as a dodgy thing to do - I know sometimes people walk away but can still see the child but it sounds from your account as if you think they couldn't. Especially as you were crouching down talking to her - if they were really within eyesight, surely they would have come over at that point?


CocacolaMum · 23/06/2013 17:29

I did it. Used to be the only thing that worked and it did work for both of my children. There is a difference between them not seeing you and you not seeing the child.


AllDirections · 23/06/2013 17:33

When DD3 was 4 we were at the beach and I needed to call my other children who were further towards the sea. She wouldn't walk through the rock pool with me even though she'd been playing in them all afternoon and there was no other way and she wouldn't be carried either. I left her there at the edge of the rock pool screaming her head off so I could get a bit closer to my other children to shout them. A couple approached her and I had to shout over that she was with me and I explained what I was doing. They didn't look impressed Hmm


TigOldBitties · 23/06/2013 17:34

I've done this, as long as the child could see me they would continue to perform, pretty quickly after I was out of sight it would all calm down. I can aways see them but they can't see me.

Don't see why I should have to go home because of a tantrum.


Doubtfuldaphne · 23/06/2013 17:36

This has made me really sad :(
Nothing else to add really!


mrsjay · 23/06/2013 17:37

a lot of people do this ( idid) with tantruming kids and a lot of people know this and probably left her to her strop , I do get a wee bit worried IF i do see it and if I can i will look out for the kid from a far but an adult is normally never far away usually sighing,


LastTangoInDevonshire · 23/06/2013 17:40

I did this with my son in a supermarket. He only tantrummed once. Quick learners they are.


lljkk · 23/06/2013 17:46

mmm... I tried this. And mine still tantrummed just as much the next time. Swear I have the thickest children on the planet.

I think you prove, OP, that it's usually a very safe thing to do.


MumnGran · 23/06/2013 17:49

This mother actually abandoned her child to the tantrum and went shopping!! Appalling behaviour IMHO
If she had been using "I am leaving you to it, and carrying on with what I am doing" tactically, then she would have been out of the store like a shot when she saw you crouch down to her child.
I have used this tactic with a DD, but she was never out of my sight for a second!! and I was behind her ...not in a shop, where anything could have blocked my view of her or prevent me from reaching her in a heartbeat!!
It is supposed to be teaching that tantrum'ing is ineffective NOT about being cross that you just aren't getting on with your clothes shopping!


justmyview · 23/06/2013 17:50

Well done for checking the child was OK, that was kind of you. Sounds like the mother did actually have it under control, but you weren't to know that


IfNotNowThenWhen · 23/06/2013 17:57

I'm with you Op. They didn't come over when they saw you talking to the child, so they either couldnt see her, or didn't care. I also think that it must be quite traumatic for a very small child to be in the middle of a shopping centre and not know where her mum is.
I have done the waking away thing, but never actually into a big department store leaving a 3 year old outside the shop ! That's fucked up.

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