other people's un-ruley children

afternoon everybody! I guess this is along similar lines to mrssetters post the other day about whether or not we'd intervene. My question is, how do you deal with other people's children if they're behaving badly in a public place?

hubby and I have just been to softplay with Evie, it's a huge local softplay which is usually very very empty during weekdays which I love. Today there was us, another mummy with a little girl called libby, and then a mum, grandad and 4children.

One of their children, the youngest looking girl (about 2), began whacking Evie with a softplay brick on the head repeatedly. I ran over and took Evie out the softplay pit and showed her somewhere else she could play, the girls grandad came over and said a very casual "don't do that". the little girl then proceeded to slap libby on the head.. libby just looked shocked and the grandad again said "don't do that".

Later on, The children all seemed to be playing together, just slightly out of sight, but well in ear shot. Then we heard Evie shouting.. hubby ran in and the little bratt girl was hitting Evie again, for absolutely no reason. OH said to the girl in a raised voice, "go and see you parents" and began asking Evie what had happened. Little girl burst into tears and came running out to her grandad, i explained she'd been hitting Evie, and rather than telling her off or giving an apology, he picked the girl up and cuddled her and said "well they're in a softplay thats what happens" and asked my oh what he'd said to upset his grandaughter so much. we explained she was only crying as she'd heard an authoratative voice, OH didn't even tell her off. Anyway, we all got into a bit of a barney over it (thank god it was empty) and he was telling my OH "you leave the telling off to me, look how much you've made her cry" Evie never got an apology and the little girl got nothing but a cuddle. I was absolutely enraged.

Do you think my OH was out of order for raising his voice? What circumstances have you been in where other peoples kids have been misbehaving... do you say or do anything? I cannot stand seeing other peoples kids doing wrong and not getting told off.

I have to admit I have told other people kids off if it's been necessary and they've hurt or put Evie at risk. More often than not I'll walk past the parents and very loudly mention how badly behaved their children are so that they can hear!!

I just dont feel there is ANY excuse.
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  • no Linzi you're right there is no excuse for overlooking your own child behaving badly. I would probably be annoyed that something didnt dicipline their child especially if it was in the same circumstances that you have described.

    I have never been in the situation though but what I would say is that if my baby ever behaved badly and someone raised theirvoice to them and made them cry, my first reaction would be to tell them to sod off for frightening him...Kinda like righ ok he did something wrong but its my job to deal with it not yours kind of way. Some children find it hard to deal with new faces so a stranger shouting at them may b very frightening for them...even if they're a right horror.

    I would have ben more inclinced to walk up to the girls grandfather and say to them that she is repeatedly hitting my child and tell him toll go over and get her. i DO understand why your OH did it but do you see it from that point of view too?
  • I can't stand to see other people's kids behaving like this, especially when it involves hurting other children. It's the mentality of 'my kid can do what they want, no matter who it hurts' that really gets me. I think quite often when kids are badly behaved and the parents don't deal with it it's because they truly don't care that their children are badly behaved.

    I'm not sure if I'd have done anything about it though... I think I'd be worried about the confrontation involved. Like you say, some parents can get quite nasty and defensive.

    Look on the bright side, the parents will be paying for this attitude when they have a teenager who is a little s***
  • I'd be interested to see how people deal with this sort of thing as we're having problems with our neighbours children at the minute. They aren't nice boys at all (twins about 18 months older than rhys) and they keep hitting the other children, parents etc. They had a big stick the other week and hit Rhys over the back with it and they've also thrown sand into Alfie's pram (he was about 10 weeks at the time). We've tried just saying no that's not nice etc, we've spoken to the parents and they don't care. Oh shouted at them the other day as they kept coming into our garden playing with Rhys's toys and kept waking Rhys up. (it was about 8.30 at night) and they just turned round and said shutup Sh*thead! I was gobsmacked
  • Hey we where in a similar position in a softplay area with my godson. He was quite happily playing & running about (he's 3) & another boy just started pushing him for no reason. I went over & told the boy off, just said it was very naughty to hit someone & he shouldn't do it. Then I went to the boy's daddy, who had been on his phone from walking through the door & told him, his reply was oh boys will be boys their fine & continued to talk on the phone!!! Although the boy never did it again he dud give me a look everytime he walked past!

    Our softplay area is really good, if a child is naughty they get told off, up to 3 times anymore than this they are asked to leave for the rest of the day! I think it's a great way of discipline!

    Jayne xx
  • Hey we where in a similar position in a softplay area with my godson. He was quite happily playing & running about (he's 3) & another boy just started pushing him for no reason. I went over & told the boy off, just said it was very naughty to hit someone & he shouldn't do it. Then I went to the boy's daddy, who had been on his phone from walking through the door & told him, his reply was oh boys will be boys their fine & continued to talk on the phone!!! Although the boy never did it again he dud give me a look everytime he walked past!

    Our softplay area is really good, if a child is naughty they get told off, up to 3 times anymore than this they are asked to leave for the rest of the day! I think it's a great way of discipline!

    Jayne xx
  • hmmm its always tricky, with family's kids we all have an understanding really on how each one disciplines so if my nieces are misbehaving then i'm allowed to 'tell them off' for somehting that i know my sister would tell them off for. soft play paces tho is a bit different, all strangers,a nd in this day u don't know how a parent owuld react...a few months back, ds was about 10months old and was crawling around the soft play bit (which is crap anyway as its babies to 3yrs old, imo, a 3yr old is a far cry from a crawler, or even younger, so i don't see how or why they have to play in the same bit) and over in one corner was one of those plastic wendy houses ds was crawling and cruising over to it, and luckily i followed him about, right as he got to it this little boy watched and waited for ds to peep his head through, then SLAMMED the door as hard as he could, luckily i pulled ds away with liek a split second to spare, that little boy ws deliberatly trying to slam the door on ds head, as usual the parents were no where to be seen, btu when i got back to my table with ds on my lap i made a point of telling the story to my friend as loud as i could, in hope that the parents would hear, where evr they were. the problem is so many parenst seem to treat indoor play areas like creches and don't keep an eye on their kids, they assume someone else is looking after them. one little boy (about 5) was in the loos for half an hour, screaming for his mum, why in an hour she hadn't realised where he was, or taht he wasn't on the play equipment, she only came, 10 minutes after the staff announced it over the tanoy that a boy named **** was in the loo calling for her.

    anyway in answer to ur question, i don't think ur OH was out of order intelling her to see her prents, in fact i think he was restrained, as it was the 3rd/fourth time i would've probably told her not to do it myself, and then for them to just cuddle her is to say then that she shouldn't have been told off and what she was doing was ok. x
  • Honestly, yes I think your OH was out of order to raise his voice. At the end of the day, it is not his place to discipline someone elses child. How would you feel if a stranger raised their voice to your LO and made them cry? I would be appalled and not be happy at all.

    I don't condone what the child did, it was bang out of order and I personally can't stand parents who fail to discipline their kids (makes me think they shouldn't be allowed to have them) but even still, I think you should have removed your child from the situation and left it at that. Just giving my honest opinion and don't mean to cause any offence xx
  • i tell other people's children off all the time! but i am a teacher lol.

    i would have removed esme from the situation, but i dont like confrontation a great deal.
  • Good on him I say!
    I tell off other people's kids all the time if they are endangering or hurting my son or any of my friend's kids. I don't raise my voice particularly, but I will say something along the lines of 'stop that now, it's not nice to hit/kick/whatever'. And I would hope that someone else would say the same to my boy if he was misbehaving and I missed it for some reason. I don't want my son learning that hitting is ok and that is the message he is getting if he isn't told off and equally if someone is hitting him and doesn't get told off.
    If you have a problem with someone else disciplining your child then make sure they don't get the chance by keeping an eye on them and doing it yourself!
  • Yup, if a child's behaviour is hurting or endangering DD or more vulnerable kids, and parents aren't stepping up to the plate I will tell them off, and have done so. Not screaming and shouting, but firm, and if 'firm' reduces them to howling tears, I'd hazard that they don't hear 'firm' often enough at home. Protecting my kids is my job and ifd that means shooing away unruly children who are hurting them, I will.
  • Difficult one. When I was about 9 or 10, I was in museum with my mother and pointed out something to her on one of the displays. My hand happened to get in the way of another woman's sight line - so she slapped it out of the way! You have never seen anyone as incandescent as my mother!

    The problem is that correcting another child's behaviour can be taken as (and often implicitly is) a criticism of the parents and their parenting skills. Human nature being what it is, people get very defensive. I know I would be *furious* if someone told Peter off. At 14 months he really doesn't know any better, but I would still probably take it as a criticism of my parenting that they would expect him to. (Does that make sense?)

    That being said, I would want to protect him from children I perceived as being badly behaved and I do think we have a certain amount of social responsibility to model good behaviour to *all* children we encounter, not just our own. Perhaps your husband shouldn't have raised his voice, but I think his reaction in telling the little girl to go to her parents was definitely appropriate, and I would certainly have raised my own voice in that situation.

    As I say, it is a difficult one, requiring tact which is hard to display when our first instinct is to protect our kids, but I think you probably came out of it the best, under the circumstances.
  • Its a toughy - personally i dont think he should of raised his voice to her, youve guessed her age to be 2, which is that, a guess - she could be much younger, and as hard as it is seeing your child getting hurt, he should of removed Evie from the situation and gone directly to the grandfather.

    I would go mad if a grown man raised his voice to any of my children, the (grandfather) is very obviously in the wrong and should of been watching her but as you saw from the first incident they clearly werent bothered, so maybe one of you should of stayed with Evie to redirect her away from the little girl.

    I hate play areas for this reason, lots of children and lots of different parenting :evil: unfortunatly some carers tend to let kids run riot in them and it isnt fair on everone else :roll:

    Ive been in a situation where a little boy actually spat in my childs face - did i say anything to the child? nope, but i had some choice words for his mother.
  • hubby seems to think she was much older, more like 3 1/2, she was bloody tiny, but come to think of it she had the vocab of a 3-4yr old. its hard to judge i guess, on second thoughts though i do think she'd have been older than evie who is 2 1/2. i guess that doesnt make much difference though.

    I'm glad to see most don't think hubby was out of order, and can understand why others would be horrified if a man raised his voice at their LO. fliping the situation around, if it was another daddy raised their voice at Evie and upset her.. I'd be a bit taken a back, but after realising Evie had been hitting his child I'd tell Evie off myself and take her upto that child to apologise. I know I might be being very niave, but I think Evie knows far better than to hurt another child so hopefully won't find myself in that situation!

    If it had been me that'd ran in to see what was happening, I don't think I'd have been as reserved as hubby, I think I'd have had some stern words for the little girl.

    Once we were home, hubby was telling Evie that if that were to happen again, and somebody was hitting her, to hit them back... and whilst in the heat of the moment, it would have been satisfying to see evie stand up for herself in that way (terrible i know) I told OH not to dare teach her this as it's very very confusing and conflicting to teach a child it's bad to be violent, but condole it if the other kid does it first. I'd tell Evie off good and proper if she EVER hit another child, even if they hit her first.
  • I agree with what THG said about some parents get defensive and take it as you being critical against their kids.

    We are going through something similar with my sisters little boy. He's 2.5yrs and Toby has just turned 1. My nephew is just far far too rough with Toby. I mean squeezing his hands and feet to the point Tobes cries and tries to get away. He tries to jump on him with his full body weight. He pokes at his head and slaps down on his head. He is REALLY rough with Toby that hubby and I get very stressed whenever we have to see my sisters family.

    We have told them how his behaviour makes us feel but they still don't do anything about it, so hubby and I are now firmer and raise our voice to my nephew, and remove Toby from the "situation".

    The thing that makes me angry is that if it was my sister going through this and Toby being the violent bugger, I know EXACTLY what her reaction would be. So why does she continue to let her son go ahead and poke and prod Tobes??? My Mum always defends him too!!! Sorry but I think a 2.5yr old understand what NO means. My nephew just refuses to listen to it.

    Joo xxx
  • mummyjoo that sounds like a nightmare! I'm starting to get worried Evie will be too rough with the new baby when he arrives.. but not in a jumping on it with full body weight kind of way! Just in a sheer curious innocent way.

    Boys do play rough and tumble, and he's of that sort of age, but that doesn't condole it and your family should be firmer in teaching your nephew that he could hurt toby. And you're right in that at 2 and a half they should definately understand the concept of NO and that somebody could get hurt.

    I think you're doing right in being firm with nephew and removing toby from the situation
    xx
  • i think i would be cross if some man had shouted at my child, i would much prefer to be told my child is miss behaving so i could sort it out myself, having said that i do understand many "parents" wouldnt, be it they cant be bothered or just dont care, i would in that sitiuation of removed my child and not said anything to the little girl, but had a few choice words for the grandparent,

    My LO isnt old enough for soft play but i doubt i would take him when he was purely for that reason, i know my child will behave but i cant control other peoples children.
  • I think your oh was completely right. For several reasons. Firstly, there's no way I would want my child to see me, as his mum, allow another child to hurt him without defending him. I want Jak to know that violence isn't right, so intervening and speaking to the child, albeit to ask her to see her parents, would reinforce this. I'd hate for him to think that I'd sit back and not say or do anything if he was being treated like that. Secondly, I'm a teacher, and I hate seeing children behaving like that. Lastly, years ago, children would be raised to respect their community, and they would be expected to behave by all adults, regardless of whose children they were. Now, everyone is so quick to jump up and shout about their 'rights' instead of understanding their responsibilities. If you have a child, you have the responsibility to teach that child right from wrong, not just your own version of it, but basic universal truths, such as 'violence is unacceptable' and 'stealing is wrong', those sorts of things. If Jak was beating a smaller child with a brick, soft or otherwise, and I hadn't noticed for some reason, I would not be surprised in the slightest if the parent of said child raised his voice. I'd be mortified that I gen't noticed, but glad he hadn't got away with it!
  • In the library last week something similar happened to us. We were busy choosing a picture book when a little boy came up and started babbling at us (I am guessing he was a similar age to Lily possibly just a little older). I smiled sweetly and he began to throw books from the book box over the floor. His mum was nowhere to be seen but every so often she shouted for him to tell him to be good. Lily moved to be nearer me and I could tell she wasn't keen on this little boy. So we got our books and went to check them out. While the librarian was scanning the books the little boy appeared next to Lily with a big stick (where he got it from in the library I don't know) and he started prodding Lily with it. Lily said to him 'no' and he stopped. Then he decided to do it again. Again Lily said 'no' to him. I said I didn't think Lily liked him doing that and perhaps he should go find his mummy. No, he carried on prodding Lily. The librarian then asked him to stop and another librarian came up and asked him to give her the stick. He said no and then tried to whack Lily with the stick, who by this point was hiding behind me. I told him Lily didn't like it and picked her up. At that point his mum appeared and said it was time for him to go home, he threw a mega paddy and refused to put his shoes and socks back on (I hadn't noticed he'd taken them off!). The librarian grabbed the stick off him at this point. Mum never said anything to me and off they went. The librarians apologised but it wasn't really their fault. As we left the library the poor librarians were left to tidy up the mess he'd left - books and leaflets and the story cuddly toys all over the floor. I was pleased Lily had stood up for herself as she clearly realised what he was doing was wrong. She didn't cry or get angry with him which I thought for a 22month old was pretty good (and restrained!)

    xx
  • jellyfishpink that is really good of lily! what a terror of a little boy he sounds, another pet peeve of mine is when parents leave their childrens mess all over, even when bins are close by etc. Evie reacted in a similar way to lily, she's absolutely tough as old boots and rarely cries if she gets hurt, she told the little girl "no thats naughty" repeatedly whilst being hit, and she just looked mortified and so confused like, mammy i've not done anything wrong why am i getting hit. I guess for that reason I agree with you EmilyB, I would hate Evie to think I'd let her down by not saying anything to this naughty girl and that I'd not defended her, it broke my heart seeing her so confused and looking to me and OH for some help!
  • I think your oh was completely right. For several reasons. Firstly, there's no way I would want my child to see me, as his mum, allow another child to hurt him without defending him. I want Jak to know that violence isn't right, so intervening and speaking to the child, albeit to ask her to see her parents, would reinforce this. I'd hate for him to think that I'd sit back and not say or do anything if he was being treated like that. Secondly, I'm a teacher, and I hate seeing children behaving like that. Lastly, years ago, children would be raised to respect their community, and they would be expected to behave by all adults, regardless of whose children they were. Now, everyone is so quick to jump up and shout about their 'rights' instead of understanding their responsibilities. If you have a child, you have the responsibility to teach that child right from wrong, not just your own version of it, but basic universal truths, such as 'violence is unacceptable' and 'stealing is wrong', those sorts of things. If Jak was beating a smaller child with a brick, soft or otherwise, and I hadn't noticed for some reason, I would not be surprised in the slightest if the parent of said child raised his voice. I'd be mortified that I gen't noticed, but glad he hadn't got away with it!


    Completely agree with this and have quoted as couldnt have written it better myself! lol

    My neice was in a soft play area with my sister and was 'attacked' by another child. I say attacked as my neice had 3 very deep scratches on her face, one of which may actually scar! And this one was very close to her eye. My neice is 13 months. I was really surprised my sister didnt say something to this child, who was obviously older but my sister didnt speculate as to how old. I have to say, as a teacher as well, I wouldve spoken (not screamed at I might add) to this child about what she had done and that it was wrong. Parents dont like it - tough! I didnt like what their child did either!
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