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  1. #1
    ~Marigold~'s Avatar
    ~Marigold~ is offline You make me happy, when skies are grey
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    Default Other children hitting yours

    Interested to hear how others have dealt with this.
    Today at the shops I took DD in to use the toddler toilet in the baby change rooms. They have a small gated play area and I let her play for a few minutes.
    A mum walked in with her 3 kids, a little girl aged about 8, another girl around 3 and a baby in a pram. My DD (3) was sitting on a little chair in the playpen spinning a big circular activity toy thing attached to the wall. The mother was on her mobile phone the whole time they were in the room. While she waited for her 3 year old to use the toilet, the 8 year old walked into the playpen and went right up to my DD and pulled her hands away from spinning the thing so she could have a go. I immediately got up and opened the gate as DD was upset. I looked over at the mother who had her back turned and was still on her phone so I directed my DD to another toy. I was going to say something to the girl, but as DD was happy to play with something else, I left it. And I was irritated with myself because I'd normally have said something like " DD was playing with that first" or "don't smack please". But in this instance I let it go. It's so hard sometimes, I always feel so awkward and uncomfortable pulling up other people's kids. One time recently I saw a little boy smack DD on the head and told him off straight away (nothing inappropriate, just "hey, don't smack her" type of thing.) And the mother shot up from out of no where and wagged her finger at me, saying "your daughter hit him first". I replied "I didn't see that, she should not be hitting him" and left feeling crappy. I don't like confrontation. I'm not meek and can definitely stick up for myself and not about to let another child hurt my child, but I hate dealing with disciplining other kids.
    Anyway, so the 8 year old roughly pushed her way in and pulled DD's hands away, but the mother didn't see it. Then her other child, the 3 year old, finished up in the bathroom and went into the play area and immediately went right for DD, pushing her off her little stool and smacking her about the face. DD was stunned and I started walking over to get her out but before I could the mother stormed in and pulled her kids out quickly, sternly telling the 3 yo off, for which I was grateful. She had her hands full and as soon as she saw what her daughter did she was onto it.
    So, what do you do? Let it slide most times? I've worked in child care and know how to deal with conflict between kids, especially regarding sharing and smacking etc, but still hate being faced with these situations. It's happening all the time, everywhere we go. I know kids will be kids and they all snatch and push in and even smack eachother at times, but just wondering how others deal with strangers kids' hurting yours, especially if their own parent doesn't see/do anything.

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    I think it's perfectly fine to say "please don't smack my child and she was playing with it first thank you very much". I also think you probably did the right thing too by just letting it go since your DD was happy. I would probably do the same.

    At play centres I'm a bit different. I had a child just yesterday actually who was about 4 or 5 block the entrance from a bridge to my children aged 5 and 2. He said "I'm not going to let you through". This kid had previously been running around hitting my 5 year old. My 2 year old tried to get through and he kicked her back. I looked at him from below and said "Hey, you do that to my kid again and you'll regret it". (I'd obviously never do anything and if he did it again I'd simply inform staff or try to find the parent". The kid had a shocked look on his face and then ran off. Didn't touch my children again for the rest of the time. I find that effective. You'll be surprised how effective it is. Every time I've done it (which is probably 4 times in my parenting career, I have 3 children with oldest being 5.5) the other child has never attempted to hurt my child again.

    For the parents that are about to tell me I'm a bully or something I only do this when it's a child that is either repetitively hurting my child, a much older child hurting my child (and I mean like that kid kicking my 2 year old not just a light slap on the shoulder or something) OR something extreme (such as once a long time ago when my son was about 2.5 there was a child that was about 6 or seemed that way who was running and knee slamming my 2.5 year old son over and over again. For the most part I try to let the kids work conflict out on their own. If I see my kids hurting other children they are given a stern talking to, forced to sit out for a while and made to apologise sincerely to the other child and parent.

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    It's hard because I think my reaction would be different if the parent was there or not. I often glare at the child as I think non verbal language can be very powerful - just think of how you felt as a kid of an adult looked really angrily at you! If needed I would also say calmly but firmly something along the lines of 'please don't do that again', or 'you need to wait your turn honey' etc. then it depends on the age of the child - I definitely think an 8 year old should know better, whereas a 2 or 3 year old I wouldn't worry so much as they may not have the social skills yet. If it were my child hitting another I would be mortified and apologise regardless of whether I had seen the incident or not.

    It's super frustrating if the parent doesn't realise as their first reaction may be to go into defence mode. Some parents never think their child could do wrong - in which case it's best just to leave if possible and try to forget about it.

    I think your reaction was fine. The parent in question probably hasn't given it another thought.

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    Its a tough one. I normally respond with something like, 'I saw that - no hitting, hands to yourself'.

    But some parents get super touchy on this issue. When DS was 3 he was playing in a shopping centre playground and another little boy was shadowing him everywhere and snatching things off him, and finally the little boy hit him and pushed him out the way to get to some play equipment. I couldn't see a parent anywhere so said something to him like I mentioned above. Suddenly his mother appeared and got right up into my face and screamed at me to never talk to her son and that if I have a problem with him I am to come to her and she was so angry and aggressive it left me shaken. I'd never encountered anything like it.

    So it can be a difficult thing to navigate.

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  8. #5
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    ~Marigold~ is offline You make me happy, when skies are grey
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuppet View Post
    Its a tough one. I normally respond with something like, 'I saw that - no hitting, hands to yourself'.

    But some parents get super touchy on this issue. When DS was 3 he was playing in a shopping centre playground and another little boy was shadowing him everywhere and snatching things off him, and finally the little boy hit him and pushed him out the way to get to some play equipment. I couldn't see a parent anywhere so said something to him like I mentioned above. Suddenly his mother appeared and got right up into my face and screamed at me to never talk to her son and that if I have a problem with him I am to come to her and she was so angry and aggressive it left me shaken. I'd never encountered anything like it.

    So it can be a difficult thing to navigate.
    Wow! That's exactly what makes me think twice about it. That's insane!

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    Depends on how severe and if they should know better. At 8 I would have told off. Younger children where it's clearly lack of attention from the parents that's the issue I go all passive aggressive and say to my DD in a loud voice "that boys not being nice so we don't play with him. We don't hit people do we?"

    One time at a work function another child was bullying kids on the jumping castle. I bit my tongue then because I could have got a manager offside (I wasn't sure whose child it was!). Another time when my DD was 1 a 4yo hopped on a jumping castle and went up and shoved her over for no reason. The mum saw and called him to come to her. He ran to the back laughing thinking she couldn't get him there. She took her shoes off, climbed up and dragged him off. Total respect for that mum.

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    Its so hard isnt it.
    In a play cafe last weekend a boy of about 4/5 kicked my 2yr old DS in the stomach 😵 i was livid not only did he deliberately hurt my DS who had been happily playing he was also in the 2/u section that id seen a staff member ask his mum to get him out of only a few minutes earlier.

    I went and grabbed my Ds and said to the boy 'that was a very nasty thing to do, it is not nice to hurt people'
    His mum came over but didnt say a word.

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    I also find it a bit awkward. Especially since my own kids dont hit, they tend to get a bit stunned when it happens to them. Sometimes I would say 'HEY! No hitting.' loudly enough & sternly for the parent to hear. If the child was continually rough or snatching &the parent did nothing, I would take my child to another area & tell them something like 'that boy is hitting, so we will play over here. We dont want to play with people who are hitting us'. I dont want my kids to feel like people are allowed to whatever they want & they just have to rake it because I feel the need to be polite.

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    Hubby says something to the kid and the parent if they didn't see.
    We were on holiday earlier this year and an older kid slapped our 2 year old ds across the face. Dh was straight onto it and told the mother who was too busy on her phone to watch her child. They left very quickly. No apology or anything though 😒

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    I don't hesitate to intervene if a child is too rough with my DS. Having said that, I've rarely had an issue where I've had to do so.

    Once at a noisy museum soft play area there was a boy a bit bigger than my DS and he was playing really rough. I told him to stop being so rough when he went too far (he was restraining DS under some large cushion type things). I don't think there was a parent watching him.

    There was one other occasion that DS got attacked by a much younger girl in a play area - completely unprovoked. She actually clawed at his face. The girls dad instantly came over to stop her, reprimanded her and ordered her to apologise to DS. About a minute later she attacked him again in the same manner and actually drew blood - the dad saw it and removed her from the play area. I'm really glad he stepped in and dealt with it!


 

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