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Interaction at the coffee shop - what would you have done? - Page 6

post #101 of 191
With a toddler, whatever those two kids were playing with would have been what the toddler wanted to play with. So if they moved from the ship to some blocks, the toddler would immediately want to play with the blocks. And then if htey were made to give up the blocks and went back to the ship, the toddler would again want the ship. Toddlers are pretty easily distracted. "Oh, look at these blocks!" would have been a good start.

And toddlers simply are grabby. There's nothing wrong with toddlers being grabby, but to say, "Oh maybe it was just that one instance of grabbiness" is pretty silly when your'e talking about a 21-month-old.

I have an older kid and a baby/toddler, so I see both sides of this. I absolutely would have redirected the toddler.

Also, 5-year-olds are very literal. If they wanted to exclude and be mean, they would have said, "We don't want to play with you." "We want to play with this toy by ourselves" means that specifically and only that. They saw how a toddler plays, and probably know from experience how toddlers play, and they wanted to use that toy for the game they were playing that a toddler would not be able to play, by themselves. There is no way to simutaneously use a toy (not a play center like a kitchen or train table, but a toy) in a 5-year-old imaginary play way and a toddler grab-hit-roll-around way at the same time. It was reasonable for them to want to continue what they were doing. It was not reasonable to expect them to stop playing their game and entertain the toddler.
post #102 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Oh, the analogies...
I know! Sorry but I think it makes little sense to compare adult/children behavior.
Children are people but they are not little adults.
post #103 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post

Because a 22 month old can't play WITH other children. It's a developmental impossibility. To paraphrase someone else on this thread, you don't play with an almost 2-year old: you entertain them. A toddler can play by himself, but his behavior is not socially acceptable in the 5 year old universe: it will involve grabbing (which OP's child already did), knocking over, poor language skills, short attention span, and inability to keep a linear storyline going. By foisting a 22mo on a 5yo and expecting them to play "together," really the only possible expectation is for the 5 year old to stop playing at his level, and start playing at the 22mo's level. Which is, in effect, entertaining the 22mo.

This sometimes works out very well: it's happened more than once that an older child will kind of adopt my daughter on the playground, and show her around and help her dig in the sandbox. I think that's adorable when it happens. But I certainly don't expect it to happen. There is no way that a toddler would be able to play with the pirate ship linked to above at the same time as a 5 year old in a way that lets the 5 year old finish his game.
But it isnt a "developmental impossibility" my degree is in Early Childhood so I am aware of the developmental ability ranges of this age group as 2-5 is my focus area.

My son is by no means super gifted and neither are the other 2 21 month olds in our playgroup but they play alongside the older kids. Like i said in the rest of my pp he will be the dog when they play house and if they are playing princess well, the 4-6 year olds toss them some dresses and shoes and the babies join as they can.

The girls in our group certainly dont have to change their play to accomodate the littles and they for sure dont entertain them. The 21 month olds didnt disrupt the "rock star" game the 4-6 year old girls were playing last week they just kinda followed along singing and dancing and left when they were bored.

I *have* asked my 5y/o dd to entertain her little brother but that is a totally different situation.
post #104 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post
I just don't understand what the OP expected the children to do. Her child does not have the developmental capacity to play with other children. What was she going to do with the pirate ship other than bang on it?
What is the issue if he did bang on the ship? Would that RUIN the play of the other kids? I should hope not.

Maybe the kids we play with are just awesome but if a baby was banging on a ship they would either ignore it or use imaginative play and say "argh! an octopus!" or something similar.

Now if the baby starts grabbing the wheel or pushing them yes, the mom should intervene but a baby playing near another child is not a catastrophy.

People in public places wear smelly perfume, they talk loud, they sit too close and do other things that i dont particularly like but that is a part of being in public and getting used to other people.
post #105 of 191
I think that the 2 sides of this are picturing 2 different things. People who are advocating letting the baby play seem to be picturing a structure you get into, pretend to sail etc . . . Maybe something like this:

http://www.nextag.com/Kid-Kraft-Kidk...479028154FD9B1

People who are arguing not to let the baby play seem to be picturing something more like this:

http://compare.ebay.com/like/2504286...PriceItemTypes

There's a big difference in these 2 things. The first, in my opinion, is a toy designed to be shared. It's like those toy fire trucks and trains they have at the park or the sandbox or a play kitchen -- definitely made for parallel play.

The second, on the other hand, while 3 or 4 kids certainly could play with it together, requires a degree of coordination that a 1 year old just isn't capable of. Kids play with these things by setting up scenarios -- this guy goes here, that guy goes there, and a child banging on it knocks them down. A child grabbing a figure really does interfere with the flow of the play.

I'm assuming it was the latter, given that the OP described the other child as moving the ship itself, but I'd love to see some clarification.
post #106 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-sorta-fairytale View Post
What is the issue if he did bang on the ship? Would that RUIN the play of the other kids?
Yes. It would probably knock over all the figures in the ship and the kids would have had to set everything back up again.

Quote:
People in public places wear smelly perfume, they talk loud, they sit too close and do other things that i dont particularly like but that is a part of being in public and getting used to other people.
Yes, and I try to remove myself from situations where that happens....just like the boy did when he made his comment and moved the ship.
post #107 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post
Yes. It would probably knock over all the figures in the ship and the kids would have had to set everything back up again.



Yes, and I try to remove myself from situations where that happens....just like the boy did when he made his comment and moved the ship.

hmmmm, maybe we are thinking of 2 diff things - i am imagining a play ship that the kids can get inside and pretend pirates in where someone banging wouldnt ruin anything. i am seeing the one posted like this http://www.nextag.com/Kid-Kraft-Kidk...479028154FD9B1

see, and at the movies i wouldnt say "gross! you cant sit near me - you are eating a pickle!" and then move away. I would move quietly or just deal with it. I dont go to many movies while pg because i am really smell sensitive and being stuck with someone eating smelly things would make me puke. I wouldnt go to a public play area with my kids if i wanted them to play undisturbed. My dd gets that in public you are surrounded with the public and it isnt always perfect.
post #108 of 191
[QUOTE=a-sorta-fairytale;14850173]hmmmm, maybe we are thinking of 2 diff things - i am imagining a play ship that the kids can get inside and pretend pirates in where someone banging wouldnt ruin anything. i am seeing the one posted like this http://www.nextag.com/Kid-Kraft-Kidk...479028154FD9B1

Then the OP needs to clarify, like a PP said. We are thinking of two different things. I agree, in a big thing like that, the kids couldn't "hog" it for themselves.

Quote:
see, and at the movies i wouldnt say "gross! you cant sit near me - you are eating a pickle!" and then move away. I would move quietly or just deal with it.
Oh come on. He's 5, not an adult.

And he didn't say "Not you again! No way! You're too little and we are playing alone!" He just stated a fact, "We want to play by ourselves."

And the other difference is that in a room of stinky people like the movies, no one's trying to "get in your space" and create any kind of interaction with you.

However, if you were in a room and stinky people kept coming near you to talk with you, to walk away in silence WOULD have been rude. You certainly could have said, "I'm going to sit over here for while and visit with so and so."
post #109 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-sorta-fairytale View Post
hmmmm, maybe we are thinking of 2 diff things - i am imagining a play ship that the kids can get inside and pretend pirates in where someone banging wouldnt ruin anything. i am seeing the one posted like this http://www.nextag.com/Kid-Kraft-Kidk...479028154FD9B1
In the OP, it said the boy moved the ship out of her reach, which to me sounded like he was holding it in his hands. At the very least, he could move it very easily, so it wasn't a play structure.
post #110 of 191
I think it's clear from the OP's posts that this is a smallish play ship, not a playground-type boat that kids play in. This is a coffee shop with a kids' play area, not an elaborate play house.
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
Ten minutes later, the girl and her brother start to play with a pirate ship – that is so large that 3 or 4 kids could have played with it, comfortably. So Maren wanders over and tries to join in. Before Maren even reached out to touch it, the little boy grabs the pirate ship, moves it away from Maren and says “We want to play with this by ourselves.”
So, they're playing with the ship, not in it, and the ship was small enough for the 4 or 5 year old boy to grab and move away. There's no way this is a ship they're in.

The OP adds clarifies later:
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
It was a cheap thing made of plastic. My toddler could probably have moved it.
So, something small enough for a one year old to move. I'm picturing playmobil-type ship. I think the word "large" is confusing people - it's larger than a toy ship that fits in the palm of your hand, and three 5 year old could probably sit on different sides and play together, but it's small enough for a toddler to move around....
post #111 of 191
Or maybe it's something like this?
http://www.amazon.com/Little-Tikes-P.../dp/B00005BPPC

or this?
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=2553325

or this?
http://www.worldofstock.com/slides/PCH4965.jpg

Plastic, big enough for 3-4 kids, and moveable.

In my mind, though, I'm thinking this: http://besttoysguide.com/wp-content/...pirateship.jpg
post #112 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
What on earth are you talking about? Did you even read my posts? My child had not even touched the pirate ship before this child pushed it away from her. I was sitting less than 3 feet away during this entire interaction - and I have already stated that I would (and did) intervene if necessary. Do you actually think that pointing out that my child can play along side means that I was "insisting that she ruin their game"? And I intended for them to stop playing in order to entertain my child? Give me a break.
The thing is, a toddler 'joining in' a game often wil ruin the older children's game. The toddler cannot play at the same level, and in this case is a total stranger. My older children would at that age most likely just have ended their game if a toddler came up like this, and then probably ask to go home. They are not mean kids, they are not bullies, but they were just not the type of 4 & 5 year olds who could cope with a toddler moving in on them. (They have always been great with their own younger sibling, but not with strangers like that.)

I personally don't see why you ever felt it was a big deal. A one year old can easily be distracted to another toy. Then, when the older kids are done with the ship, she could have had a turn. Which would most likely have lasted twenty seconds anyway! Is it really worth all this dissecting of someone else's parenting when all it takes is a little understanding that all kids are different, and that your toddler can be expected not to mess up an older kids' game at a coffee shop?

Your 1yo may grow up to be a 5 yo who can easily cope with a toddler moving in on her game, and happily change the game to accomodate. Or she may grow up to be a 5 yo who tells the toddler quite emphatically that she is not welcome. Or worse. You have no idea until you get there. Much of it is not in your hands, it is this simple little thing called personality.

My youngest child is one who could easily accomodate a toddler moving in. My older two couldn't. They have been parented the same, but I do not expect the same from them. With my older kids, the toddler may well end the game, and your interjection would have ended the trip to boot. Bear in mind that many kids appear normal, but have special needs and simply cannot cope with other children crowding their space. There are no hard and fast rules in parenting, all that is needed is a little sensitivity and empathy, and acceptance that kids are kids, and all kids are different. I don't think you can set rules in your mind for each and every social experience, you need to use sensitive judgment when you encounter other children, and live and let live.
post #113 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I don't think it's the expectation that older kids should "entertain" babies, but the expectation that a group of kids should be left alone in a public space with public toys at the APPROACH of a toddler.

The 21 month old hadn't even touched the pirate ship when the other kid took it away and declared that they wanted to play alone. I understand older kids not wanting a baby to come in and crash their set up, but I still don't understand why their reaction is condoned.

I just think that in a public space, with public toys, it's unrealistic to expect curious toddlers to not approach your kids. If that is a problem, find a place to play where curious toddlers won't walk over to your kids.
The older children had already experienced how the toddler 'played'. She grabbed. They would know how a toddle behaves, and they are applying that knowledge to this situation. They didn't want the ship grabbed and their game ruined. Children are literal, and often very honest. They didn't hit the toddler, they didn't push her or scream at her. They verbally told her mother their desire to play alone. I think that this in itself shows some very good social skills for young children. I know many 4 or 5 yos who may well have walloped the toddler instead of verbalizing their wishes.

I think the mother of the toddler should then respond and take their wishes seriously. If she felt that they could have expressed it more politely, maybe paraphrasing, such as, "Oh, you'd prefer to play with it on your own?" would make you feel that you'd turned it into a more positive experience all round, followed by something to the toddler like, "OK, honey, these kids want to finish up their game, so let's play with the blocks over here until they are done."

I have had a zillion interactions like this in my time with young children, and see nothing but positive in it, a learning experience for everyone. Later, when the older kids give up on the ship, you can thank them and model good manners again. Which is so very different to giving them a rule, which is by no means a univerally understood one, that they had to let a toddler move in on their game.
post #114 of 191
Thread Starter 
OP here. Wow - 110 responses! I thought I'd get 7 or 8 and then quickly fall onto page 2.

Anyway, to clarify in response to a couple of points (whose, I cannot remember)

1 - I am still rather baffled that having a toddler play next to a young child amounts to leaving them to "entertain" or even "look after" her. I was sitting three feet away during the entire incident and was ready to intervene if necessary. I had not abdicated my parenting responsibilities.

2 - My daughter had not been continually grabbing - she grabbed at one toy and I gave it back.

3 - I have not been here bitching about the other mother's parenting, if you re-read my OP you will see that I stated that I did not care for her tone of voice when she stated that my child "needs to learn". I suspect many people here would have been similarly irritated.

4 - For greater discussion of my other thoughts, see Northof60, sortla-like-a fairy and a couple of others! Thanks for the great discussion - I was going to post a long reponse earlier but you raised all the points for me!

5 - My husband and I had something of a giggle at the posts describing me as a bully, someone who barged in and insisted my child ruin the experiences of the two kids there. And perhaps ruin their entire lives to come. Who knows.

6 - Why am I making such a "big deal" about this? I merely asked a question on a discussion board. As you will see from the OP, I said "I'm not sure if I handled this the best way. What would you have done." And seeing as this garnered over 100 responses, I would suggest that other people also see this as a big enough deal to comment upon.
post #115 of 191
Since so many MDC mamas tend to be thoughtful, respectful people, I think the only conclusion we can draw from this thread is that even thoughtful, respectful people have differing opinions on this issue. Therefore, no one described in the OP was a bully/rude/mean/etc. -- they all just did what they thought was appropriate, and really, there wasn't even a dramatic altercation.

I agree with the poster upthread who winkingly mentioned being a hypocrit -- I'm the same way in that my reaction would differ depending on whether I was the parent of the older kids or the younger kid. As the parent of the older kids, I would have told them that the toys are for everyone. As the parent of the younger kid, I would have redirected. Both parents in the OP reacted differently than I would have -- ah well, it happens. No one's an awful person for it.
post #116 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
OP here. Wow - 110 responses! I thought I'd get 7 or 8 and then quickly fall onto page 2.

Anyway, to clarify in response to a couple of points (whose, I cannot remember)

1 - I am still rather baffled that having a toddler play next to a young child amounts to leaving them to "entertain" or even "look after" her. I was sitting three feet away during the entire incident and was ready to intervene if necessary. I had not abdicated my parenting responsibilities.

2 - My daughter had not been continually grabbing - she grabbed at one toy and I gave it back.

3 - I have not been here bitching about the other mother's parenting, if you re-read my OP you will see that I stated that I did not care for her tone of voice when she stated that my child "needs to learn". I suspect many people here would have been similarly irritated.

4 - For greater discussion of my other thoughts, see Northof60, sortla-like-a fairy and a couple of others! Thanks for the great discussion - I was going to post a long reponse earlier but you raised all the points for me!

5 - My husband and I had something of a giggle at the posts describing me as a bully, someone who barged in and insisted my child ruin the experiences of the two kids there. And perhaps ruin their entire lives to come. Who knows.

6 - Why am I making such a "big deal" about this? I merely asked a question on a discussion board. As you will see from the OP, I said "I'm not sure if I handled this the best way. What would you have done." And seeing as this garnered over 100 responses, I would suggest that other people also see where my quandry lay.
So, which of the many supplied photos did the boat look like?

For me, it boils down to: A baby/toddler can not play WITH anyone else. If she joins the game, the game is over for the older kids. The baby can not pretend, doesn't have the capacity to follow "rules", can not communicate or understand "instructions", and doesn't have the patience or manual dexterity to play the way older kids do.

I think that the 5 year old was being reasonable.
post #117 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post
So, which of the many supplied photos did the boat look like?
IMO this is the most important question. Would you mind describing it further?

I'm sorry that some people didn't post what you wanted to hear. I think that, for the most part, conversation has been pretty civil. No one is calling you a bad parent, many people are just saying that we would have handled the situation differently, and giving our reasons why we don't think it would be appropriate to insist that someone else's 5yo entertain our 1yo. If you've read all of the comments, you'll see why that is the only way a 5yo and a 1yo can play together explained a few times by a few different people.
post #118 of 191
Thread Starter 
It's not a case of not hearing what I wanted to hear. Again, my question was "what would you have done?" I just thought that some of the responses were rather silly, quite honestly. (Mainly the ones with "OP insists she ruin/bully/toddlers shouldn't be left to play alone" etc.)

As for the ship - I didn't see the photos, but it is about 3 feet long by 2 feet wide. Not something that you would play on, as such. A rather cheap thing that was not very sturdy and made of plastic. The fact that this kid could move it - and again, my toddler could probably have moved it - doesn't mean that it was akin to a hand-held toy. Which, as I have already stated, I would not have let my toddler remove from another child. And - sitting three feet away, I was ready to intervene if that were to happen again.
post #119 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
It's not a case of not hearing what I wanted to hear. Again, my question was "what would you have done?" I just thought that some of the responses were rather silly, quite honestly. (Mainly the ones with "OP insists she ruin/bully/toddlers shouldn't be left to play alone" etc.)
I bet when your kid is 5 and playing in a play area (maybe even the same one) and you can see she has set up an elaborate imaginative game and a lumbering toddler is about to disrupt the fairy prince in the midst of the dragon invasion...you will think back to this post and laugh.
post #120 of 191
Hmmmm. Interesting thread. I can't say honestly that either side was in the wrong here at all. There are valid points going both ways. If I was the mom to the toddler, I would have redirected her. I would not have confronted the 5yo unless he was downright mean, which it doesn't sound like he was. However, if I was mom to the 5yo, I would have said something to him about the toys being for everyone and perhaps he could find something else for the baby since it will be very hard for her to watch while only the older kids can use the ship. He may not do it, but at least the seed is planted for a more compassionate response later on. I think this situation would have worked out better as a collaborative effort on the part of both moms. To expect mom of toddler to keep her completely out of what the older kids are doing is unrealistic. To expect 4 and 5 yo.s to have to share everything they are doing with toddlers is also unrealistic.
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