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Interaction at the coffee shop - what would you have done? - Page 7

post #121 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
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.

I like this reply.
post #122 of 191
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
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.
Yes, you're probably right!
post #123 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
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.
This is so very true. Regardless of the differing opinions, I'm sure we'd all navigate our way through this politely without a peep. Sometimes it's nice to hash it out like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
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.
So did me and my husband! LOL Try not let the comments get to you. Tomorrow it will be another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
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.
Or, she'll be ready to jump in and remind them they're in a coffee shop and that babies are clumsy and knock stuff over and to not over react. It's all good.
post #124 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
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.
Oh how true! What we think as parents of toddlers goes right out the window once our kids reach a different developmental age and we start to understand the issues of a 3, 4 or 5 yo.
post #125 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
Oh how true! What we think as parents of toddlers goes right out the window once our kids reach a different developmental age and we start to understand the issues of a 3, 4 or 5 yo.
That is true. Yesterday I took the kids to play at McDonald's, and there was a mom of a baby (maybe 8 months old, not crawling yet) there, in the 3-and-under play area. There were a few other kids playing in there -- my 20-month-old, a couple of 2-year-olds, and one girl who was maybe 4. The kids were all playing really well, but of course would get excited from time to time and jump or whatever, but nothing that was even remotely over-boisterous IMO. But I could tell the mom of the baby was kind of irritated by the "wild" activity, and a couple of times she said, "Careful, there's a baby" as a 2-year-old wobbled past her. It made me chuckle, thinking how huge our kids must have looked to her compared to her teensy babe. I so remember feeling that way.
post #126 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
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.
As a parent of a toddler, I found this thread very interesting. Now I'll be more aware of when my DD intrudes on older kids.
post #127 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
That is true. Yesterday I took the kids to play at McDonald's, and there was a mom of a baby (maybe 8 months old, not crawling yet) there, in the 3-and-under play area. There were a few other kids playing in there -- my 20-month-old, a couple of 2-year-olds, and one girl who was maybe 4. The kids were all playing really well, but of course would get excited from time to time and jump or whatever, but nothing that was even remotely over-boisterous IMO. But I could tell the mom of the baby was kind of irritated by the "wild" activity, and a couple of times she said, "Careful, there's a baby" as a 2-year-old wobbled past her. It made me chuckle, thinking how huge our kids must have looked to her compared to her teensy babe. I so remember feeling that way.
It's kind of funny that she would even stay in there with the baby, if she was anxious about her getting hurt. I mean, even when my oldest was a baby, I had an understanding that toddlers need to move around. So I would've moved my baby if I was worried, rather than staying and expecting toddlers to not be toddlers.

After all, a baby who's not even crawling can enjoy sitting ANYWHERE and just playing with the contents of Mom's purse -- whereas toddlers need a little more action!

Still, I guess if a mom of an infant wants to stay in there and be irritated, that's her call and not mine. So long as her irritation doesn't affect my child!
post #128 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Isn't the point of these coffee house play things for children to go and play and socialize with OTHER children. I don't get the concept of taking your kid to a public play room and then being insulted that other children want to play with yours. And THEN to compare such a social setting (that is set up for children!) to adults sitting at a private table. They are apples and oranges to me.
I think the point of these toys is to give the children something to do while the parents relax. and I think kids using a toy is exactly the same as people using a table.



I don't think the other customers were out of line at all in either situation.

In the first situation the mom was telling the dd to use her words. She may have been acting so quickly because she knows how quickly things can break down when a toddler snatches a toy from a 4/5 year old. She was encouraging her dd to stand up for herself politely by speaking up. I actually think that is quite a good thing to teach a 4 or 5 year old. If the baby takes your toy, remain calm and say "no, I was playing with that".

in the second scenario, children that age do not want to be bothered with a baby. They politely made it clear that they were playing alone and did not want the baby wrecking ttheir game. And I think that is fine. I know if my kids were playing pirates and a baby came up and started messing with the toys it would be ruined for them. They WOULD NOT play WITH her. they would ask her to leave and if she did not they would leave. and it is not just babies. They just may not want to be intruded upon by strangers. It is not because they are hogging the toys (good grief, the kids had one play set, not every toy in the play area) or because they are antisocial but because they are in the middle of something. they are in the middle of their game with their rules and scenarios and ideas. and the way kids that age play with things like pirate ships or doll houses is complicated and has rules and babies do not get that and other kids don't always get that. I actually think it was pretty rude that you let your baby barge in on their play. Just because it is big enough does not mean that your dd is invited. Toddlers are not fun for 4 and 5 year olds to play with. Tolerate maybe but as a general rule, unless it is their idea to play with a baby the baby is not considered a welcome guest into their detailed imaginative play games.
post #129 of 191
Hey, havent read all the responses yet, but form what you have said, i think i would have done exactly the same thing in your shoes. First, kids your child's age (similar to my ds2) are always doing exactly those kind of things, and its no big deal. You just intervene etc. As for the big toy, i will take what you said at your word, ie that the toy was big enough for a few children to play with. In that situation, then those toys are for sharing, whether the big kids like it or not. I also have a big kid (only 4) but he could monoloplise a toy in the same way, doesnt make it ok. have seen that happen, and let it slide (when an older child monopolised a toy that my younger ds 21m, wanted to play with), but i think the parent should not have let her child do that.(didnt really have the energy at the time to even bother mentioning it)

In sum, i like how you handled the situation, and i would have done the same.
Maya
post #130 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
I really feel that this is a poor analogy. When an adult goes to a cafe and chats with a friend, there is no expectation or social norm that you need to accommodate strangers, and include them in your conversation. (Although interestingly, if you were in a cafe in mainland Europe, and it was full, it is expected that patrons share tables with others, on the very basis that "he has a right to a seat as much as I do." But I digress.)

However, in this particular coffee shop, the whole point of the children's play area is that all of the toys are available to all of the children. The expectation is that yes, if a toy is large enough that another child can join in without you having you to stop playing with the toy, it is shared. If it was a single-person toy, there would not be an expectation that someone drops the toy to hand it over to my child (as I explained in the OP, when my daughter did do this, I gave the toy right back.)

I must confess to being somewhat surprised, actually, by the responses I'm seeing. But all good food for thought!

I have to say, i give you my vote again here as well. Toys in a public place a for sharing.
post #131 of 191
I always wonder why its the younger one that has to be redirected. The toddler has as much right to be interested in the boat, and the big kids to their own play. Its not a matter of not respecting the big kids' right to their own game without the toddler, but there's a conflict. So you go back to the basics, 'public toys are for sharing', thats how you resolve the dilemma.....
post #132 of 191
"So you go back to the basics, 'public toys are for sharing', thats how you resolve the dilemma....."

But it is clear from this discussion that random adults are not going to all agree on this 'rule', so it's not a rule. It might be for you and your kids, but it most likely won't be for others in the public place, so all it is is your arbitary judgment of a situation, not a commonly agreed 'rule'.

The way I see it, you have a choice in your outlook. You can either see it as a matter of a rule (which is created by adults) that 'toys in any public place are for sharing', and try to enforce it, bearing in mind that others in the public place may well not share the same 'rule'.

Or, you can see the situation in terms of child development and help children navigate and learn according to their personal stage of development.

For me, trying to enforce an adult-created rule such as 'these toys are for sharing' creates a hassle and often a power battle that is, quite honestly, totally unnecessary and teaches children nothing in the long run. (The sharing rule is far more appropriately and effectively taught in different situations and at other ages, such as at home, with friends, and with people you actually know, not with total strangers in a random coffee shop.)

The alternative, where you guide the toddler to a different toy, and support the older children in verbalizing their wishes appropriately, is teaching the older kids something, and not hurting the toddler in the slightest.

I guess I'm just not a big fan of arbitary rules invented by adults for situations like this, that can so much more easily and effectively be handled by guiding a toddler to a different toy and allowing other children to play happily. I don't see the value, except to make adults feel that they are controlling a situation and instilling some fact in kids' brains about a rule that simply does not need to apply, except to make some of the adults feel good. A toddler can be made to feel good by excitedly banging on a drum or grabbing a nearby doll and acting like it is the most exciting toy in the world - for twenty seconds, anyway.
post #133 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I always wonder why its the younger one that has to be redirected. The toddler has as much right to be interested in the boat, and the big kids to their own play. Its not a matter of not respecting the big kids' right to their own game without the toddler, but there's a conflict. So you go back to the basics, 'public toys are for sharing', thats how you resolve the dilemma.....
In this case, it's because the older kids were already playing with it. And the basic would be, "They're playing with that now. You can have a turn when they're done."
post #134 of 191
Britishmum, i see what you are saying, but what if toddler doesnt want to be redirected? I see it as forcing toddler to do something else, because its easier. But that isnt fair on the toddler.
Im not sure how you define arbitrary rule either. I guess you could ask the coffee shop owners why they put the toys there, and odds are, they were hoping kids would play with them,... that they were for public use...so its follows thatthey are for sharing. Not arbitrary, just logical.

Im faced with this kind of situation alot because i have 2 kids of similar ages (21m, 4) and just get tired of always redirecting toddler, kwim? There's a reason toddler is interested in older children's activities, that is how they learn. Older children have their developmental reasons for not wanting to play with toddler, again, we have a conflict.....
post #135 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I always wonder why its the younger one that has to be redirected. The toddler has as much right to be interested in the boat, and the big kids to their own play. Its not a matter of not respecting the big kids' right to their own game without the toddler, but there's a conflict. So you go back to the basics, 'public toys are for sharing', thats how you resolve the dilemma.....
In this case, the older kids were playing with the boat first. So the toddler needs to wait for their turn.

If the toddler had the toy first - the older kids would have been redirected.
post #136 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I always wonder why its the younger one that has to be redirected. The toddler has as much right to be interested in the boat, and the big kids to their own play. Its not a matter of not respecting the big kids' right to their own game without the toddler, but there's a conflict. So you go back to the basics, 'public toys are for sharing', thats how you resolve the dilemma.....
yes the toddler did have a right to be interested in it but it was already being played with in a way that was not conducive to a toddler playing along.

I do not agree that public toys are for sharing. A coffee shop I go to has games and puzzles. geared towards adults and children. if my friend and I set up a game to play no one would dream of pulling up a chair and plunking their peice on the board just because there was room for one more and it was a game owned by the coffee shop. they may ask and may or may not say yes but whatever I am said would most likely be respected. I feel like a toy boat is the same way. anyone can play with it but once it is being used it is up to the person using it weather or not they want to share that game with a stranger. who may or may not want to play by the rules (but most likely would like to make up their own rules)

It doesn't always have to be the toddler that gets redirected. if the baby had been playing with the boat first and the big kids did not want to play with her they would have had to find something else to do until the baby was done playing with the boat. the thing is, older children are usually better at redirecting themselves....they see the boat and think "i would sure like to play with that boat" and then they do one of a few things. try to lure the baby away from the boat with something shiney, come whine to me "mmmmoooommmmm...how long is that baby going to play with that boooooaaaaaaat.....??" (and I would answer "as long as she good and well wants too, now go find something else to amuse yourself with, my friend and I are trying to have a conversation" because I'm a crappy mom like that) or they would just accept it and move on to something else.

sharing toys - play with one for a while and then let spomeone else use it when you are done. it doesn't necessarily mean you have to play with someone you do not with to play with. No one should be forced to play with someone else and no one is obligated to play with our children. no matte rhow sweet or charming or perfect they are to us. in a public place people have a right to grab a game or a paper or whatever and use it and return it to for others to use when they are done without being harrassed by others who want to use it too. everyone will get a turn eventually.
post #137 of 191
twins.....
post #138 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
Britishmum, i see what you are saying, but what if toddler doesnt want to be redirected? I see it as forcing toddler to do something else, because its easier. But that isnt fair on the toddler.
Im not sure how you define arbitrary rule either. I guess you could ask the coffee shop owners why they put the toys there, and odds are, they were hoping kids would play with them,... that they were for public use...so its follows thatthey are for sharing. Not arbitrary, just logical.

Im faced with this kind of situation alot because i have 2 kids of similar ages (21m, 4) and just get tired of always redirecting toddler, kwim? There's a reason toddler is interested in older children's activities, that is how they learn. Older children have their developmental reasons for not wanting to play with toddler, again, we have a conflict.....
If the toddler comes to the toy after other people have it, she needs redirecting. If an older child comes to a toy after a toddler has it, he/she is asked to wait, if the toddler prefers not to share it. Although the fact is, toddlers have a far shorter attention span and ability to plan and sustain play, so yes, it is often easier to redirect a toddler than require a group of older children to alter their play.

The toys are for sharing. Sharing sometimes means waiting for your turn. It does not mean that everyone can play with the same thing at the same time, whether or not all the kids agree. That is the part of this 'rule' that I don't think is logical.

ITA that children learn through interacting with others of different ages and in different groups. But that doesn't mean that they have to have this experience every time they approach other children. They will not fail to gain social skills if sometimes in a public place they are redirected from a group of older children, who, after all, are also learning from their game. It's all a question of balance and common sense, and in this case, I really can't see why the OP's toddler should have been allowed to muscle in on a toy that other children were playing with. As it worked out, the older children had to stop their game, and the OP's child did not get to interact, so there you go. You can't force children to play together, and if it's not going to happen, it's better to help the older kids maintain their game while occupying the toddler elsewhere for a while.
post #139 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
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.
I was thinking the same thing. I have a four-year-old who just got a big box of tiny Polly Pocket dolls for Christmas, and a ten-month-old who likes everything his sister has. With one errant swipe of his hand he can wipe out the whole prison full of unjustly persecuted princesses.
post #140 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
It doesn't sound mean to me at all. I'm wondering if this looks different to people have have had 4 and 5 year olds than people who haven't.

I was visiting some friends last night who have a 5 year old and a 23 month old. The 5 year old was setting up her new Littlest Pet Shop figures on tv tray. They were having a camping trip cook out, and chatting with each other. Her little brother kept coming over to her. She tried giving him some other toys to play with, which would keep him busy for a minute or so, and then he'd reach in and grab one of her toys, or knock over the campfire. Finally she gave up and squawked for mom, who took the toddler away and found him something to do.

It was really clear to me that the little one just was not developmentally capable of playing this pretend game with his sister. He just wasn't, and that's because he's one, not five. Instead, he grabbed toys from her, just like the OP's daughter at the cafe. That's what toddlers do. She'd already snatched a toy once - of course the older kids expect her to do it again. They very assertively made it clear to the OP that they didn't want to play with her toddler, and the OP didn't respect that and - yeah, I agree with BrandiRhoades- bullied them and forced her toddler into their space.

This isn't about inviting a latecomer to join a Monopoly game or not - the latecomer in this case isn't capable of playing the game anyway. She might want to move some pieces around, though, and maybe she'd stick with ones we weren't using and maybe she wouldn't, and maybe she'd just snatch a bunch of cards off the board and toss them... which is fine if no one is playing Monopoly at the moment - I used to pull out Risk when Rain was a toddler and I needed a 15 minute break - but not if someone is.
This. I originally agreed with the OP, but this POV makes a lot of sense to me. I never would have thought of it on my own though b/c my DS is 21 mos and I have no other children.
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