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Interaction at the coffee shop - what would you have done? - Page 9

post #161 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by naturalmamaof1 View Post
Longfellow neighborhood, I knew it was the riverview----I hate that damn pirate ship toy
Ooh, maybe you can describe it more fully and even post a pic?
post #162 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
Hey, this thread is still around! For those who seem to suggest that all children must play together willingly, can you explain to me why you believe this? If you believe it's different for children, as opposed to adults, with respect to public space and objects, why is it different? I'm having trouble understanding the presumption that children of all ages, differing abilities and interests must interact if they are in the same place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Ooh, maybe you can describe it more fully and even post a pic?
Several pictures have already been posted without clarification as to which is a closest representation if any is.
post #163 of 191
[QUOTE=KirstenMary;14877892

Several pictures have already been posted without clarification as to which is a closest representation if any is.[/QUOTE]

Without clarification by the OP, who didn't see the pictures-- but another poster on this thread said that she had seen the same ship at the same cafe, and I was addressing my question to that poster.
post #164 of 191
WWID? I typically remove/redirect my toddler from older children.

After removing/redirecting, if the older child tells me "she's ok, she can play with me" then my toddler plays with the older child. If the older child says nothing after I remove/redirect my toddler, I assume the older child is thankful I removed my toddler from their space and I try my best to keep toddler away from him/her.

Older children at a play place shouldn't have a younger child pushed on them, imo. Some of the older girls love taking little ones around and play "big sister/babysitter,etc"....some don't and that should be respected.
post #165 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
For those who seem to suggest that all children must play together willingly, can you explain to me why you believe this?


Not sure I've seen any posts that say (or imply) this, so it must be a misunderstanding of the "when in public..." thing, but I'll bite. Again.

I think that there's a time and place for everything. I do not expect that my daughter will like everyone she meets, nor will she want to play with everyone she meets. However, when we're out in public we assume we might be approached by people. People might sit next to us. Make conversation with us. Etc. It's part of being in places where there are other people.

I also assume that when we're in situations out in public where it's assumed that we'll receive a certain amount of "privacy" (as much as you can get while out and about), that we'll get that. However, there isn't a wall around us. People can still see us, talk to us, approach us. It's part of being in PUBLIC. If I want to eat a meal without people looking at me or dare say anything to me, I stay home! If I want to read a book without someone sitting next to me on the bench and commenting on the weather, I stay home!

I think this comes down to teaching a basic level of tolerance by not expecting that the whole world is going to know what your needs are right now. Joe Blow in the park who sits next to me and comments on the weather when all I want to do is finish my chapter because I can't do it at home and I've managed to grab a quick 10 minute break to myself doesn't know that all *I* want is to be left alone for 10 minutes. The basic level of tolerance needed to not snap at a perfect stranger for simply being social that is lacking in all these encounters where "how DARE they talk to me, touch me, look at me... [in public]" is tragic. If you NEED to be left alone, don't sit on a park bench.

And if your child NEEDS to play alone, find a place conducive to independent play.

If he wants to play alone, in a public cafe, where children of different developmental stages are likely to be, it might be a good lesson in tolerance for the above stated reasons.

It may be age appropriate for a 4/5 year old to demand to be left to play alone in a public cafe, but I'm of the belief that just because it's age appropriate doesn't mean it doesn't need addressing.

And I'm sure there will be some who will argue that someone is "rude" for not noticing that you have a book in your hand. Or that commenting on how good your steak looks when it's brought to the table is being "rude" for not respecting your privacy in a restaurant, but good grief, if our society is taking a turn in the direction of such benign situations warranting rudeness and snapping back, that's really sad!

I want my daughter to grow up knowing her rights, how to assert them, how to say no, when to say no, and to not be afraid of repercussions for doing what is right.

But I also want her to learn how to gracefully deal with unexpected situations, how to politely and respectfully excuse herself from said situations, and to have the maturity to know how to pick her battles. I wouldn't know how to teach her that if I allowed her to take a toy away from a 21 month old in a public cafe because she wanted to play alone without at least reminding her that the baby is not doing anything wrong.

It may be age appropriate for her to not have the social awareness to not say/do it in the first place, but of the two, at 4/5 years old, she's far more capable of understanding the reasoning of "the other person didn't do anything wrong" more than the 21 month old. A 21 month old doesn't understand that a 4/5 year old might want to play alone. My almost 4 year old DOES understand that sometimes babies crash into stuff and grab stuff and that it's pretty normal.

So am I expecting that my daughter MUST play with everyone who approaches her while we're out? Nope. But I'm going to help her wade through the social tactics of dealing with less than desirable situations. And yes, that means being TOLERANT of kids she doesn't want to play with.

We can only be responsible for our own actions, and our own happiness and contentment and stimulation can't rest on anyone's shoulders but our own. I would think it's very unfortunate if my daughter's play experience got ruined by an encounter such as this. Pick your battles.

And yep, sometimes it's totally age appropriate to have moments of selfishness at this age (the 4/5 age, since my daughter is almost 4), but like I said above, just because it's age appropriate, doesn't mean she doesn't require guidance.
post #166 of 191
Here's my take on sharing stuff in public places:

If we go to somewhere like this with toys intended for a group, if my kids are playing with something and it looks like somebody else is interested, I remind them the toys are for *everyone* and help them figure out a way to share. (As long as the kid still seems interested. I've had plenty of toddlers lose interest in about four seconds' time, )

it might be finding a spot where the 'baby' can play without interrupting what they are doing.
It might be that they play for XYZ more minutes, and then they find something else to do or we leave. (somebody else mentioned a coffeehouse with puzzles and games for adults....to me that's like an adult seeing somebody else wants to play the game they have, finishing their game, and either letting a new player in or giving the game to the next person.)

OR...if it's a "babyish" toy my kids are playing with anyway (Not in this case, but it's happened to us) I'll redirect *my* kids to something more their size. (that's a pet peeve of mine really, having to redirect my toddlers to something else at the park because all the baby swings are occupied by some obvious school-age looking kids who aren't moving. I'm talking kids who are plenty big and capable enough of doing anything and everything else. Yeah, they're there for everyone, but I *hope* mine will have an idea by that age that some of the things at the park are for the little kids and *MOVE IT* when there's little kids around who want to use them...)

honestly if it was my kids with the pirate ship thing we'd probably just leave pretty quickly if the scene with the "baby" turned into a big problem. We tend to do that. (not *punitive* for my kids for "not sharing" or anything, that would just be our way of dealing with it--like somebody said, part of being in public is dealing with people, if they can't deal well with the baby, then that is not a place we need to be today.)

(Maybe my kids don't want the baby to play with the pirate ship while they're using it....maybe *I* end up "showing them" i.e. doing it myself, but they see me, finding the baby another wonderful thing to play with. if it works, it works. In the end, that's a stopgap, I'd still see it as my job to wrap up our visit and move on. That's how I'd teach mine "We don't 'hog' the toys in a common play area")
post #167 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post


Not sure I've seen any posts that say (or imply) this, so it must be a misunderstanding of the "when in public..." thing, but I'll bite. Again.
Thanks for answering. There were a few posts that disagreed with the analogies to adults in coffee shops - sharing tables, newspapers, magazines etc. and suggested "it's different for children". I don't know who posted those responses, and I'm not going back through a 9 page thread to find them, LOL!, but there was a general tone that children are expected to play together even if they are strangers to each other. Frankly, I find that attitude a little odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I think this comes down to teaching a basic level of tolerance by not expecting that the whole world is going to know what your needs are right now. Joe Blow in the park who sits next to me and comments on the weather when all I want to do is finish my chapter because I can't do it at home and I've managed to grab a quick 10 minute break to myself doesn't know that all *I* want is to be left alone for 10 minutes. The basic level of tolerance needed to not snap at a perfect stranger for simply being social that is lacking in all these encounters where "how DARE they talk to me, touch me, look at me... [in public]" is tragic. If you NEED to be left alone, don't sit on a park bench.

And if your child NEEDS to play alone, find a place conducive to independent play.

If he wants to play alone, in a public cafe, where children of different developmental stages are likely to be, it might be a good lesson in tolerance for the above stated reasons.

It may be age appropriate for a 4/5 year old to demand to be left to play alone in a public cafe, but I'm of the belief that just because it's age appropriate doesn't mean it doesn't need addressing.

And I'm sure there will be some who will argue that someone is "rude" for not noticing that you have a book in your hand. Or that commenting on how good your steak looks when it's brought to the table is being "rude" for not respecting your privacy in a restaurant, but good grief, if our society is taking a turn in the direction of such benign situations warranting rudeness and snapping back, that's really sad!

I want my daughter to grow up knowing her rights, how to assert them, how to say no, when to say no, and to not be afraid of repercussions for doing what is right.

But I also want her to learn how to gracefully deal with unexpected situations, how to politely and respectfully excuse herself from said situations, and to have the maturity to know how to pick her battles. I wouldn't know how to teach her that if I allowed her to take a toy away from a 21 month old in a public cafe because she wanted to play alone without at least reminding her that the baby is not doing anything wrong.

It may be age appropriate for her to not have the social awareness to not say/do it in the first place, but of the two, at 4/5 years old, she's far more capable of understanding the reasoning of "the other person didn't do anything wrong" more than the 21 month old. A 21 month old doesn't understand that a 4/5 year old might want to play alone. My almost 4 year old DOES understand that sometimes babies crash into stuff and grab stuff and that it's pretty normal.

So am I expecting that my daughter MUST play with everyone who approaches her while we're out? Nope. But I'm going to help her wade through the social tactics of dealing with less than desirable situations. And yes, that means being TOLERANT of kids she doesn't want to play with.

We can only be responsible for our own actions, and our own happiness and contentment and stimulation can't rest on anyone's shoulders but our own. I would think it's very unfortunate if my daughter's play experience got ruined by an encounter such as this. Pick your battles.

And yep, sometimes it's totally age appropriate to have moments of selfishness at this age (the 4/5 age, since my daughter is almost 4), but like I said above, just because it's age appropriate, doesn't mean she doesn't require guidance.
Well, I agree that people need to be tolerant and a little more graciousness in public is always welcome. I don't think there was a lot of graciousness in harshly speaking to a pre-schooler who doesn't want to play with a toddler. The pre-schooler had an understandable reaction to the situation and was acting age appropriately. I don't see how intimidating the pre-schoolers helps them learn tolerance and grace.

Honestly, it sounded like the OP was angry at the other mom for saying the OP's daughter "needs to learn" not to snatch toys and then took her displeasure out on the pre-schoolers. If she really wanted them all to play together nicely, she could have invited them in a friendly manner, with a little more kindness, and the entire situation could have been defused in a pleasant way.
post #168 of 191
I have two dds - 7 & 2. The two year old is no where near ready for play with anyone other than another curious/slightly destructive two year old!

As for the initial response to the grabbing (the hand held toy) - I would have told my seven year old the EXACT same thing, something along the lines of 'Use your words. Tell him no thank you, I'm using this toy right now'. How is that rude? I'm modeling behavior for my child. If an adult grabbed something I was using, I would use pretty similar terminology.

If my two year old (just two last month) attempted to interrupt/get in on a game older children were playing, I would quickly gauge whether or not they were receptive to having her come over, what mood she was in, what the situation was in... but nine times out of ten (barring them enthusiastically including her) I would re-direct her.

As for the whole 'public toy' issues, unless it's an actual play structure for multiple children to play ON at one time, the rules here (in our town - Chapters, local coffee place, yarn house, etc.) are whoever is playing with it first, decides whether or not to share. Not every toy must be immediately shared with every child that wanders up.
post #169 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
My response would be different depending if I were the parent of the 4/5 yo or the parent of the 1 yo.

I would expect my 4/5 yo to "be kind to the baby. Show the baby what to do." (and my 4/5 yo would have been happy to do so). I'd redirect my dc if she were having a very difficult time doing so.

.
Yes.
My son is 3 and when we go to Gymboree free play time the ages are from 6m-5...we've been going for over a year now. I have always asked him to be gentle with the infants and new walkers and that if the other younger children want to play with the ball he was playing with (2min ago)....I remind him that it is rude to snatch it away and that perhaps they can play catch together. If he continues (as some times he does) by saying "no, this is my ball...he's a bad boy."...I remind him that the toys are for everyone to play with...if he refuses to share, unfortunately he must move on to another activity.

He is a child who plays much better with older kids (4-7)....but if an older child chose not to play I would just remind him that sometimes he doesn't want to play with other kids.
post #170 of 191

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Edited by GoestoShow - 1/4/11 at 9:04am
post #171 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I don't think there was a lot of graciousness in harshly speaking to a pre-schooler who doesn't want to play with a toddler. <snip> I don't see how intimidating the pre-schoolers helps them learn tolerance and grace.
Seriously?

From her original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
My response, “This is a public coffee shop and the toys here are for all the children to share. She can play with the pirate ship if she wants to.”
Now she's a bully AND intimidating?

And... I'm out. Have fun ladies!
post #172 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Seriously?

From her original post:



Now she's a bully AND intimidating?

And... I'm out. Have fun ladies!
Well, I didn't say she was a bully.

From a pre-schooler's perspective though, I think what she said was harsher than the situation warranted. A pre-schooler would likely have been intimidated. There were kinder, more gentle ways to say something similar and model friendlier behaviour. In other words, to show tolerance and graciousness, as you put it yourself.
post #173 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoestoShow View Post
Umm...that's very American. In many other countries (and even in the US in previous generations), it is still common that if there is a seat at a table in a cafe or a coffee shop (sometimes even in a restaurant! I've had complete strangers escorted to my table when I lived in Russia because there happened to be seats enough to accommodate them at my table as opposed to another). So, you know....highly, highly cultural that.

In much of the world, it would not be rude. It'd be very normal.
Having lived abroad, I'm well aware of that, but last I checked, I was in the US and so is the OP.

It may not be rude in other countries but it is rude here...so I'm not sure why cultural norms in other countries would be relevant.
post #174 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post

As for the initial response to the grabbing (the hand held toy) - I would have told my seven year old the EXACT same thing, something along the lines of 'Use your words. Tell him no thank you, I'm using this toy right now'. How is that rude? I'm modeling behavior for my child. If an adult grabbed something I was using, I would use pretty similar terminology.
would you have also said "she needs to learn"? That's very impolite.
post #175 of 191
I feel like "She needs to learn" could be taken 2 ways, and without hearing the tone I can't say which is true.

One is "It's about time that child learns not to grab. Speak up to her so she learns her lesson!"

The other is "She's still a baby, she needs time to learn not to grab. Don't be upset, just let her know you're still playing with that."

Big difference in the two.
post #176 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post
would you have also said "she needs to learn"? That's very impolite.
I would have said something like 'She's still learning how to play nice' Like Momily said, it would depend on tone.

I had a mother say to her older ds (in reference to my dd pushing him before I could get to her) 'She doesn't know any better. Maybe she'll say sorry, she's still learning', none of which I found offensive.

If she had said 'She needs to learn pushing isn't nice' (again, tone dependent) I wouldn't have been taken aback. It's a) the truth and b) a way of validating an older child's feelings.
post #177 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
As for the initial response to the grabbing (the hand held toy) - I would have told my seven year old the EXACT same thing, something along the lines of 'Use your words. Tell him no thank you, I'm using this toy right now'. How is that rude? I'm modeling behavior for my child. If an adult grabbed something I was using, I would use pretty similar terminology.
I agree with this, but I think the whole issue wouldn't have been an issue at all if parents would simply TALK TO EACHOTHER. The mom who told her daughter to defend her toy from the toddler could have looked at the other mom (the OP) and said, "we're working on non-physical methods of solving problems" or whatever. It has been my exasperating and embarrassing experience that some parents don't want to be acknoweldged by other parents. We're in a place together, where our kids are playing together, and we're totally zoned in on them. Don't look at the other adults in your midst! It's weird. As a first time parent of a toddler, I don't know if this is the unwritten code, or just my bad luck.
post #178 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
I agree with this, but I think the whole issue wouldn't have been an issue at all if parents would simply TALK TO EACHOTHER. The mom who told her daughter to defend her toy from the toddler could have looked at the other mom (the OP) and said, "we're working on non-physical methods of solving problems" or whatever. It has been my exasperating and embarrassing experience that some parents don't want to be acknoweldged by other parents. We're in a place together, where our kids are playing together, and we're totally zoned in on them. Don't look at the other adults in your midst! It's weird. As a first time parent of a toddler, I don't know if this is the unwritten code, or just my bad luck.
I know exactly what you mean! You are totally right re: looking at and addressing the other parent. I would have said something along those lines (i.e. 'I have a toddler at home too' and laughed) Addressing the other parent in a friendly way would probably take the edge off of many of these situations.
post #179 of 191
you don't always have time to choose your words carefully i you think your 5 year old is about to wallop a baby. it really sounds to me like both children were acting in an age appropriate way and the mom was just trying to stop things from going to their natrual end. "Use your words... wwwooorrrdddssssss"
post #180 of 191
well, the mom's reaction initially was ridiculous. Your 21 month old needs to learn that it's not ok to innocently reach for an interesting toy? Give me a break! LOL. As for the second interaction, that's a bit tricky. I think that large play structures at parks (jungle gyms, slides, etc) are generally open to any and all at the same time. And i make that clear to any child who tells DS that he can't come on the structure because they're on it. But with toys, even large ones, we usually abide by the principle that the child using the toy has the option to share or not to share. If they don't want to share, then I encourage DS to ask them if he may use it when they're done. I don't think forced sharing for small children makes a lot of sense, but that's because DS is at a Reggio school and that has always been the philosopy there.
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