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other mother yelling at my dd

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I was at playgroup yesterday, and most of the other parents and children had left, leaving several children (ages around 2) and my almost 4 yr old dd at the table. The other mothers were sitting close by their children, and I was standing several feet away. One little boy reached for the activity my dd was working on, and she yelled at him "this is mine, don't touch!". The little boy started crying and

this boy's mother immediately grabbed her child, got in dd's face and screamed "you may not yell at my ds. You are a bad girl and you deserve a smack! You need to share if you want to be a big girl!" It was really loud and everybody just froze, including me. This mother then took her son to the other side of the room, and my dd started crying. I heard the other mother say "good, you made ds cry, you should be crying." and then muttering about me coddling my dd when she climbed into my arms.

 

I know that dd should not have screamed, but my view is that at least she was using her words instead of hitting (which would have been the alternative several months ago!). I've had a couple of playdates with this family before I starting working, which provided a handy excuse to stop them as my parenting style is extremely different. This mother spanks, and has told me that I need to get control and break my child's behavior before it gets bad. She has mentioned that she needs to control her son to make sure he listens and behaves. DD is high spirited and energetic, but usually behaves very well. Her teachers rarely mentioned her behavior and when we go out we often get comments about how "cute" and how "good" she is.

 

I didn't say anything at playgroup because a) I was in shock, and b) confronting this mother there would only have escalated the situation. Another mother afterwards said she was glad I didn't say anything because the other mother was "off" and it would have made everything worse, but she agreed that I do need to call her. So, somehow I need to get up the nerve to call her and say that I don't like it when she screams at my dd and calls her bad. We do not hit in our house and I would appreciate it if she would respect my discipline choices. I can just imagine how this conversation will go...

 

I hate conflict, and I will be seeing this family every week at playgroup.
 

post #2 of 25

Here you can have half my back bone.  Since I would have said something right then and there.  I would have said that while I appreciate her willingness to step in I do not appreciate her yelling in my kids face and that she would be to keep her discipline style in her back pocket.  Everyone thinks they parent better than everyone else.  Ok maybe not everyone but some moms just need a sock in their mouth!   I wouldn't call her I would just take the next opportunity to stand up for your kid.  That's your job.

post #3 of 25

This isn't really relevant, but what part of the world do you live in?  Spanking seems to be acceptable and expected in some parts more than others. 
 

Your first sentence seems to imply that your daughter was the oldest and biggest child there.  Was the boy 2-ish years old?  My mama-bear reaction to a great, big 4 y.o. yelling at my 2 y.o. would be pretty angry.  However, your child did nothing wrong.  It would have been nice if she'd shared, but you know, the 2 y.o. didn't ask nicely, "may I have a turn?"  It requires some self-restraint to let some one take something from you and respond calmly and gently, "I was playing with that, wait your turn please"

 

That woman showed an appalling lack of self-control.  My hunch is that her disdain for your 'permissive' parenting practices has been building and she took this opportunity to fix it and show your son what real parenting is.  However, did she truly scream?  Or did was she speaking loudly, very firmly and and obviously angry?  There's a difference.  The thing is, I can talk to my kids like that, no one else can.  smile.gif

 

What you should have done is gotten in her face and screamed, "YOU may not EVER yell at my child, or anyone else's child! You are a bad woman and you deserve a kick in the ass! However, I'm a grown up, and grown ups DON"T HIT CHILDREN."  I'm kidding. 

 

 

If you call her don't ask her to respect your parenting choices.  She doesn't, and never will.  Tell her that she may not ever speak to your child again, do not interact with her, if she has a problem take it up with you.

 

Agreed with the above, that now is the time to learn how to confront people who mess with your child.  It's kind of a universal parenting stage: after years of telling ourselves it's not OK to confront people, that it's not nice if we get righteously angry -- there is actually a time and a place for it.  I went through this interesting transition too, when my kid was little, where I learned how to speak up firmly for my child. 

post #4 of 25


It's best to get in the moms face and flick her nose.  Always causes a bit of bewilderment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

This isn't really relevant, but what part of the world do you live in?  Spanking seems to be acceptable and expected in some parts more than others. 
 

Your first sentence seems to imply that your daughter was the oldest and biggest child there.  Was the boy 2-ish years old?  My mama-bear reaction to a great, big 4 y.o. yelling at my 2 y.o. would be pretty angry.  However, your child did nothing wrong.  It would have been nice if she'd shared, but you know, the 2 y.o. didn't ask nicely, "may I have a turn?"  It requires some self-restraint to let some one take something from you and respond calmly and gently, "I was playing with that, wait your turn please"

 

That woman showed an appalling lack of self-control.  My hunch is that her disdain for your 'permissive' parenting practices has been building and she took this opportunity to fix it and show your son what real parenting is.  However, did she truly scream?  Or did was she speaking loudly, very firmly and and obviously angry?  There's a difference.  The thing is, I can talk to my kids like that, no one else can.  smile.gif

 

What you should have done is gotten in her face and screamed, "YOU may not EVER yell at my child, or anyone else's child! You are a bad woman and you deserve a kick in the ass! However, I'm a grown up, and grown ups DON"T HIT CHILDREN."



 

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post


It's best to get in the moms face and flick her nose.  Always causes a bit of bewilderment!



 



Perhaps a rolled-up news paper.  :D

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Journeymom, love your comment! I'll need to remember that. And yes, she screamed, louder than my dd. Who of course was very confused wondering why she is not allowed to scream and adults are. She and I talked about what happened and she seemed to quickly shrug it off, but I am going to be keeping a very close eye on her and everyone else at playgroup from now on, as well as be MUCH MORE assertive myself. BTW, I live in S. FL.

 

And I do understand that as the eldest child (but not the largest, she's small for her age), my dd does need to model the best behavior. We have been working with her about using inside voices.

 

I would have been completely ok with it if she had said (said, not screamed) my son doesn't like it when you scream at him or something along those lines. If you quietly and gently correct my child, good. She needs to hear it from others as well as me. But screaming and telling her she's a bad girl, I don't ever do that. Not even the couple of times I've lost it and yelled I haven't been that loud. I was completely dumbfounded, and from the looks on their faces, so were the other moms.

 

 

 

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post



Perhaps a rolled-up news paper.  :D



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post


It's best to get in the moms face and flick her nose.  Always causes a bit of bewilderment!



 




Love it! Thanks!wink1.gif

post #8 of 25

There is nothing strange or inappropriate about your daughter yelling at this little boy.  My daughter is almost four, her sister is almost two, and she just did some yelling at an almost 2 yr old boy at playgroup (which I was hosting at our house!) this past week.  The other mother did not say anything, totally let me handle it, as she should have.  It was MY daughter being nasty to this boy, MY job to handle it. Now, he also has an almost four sister, so he was not fazed by my dd's yelling, but that is not the point. Our kids are not allowed to hit, of course they are going to yell. They have not become that advanced yet.

 

I would not call the other mother. I, too, hate confrontation & may say something in person at next playgroup. Like, "Yanno, I really didn't appreciate you yelling at my daughter last week.  I was standing right there, I was coming over to take care of the situation. If there is a problem in the future, please come and get me, do not yell at her." I don't know about your playgroup, but I know in mine, this type of behavior from another mother would not be tolerated by the other mothers. It could be any of their kids being yelled at next time. We all know a simple, "Please don't yell at him that hurt his feelings. Can you ask him nicely?" from the other mother would have been sufficient. How do the other mothers feel about this? That is something important you need to know about this playgroup, too.

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post

There is nothing strange or inappropriate about your daughter yelling at this little boy.  My daughter is almost four, her sister is almost two, and she just did some yelling at an almost 2 yr old boy at playgroup (which I was hosting at our house!) this past week.  The other mother did not say anything, totally let me handle it, as she should have.  It was MY daughter being nasty to this boy, MY job to handle it. Now, he also has an almost four sister, so he was not fazed by my dd's yelling, but that is not the point. Our kids are not allowed to hit, of course they are going to yell. They have not become that advanced yet.

 

I would not call the other mother. I, too, hate confrontation & may say something in person at next playgroup. Like, "Yanno, I really didn't appreciate you yelling at my daughter last week.  I was standing right there, I was coming over to take care of the situation. If there is a problem in the future, please come and get me, do not yell at her." I don't know about your playgroup, but I know in mine, this type of behavior from another mother would not be tolerated by the other mothers. It could be any of their kids being yelled at next time. We all know a simple, "Please don't yell at him that hurt his feelings. Can you ask him nicely?" from the other mother would have been sufficient. How do the other mothers feel about this? That is something important you need to know about this playgroup, too.


My daughter yelled at another boy before for a similar thing. The boy cried, his mother laughed and said something along the lines of "oh, that is the first time you were yelled at by a girl. Get used to it" and I spoke with my daughter about using inside voices as yelling made him cry and hurt his feelings. Normally any discipline at playgroup is by the mother of the child who did the offense, like it should be. This was more informal as the playgroup leader was sick that day, and so we met at the library instead. IDK how the PG leader would have reacted, and I don't want to cause an entire playgroup drama so I'm not planning on telling her unless she asks or it somehow comes up. The PG leader and I have very similar styles of parenting, and her eldest is the same age as my dd, so I am just going to concentrate on play dates and hanging out at playgroup with them. And never speak to this other mother again!

 

post #10 of 25

I personally would have been livid. Just so livid. I cannot believe you didn't say anything at the time. Since you didn't, you need to call this woman and tell her that she is never to have anything to do with your child again. You have to protect your daughter from scary people like this woman.

post #11 of 25

I probably wouldn't call after the fact. However, I would have blown a fuse right there. No one can scream in my child's face. Yelling and not sharing are typical childhood occurences- no need to scream at a kid about it. Obviously you're teaching her what's appropriate. Problem is someone needs to teach that woman! If she ever does it again, I would definitely take control of the situation and tell her she cannot speak to your child that way. 

post #12 of 25

I still think you should flick her forehead... or atleast have your DD do it.  Sheepish.gif

post #13 of 25

OK, this is what I took away from the story.  Your child did something that was, if not the best mannered, still developmentally normal.  Another child cried, which is also developmentally normal.  It would have been a perfect teaching moment for social behavior.  Instead, another grown person started screaming at your child (which is not OK) and threatening violence (not OK) and seemed pleased that she made her cry (not OK).

 

I think I would have been in shock as well, at that point, and honestly I don't know how I would have reacted.  I think it would have been something along the effects of soothing my daughter, ignoring the other mother completely, and going to see if the other boy was also alright - perhaps trying to steer my DD and the other boy to play together nicely and patch things up, IF that seemed like it might happen.

 

But I sure wouldn't go back to that playgroup.  If no one there stood up for you and your DD, it's not really a group I would want to hang around with.  And I would have let my DD know that she didn't do anything to deserve the treatment by the other mother, but that some people are going to be, well, unbalanced I suppose.  And that she shouldn't take it personally.  Then I would have still tried to follow up with suggesting that next time she not yell at other kids because they might be sensitive like that boy was.

 

 

post #14 of 25

I wouldn't call, because you were not in the wrong and it is not up to you to smooth things out.   She was in the wrong, and probably knows it. She went a little crazy in front of everyone and if she has any sense at all, she is probably embarrassed. I'm non-confrontational too, but I'm also a little passive aggressive, so I guess I'd just keep going to the playgroup if I wanted to and let that lady stew in her shame.  And iif she ever got in DD's face again, I'd get between them, and keep calm, and with a half-smile, simply not allow her to bully my DD. Good lkuck! I'm interested to hear how it goes next week!

post #15 of 25

I would have flipped out on her.  It would not have looked good either.  THEN later, I would have come up with some clever things to say.

 

Next time, say "Well, that is an odd way to behave towards someone else's child... are you feeling OK?  Are you having a hard time?   It seems like you are really overwhelmed... do you need some help?".  Then look around for pity for this poor woman who has clearly snapped.  

 

Then, take your child and back away from her as if she's foaming at the mouth.

 

Maybe at your next playgroup you can mention her little meltdown to her.  Ask her if she's doing OK.  (genuinely) She may actually be having some major issues.  

post #16 of 25

Is your DD 4?

 

If so, I would have stepped in and thanked her for using her words, and help her phrase them nicely. Such as "Thank you for using your words. We need to use gentle words, and say "I am still playing/drawing/doing this. Please don't take it away"

 

I am sooo passive agressive, I probably would have said something to the effect of..

 

"Oh sweetie, I know that you are upset that Ms ____ yelled at you. Its not okay to talk like that, and I know its easy to forget. But by the time you are Ms _____'s age, you will know how to speak nicely.. "

 

And then done lots of cuddles and comforting.

 

Im sorry your DD had to deal with that. (((hugs))))

post #17 of 25

Let it go (this time.)  If it happens again, in your sweetest, low voice, get in her face and say "Drop it.  Now.  I will handle my child."  Said with an icy fake smile in a very low tone that's a lot scarier than you blowing a fuse.  Your daughter acted like a FOUR year old.  The kids are the ones who are supposed to be learning not to yell, they're working on it still - the grown-ups should have this down.

 

In most "normal" circumstances, like if an older child yelled at my younger I'd remove/distract the younger and assume the mom would handle the four year kid in whatever manner she thought fit (reiterating inside voice, etc)  No one needs to holller to ramp up the situation.

 

((((hugs))))  Good luck at the next playdate.  Stand your ground but play it icy/scary/cool to the mom ;)


Edited by BlueStateMama - 2/27/12 at 3:19am
post #18 of 25

I don't think I'd want to be part of a playgroup that has a mom like that.  Any chance that mom can be expelled? I think I would tell the PG sponsor about the incident, just so she'll know.  I've never been part of a formal playgroup-- are there rules?  Seems like that would be a violation of the rules.

 

I'm wondering why she was so mad.  Is that typical behavior from her? Does your dd routinely yell at the toddlers and make them cry?  Maybe there's a weird dynamic involving your dd (4 yo vs the other 2 year olds) going on that you're unaware of.  Can you sincerely ask the other moms for feedback? I ask, only because the mom's reaction seems astronomically out of proportion to what happened-- if it was an isolated incident. If it was the 20th time and you never intervene, and then she snapped, it' still not OK for her to yell at your dd, but I have some understanding.

 

Assuming nothing in the above paragraph is true, you do need to let her know you won't tolerate her abuse of your dd.   I would call and say something like: "I'm calling about the incident that happened last week.  I realize my dd yelled at your son, and I'm sorry about that.  We're working on her sharing skills--she's only 4 though, so usually she acts like a 4 year old.    I was just about to talk to her at the time, when you yelled at her.  What concerns me  was the way you screamed in my daughter's face and threatened her, then you were really happy to have scared her and made her cry.  I have to let you know that's not OK with me.  I was too in shock to tell you that in the moment, but you need to know that I will never let you behave that way to my child again.  In fact, I do not want you speaking to her at all.  If you have an issue with something she has done, you may speak to me"

 

I would want to add: "But if you ever speak to her again, I will be in your face yelling at you the same way you did to her.  And since we all saw how ugly that is, I hope you'll just stay away from my daughter."  But I think the conversation would go off the rails from there.  

 

If you call, I'll be curious to find out how the phone call goes. Good luck!

 

 

post #19 of 25

Regarding all of the responses of "I can't believe you didn't say anything" and "I can't believe anyone else didn't stand up for you"...as another Floridian, I can testify that in the South, particularly if you were raised in any sort of religious community, like I was, you learned that as a woman, you need to be NICE and KIND. Being angry, standing up for yourself/child, even being passionate about something--all are un-feminine and unacceptable qualities. HOWEVER, having authority and control over your child, breaking their will, and bullying them, is completely acceptable, and many people feel they have a license to discipline other people's children as well, like "the old times." Even if surrounded by people I consider friends, I'm not sure any of them would have stood up for me, because this kind of thinking is so pervasive here. I don't know if you can understand if you didn't grow up in that culture, but I think that could possibly have been what happened in this situation.

 

To the OP...I wish I could say that I would have stood up for my daughter, but I think I would have been in shock. However I think I WOULD call her or write her an e-mail that is polite and to the point: "The way you reacted to the situation at playgroup was unacceptable, and I do not appreciate you speaking to my daughter that way. In the future, you will allow ME to discipline MY child, and you will never speak that way to her again." I had a situation in my playgroup last year, and when I stood up for myself, the other mom knew she was in the wrong and didn't want to see me anymore...she un-RSVP'd to every playdate if I RSVP'd after that, and that was fine with me, haha.

 

I do seriously wonder about this woman's stability as that seems a rather extreme way to react. The way you describe her, though, makes her sound like maybe she's just an angry person in general.

post #20 of 25

i don't think either parents really handled the situation right from what i read in the original story. please correct me if i am mistaken.. it is pretty late lol

 

the 4 year old girl should have immediately been told to apologize to the crying toddler and re phrase what she originally said. from  "this is mine, don't touch!".  to something like, " I'm not finished with this yet, sorry" I'm sure if the other mother saw the 4 year old being asked to repeat what she wanted to say nicer maybe even with a small apologize, the other mother wouldn't have thought nothing was being done and saying "she needed a smack" would probably never had happened. would have diffused the entire situation. 

 

in my own opinion when our kids make errors in judgment and we don't jump on it quickly, its not shocking that other parents jump in for you as im sure they feel their own child has been wronged. however it never really works out to be a good thing as they are upset it even had to come to that point. so its always taken to the extreme. which it seems that other woman did, which is a shame as children learn by our actions.

 

I hope your next play group session goes much smoother... cant always get along lol. 

 

best of luck! :)

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