Odd behaviour of child at the park - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
Flower of Bliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DD and I frequent a local park. Lately we just show up without anyone we know expected, and my very social little girl (2.5 years old) announces that her friends are there and finds someone to play with. We've had some interesting interactions, but nothing like this...

So there was a little girl who was at least 4 and probably more like 5-6 there with a stuffed bear. She was there with her mother, who was involved in a cell phone conversation and pretty carefully supervising her toddler. The little girl kept throwing her bear right in front of my DD as she was walking/running. If DD ignored it and went around the bear, the little girl would pick the bear up and do it again. If DD picked the bear up sometimes the little girl would scream/whine "LEAVE IT RIGHT THERE." Generally she used no words at all (just pointing and saying "EHHHH") when interacting with DD (who is quite verbal and was speaking to her) or me. If DD picked up the bear and tried to give it back to her, sometimes she would take it back and throw it in front of her again, and other times she wouldn't take it.

My sweet DD really wanted to play with this little girl. I tried "helping" several times. I asked DD to just leave the bear alone as it belonged to the other little girl, but clearly that wasn't working as the girl would simply follow her around and throw it in front of her. I suggested she put the bear away by the little girl's bag, which resulted in the little girl retreiving it and going back to throwing it in front of DD. It started to feel very aggressive to me. Poor DD tried to give me the bear, but I didn't want to be holding this other child's toy. I finally said to the little girl "Please stop throwing the bear at her" and she looked up at me and screamed.

DD continued to try to play with this little girl for quite some time. Eventually when they went to leave the mom came over to retrieve her and asked "Is this your friend?" and the girl shook her head no. When they went to really leave DD waved and said "bye" and the girl waved.

Can anyone give me any insight here on the little girl's actions? Was this just a game that I'm too grown up to get? It just seemed so aggressive. What would you have done?

SAHM to flower.gif DD1 8/06 , loveeyes.gif DD2 8/09 , and bfinfant.gifDD3 9/12  married to geek.gif 6/99.  We homeschool.gif, cd.gif, homebirth.jpg, familybed2.gif, and lots of wash.gif and dishes.gif.

Flower of Bliss is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: So. CA
Posts: 4,477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I probably would have done exactly as did. I'm guessing that either the little girl was not nearly as old as you assumed or perhaps she was somewhere on the autism spectrum or had some other issue. If she continued to seem very upset by your and your child's actions, I might have gone to seek advise from the mother, sort of "Hi. My child is baffled by your daughter's game -- can you give us some insight on what she wants?" Of course, first you would have needed to distract her from her phone, apparently.
Evan&Anna's_Mom is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Lisa1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds to me like the girl has autism spectrum disorder. I am sure this is hard on the mom and anyone who deals with it, as well as the child. It might help to read up on ASD. Just google the term "autism spectrum disorder" and you will find tons.

This can also be a great opportunity to teach your child how to deal with people who are different from her.
Lisa1970 is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 01:14 PM
 
nikkiethridge's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is odd. That would be kind of annoying to me, So I would have given the bear to the girls mother and told her what she was doing so that way she could maybe keep it away from the girl so everyone could play normally. Seems to me like she was being a little hateful?
nikkiethridge is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 01:16 PM
 
nikkiethridge's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
Sounds to me like the girl has autism spectrum disorder. I am sure this is hard on the mom and anyone who deals with it, as well as the child. It might help to read up on ASD. Just google the term "autism spectrum disorder" and you will find tons.

This can also be a great opportunity to teach your child how to deal with people who are different from her.
This is a very good point, I didn't even think about that.
nikkiethridge is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Tigerchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle Eastside
Posts: 5,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Are you sure that this little girl was really 5 or 6?

I ask because my DD was always off the charts in height and weight, by the time she turned 3 she was wearing size 5/6 clothing (6 for height, but I had to alter the waistline, she was more of a 5 in that.). Of course, she was also highly and very early verbal, so generally people guessed her age as much higher because of that as well.

I think when you've got a highly verbal toddler it's so easy to generalize it out to every child, it gives you a skewed view of what the range is. I'm not saying that to knock you, all of my kids were very verbal, and even though I have an ECE background I often had to check myself when it came to other kids.

So, I think that unless you heard the mother state the child's age, you probably are overestimating it. Or she could have had special needs (they're not always super obvious). Or she could have been starting to come down with something or was feeling ornery. (IME, the true ornery stage doesn't start until 3 or 4, it's not the toddler years) Or she could have been trying to engage with her mom doing things that might normally get her into trouble.

There's so much you just can't tell from a snapshot moment, and IMO a couple of hours at the park is just that.
Tigerchild is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 02:02 PM
 
Multimomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Home
Posts: 1,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds pretty autistic to me, it's exactly something my daughter would have done. She doesn't know HOW to play, so this is her script.

You probably did the only thing you could do. The little girl didn't know how to tell you her game, and if asd, assumed that you guys knew the game. In any regard, sounds like your dd did just fine, and probably has a good frame of reference if you happen to meet up with other children with disabilities ("remember when we played at the park with the girl who had a bear? She played kind of like this")

I know the cell phone might throw some MDC'ers off, but honestly, sometimes that was the only chance I had to speak with my dd's doctors, therapists, and school people. And sometimes it was the only chance I had to talk to my friends...while dd was engaged with something at the park.

Nine kids run.gif and four angel.gif, living and learning all the time

Multimomma is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 02:11 PM
 
momtokea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first thought was autism, especially since she wasn't speaking, which would make it low-functioning autism (not an expert here). I would say there is definitely some type of disorder and the behavior was not intentional.
momtokea is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 02:13 PM
 
Daffodil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 3,601
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I think there are a lot of possibilities. I can picture a 4-6 year old kid playing a game where she was pretending over and over again that your toddler was a giant, or a t-rex, or an approaching tidal wave, and her bear was in danger. And maybe she didn't want whatever it was to actually get the bear, so it messed up the game for her if your daughter picked it up. Maybe she thought your DD was too young to understand much beyond noises and pointing. (Even if your DD was talking to her, maybe she's more understandable to you than she is to another kid.) Or maybe the girl was pretending to be another bear or something that couldn't talk.
Daffodil is online now  
#10 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 03:52 PM
 
o'smom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CT
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It sounds to me like she wanted to play with your little girl but, for whatever reason, that's all she could manage at that time. Maybe it is autism spectrum, developmental delay, or just having a bad day. But it would have been nice if her mom had intervened to help her interact in a more positive way. I understand the need for some private phone-conversation time, but if your child is in public having a hard time interacting with another child, it's time to hang up and help out.
o'smom is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 03:59 PM
 
Amylcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I'm guessing that either the little girl was not nearly as old as you assumed or perhaps she was somewhere on the autism spectrum or had some other issue.
This was my first thought too.

knit.gifMom of Many  jumpers.gif

Amylcd is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 04:25 PM
 
NamastePlatypus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Member of 'HOCG' Sorority
Posts: 9,363
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would assume ASD. As a mom of a dc on it, I know that when we go somewhere social I am VERY alert to him and when he would display "his" behaviour I would NOT hesitate to explain it to all those envolved. It isn't fair to leave people in the dark about things. I understand if she was on an impotant call but TO ME, my dc comes first, even if on a call. More than likley the other side of the call knows about e so they would understand.
Sounds like what you and your sweet dd did was perfect! I love e encountering different situations so he can learn about others.

Living DAIRY AND GLUTEN FREE for my SPD and Aspergers Little Man.
NamastePlatypus is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 04:33 PM
 
mrsfrenchy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: In the snow
Posts: 1,009
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my first thought was autism too.

student momma to two great girls

mrsfrenchy is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
Flower of Bliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all of the input.

After awhile of the interaction I started to wonder if she was autistic or something similar. However, I assumed that if that was the case the mom would be a bit more tuned into her DD's interactions with another child (and adult). The mom, who was carefully supervising her younger child (probably roughly 18 months old) was generally well within hearing/seeing range of her DD and mine. She didn't seem to notice anything odd going on, or to be in any rush at all to get off the phone. I have no issue with her talking on a cell phone at the park. I'll often do the same. It did make it pretty impossible to approach her however.

I may have misjudged the child's age. I first guessed 5-6. After interacting with her for awhile I started to ask myself, how young do I think this child could possibly be, and my answer was 4. She did clearly have words. I heard her speak to her mother a few times, and what she did say to me and DD was clear, articulate, and perfect sentences (though generally quite whiney or screaming).

I'm certain that I understand my DD better than most people understand her, however, I know that random strangers (at the park, library, etc), as well as people we don't see often or spend much time with generally need nearly no explanation as to what my DD is saying and converse with her just fine, and other kids seem to do even better.

DD handled the whole thing quite well. Usually if she feels like a child at the park is playing aggressively, she'll discontinue playing with the child somehow: ask the child to stop (not always as nicely as I'd like, but very rarely violently), run away from the child, come to me, go to a different section of the park, etc. She did none of this with the girl.

Honestly, I started to wonder if I was being oversensitive to the whole thing and that it was really just a normal sort of kid game. DD didn't seem to get it, but she didn't seem upset by it either, just confused.

SAHM to flower.gif DD1 8/06 , loveeyes.gif DD2 8/09 , and bfinfant.gifDD3 9/12  married to geek.gif 6/99.  We homeschool.gif, cd.gif, homebirth.jpg, familybed2.gif, and lots of wash.gif and dishes.gif.

Flower of Bliss is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 11:19 PM
 
StephandOwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 8,809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flower of Bliss View Post
After awhile of the interaction I started to wonder if she was autistic or something similar. However, I assumed that if that was the case the mom would be a bit more tuned into her DD's interactions with another child (and adult). The mom, who was carefully supervising her younger child (probably roughly 18 months old) was generally well within hearing/seeing range of her DD and mine. She didn't seem to notice anything odd going on, or to be in any rush at all to get off the phone. I have no issue with her talking on a cell phone at the park. I'll often do the same. It did make it pretty impossible to approach her however.
Why would you assume the mom would be more "tuned into her dd's interactions" if she were on the spectrum? Also, why should she rush in a situation like that?

As a mom to a child who has autism (who is 5) I'll give you my perspective- The little girl might not have known how to play with your dd. She might have come up with this game (that doesn't make any sense to you or your dd) in her head and thought it was a great game. It's possible it is the only way she felt comfortable interacting with another child. Her mom might have been on the phone with dr's/therapists, as someone else mentioned. She probably saw her dd "playing" and left it be- BECAUSE SHE WAS PLAYING. Just because she wasn't playing like a typical child, doesn't necessarily mean she was doing something that needed intervention.

When I take my ds to the park I have to be RIGHT on him (because he is a runner so he'll escape from the park- he also has some issues that could pose a danger to other children so for everyone's safety I stay right on top of him.... which other moms who have no idea critique me and say I'm a "helicopter mom" ). But if I see him attempting to interact with another child in almost any way- I don't intervene usually. He NEEDS to learn how to interact with other people and I won't always be there to help him. Obviously if he's doing something totally unacceptable I will intervene and explain to him a better way to do it. But sometimes he comes up with a little game that makes absolutely no sense to anyone else (I can soooo see him doing something that other child did). I don't always intervene, nor do I always explain to other parents why he's doing what he's doing. This child's medical history is no-one else's business. All you can do is teach your child acceptance.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

StephandOwen is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 11:45 PM
 
HairyArmpits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: VT
Posts: 494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
...or she could have been trying to engage with her mom doing things that might normally get her into trouble.

There's so much you just can't tell from a snapshot moment, and IMO a couple of hours at the park is just that.
This was my first thought too.

Brooke: a glass~blowin' hand~drummin' tree~huggin' home~birthin' earth~lovin' goddess~mama of 3!
HairyArmpits is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 03-04-2009, 09:50 AM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
My first thought was "autistic specrtum" and my second thought (though not as strongly) was if not that, perhaps she was trying to get attention from her Mother? As for being five or six, I'll have to echo what some of the other posters said- size isn't always an indicater. I have a 3 year old in my preschool class (also on the spectrum and with similar "games") who wears a size 7/8.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 03-04-2009, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
Flower of Bliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Steph, I'm sorry, I didn't intend to be offensive at all. I think stepping back and not interferring when your child is dealing with a challenge, so they can deal with it on their own, is an excellent parenting technique. I do that myself as well. I also find talking on the cell phone at the park completely unoffensive. I require NO explanation of any other child's medical history, especially not strangers at the park.

I really meant I was taking some cues from the mother as to what was going on. The mother wasn't really watching how her child interacted with mine at all. Really, she was paying absolutely no attention to her daughter at all (short of presumably making sure she was still in the playground). I guess I just sort of thought if interactions with other kids was a challenge, than the mom would have been watching some to see how it went. I in no way intended to imply that the mother was neglecting her child, simply not carefully observing.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more the idea that she was trying to get her mother's attention rings true.

Anyway, thanks for the insight everyone. Maybe this little girl is on the spectrum and maybe not. I doubt I'll ever know. I didn't go home upset, just confused.

It's been sort of neat going to the park without our own set of friends and meeting people and seeing glimpses of other children and their parents/caretakers. It's also been really neat to see how my DD interacts with kids we don't know.

Yesterday we ran into friends at the park and DD was so excited to have a friend she knew there. She keeps getting on the see saw and such and telling me that one of her friends is going to sit there and another friend there. I'm pregnant and DD's best friends moved away in January, and I've just been lazy about setting up playdates and such. For my DD, I think I need to be making more of an effort to get together with kids she knows.

SAHM to flower.gif DD1 8/06 , loveeyes.gif DD2 8/09 , and bfinfant.gifDD3 9/12  married to geek.gif 6/99.  We homeschool.gif, cd.gif, homebirth.jpg, familybed2.gif, and lots of wash.gif and dishes.gif.

Flower of Bliss is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off