A random child hit my child at the mall - that isn't normal, right? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We were at a busy mall this morning, just entering, when a mom with a boy around around three years old in a stroller passed us, as well as another woman (the mom's sister I think). The boy reached over to my DD with his arm as they passed, and hit her in the face really hard. It left a red mark and DD was crying and shocked.

I looked at the mom is shock and he said: "Don't worry, he's only playing! That is what he does". I just said "Well, that is not a nice game".

So far so weird, but she actually added "What am I supposed to do, then?" and then turned to her child and said, "Should I give you a beating then?". She smiled, and they went on their way.

Am I crazy, or is this totally outrageous? What do you think I should have said? Has anything similar ever happened to you?

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#2 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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That is totally insane. I would have been completely speechless.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#3 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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"You could step up and be a parent and let him know that it's not very nice."

ETA: No, that's NOT normal...

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#4 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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Speechless.

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#5 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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I think the 3 yo's behaviour was typical (my DS went through some MAJOR hitting phases despite never having been hit....ironically he usually did it to kids he liked the most....like running up to people he wanted to play with and hitting them). I realise not all kids go through this, and trust me it drove/drives me bonkers that my sweet boy has a seriously agressive streak after having such a gentle and respectful upbringing. I've never been such a believer that different kids are just innately wired differently as I am since having DS.

The mom's reaction to that behaviour is the shocker for me. I was/am embarrased by DS's agressive behaviour when it occurs. We work hard on finding BETTER ways to express his feelings a LOT. As he's getting older it's getting MUCH better, but it still rears its head from time to time and I deal with it when it arrises (I usually do any combination of the following: appologise (not defend) if something occurs, remind him that that is not the way we handle those feeling, remind him of better ways he can deal with those situations, take him to the side and have a talk giving him only one more chance if he wants to stay and do what he's doing since other people have the right to be doing what they're doing without the threat of being hurt, distraction/re-direction, encourage him to appologise if he knows he did something he shouldn't have to someone else and let them know what he'll do in the future).

I love my boy whatever the case may be, but that doesn't make the hitting okay. I couldn't imagine justifying his behaviour as a "game" and laughing it off when he obviously upset someone else and physically harmed them.

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#6 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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I hate it when parents make excuses for their kids instead of owning up to it.

I probably would have spoken directly to the child at that point. Nice, but firm.

(And, I'd probably assume he was younger than three, and maybe just a very old looking 18 months-ish)

If Mom can't be bothered to parent her child, then you get to tell the child "You may not hit my daughter. I don't like that!" Then, it's fine to say to your daughter "I'm sorry that boy hurt you" in front of the mom.

We have a lady that takes her son to the park. He is a major sand thrower. When he's there, the other adults have to block him from throwing sand at our kids. His mom's only attempt at parenting him is to loudly announce (from the bench with her magazine and cell phone) that "HE HAS SPECIAL NEEDS!" Then she goes back to her phone or magazine.
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#7 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies.

I didn't mean that I was shocked by the kid's behavior - I know kids hit other kids, even though mine never do that to completely unknown kids. They do it to their friends sometimes, though .

It was the "I don't give a darn" attitude from the mom that shocked me, as well as "shall I beat you up now?" to her son. Like making jokes about hitting your child is going to teach him about being kind to others.

DD is actually bruised and swollen still, so it wasn't a light "brush" - he hit her really hard.

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#8 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Moms reaction was completely outrageous.

So, a 3 yo might be "developmentally normal" to hit, but that doesn't make it acceptable or something to be tolerated or even considered "cute".

Every mother I know would have been all over you with apologies and had some disciplinary action for the child. So, no I don't think her reaction was at all normal.

ETA: I think her "beat you up" comment was a snotty, sideways insult to you, actually. As in "What do you want me to do, beat him?" kind of thing.
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#9 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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I cant stand parents how make excuses for their kids. I have dealt with that myself sometimes too. Like "how can you expect little jimmy to not destroy your house/hit your kid? he is just 5 and trying to explore and you cant expect too much" or 'it is hard for him to share being the oldest, all the little kids take stuff from him'

SO?! I stop my 2yr old from taking toys, even though 'sharing' is still a difficult subject for her. Why cant you teach your kid the same thing?



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#10 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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The mom's reaction was totally inappropriate. Even if the child's behavior was the result of a condition (like autism or something), the mom should still discipline it. My oldest has autism and we've been in a situation multiple times where he's hurt another child. Before the other mom even has a chance to say something, I apologize to the mother, the other child, and look right into my child's eyes and firmly tell him that was not ok, it hurt the other child, and model "nice touch". It's never ok for a parent to allow their children to hurt other children and not at least use it as an opportunity to teach her child what is appropriate.

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#11 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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That mom was completely out of line...cause you know there are only two ways to do child-rearing....beat them or let them do whatever they want.
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#12 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
"Don't worry, he's only playing! That is what he does".
"OOH, so it's a game! How cute! Can I join? I'll just punch YOU in the face!"
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#13 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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Umm yeah Mom was completely out of line!

My now 5 year old was AWFUL with hitting, pinching, pushing other kids from the age of about 2-3.5, and I can't imagine just blowing it off like that!

I was always embarrassed when he did and it and immediately removed him from the situation, made him apologize ect.

I agree with the PP who said maybe you should have asked her if she would like to play the "game" and get slapped @@

I am sorry that happened to your dd.

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#14 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Wow--I would be mortified if my child walloped a passerby in the face. No, the mom's reaction was definitely not normal. Sorry that happened!

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#15 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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OK, why is it that some people are just so...............WEIRD?!?!?! The boys actions were strange at best, but the mothers reaction?!??!?!??! F**KING WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would have been soo freaking embarrassed if one of my kids did that, I prlly would have bought your daughter a stuffed animal or something. AND, i would have been falling all over both of you with apologies.
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#16 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
So far so weird, but she actually added "What am I supposed to do, then?" and then turned to her child and said, "Should I give you a beating then?". She smiled, and they went on their way.
Gentle discipline gone wrong there.

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#17 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Some people are just so rude. They don't seem to understand that you can actually respect other people and redirect your child while still being a gentle parent at the same time.
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#18 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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I firmly believe that it's situations like this that give people the wrong idea about GD... They get the "it's either spank or hands off totally" thing going.


She should have AT LEAST apologized to you and your daughter.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#19 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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That mother was so rude. Honestly, my first instinct woul have been to hit the mother in the face really hard and tell her, "Don't worry. I'm only playing! That's just what I do."

I'm sorry you and your DC had to go through that. That kind of behavior is not acceptable.
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#20 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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The child's behaviour was odd, but definitely within the realm of things that wouldn't freak me out. I can, sadly, see ds2 doing something like that at that age (he never did, but it would have been within his scope of behaviour).

The mom? Holy crap! There is no way I would respond to ds2 hitting another child with "don't worry - he's just playing". WTF? When ds2 acts out like that, it's beyond mortifying. I immediately reign him in, talk to him, etc. He usually apologizes, because he's a very impulse driven child and doesn't mean to hurt people. If he's still so wound up that he doesn't feel the need to apologize, we leave, because he will do it again - I know that from past experience. (Obviously, none of that applies to the OP, as the family were leaving, anyway.) At the very least, I'd get him out of the situation asap, and apologize to the child and parents.

The whole "Should I give you a beating then?" thing sounds like she practices some warped form of GD, and she was trying to make some kind of point. She failed.

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#21 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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to your dd, that woman was deffenatly out of order.

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#22 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 03:43 PM
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WHOA! Even if it's age-appropriate for a kid to do that, it's certainly not approrpriate for the mother to react that way. My DD does age-appropriate crazy stuff but when it's hurting someone else we help her to stop, talk to her about moving her body away from other people, help her work her way back to calm, talk about how it made the other person feel... even if she's totally laughing at us and saying yes she likes to hurt people, we know that's all appropriate for HER, she's testing the limits and all, but our regular reaction to such behavior is what is going to help guide her to better behavior as she matures, I like to think! I would at the VERY least apologize to another mom if my child hurt theirs in any way!
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#23 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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"ooh, so it's a game! How cute! Can i join? I'll just punch you in the face!"
lmao
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#24 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm glad I am not the only one who was shocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Litcrit View Post
"OOH, so it's a game! How cute! Can I join? I'll just punch YOU in the face!"
That was, of course, my immediate thought. I wish I had the guts to say that .

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#25 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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The mom's response was less than ideal, but who knows...maybe she was embarassed, or overwhelmed (I had a 3yo hitter and I was overwhelmed most of the time), or was having a bad day and wasn't able to craft a more "appropriate" response at that moment. Or all of the above. Cut her some slack and let it go.
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#26 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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That mother was so rude. Honestly, my first instinct woul have been to hit the mother in the face really hard and tell her, "Don't worry. I'm only playing! That's just what I do."

I'm sorry you and your DC had to go through that. That kind of behavior is not acceptable.

THIS is exactly my thinking when I read the OP. Seriiously, laugh and what could Mom do? I'm so angry even reading this and it's not my baby getting hurt, grrr.

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#27 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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The mom's response was less than ideal, but who knows...maybe she was embarassed, or overwhelmed (I had a 3yo hitter and I was overwhelmed most of the time), or was having a bad day and wasn't able to craft a more "appropriate" response at that moment. Or all of the above. Cut her some slack and let it go.

Maybe she was having a great day too. Maybe she doesn't care about anyone else's kid getting hurt. Why cut her some slack when the OP's kid has a bruised face????

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#28 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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I would have responded "You need to go play your "game" somewhere else before we call the police." And then I would tend to my child, and make sure she knew that I considered the boy and mother entirely in the wrong in every way.

Now if the mom had said "Oh, I'm so sorry" or even "I'm sorry, he doesn't mean any harm, he thinks it's a game" or anything remotely reasonable, then I would have responded nicely.

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#29 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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I hate it when parents make excuses for their kids instead of owning up to it.

I probably would have spoken directly to the child at that point. Nice, but firm.

(And, I'd probably assume he was younger than three, and maybe just a very old looking 18 months-ish)

If Mom can't be bothered to parent her child, then you get to tell the child "You may not hit my daughter. I don't like that!" Then, it's fine to say to your daughter "I'm sorry that boy hurt you" in front of the mom.

We have a lady that takes her son to the park. He is a major sand thrower. When he's there, the other adults have to block him from throwing sand at our kids. His mom's only attempt at parenting him is to loudly announce (from the bench with her magazine and cell phone) that "HE HAS SPECIAL NEEDS!" Then she goes back to her phone or magazine.
I do this a lot(well...maybe 4 times in 7 years, but it feels like a lot more often than I should need to, cause I can't fathom allowing my kid to hit others then just ignoring it!), just tell the kid that they are not allowed to hurt my child, and then give my kid a hug and walk away.

The special needs thing drives me insane though... Both my of my older sons have special needs, and yea, Kincaid went through a HUGE biting phase...we did everything we could to stop it before he bit, and if he did bite me, DH, his therapist or his teachers took him away from the situation and apologized for it over and over again...special needs is not an excuse to let your kid do anything they want.

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#30 of 47 Old 06-03-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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I agree with others, that the child isn't the issue here. Of course he shouldn't have hit, but I don't think it's out of the realm of what could be expected for a 3 year old to randomly hit. Especially considering his mother's (lack of) parenting style! Geeze! If it had been me, I would have made a big deal of loving on DS and say something (to DS) along the lines of, "Ouch, baby! Are you ok? I'm sorry that boy hit you. That wasn't very nice. He needs to say he's sorry doesn't he." Unfortunately you're not going to make much of a difference in how the other child is parented in just one encounter, but you can model acceptable behavior to your own child, and hopefully teach the other mother a thing or two in the process.

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