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#1 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now, my kids are prone to dragging toys into places we go. We take balls and frisbees and such to the park, toy cars for the boys into dd's dance class, random backpacks full of toys into mcdonalds etc. our understanding is, if you take them in, you have to share them. I just dont think its reasonable to take a bunch of toys into a place full of small children and expect them NOT to play with them.

ANyway, yesterday we went out to a wildlife musuem that has the animatronic dinosaurs right now. My middle ds is obsessed with dinosaurs now. So at one place along the trail we stop and another family is stopped and ds starts talking to a boy about his age (three) and playing with him with the toy dinosaurs this child has with him. He had a wagon full of them. Of course my 18mos old picks up two of them and is standing watching the older boys. I started chatting with the mom, then the two girls began to move away to the next exhibit, I turned my head to watch where they were going. When I looked back, ds age three had put the dinosaur back and was also walking away toward another exhibit. My baby was still standing right there by me and I had not moved. The other mom had both hands on the dinosaurs ds had and she YANKED them pretty forcefully away from him! She never said a word to him nor did she remove them gently,which would have been ok. I know they werent his toys, but I wasnt going to let him walk away with them or anything. I was just totally stunned. I mean, he's 18 months old! Would this have upset anyone else?

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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#2 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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It would have bothered me for sure! Some people have no grace!

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#3 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Yes, that would have upset me. She should have asked you to have your DS return the toys or asked him directly, not yanked them out of his hands. Had that happened to me, I would have told the other mom "Please don't grab things out of DS' hands. You could have asked me to have him return the toy and I would have made sure he did." Or, at least I would like to think I would have confronted her- maybe I would have been too shocked to say anything.

I'm also open about sharing toys we bring to public places, but I also recognize that some people don't feel the same way. I taught my kids to respect other people's property and return it when the owners want it back (and at 18mo, that often meant me taking the toy away to hand back to the other person and then comfort my upset tot, after explaining to the child that it was time to return the item, offering to trade with a toy we own, etc.)

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#4 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Yes, that's a bizarre reaction. Even if your DS was walking away with the toy, the appropriate reaction would have been something more like, "Oh, sweetie, we're heading this way ... can you put the dinosaurs back in the wagon?"

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#5 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, thank you! I mean, had my kids just randomly grabbed toys and ran away or had the other child seemed upset at having his toys handled, I would have made him put them back sooner. But as the mom was talking to me while the kids were interacting and my three year old and the other boy seemed to be having FUN playing with each other with the toys, I just didnt give it a second thought. Of course, I suppose she couldnt know for sure I would have let ds walk away with them. I have had to take my childrens toys back from other kids before, but I ask them, if that doesnt work, I do it gently while explaining to them, "we have to leave now and need our toy back" or whatever. I just thought the yanking was a bit over the top.

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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#6 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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Jeez! Yeah, that was a little over the top and rude! : I probably wouldn't have said anything at the time but i would have been pissed about it afterwards and wished i had said something, lol

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#7 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't have liked that.

My understanding is that in our current culture in the US, you do not touch other people's children unless you have permission (implied ok) from one of their parents, or unless it's an emergency.

I would consider grabbing toys to be touching. Asking a child to give you a toy is fine; they are the ones controlling the touch. It also communicates to the parent standing right there everything they need to know.

Even if the child wasn't complying and the mother wasn't doing anything, my next step would be to ask the mother directly instead of grabbing the toys. So this woman skipped several more reasonable steps and went right to an unreasonable.

I'd be more willing to give a strange kid a toy if I couldn't get it back than to grab it away from them!

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#8 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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I would have been annoyed and likely would have said something to her. If she needed the toy back, she could have asked him or you.

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#9 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jeez! Yeah, that was a little over the top and rude! : I probably wouldn't have said anything at the time but i would have been pissed about it afterwards and wished i had said something, lol
Well, thats exactly what I did!

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Yeah, I wouldn't have liked that.

My understanding is that in our current culture in the US, you do not touch other people's children unless you have permission (implied ok) from one of their parents, or unless it's an emergency.

I would consider grabbing toys to be touching. Asking a child to give you a toy is fine; they are the ones controlling the touch. It also communicates to the parent standing right there everything they need to know.

Even if the child wasn't complying and the mother wasn't doing anything, my next step would be to ask the mother directly instead of grabbing the toys. So this woman skipped several more reasonable steps and went right to an unreasonable.

I'd be more willing to give a strange kid a toy if I couldn't get it back than to grab it away from them!
Yeah, if its not something my kids are espeically overly fond of, I have given toys away before! Not that I expect that at all! I would have happily gotten the toy back for her. Good thing it was ds. DD would have burst into tears, she is SO sensitive. Seriously, even a stranger speaking to her can cause to withdraw and shake.

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I would have been annoyed and likely would have said something to her. If she needed the toy back, she could have asked him or you.
I just stewed. We saw them several times after that but I ignored them even though seeing her made me mad all over again. I really need to be more assertive.

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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#10 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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I definitely would have been annoyed that she yanked the toy away. There are much gentler ways of getting the toys back, including gently asking for them.

But, I do not share the belief that all toys brought into public need to be shared with other children. Did you ask permission for your 18mos old to play with the toys? If not, the other woman might have been irritated at you for assuming that he could playing with them. That might explain her not being so gentle in getting the toy back.

I wouldn't dream of letting my kids play with another random kid's toys out in a public space unless given explicit permission from the parent or child. And likewise, there are many times we've taken toys in public and I would have been extremely irritated if another child started playing with them without asking permission first.

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#11 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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Yes, that is an extremely rude and bizarre reaction. I personally don't let my kids bring a lot of toys with them because they don't keep track of them well, but when they are out I do expect them to share, and I think other people should be expected to do the same, unless it's like, one or two toys. That said, I would never rip a toy out of a child's hands like that. I could see myself gently removing the toy if I had leave and the child simply wouldn't give them back, but that would be after asking the child nicely the toy and asking the mother to please remove the toy from her child since it was ours. However, just out of the blue taking them out of a child's hands? How strange. I would have said something to her.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#12 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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It would have bothered me for sure (sorry that happened to your baby, mama!), but then I would have tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she just wasn't thinking. Maybe she was busy thinking about your conversation and sort of did that "autopilot" thing. Maybe she is someone who is anxious about social interaction and was in the "rush" of having just engaged in it. Or maybe in her family, this kind of thing is not outside the norm, and she just wasn't thinking about the age of your child and the fact that it wasn't her kid. Maybe she was tired from her adventures with her kid, or stressed, or whatever, just enough to be "out of sorts" and do something as ridiculous as that.

I have never done something like that, but I am not always filled with grace, you know? I certainly make some social flubs sometimes, and it could involve anyone of any age.

I think you made a pretty safe assumption that it was okay for your kids to play with her kid (and his toys), and it sounds like if she had a problem with it, she should have said that much earlier. How she concluded things with your family was rude, and I don't want to sound like I am making excuses. That said, along with crazydiamond, I'm apt not to assume my children can play with another child's toys without first asking permission...no matter where we are. It sounds like this kid was fine with it, but there are so many reasons a child might not-- at any given moment-- be capable of sharing a toy. If I saw my kids playing with another child's toys, and I hadn't heard permission being asked, I probably would stop and ask my child if s/he asked the other child for permission first. Or I'd do a little check in with the parent, "Is that alright?" That's the polite thing to do, and I definitely want to model grace and courtesy for my children (even though others don't always reflect it back).

Of course when my kids bring toys to places (which we try to allow only rarely...as a previous poster said, it's too hard to keep track of them), we usually talk ahead of time and in these conversations I always let them know that they need to be willing to share their toys. On the other hand, sometimes they are nervous (even while excited) about going somewhere, and taking some toys from home along is comforting or helpful to them. They may or may not be in the emotional space to share those comfort items. And sometimes we are in the middle of a big homeschool lesson with the toys. And finally, my kids both have special needs (not visible, but definitely present), and sometimes my ds gets stuck on a particular subject and literally surrounds himself by it and isn't able to get off topic. I'm not always able to choose that as a battle to fight...and occassionally we leave the house with items that I'm not 110% confident he will share with others. When this happens, he could have an absolute neurological meltdown if he simply got the impression another child might forget to give him back his toys. No one would know it was coming but me. I wouldn't grab the toys back personally (assuming I didn't somehow fall out of grace momentarily), but I would definitely intervene if I knew on a gut level my kid might be getting the wrong idea about a situation.

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#13 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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I definitely would have been annoyed that she yanked the toy away. There are much gentler ways of getting the toys back, including gently asking for them.

But, I do not share the belief that all toys brought into public need to be shared with other children. Did you ask permission for your 18mos old to play with the toys? If not, the other woman might have been irritated at you for assuming that he could playing with them. That might explain her not being so gentle in getting the toy back.

I wouldn't dream of letting my kids play with another random kid's toys out in a public space unless given explicit permission from the parent or child. And likewise, there are many times we've taken toys in public and I would have been extremely irritated if another child started playing with them without asking permission first.
I agree. I don't require (I do encourage) sharing even to a large degree at home. As an adult I can bring anything persoanl with me and no one expects me to share it wouldn't even cross someone elses mind to ask really but so many expect our kids to freely share all there stuff.. I've never grasped this.. But still grabbing and being rude is wrong as well and she could have been a LOT more gentle.

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#14 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Mama I so sorry you had that happen!!!!

I had this happen to me one time as well, however it was a LITTLE different in that it is was sippy cup. My girl had a sippy cup of breast milk and put it down to go play (she insisted she wanted mama' milk to take along to the playground and who am I to resist?) Anyway, before I could snatch it up a random little boy came by, sweaty and obviously thirsty and started drinking away He didn't even seem to care it was breastmilk (which I thought was funny) and I was going to calmly trade him that sippy cup for a glass of water and then his mother came up, jerked his arm up and yanked the cup outta of his hands, and MADE him apolgize (he was about 2.5) and I kept saying "It is no big deal, really." Finally I told her "Lady you need to chill out. You are physically hurting your son and embarrassing him and there is NO need for it. I am not upset about this and these things happen." Some people just don't get it. I would have WIGGED out if she would have done that to MY girl....boy let me tell ya those mama bear claws would have come out......
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#15 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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It was rude of her not to ask your child for them back nicely. But who knows what was on her mind. I wouldn't think too much of it.

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#16 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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It was rude of her not to ask your child for them back nicely. But who knows what was on her mind. I wouldn't think too much of it.
I agree. Maybe she was having a bad day or maybe the toys had been on the ground and she was afraid your little one was going to put them in his mouth or who knows. You can't let things like this get you down.
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#17 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Mama I so sorry you had that happen!!!!

I had this happen to me one time as well, however it was a LITTLE different in that it is was sippy cup. My girl had a sippy cup of breast milk and put it down to go play (she insisted she wanted mama' milk to take along to the playground and who am I to resist?) Anyway, before I could snatch it up a random little boy came by, sweaty and obviously thirsty and started drinking away He didn't even seem to care it was breastmilk (which I thought was funny) and I was going to calmly trade him that sippy cup for a glass of water and then his mother came up, jerked his arm up and yanked the cup outta of his hands, and MADE him apolgize (he was about 2.5) and I kept saying "It is no big deal, really." Finally I told her "Lady you need to chill out. You are physically hurting your son and embarrassing him and there is NO need for it. I am not upset about this and these things happen." Some people just don't get it. I would have WIGGED out if she would have done that to MY girl....boy let me tell ya those mama bear claws would have come out......
Although I wouldn't yank my daughter's arm, and I do not force her to apologize, I too would have FREAKED OUT if I saw her drinking out of someone else's sippy cup--she has severe food allergies, and doing so could literally kill her. I have no idea what's in the cup--she would likely react to certain proteins in bm, btw--nor do I know what the other child was eating/drinking before he used the cup.

And honestly, I don't think it's okay to allow another child to drink your bm without the parents' permission (I would have taken away the cup, not simply tried to trade). I have no problem with shared nursing so long as both parents agree to it, but I would have a very big problem with my child drinking the bm of someone I didn't even know.

OP: Another parent yanked a shovel out of my dd's hands the other day, and it got my hackles up, too (even more so, b/c the child who brought it had abandoned it in the sand box, so dd had no idea she was doing something "wrong"). Dd will almost always give something up if someone else has a claim to it--just treat her like a person and ask her.
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#18 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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Although I wouldn't yank my daughter's arm, and I do not force her to apologize, I too would have FREAKED OUT if I saw her drinking out of someone else's sippy cup--she has severe food allergies, and doing so could literally kill her. I have no idea what's in the cup--she would likely react to certain proteins in bm, btw--nor do I know what the other child was eating/drinking before he used the cup.

And honestly, I don't think it's okay to allow another child to drink your bm without the parents' permission (I would have taken away the cup, not simply tried to trade). I have no problem with shared nursing so long as both parents agree to it, but I would have a very big problem with my child drinking the bm of someone I didn't even know.

OP: Another parent yanked a shovel out of my dd's hands the other day, and it got my hackles up, too (even more so, b/c the child who brought it had abandoned it in the sand box, so dd had no idea she was doing something "wrong"). Dd will almost always give something up if someone else has a claim to it--just treat her like a person and ask her.
Oh no I DO NOT condone sharing drinks at all, I was going to "take it" from him but I was going to make it look like I was "trading it" aka doing it nicely. No way would I want my child sharing drinks, but I did think it was comical he was drinking breast milk like there was no tomorrow. I completely overlooked the allergy angle, of course that would be terrible to have a reaction like that. Thank you for pointing it out! Sorry if I confused you.
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#19 of 23 Old 11-03-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OH, Im pretty much over by now. You are all right, a bad day or just a lack of even thinking about it. It can be exhausting pushing a stroller around on those trails, believe me, I know!

The only time I thought a parent was literally going to hurt someone elses child was at Mcdonalds when a bunch of kids were grabbing each others heads and making them shake it no. Several kids had it done to them and were laughing, someone did it to this one boy and he was laughing too until the mother lost it, started screaming and pounding on the playland and trying to climb up inside it. Then the boy began to truly wail, he was scared at that point I think. She tried to climb up inside and was swiping at any child within arms reach with true rage in her eyes. She came back out of the tunnel screaming at all of us (several moms standing by) asking who had done it. Everyone shrugged and said they didnt know, even though we all did. The child that did it was by then cowering in a corner, confused and frightend. I think they all were confused at that point. Forutnatly she came out of the tunnel when another mom brought her son out for her (like every mom there lunged for the tubes when she did).

I would have thought she was just pyscho, but after she calmed down, she explained that her son had a medical condition and had a tube in his head and could be seriously hurt if his head was banged into the floor. Now, his wasnt being banged into anything but thats what she thought she saw. I can understand how scared she must have been. Still, had she got her hands on the other child Im thinking there would have been a throw down on the playland!

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#20 of 23 Old 11-04-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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Oh god, that poor mother.

If you let your kids play with other kids toys in public (without asking), you are forcing that other child to share. Sometimes that's OK. Sometimes it's not, and some kids have a really hard time trying to find an appropriate way of handling the situation. Talk. Make contact. ASK. Give that child some respect.

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#21 of 23 Old 11-04-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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If you let your kids play with other kids toys in public (without asking), you are forcing that other child to share. Sometimes that's OK. Sometimes it's not, and some kids have a really hard time trying to find an appropriate way of handling the situation. Talk. Make contact. ASK. Give that child some respect.
It doesn't sound like it was the child who was annoyed but the mother. I really don't think an 18 month old can be held accountable for anything! Hands and eyes are the same for them, it is just curiosity. Sounds like she was just being unpleasant and rude.
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#22 of 23 Old 11-04-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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It was rude the way she handled herself. It would have been a good teachable moment for her to help her child say, we are moving on now...so I'll need my toys back. It was nice hanging out with you!

Also, I do think we share things as adults. There are ways we ask each other if it's ok to touch each other's things without coming right out and asking. KWIM? Toys really aren't that personal. It's not like your child was going through the other kids personal bag or pockets. If I have a "toy" out, such as my cell phone on the table and someone picked it up...well if I wanted it not touched I wouldn't have it out in a public place.

My DD shouldn't have to share her extra special possessions. I'll let her know that she should put her extra special toys away when she has guests over if she doesn't want anyone playing with them otherwise what is left out will be assumed it's to be shared.
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#23 of 23 Old 11-05-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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My DD shouldn't have to share her extra special possessions. I'll let her know that she should put her extra special toys away when she has guests over if she doesn't want anyone playing with them otherwise what is left out will be assumed it's to be shared.
That's what we do with my DD's one special stuffed monkey that she sleeps with. A few times, we've forgotten to put it away and a guest has picked it up, and she was ready to cry she was so upset.

I personally would ask the child or parent first if it was OK that my child played with their toys, and would appreciate that others do the same if it were our toys, but that's just me.

Oh yeah, and to the OP, I would have been really annoyed at that mother yanking the toys out of my child's hands - rude and totally unnecessary. However, I would have been too taken aback to say anything at the time, and just stewed about it.

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