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Discussion Starter #1
so we've decided to take dd (3) to the park everyday after dh comes home from work. it's summer here and so we get a good two hours of play everyday and she is loving the constant movement. well, dd has pretty much gotten tired of me playing with her and has asserted that she wants to play with the other kids only. problem is, most of them are older (something like 6+) and of course, like most older kids, they have thier own agenda and friends and such.<br><br>
dd doesn't understand cues well. she kept asking this girl for the plant leaf she was holding in her hand. the girl gave her a piece, but she soon tired of dd following her around and teamed forces with her other friend that was there. dd wanted to play, she did not understand that the other girl did not want to play with her. anyway, this girls second friend came along too and i saw them all whispering behind dd's back - plotting something, no doubt. anyway, then i see one of the girls go up to another little girl that she doesn't even know (they were all asian though) and speak to her in thier native language and then say out loudly to that little girl in english "do you want to play with me?" all the while dd was asking to play with them and they kept ignoring her deliberately and whispering/giggling. then they started running around trying to get away from dd and dd thought they were playing "your it!" and everytime she would so much as come near them, they said "ewwww!!!" and ran off like she had a disease or something.<br>
well, when they starting acting in a deliberate manner to hurt dd, i kind of snapped. i went up to the girls and said "you know, picking on someone way younger than you is not a very nice thing to do. you all look mature enough but your just a bunch of babies really." and told dd to come along, that they were just silly and didn't deserve her time. one girl replied with "i did not understand what she was asking for" bulleffingshit, you mean to tell me that you can't understand that she said as clear as day "i want to play with you". BS, BS, BS! and if you did not understand that, why did you deliberately ask the other little girl to play when you clearly could not give a rats ass if she played with you or not. the entire way they were acting towards dd was planned. i wasn't born yesterday!<br><br>
well, i then took it a little too far and told dd to go up to them and say "your mean and stupid and i don't want to play with you!!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> yeah i know what your all thinking, but i swear at a point i was close to tears. i can't see anyone treating dd like that. she doesn't understand they are just mean, she probably thinks there is something wrong with her you know???<br><br>
well anyway, that wasn't the model experience...... and so here i am, asking for advice. what to do the next time this happens. kids can tell that she is not picking up on cues and they take advantage of it. i don't want to be the type of parent who sits there moderating absolutely everything. but i will NOT allow this bullying to continue in the hopes that it will all work out by itself. her cousin was the same to her and she STILL, several months down the track, remembers what he said and gets upset.<br>
so what to do???? i don't want to stop going to the park... i also can't just change parks (she really likes this one) and there are mean kids everywhere anyway.
 

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I wish I had advice, I am like you though, I swoop in and tell other people off. Just the other day as we had just paid for the tv carts, another family came in and wanted the cart we had just rented, and the mom wasnt paying enough attention to her 3 kids, and the youngest of hers, which had to be 2 yrs older than ds, pushed ds out of the way and tryed to hop in the cart as i was helping ds get in! I put my hand on ds's back and pushed him foaward again and told the little boy that it was no his cart, we had it first. But poor ds was so confused, hes so non confrontational, and wont even make a sound if someone pushes him or snatches stuff from him.
 

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yup, that's dd too... she's been pushed to the ground and had toys snatched out of her hand and won't say a thing. i've uhh.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> opened my mouth on those occassions too. i once screamed at a 4-ish yo... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> not mature of me and most certainly not kind, but he pushed my dd violently to the ground and screamed at her because he did not want her to join in. she was really upset and confused and stayed there on the ground with a very sad look on her face. i was furious to say the least. no flames, i know i should not have screamed at a young child. it was a heat of the moment experience. his older sister ended up coming over upon hearing me scream at him ("why did you push her over?") and tried to force an apology out of him and gave him a lecture on sharing. he did share with dd after that, but why did dd have to go through that first? why are there so many mean kids out there?<br><br>
ugh, i'm so sorry you've had similar experiences mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> it rips your heart out to see anyone treat your child meanly, ESPECIALLY when your child can't defend him/herself for whatever reason.
 

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I understand being upset at the older girls, and I myself have had to tell little kids at the playground off before for being mean to my littles. But I do think you went a little too far with the namecalling. Yeah, they're a lot older than your dd, but 6 is still really young. That wasn't right.<br><br>
Next time intervene sooner and tell the older kids that if they don't want to play with your dd that they need to tell her clearly that they are playing a game with the other big kids, and she can't play. There's no reason to tease her or be mean, she's just little. And explain to your dd that big kids like to play big kid games and she can play with them when she gets bigger. Use distraction, find something else for her to do.
 

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I think it's normal that a group of six year olds would not want to play with an unknown three year old at the park. Don't take it personally, it doesn't sound like it has anything to do with your dd's ASD. Take your dd to the park and play with her, or let her play on the playground herself, but don't go with expectations that she will make friends with strangers. My kids aren't special needs but they have been treated poorly by kids at the park and I make them come away from those kids, or I won't let them play with unknown kids who are being rude or using certain language. The park is a free for all, you never know what you're going to encounter, so if you see your dd being treated poorly, just take her aside and tell her that the other kids don't seem to want to play with her or you don't care for their manners, let's go do something fun instead.<br><br>
Like the PP said, six year olds are little children, they don't know the meaning of the word "mature" and it is not okay to call little children names or teach your dd to. I know you are hurting but you have to sometimes hold those feelings in for your kid's sake. You don't want to have the experience at the park ruin her whole day or make her think that those girls had anything against her personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the youngest was about 6-ish, the eldest was around 10. at 10, i think you SHOULD know better no questions asked. she was actually the one who was carrying on the most and the one who i directed my comments at. they all heard what i said, but i was pretty much just looking at this girl only. i should have mentioned that earlier. she is the one my dd said "your mean and stupid" to (dd said it when we were leaving - we all left about the same time). they are regulars at the park - they do not just randomly come and go. we will be seeing them everyday! if they were random, i probably wouldn't give a second though to this (and hence, i wouldn't be posting for advice), but i know we will be seeing a lot more of them. and i don't expect my dd to make friends with anybody (that's not the reason why we decided to go to the park - we went for all the sensory stuff) but she really just wanted to join in and play with them since they all play with eachother everyday. they were not playing 6-10yo specific games - they were playing on the slides, swings and running around playing tag with eachother (in a much nicer manner than they "played" with dd). they just wanted to make dd feel excluded.<br>
i don't want them to forcebly play with her, but i don't want them to bully her either, kwim? i want a clear way of resolving this without kids being forced to "be nice" and my daughter not having to feel rejected in the process.<br><br>
the problem is, dd doesn't understand "big kid games" and "little kid games". unfortunately she can't comprehend the concepts. put it this way, she still can't even see a difference between herself and her baby sister. she often copies her baby sisters behaivour because she thinks thats what you do. she doesn't understand that she is older - we constantly have to remind her.<br><br>
the girl did play with her at first but soon after decided not to and it confused dd. i tried distraction several times - didn't work. she made it very clear that she did not want to play with me or her dad, only the kids.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Don't take it personally, it doesn't sound like it has anything to do with your dd's ASD.</td>
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i don't think it was as simple as them not wanting to play. they could tell something was different about dd and decided to pick on it. two of the girls were deliberately being mean to her - the others were just going along with it. they ALSO asked another 3-4yo to play right in front of dd, and then ignored my dd when she asked to play with them. so it's not like they do not want to play with younger kids and it was as simple as that. they could of left her alone, and said something like "go play with your mum/dad" but they didn't. they kept making comments (looking and pointing at her, whispering), making disgusted sounds when she came near them. do NOT tell me that it was just a bunch of kids being kids. sorry, but if you were there, you would definitely not think so either.<br><br>
i tried to get her away from them. unfortunately it did nothing. when dd becomes fixated on something it is EXTREMELY hard to pull her away from it. i'm sure many SPD/ASD parents can understand that. i said things like "i don't think they want to play with you right now darling, let's play a game - just me and you", "how about we chase eachother?", "lets go on the swings!", "lets go see the ducks in the pond"... etc and i got nowhere.
 

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Well it certainly sounds worse as you describe it in your second post. I don't really have any advice other than what I wrote before. It's not likely that those kids will change or be sensitive to your dd so you have to protect her as best you can, which is either not going to the park (which doesn't seem fair to her) or keeping her away from mean kids. When my kids were littler and couldn't defend themselves, I would stick right by them the whole time at the park. Sometimes I would tell other kids "It is not okay to talk to my kid that way" or "we have been waiting a long time for a turn on the swing, please get off now". There were times I practically had steam coming out of my ears, I was so annoyed at the meanness of some of the other kids. But what are you going to do? You can't make those kids want to play with your dd.<br><br>
My kids have been rejected many times at school by other kids because the other kids simply do not like something about them. They are not being bullied or excluded per se but there are kids who won't play with them because they don't want to be friends with them. I tell my kids that's life sometimes and you don't need to hang out with someone who doesn't accept you for who you are.
 

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hmmmm, sounds good. i think i will just have to continue to moderate for much longer than i thought. i'll have a good think about more appropriate responses for bullying before we go next time. i think i will have to continually "warn" dd ahead of time too. i don't want my dd to change herself to be more accepted and i also don't want her being bullied because she is herself. it's hard to meet half way.<br><br>
yes it was a lot worse than i described it originally - my mistake. i've seen when kids just want to play thier own game with thier own friends and nothing more, and i've seen bullying.. and i can assure anyone reading this - this was the latter.<br><br>
thanks - this most certainly has been helpful!
 
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