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To expect a mother to teach her child to stop being a little shit

(279 Posts)
Loopyhasanotherbean Fri 19-Apr-13 21:07:46

We go to a toddler group and there is one child who attends who persistently gives an evil stare to other children before running at them and pushing them over. This has resulted in tears from the other children almost every week for months on end. He is 2 and is doing this on purpose and the others are too nice and kind to retaliate, not that we would want them to really. He also snatches whatever toy he wants from any other child or baby, using whatever force necessary to get his own way. None of the other children do anything to provoke this, they are all gentle well behaved toddlers and getting very upset and not knowing what they have done wrong to mean they get hurt.

She never apologises on his behalf and he won't say sorry (he isn't at all sorry). Are we all being unreasonable to expect her to start disciplining him, taking responsibility for his behaviour and teaching him how to behave towards the other children?? We don't know what to do, but I am not sure I can bite my tongue much longer. She is as far as I know a nice woman, but she does not tell him off and he doesn't go to nursery do there is no one else to discipline him....

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 21:29:44

But it was the tone, the description of the child and the ascribing adult motives to a toddler that most people are responding to from what I can see.

yes the words evil stare little shit and on purpose is not on when describing a 2 yr old

CarpeVinum Fri 19-Apr-13 21:30:28

He is 2. What exactly would you like her to say that would get through to a 2 year old.

How about something radical like "no pushing", "no snatching", "say sorry". Or if prefered "we use gentle hands" and stuff like that.

I doubt people would expect an overnight miricle, but amazingly enough when set out basic ground rules for sucessful spcial interaction at two year old a not insignificant number of toddlers become 3 and 4 year olds with a decent enough grasp of how to behave most of the time, with the occasional reminder when necessary.

It would also acknowledge that the behavoir is understood as undesirable by his mum and demonstrate empathy for what the other mums are feeling when their kid is being upset. Which will probably go some way to lowering the heat and irritation in respect to her and her son. If she wants other kids for her son to play with she is going to need other mums to be willing to be in his company, so some kind of gesture on her part, as a nod to their sentiments, would be a good idea.

Startail Fri 19-Apr-13 21:31:04

If she won't tell him no you do.
Sorry I have no patience with this only a child's own parents are allowed to speak to them rubbish.

If a child knocks mine over and it clearly wasn't an accident I'd tell him off.

In fact, according to his DM, I once terrified a child.He'd knocked DD1 flying quite deliberately. He was 4.5 not two. I couldn't believe it when he went crying to mummy. He wasn't even her PFB. Yes I shouted at him, it had been a long day and DD1 had been on the receiving end of a whole lot of nastiness, as normal, but I was certainly not even vaguely scary.

Floggingmolly Fri 19-Apr-13 21:34:08

If he's the only 2 year old in a hall full of 2 year old's behaving like this, then yes, it's a bit beyond the norm and she should be intervening.

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 21:34:43

orry I have no patience with this only a child's own parents are allowed to speak to them rubbish.

If a child knocks mine over and it clearly wasn't an accident I'd tell him off.

^ ^ it takes avillage and all that

madmacbrock Fri 19-Apr-13 21:35:26

I have a 20mth old who likes to push his cousin around, best i can do is a firm no and remove one of them from the situation, only for it to happen again about 30 mins later! it is just the age and unfortunatly some children go though this. On the otherhand I have a nephew(now 4) who has done things like this since the same age, his mum does nothing but follow him round saying no! its now just white noise and even more anyoying than the childs behaviour! You can really win untill they are old enough to understand so yes im afraid YRB(a little)U.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Apr-13 21:35:43

Way to go Mumsnet. Completely missing the point as usual and berating the op on her choice of language brought on by frustration at someone else's badly behaved child.

If my two year old behaved like this continually I would be embarrassed. Not all two year olds are like this all the time. They might do it occasionally on a bad day but certainly not all the time. It is naughty and spoilt and indulged. God knows how badly behaved your children are that you all seem to think this is acceptable and the op is being unreasonable.

If you're fed up that much op it would be perfectly alright to say something next time. Obviously I'm sure you wouldn't call him a little shit in front of his parent but if he makes you feel that bad you certainly need to tell him off because clearly the parent isn't capable. If you do it, she might notice and realise that she needs to keep an eye on him a bit more. I wouldn't hesitate to say something along the lines of a gentle telling off, particularly because I would want my children to realise that it is naughty and not copy it!

FacebookWanker Fri 19-Apr-13 21:36:37

YANBU. At the play groups I've been to children have always been taught that it's not nice to snatch toys whatever their age. I've always made DD gives toys back when she's snatched them. The y don't know they're doing wrong, so it's up to us to show them. They don't need to be shouted at/ punished etc. Just encouraged not to do it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FacebookWanker Fri 19-Apr-13 21:37:29

Ilovemydog, I'm pleased you see sense too.

bedmonster Fri 19-Apr-13 21:39:08

The little boy you describe could almost be mine. Though my DS is 18m and doesn't do an evil stare when he takes other childrens toys, he does a cheerful grin as he appraches them and whips the toy out of their hands. I do my best and always remove it, give it back to the child, apologise and tell DS that we say 'sorry' when we upset others, and that we 'share nicely'. He has absolutely no idea what i'm wittering on about, so politely lets me go through my spiel and then toddles off to take something else. It's draining. And tbh, I am incredibly tempted to stop taking him to our toddler group as I feel I spend the entire 2 hours telling him off and trying to distract him sad I find it quite upsetting that he doesn't play nicely or play with the others.
However, I also know that at 18m, he almost definitely has no idea what he's doing. He still doesn't talk so i don't know what he understands.
At 2, the little boy you are talking about possibly doesn't really know what he's doing either, but I do think his mother should at least be making some effort to correct him and tell him what to do and what not to do.

dontmeanto Fri 19-Apr-13 21:39:25

Ilovemydog, exactly.

Loopyhasanotherbean Fri 19-Apr-13 21:41:47

Thanks carpe and startail.

Yes I am frustrated and no I would never call him that in real life, but this behaviour has happened non stop for as long as we have known him. He really is as bad as I describe, I wish I was exaggerating but I am not. My child is a gentle, thoughtful, kind one, who understands right from wrong, and says sorry if he thinks he has done something wrong, even if its just a case of doing something by accident, and if anything we have to say sometimes that he has nothing to say sorry for. He knows better than to snatch a toy as I have taught him that you don't do that and you wait for your turn. He is polite, says please, thank you, excuse me, bless you, pardon me etc. so yes, there are good 2 year olds out there, and all the others in this group are kind and well behaved. This child repeatedly hurts the others, and at the last meeting, he pushed my child and another child 3 times within a minute, all unprovoked. I just don't know what is reasonable to do or say. If it were the other way round, I would be apologising for my child's behaviour, doing all I could to teach him how to behave, and getting him to say sorry/mean it....

foslady Fri 19-Apr-13 21:43:22

I can understand your frustration - used to have an older child like this in our playgroup, and can vividly remember watching her take run ups to toddlers and side barging them flying to get to the dolls pram they were pushing, and even sent another flying off a trampoline and landing off the crash mat because she's run with such force.....all whilst mum smiled and drank tea.......
When she repeatedly snatched off my dd I sat and played with my dd and waited for her to snatch again. At that point I turned my back effectively blocking her from dd and said in a loud voice 'Don't worry dd, we'll find something MUCH nicer to play with'. Within a minute said child shyly returned the toy (to which I thanked and praised her for for returning it). Never had a problem with her again.

Problem child is now one of the nicest girls in the school!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

How's about instead of you ALL talking about it behind her back, as in :

"Are we all being unreasonable to expect her to start disciplining him, taking responsibility for his behaviour and teaching him how to behave towards the other children??"

How about the next time he does it, instead of bitching and talking about her and the 2 year old behind her back, how about you either talk to her or say No to him?

SolomanDaisy Fri 19-Apr-13 21:46:47

Your child sounds fictional. It's only in fiction that some 2 year olds always behave well and some are evil.

ohforfoxsake Fri 19-Apr-13 21:47:19

Many children do this at some point, yours may still yet bite, snatch, pull and hit so dont be too judgemental.

The difference is you'll be all over it and teaching your DC what is and isn't acceptable. It's not nice calling a 2yo a little shit. Save it for the crappy parenting.

TimothyClaypoleLover Fri 19-Apr-13 21:47:28

Loopy - is anyone friends with the mother? It might be better coming from a friendly face rather than a gang of you. Alternatively, can you not ask the group organiser to say something? Whoever approaches the mother needs to be tactful and friendly as it may be the mother is embarrassed and/or at her wits end with her child's behaviour.

Or you could, as one or two others have suggested, gently tell the child "no" yourself. If the mother sees someone else stepping in it may kick start her to intervene. I took to gently telling my friend's child off and it did encourage her to start doing it.

VinegarDrinker Fri 19-Apr-13 21:48:27

Crikey I am lucky my 2 year old is pretty chilled out and has never really done the grabbing/pushing/biting thing (I say lucky as I honestly think at that age it is just down to luck) but yours sounds saintly to the point of being abnormal tbh.

FacebookWanker Fri 19-Apr-13 21:48:31

Loopy, your DS sounds like my DD. She's always apologising for things she doesn't to apologise for. She makes me feel quite guilty sometimes. She can be quite timid at times and I'm always trying to get her to be a bit more assertive. She just lets people push past her at the park and just stands there looking defeated. sad

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Apr-13 21:51:16

FacebookWanker I always see sense. grin

Love the name btw.

Mumsnet is often like this. You come on for some genuine help and advice, you use one wrong word and you get ripped to shreds for that whilst everyone spectacularly misses the point. No help whatsoever.

We have a little boy like this in dd2's preschool. He's four now but he has always been naughty. His parents struggle with him and he's always being told off by the teachers. I once dropped dd2 off and watched as she went in with her favourite toy from home held proudly aloft and he snatched it, stuffed it in a box, sat on the box and then grinned at her. She cried, he just sat there. The teacher had to intervene and lift him off the box. He is like this. All. The. Time. You can see it in his face. He bloody knows what he's doing. Some kids are just really hard work. I completely sympathise with his mum, she's a friend of mine, but sometimes they're just hard work.

VinegarDrinker Fri 19-Apr-13 21:51:31

I would also love to know how you "make them say sorry *and mean it*" at 2. Or any age in fact!

dontmeanto Fri 19-Apr-13 21:52:28

Soloman, I (respectably!) disagree. I've volunteered at playgroups several times and seen consistently well behaved children of all ages. It's different personalities, different little characters. Some are worse than others but it doesn't mean there aren't reeeeally well-behaved two year olds out there.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 19-Apr-13 21:53:05

Golly Loopy - I'd just be very glad your own 2 year old is so incredibly well behaved and fingers crossed you don't end up with a slightly more challenging one at some time in the future wink

But to be fair if my child was being naughty - I would say no to them and if necessary remove them from the situation. However sharing is a very difficult concept for many many 2 year olds and you know adults so really go easy on the judging and the language.

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