to think parents should supervise their children in the playground if they don't play nicely.

(78 Posts)
thedancingboro Fri 03-May-13 18:02:45

I was making sandcastles with my 2 year old DS. We had made three with a wall going between each. DS is patting the top of the bucket before lifing it, when a girl (about 3.5) comes and moves his hand and starts patting it. She then put her whole body between him and the bucket and lifts it off.

I bite my tongue.

She then lifts the bucket off, and throws it across the sandpit.

I say to her "if you would like to play, you are welcome to but you mustn't throw the bucket because it could hit another child"

I go and get the bucket, and sit back down. She breaks the sandcastle she has just hijacked DS making. I say:

"Oh dear. You have just broken it. We aren't breaking them - we are making a big sandcastle with walls and tunnels"

She then breaks two more castles (one with each hand).

I tell her that its not very nice, as DS has made those and he is only little so it takes him a long time. She says "so..... Im breaking them"

I ask her where her mummy is (both parents are the other end of the playground sunbathing), and say that maybe she should make some sandcastles with her mummy which she can break, rather than breaking other people's sandcastles.

She then throws sand in DSs face.

I tell her thats a really horrible thing to do and to go away to her mummy.

She goes off, and then returns with her father who tells me not to speak to her like that as she is only little. I ask like what exactly, she flattened DSs sandcastles, and then threw sand in his face. And I summed up what I had said to her (he could only be going on what the child said as he was way, way, way out of earshot).

He then asks if she said sorry, I said no, he told her to say sorry, she did, and then said to me "there you go" and walks away.. As he is walking away, he says to DP (who was sitting on the wall at the edge of the sandpit keeping out of it!) "if youve got something to say, say it". DP ignored him.

The mother then comes over with the child, and in a very loud voice keeps saying "no, we wont go near them, they dont know how to share". After the 4th time of her saying this, I tell her that her DD is welcome to come over if she plays nicely. Then I told her what she had done. She then says "did she say sorry" - I say yes when her father came over. The mother seemed satisfied with that.

DP said to me I am going to get into a lot of arguments if I expect children not to break sandcastles. Its not a problem if a 1 year old comes over and breaks them, but a 3.5 year old I think should know better. DS knows better. I make lovely sandcastles, with tunnels and bridges and walls, and he (and lots of other children that join in) love playing with his dinosaurs in the castles. I have always taught DS its nice to create things rather than destroy them, and he doesnt go around upsetting other children by breaking their sandcastles!!

So am I being unreasonable?!?!!!

gallifrey Fri 03-May-13 18:06:34

That is one of my pet hates when children do something mean and nasty and the parents just tell them to say sorry with no other consequences.

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all, it makes my blood boil when children are horrible to my little girl. I'm afraid I wouldn't have been so polite!!

thedancingboro Fri 03-May-13 18:08:16

You probably would have gallifrey!! They were a very, very intimidating couple!!!! I actually had my hand on my phone in my pocket and was gearing up to phoning the police when the father had come over!!!!!

Goldmandra Fri 03-May-13 18:10:37

I wouldn't have worried too much about the sand castle breaking because this going to happen quite often so I would encourage my child to shrug it off.

Throwing sand in your DS's face is a different matter. I would address it clearly and firmly with any child every single time. It is dangerous.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 18:12:43

I would not expect a child less than 3 to be able to really understand. I don't think the brain is physically able too in fact (but could have made that up?)

I agree a 3yr old can, I think. Certainly could understand concept of pain ie sand in eyes if not sharing of toys.

Parents are weird. As are most people. Many dont watch kids in play areas. They do other stuff. We might find out why as ours get bigger? Mines 2 too.

notnowbernard Fri 03-May-13 18:13:36

I kind of get what you say but don't agree that at 3.5 they should know better... They might know they shouldn't, but that wont always stop them!!

Parents behaviour horrible, but the girl's well within the pre-schooler norm, IME (do prepare for your lovely 2yr old to adopt some anti-social behaviour from time to time toowink)

BoundandRebound Fri 03-May-13 18:14:40

Well you're right and wrong

A 3.5 year old is no more capable of making a moral judgement than your child.

I think you should listen to your DH

thedancingboro Fri 03-May-13 18:16:13

DS wasnt bothered at all about the sandcastle being broken !!! (just his silly mummy that was, and probably setting a bad example!!!!)

Its just sad that nothing can be built to be played with when a horrid child is around (with parents not supervising). I know things get broken, but without an adult around to guide them, they just destroy everything. Lots of children have broken things, but usually their parent tells them no, or I say not to break them and invite them to join in, and they do.

We were once at a HUGE sandpit, and I ended up creating a massive dinosaur park with the help of about 15 children!! It was lovely having so many kids having fun. And showing them how to make tunnels through mountains. Lots of parents came up to me to thank me for doing something with their children (my DS had got bored fairly quickly, as he was 18 months, and had gone off exploring with DP!!)

CloudsAndTrees Fri 03-May-13 18:16:26

Unfortunately, some parents are lazy bastards that can't be arsed to actually parent.

Sorry you had to deal with some of those.

I would say a 3.5yo is still very much little and yours will be there soon enough. the parents were rude.

notnowbernard Fri 03-May-13 18:17:49

Not sure about the "horrid child" bit tbh...

thebody Fri 03-May-13 18:22:04

Yep, flattening sandcastles is as fun as making them.

She may not have been as old ad you think either.

Throwing sand in a face is not nice but kids do it. Our reception class children have done it and they are 5.

Parents can be neglectful and vile but also too precious and helecoptering over their children. Best not be either.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 03-May-13 18:24:47

The approach of the other parents was very wrong and you handled it well.

But your own child may not play nicely one day when you aren't right there. Will you think he is a horrid child then?

Cloverer Fri 03-May-13 18:28:11

I have an almost 3 year old who can't help but break sandcastles - even ones he makes himself. I have to be right on top of him to stop him and I'm often not.

Throwing sand is another matter and I'd have told her off and sent her back to her parents too.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 03-May-13 18:28:22

I thought I was bloody ace until DS2 turned out to be a biter

notnowbernard Fri 03-May-13 18:30:56

Let's face it, most toddlers meet the criteria for anti-social personality disorder

(I'm serious, google it!) grin

CaptainSweatPants Fri 03-May-13 18:35:56

You do sound a bit ott
Maybe you found buy your own sandpit for your garden if you love building so much grin

CaptainSweatPants Fri 03-May-13 18:36:52

should buy your own

Think of the hours of fun !

WhatKindofFool Fri 03-May-13 18:43:41

Is there a chance that the girl wanted to do her own thing in the sandpit but couldn't because you had taken it over? I'm not saying that you did take it over but maybe she felt that way.

thedancingboro Fri 03-May-13 18:49:40

No, the sandpit is about 10 x10 meters. We were taking up hardly any space. . but we were the only people actually making something. She had already upset a couple of other small children & their mothers had taken them away.

WhatKindofFool Fri 03-May-13 20:40:18

Sounds like she needed supervising more closely. She's not going to learn how to behave and fit in with others if her parents don't show her.

Please don't say 'horrid child'. DD is 2 but looks 4 and is noisy, enthusiastic and can be naughty. I try but sometimes it is hard. I would hate to think that people thought she was horrid.

WilsonFrickett Fri 03-May-13 20:45:20

Emm.... Don't you think you are maybe the teensiest bit over-invested in your sandcastles? Were you perhaps miffed this 'horrid' child didn't want to join in with your Mary Poppins internal soundtrack?

And it is fun to demolish things as well as to make them.

Although of course you were right to pull the child up on throwing sand.

Were you really going to phone the police when the dad came over? Surely you wanted the parents to get involved?

HollyBerryBush Fri 03-May-13 20:48:04

TBH OP, ok the girl you assumed as 3.5 (how precise) was toddling off with parents engaged in conversation, but you sound so patronising. I'm sure your 2yo is just so perfectly able to play nicely with adult helicoptering and your help.

I actually had my hand on my phone in my pocket and was gearing up to phoning the police when the father had come over!!!!!

Oh do get a grip - here have a bucket and spade full of them - this a terrible drip thread of needy appreciation. BTW your DP sounds like a wet lettuce, if you were that close to a 999 call.

nailslikeknives Fri 03-May-13 20:48:21

googling now bernard ... expect my toddler to be described to a tee!

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