Sunday, February 03, 2008

Parenting 101
Some people should have to take classes before they have children. Why is it that some parents just don't seem to care what their kids do? They just stand there and watch as their child harms another. I just don't get it.
Little Bug's school teacher arranged for us to go to a special music class yesterday. It's a class just for kids with autism and their families. There aren't a lot of activities where my kids get to interact together, so, I thought this would be good.
We show up and there is one other little boy there. You need to know that this kid is built like a tank. Solid from head to toe. Little Bug is a stick. He's as skinny as they come. He's strong and wiry, but no match for this other boy. Now, I know that both boys have autism. And with that comes a lack of understanding social boundaries. But I have an understanding of social boundaries. And you'd think that his mom, who, coincidentally, is a special ed teacher, would know these things.
So, when her son came running at Little Bug as hard as he could and then tackled him, I was surprised that she looked over, watched for a minute, but did nothing. Then this kid proceeded to try and wrestle with Bug and kept stepping on him. I was very nicely saying, "Get off of him please! You are hurting him." Trying to remain calm and all that jazz. He smashed Bug's face into the mat and stepped on his foot as he tried to get a better position. More polite pleading from me more distant watching from his mom. Finally, one of the teachers came over and helped. The mom looked over several times as this teacher pried her son off and she did nothing. Not a darn thing! She didn't come over to see what was going on or to stop her son.
Little Bug is limping. He doesn't want to put weight on that foot and he didn't want to put shoes on this morning. I don't think it's broken because when I move his foot around and put pressure on it, he doesn't flinch or cry. It just seems to bother him when he walks. I'm so annoyed. Again, I realize that this kid wasn't trying to hurt, he was playing. He was giggling and laughing - and not in a mean way like some kids might. Probably tackles and wrestles with his dad at home and he just doesn't understand not to do it to others. You should have seen Baby Girl run when this kid ran after her next! And again, mom did nothing. Good thing my girl is fast! He couldn't catch her and soon lost interest. I think the thing that bothered me the most is that the mom came over and tried to make small talk while I was comforting Little Bug. Never asked if he was okay or anything. He cried and cried and she asked me stupid questions about how long we'd lived in the area. Grrr....
So, how would you have dealt with this? I didn't say anything to her, but wish now that I had mentioned it - in a VERY polite way, of course. Would you have done anything??

19 comments:

Maddy said...

Don't know myself, I'm a bit of a wimp in those situations, I always think of something afterwards.

Also my daughter walked at a very young age and her way of introducing herself to people was to go around and shove the child she liked, to make them run and make them play tag as she didn't have any word.

I did always go over and intervene, try and explain but heaven knows what gobbledegook came out of my mouth!
BEst wishes

Kimberly said...

I probably wouldn't have said anything, but would wish like crazy afterwards that I had.

Something along the lines of, "Umm? Excuse me? Little help here please?"

Yvonne said...

I just got home from Church, so I should say, I would be very loving and kind--but, I'm a mother hen. I'm sorry I would have said something. Not sure what, but I would have TRIED to nicely say, "do you realize he's hurting my son?"

Nancy Face said...

I'm not sure what I would have said or done, but I would have secretly wanted to smack that mom.

Now everyone knows I'm not so nice...I think I'll blame my mother hen instincts!

Magirk said...

Personally, and this is just me! - I would have said something to her, and 're-directed' the Big Tank away from my child, each and every time he came at my child, until his momma got the hint.

Part of being a parent is teaching proper behaviors, i.e. how to actually say hello, rather than allowing them to Mack-truck them over because they think it's cute or that 'it's just their way of saying hello.' I remove my own children when they are harmful, I expect others to as well.

I know that might make me sound stupid, because I don't understand all the nuances and issues that come with autism. But I'm mean that way, super protective of my children, especially where unruly other children (or should I say, neglectful parents) are involved.

And from what you said about the mother, it would irritate me to the point of not hesitating to chastise her child since she clearly has so little concern for my child or any other. (I'm such a mean Momma bear, I sound horrible, don't I!?)

Not very Christian of me, I know. But I agree - parenting should require training classes, for a lot of parents!

You're so nice, though. I wish I could be more thoughtful and considerate under pressure. I'm afraid I react (or over-react) with knee-jerk precision...

Magirk said...

Also, I hope Little Bug's foot heals quickly!! I'm sorry that the 'introduction' wasn't pleasant for him. :(

Holly said...

I would have pulled the child off my child and sent him back to his mom. Every. Time. There is a time for politeness and when another child is bullying my child is not the time for it. She was probably embarrassed and didn't know what to say, so her small talk was her way of apologizing. Once she came over, I would have said, "Your son hurt my son. Would you be able to please control him? I realize he might not intend to do it, but it can't happen again." That's just me though.

diana said...

maybe it's the mom with the disability :/

yah, i probably would have said something - in a nice way. but it's easier to say that after it's happened or reading about it in someone's blog. i always think of what i should have done after the fact.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

That's ridiculous! It's a good thing that you keep a close watch on your own kid or he could have been really hurt.

We should open a Melissa Scool Of Parenting.

Tammy and Parker said...

I would have caught her eye and very strongly said: "I need help getting your son off of mine....NOW."

wynne said...

What the crap? I DON'T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE. I'm gonna take a guess. This woman wasn't apologetic, embarrassed, or even moved by the situation, right? Was she more...oh, tired and resigned to the fact that her child attacks people when he plays?

This makes me hopping mad. (And that's unfortunate, because it's really hard to type when I'm jumping up and down.)

I wouldn't have bothered to say a thing to her. After all, anyone that reacted like she did probably sees what's going on just fine and just doesn't care. What good does it do to waste words on her? I may have restrained her son, however, and THAT probably would have gotten her attention. Or maybe I would've run her over with the car in the parking lot. That probably would've gotten her attention, too. (That's how I like to introduce myself to other people when I don't feel like using words.)

I'm sorry, Melissa. I'm really upset for Bug and for you.

What an idiot!

wynne said...

...and when she came up to make small talk with me, I probably would've been pretty rude to her. I generally am when someone interrupts me when I'm trying to settle a situation with my kid--people are always instructing kids not to interrupt--where do some adults get the idea that it's okay to interrupt your interactions with your kid? ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE IN PAIN AND CRYING? Grr.

wynne said...

I am so going to Not Heaven.

Tharker said...

After seeing that she was not going to take a proactive part in the situation, I would have pulled her child off of mine also. I don't know that I would have been able to say anything to her either though.

I'm sorry that Little Bug got hurt. I hope he's okay. As for you, you're such a great example of kindness and compassion. How wonderful for your children to see you behave in such a loving and patient way even in an awful situation.

kailani said...

I can't believe that other Mom didn't stop her son. I would have personally stopped that child and then removed ourselves from the situation. I'm sure nothing you could say would change her.

Tonya said...

I just don't get parents like that. I understand that her son was just playing but he did hurt your son. Why wouldn't she say anything? I'm not sure what I would have said but I would have had a hard time keeping quiet for sure. I'm sorry it didn't go so well.

JustRandi said...

I'm so sorry. Some parents are idiots, aren't they?
Maybe it's the school teacher in me, but I feel free to boss other people's children around - -esp. if I see that their parents aren't going to do it.
I've told kids (loudly) that they can't throw rocks, can't hit, and can't play on this side of the playground if that's the way they want to play.
I've always wondered if parents would finally wake up once they saw me dealing with their kids, but they never do.

Holly Homemaker said...

I probably would have said soemthing to her. On occasion when my children are in a play setting with other children, I have said things to other children. For example, if a group of youth are playing on the toddler equipment at the park and have the potential to hurt my kids, I firmly, but politely tell them that they aren't supposed to play there.

If Little But can't stand up for himself, then you should.

Susan said...

What an uncomforatable situation. I also have a hard time telling others what I really want to, especially while I am upset. I always think of the perfect way to say it afterward. I sure hope Bug's foot is better. It sounds as if Mom may be on the spectrum herself?! That would account for her lack of reaction. I do find myself much bossier with other's kids if I need to be since I have now been teaching for so long!