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Thread: Other moms chewing out your kid (m)

  1. #1
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    Default Other moms chewing out your kid (m)

    We were at a house the other day for a team-building project with my almost 6yo twin boys. The whole group are boys...3 kindergardeners (including my boys), a 1st grader and a 2nd grader. To put it lightly, they are a pretty rowdy bunch when together. They feed off each other and my normally pretty good boys turn pretty difficult at times. All the moms are there and at various times we are all reminding our kids to sit down, pay attention, etc etc. We are painting a prop and putting together a play.

    At the end the boys gathered around the kitchen table for their snack. At this point in the meetings they are even more riled up because they know they are done with their work. They were being silly, talking, laughing, bouncing in their chairs, etc. Overall though they were eating their snacks and being typical kids. The snack were these little ball-shaped crackers that were about the size of Kix cereal. At one point the mom of the house (her son is the second grader) said, hey there's a lot of food on the floor in there. And a few minutes later she walked into the kitchen and apparantly (I did not see it) one of my ds's was purposely rolling some pieces off the table. All I heard from the great room was her voice raised pretty loud and really scolding....at first I was certain she was scolding her own ds. Well it turns out she was scolding my ds. She said "why are you throwing food on the floor?! This is my house!!" Once I stood up and saw it was my ds, I apologized and she said, oh he's not the only one they are all playing with the food. I told ds to help pick it up and on the way home we talked about how we needed to behave at a friend's house, etc.

    The next day I was really fired up about it. I felt she overdid it. I was right in the next room and would have immediately disciplined my ds. All she had to say was hey, don't you guys be throwing food, you too A. I feel she made an example of my ds. I have always been very on top of my kids' behavior.

    And to top it off it is her ds who has given me the most trouble since we strarted this group. He is agressive and disruptive and constantly making negative comments. He does not listen to me at all, but I let his mom do the disciplining. There have been a hundred times I've wanted to put this kid in his place but I feel the parent should do that. All I say to him is to listen up and pay attention, things like that. I would never berate him. And for being the oldest in the group he is the most trouble and not the helper I thought he'd be.

    So, is it right to berate another mom's kid, right in front of her? Dh said well maybe he needed to be told, but another mom who was there agreed with me that it was overboard. I think it's only okay if the kid is about to hurt someone. I am very careful about stepping on another mom's toes otherwise.

    I should add that I am the parent coach of this team and the moms/kids are all people we just met in January.
    Opinions?
    Last edited by karen m; 02-27-2008 at 09:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Troy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I don't think you should pursue this (m)

    Being louder than necessary once in a while strikes me as normal. I've even done it. While it's no fun for you or your kids, I believe kids are better off in the long run realizing that certain types of "fun" really can upset and bother other people, rather than believing that no one cares if they throw food on the floor (or whatever). It's possible the mom had already said something to one of the kids in a quieter voice and then kind of went overboard when your child was the next one who did it.

    Plus, so long as she really wasn't out of line (didn't ever touch your child), I think it sends a very bad message to your child when you complain that someone shouldn't have complained about his or her bad behavior.

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    zoeyz is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    It doesn't sound bad or odd to me. I imagine some of what bothers you was in her tone, which we can't hear in your post. Playing devil's advocate, if she has a kid who doesn't behave that well, she probably auto-snaps into that corrective tone of voice. If her tone wasn't awful, I don't think there is anything wrong with her telling the child she saw rolling crackers onto her floor to stop doing it, particularly if you were not there in the room to witness it and correct him yourself. If my child were rolling crackers onto someone's floor, I'd hope the parent would tell him to stop it and pick it up, although I'd hope she wouldn't scare him half to death with a mean tone of voice. And by the same token, I think you too should feel free to correct someone else's child too if their parent is not there to immediately do so. I think it has its limits. I wouldn't put a child into time out or discipline with the parent nearby, but if it were bad enough I'd tell the parent that little Timmy or whoever needs some attention in the kitchen etc for doing whatever.

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    Well I would never let ds off the hook by stating all this in front of him. We talked about the issue and he received a consequence (no computer for the rest of the day). What I didn't like was how she singled out my ds when according to her "all" of them were rolling the food off the table...and of couse if I'd realized that was really the case I would have been right over there telling ds to stop and to pick it up. The first time she said something I thought it was because they were being careless and the food, being ball-shaped, was rolling to the floor by accident.

    I just find it odd that she is so stern with someone else's kid when her own kid is just awful most of the time. Also I am very careful about disciplining another parent's child when the parent is right there, unless it's a serious/dangerous situation. I would have been more neutral in tone than she was.





    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Being louder than necessary once in a while strikes me as normal. I've even done it. While it's no fun for you or your kids, I believe kids are better off in the long run realizing that certain types of "fun" really can upset and bother other people, rather than believing that no one cares if they throw food on the floor (or whatever). It's possible the mom had already said something to one of the kids in a quieter voice and then kind of went overboard when your child was the next one who did it.

    Plus, so long as she really wasn't out of line (didn't ever touch your child), I think it sends a very bad message to your child when you complain that someone shouldn't have complained about his or her bad behavior.

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    Yes, it was more her tone and the way she said, "This is MY house!" She startled everyone and the other mom who I talked to later also was surprised that it was my ds she was yelling at and not her own.

    You make an interesting point about her automatic response...it's possible she is just used to being very stern because of her own kid. But, she pushed her tone too far with my child, IMO. It wasn't as though I wasn't right there. And from all the other meetings we've had, it's clear (at least to me and I don't think I'm delusional) that I am all over my kids and do NOT let them get away with things.

    I too tend to react more if a kid has a history of being a pain...but my boys are not so awful that she'd react in such a way for that situation.


    TE=zoeyz]It doesn't sound bad or odd to me. I imagine some of what bothers you was in her tone, which we can't hear in your post. Playing devil's advocate, if she has a kid who doesn't behave that well, she probably auto-snaps into that corrective tone of voice. If her tone wasn't awful, I don't think there is anything wrong with her telling the child she saw rolling crackers onto her floor to stop doing it, particularly if you were not there in the room to witness it and correct him yourself. If my child were rolling crackers onto someone's floor, I'd hope the parent would tell him to stop it and pick it up, although I'd hope she wouldn't scare him half to death with a mean tone of voice. And by the same token, I think you too should feel free to correct someone else's child too if their parent is not there to immediately do so. I think it has its limits. I wouldn't put a child into time out or discipline with the parent nearby, but if it were bad enough I'd tell the parent that little Timmy or whoever needs some attention in the kitchen etc for doing whatever.[/QUOTE]

  6. #6
    Troy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Not really defending her (m)

    But all of us are going to use a tone of voice or words that we might later regret, whether as parents of our own children or trying to maintain the peace among others. I think it's important, at some level, for children to see that -- not too often, and not in a way that they are continually singled out for unfair treatment.

    It's the unfairness of it that bothers you, it seems, and I agree. I can't stand to see my kids treated unfarily either. It's just possible that the mom would have started berating everyone had you not intervened. It just seems like too much of a one-off to get too upset over. If it persists, then yes, she's just picking on your child and I would say something.

  7. #7
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    Jeannie is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I'd have been upset too. I would never talk to another person's child that way if the child's parent was present. If the child was ignoring my request, I'd ask the parent to step in.

    It's too late to do anything about it now because bringing it up so long after the fact is going to make it more of an issue than it warrants. But if it happens again, be prepared to walk in there and ask her politely to come to you if she has a problem with your child's behavior.

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    cathyd is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I would have been upset also.

    But I wouldn't have said anything (because I'm not a confrontational person). I try to be cautious about saying anything to other people's kids when their parents are present. I'm usually cautious even when the parents aren't present, but my older DS has some friends that I know well and I'm more comfortable telling them to stop doing something (even then I try not to raise my voice our sound nasty).

    If another parent spoke harshly to one of my kids, they'd probably never want to go back to that house. I seriously doubt your child needed to be singled out by that woman. I think that is the thing that would make me the maddest.

    Hopefully it won't happen again.

    Cathy

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    Default I would let it go for now... (m)

    While I would be a little irritated by the overall way that this was communicated, I would let it go and hope it was a one time occurence.

    If it were to happen again, I would immediately step in and say something to the entire group along the lines of "hey guys!! what's going on?."

    Later, I would approach the parent and ask if she is seeing something that you weren't aware of, since she only spoke to your son when the entire group was being nutty. That would possibly make her think before she speaks again.

    FWIW, I am a Brownie leader and my seven girls are exactly like these kids. I , and my co-leader, have to rein them in. I find that the best way to control this group is to make a general "PLS SETTLE DOWN" comment, and then specifically compliment them on individual good behavior as much as possible.

    Good luck~~~

    Karen

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    zoeyz is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I want to add that she may have just said that about all the kids doing it. I've kind of fibbed like that before to other parents so they don't think I think their kid is awful.

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