I dobbed on a kid today. OK or not OK? What would you have done?

thumbs-up-thumbs-down-1We went to one of those indoor playcentres today. You know the ones with ball pits and slippery slides and soft squishy lumps to clamber over. I’m not usually the biggest fan of them but I love this one as it’s nice and new and neither the toddler side nor the big kid side is too full on for Monkey.

There was one little kid there today getting a bit pushy with the other kids. Once he pushed over Monkey and then another time he hit another little boy fair over the head for no apparent reason. Dad, who was the supervisor for the day, didn’t notice. He was sitting at the table behind us with his mobile phone and to be fair neither event was really in his line of vision even if he wasn’t staring at that phone screen.

Later we went to play in the ball pit on the little kiddie side and pushy boy was there too. All was going pretty well until there was a bit of congestion getting out of the pit and pushy kid just leaned over and gave someone a fair whack from behind. I got annoyed. I’ll admit it. My first instinct was to deliver the brat to his father but he wasn’t having a bar of that and I wasn’t about to grab a kid I didn’t know which was probably a good thing as I’m not sure how I’d feel about a stranger delivering me my naughty child. So instead I went over to Dad to have word.

I don’t have an issue with pushy kids so much. Hell, my kid pulls hair from time to time (yes STILL, but didn’t today bless his cotton socks). And there were plenty of other pushy kids there today having a bit of a go. I do however take issue with pushy unsupervised kids. The kid is clearly going through a stage so no judgement there. But just be onto that shit daddio. You have a job to do. Look up from your phone for more than a glance every so often. Observe your kids in play and see how they go. I know it sucks and you just want some time out. I get it. Really. But just keep more than a glancing eye over things. Just because you don’t see it happen doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And I suspect your kid wasn’t at it for the first time today.

Anyway, the errrr encounter went something like this:

Me: Hey. <awkward smile> Your little boy over there in the blue singlet <I point>

The dad: <looks a bit startled> Yes?

Me: is getting a bit shovey with the kids. Sorry, I usually wouldn’t mention it but this is 3 times it’s happened now so I thought you should know.

Slides are fun!

Slides are fun!

As it turned out the kid had got another hair pull in for good measure while I was doing the dobbing so that made 4 times. He got up and went and got the kid and gave him a stern talking to. He was fine with me but I think this was mainly because he was so shocked I said something. He told another mum off a little while later so I think I might have shat on his day a little. Oh well. He watched his children more closely after that though so was on hand to see his little pushy cherub give his sister a fair whack. Dad was furious by this point and gave the kid a number of smacks on the hand. I cringed and then felt bad for dobbing him in but what can you do?

What would you have done?

The could be a zillion reasons for this kid’s bad behaviour but I’m not his parent so it’s not up to me to work it out. And I don’t think it’s up to everyone else to constantly have to be pushed around by a little kid who isn’t even being at least spoken to about his bad behaviour. I don’t like bullies. So I did something.

What do you think? Out of line? Or right thing to do?


29 thoughts on “I dobbed on a kid today. OK or not OK? What would you have done?

  1. You did the right thing. I take my lot to several different soft play areas and one of the them is quite big and you can’t always see where they are, not when you have 3 kids and you need to stay with the littlest all the time. Once I had a parent come up tell me that Mm2 was pushing and shoving, this was during his ‘stage’ seems all boys go through it, or at least the ones I know do. I was mortified but glad that I had been told, as I certainly didn’t want my little one whacking other kids for whatever reason. What I did object to on another occasion was a very angry Dad, man-handling my little boy and hauling him sobbing over to me to complain about him. I was so shocked by the Dad’s aggressiveness but luckily I had a couple of friends with me who dealt with the situation. They said the Dad was bang out of order scaring my little boy like that he was only 3 at the time. So you definitely did the right thing :-).

  2. I usually do first talk to the kid nicely,
    say eg “please don’t push because….” and then suggest a better way to deal with the situation. But if it doesn’t work, I do what you did: point out to the parent that their kid may need some help in how to relate to others. After all, I wish other parents would do to my kids and me. I wish I’d be told if I don’t notice. But: if parents still don’t do anything I get furious with them! A kid may not have learned how to behave but parents should know and at least try to teach their kids!

  3. Talking to the parent is the best option when you can. Recently we were at the park & a boy tried to push Little Chop down a steep hill, I intervened & told the boy not to push & he started to cry. His dad saw my reprimand but didn’t see his child pushing my child. It was very awkward! But I wouldn’t hesitate telling off any child who was aggressive towards my child.

    • Yes I agree, if you can tell the parent then they can understand the growling at least and most times it won’t be the first time their little cherub has acted out so they shouldn’t be surprised. If someone ever approached me about Monkey I’d take their word for it as I know he has done it in the past.

  4. Definitely not out of line! No matter what the reason for the aggressiveness is (whether it be just a phase or something else) the parent should be made aware of the matter so that they can intervene. I know that when my turn comes ’round, I would prefer a parent tell me if they see my little guy getting pushy/shovey than handle it themselves.

  5. I would want to know if my kid was being pushy, it’s a teachable moment. Plus some parents get all weird if you talk to their kid instead of them. You handled it perfectly!

  6. I think you definitely did the right thing and you weren’t accusing about it either. I’m curious why he told off a mom? He sounds like a lazy parent unfortunately, spending time on his phone but then only engages to crack the whip. Sad situation but still, its not fair for other children to suffer the consequences of other kids’ poor parenting.

    • Her kid was kinda jumping all over his kid. So it was kinda warranted EXCEPT she’d already intervened to remove her child. I think he was just thinking by then that if his kid was going to get in trouble then why shouldn’t somebody else’s. The difference being that this mum was present while her kid was playing and intervening. Something he hadn’t been doing.

  7. I think you did the right thing there. I would also want to know if my kid misbehaves when I am not looking. We parents should be partners in raising all future adults of our community. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. 🙂

  8. Right on! You were kind and firm and direct and just told it like it was. Your child should not have to suffer for someone else’s ill-behaved child! You go girl!

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