21 May, 2008

NY Public Library on West 65th in NYC

Received Wednesday, May 21, 2008
nanny sighting logo I normally would never do this, but today a nanny at the 4pm story time at the NY Public Library on West 65th acted completely inappropriately. The nanny was AA, possibly from Trinidad or St. Lucia. Her charge is a boy, about 2 years old, curly brown hair--wearing a stripped shirt today. The nanny is about 5'8" or 5'9" and had her hair swept up in a bun on top of her head--also wearing a stripped sweater (purple-ish and cream, maybe). My child (a little girl), who happens to be on the rough side, went to hit your little boy (not in a mean way at all--more in a "move outta my way") and she barely touched him on the head. Your nanny was right there and went to strike (she raised her hand) to hit my little girl. I was standing there and told her "please do not raise your hand to my child...you don't need to hit a two-year old. she doesn't understand how rough she is yet". Well you nanny raised her voice and got sooooo defensive yelling that I am the one who needs to apologize etc. I was going to say sorry, but my daughter barely touched your little boy and they way your nanny quickly went to hit her leads me to believe she may be that way with your child! Also, your son didn't even notice my daughter until your nanny started acting really nasty...it was way out of line...I hope he doesn't witness this behavior often...not a good example for a child.

57 comments:

aliana said...

well, you need to educate YOUR child on not to hit other children, at least the nanny was protective of her charge.

Anonymous said...

IMO Gentle hands can be taught way before two years old. Sounds like you need to start working on this ASAP!

As for the nanny, it's not ok to raise your hand to any child EVER.

I will say this though, it's very frustrating to watch parents let their children run wild and disturb the peace. As a nanny I see it all the time. Just today in swim class a little boy was not listening to the instructor and was putting all the other children in danger by pushing and throwing himself around on the steps the children sit on. Where was the parent? Around the corner not ever watching her child! The little kids I nanny for are well behaved and would never think of acting out in public. Why? Because their parents and I have taught them from a young age what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Anonymous said...

Wait ... are you excusing the nannies behavior? ...... Yep, that what it sounds like.
The mom said she was going to apologize (um, last I heard, that was how to educate a child) ... but the nanny went off.
Being protective is one thing, but acting like an idiot and screaming in front of a little kid does nothing but leave a bad impression on the kid's psyche.
You, my friend, are wrong.

Thanks for the post, OP. You did the right thing.

Marissa M. said...

How horrid. I'd slap the bitch back if she hit my child. Good for you for protecting your child. Hopefully this nanny doesn't smack her kid around... though I doubt she doesnt

Anonymous said...

Your kidding right?! My two-year old should not have to be HIT to learn that hitting is wrong. This nanny obviously doesn't have the tools. She is in her 40's -- while ,y two-year old is still learning...

Marissa M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miserly Bastard said...

I'm glad the nanny was protective, though I agree that hitting somebody else's child isn't the right course of action. The nanny should have hit YOU for being one of those inconsiderate parents who lets his/her child run wild while he/she talks on the cell phone. (Or, if this was an atypical event, then it was a kids-will-be-kids situation, in which case I retract my flame.)

mom said...

I'm sure OP is teaching her child not to hit. Have you ever had a two year old? Sometimes they just do things you don't want them to, and they can be very stubborn at that age too.
My son was aggressive and hit other kids from the age of 2 1/2 to 3, despite my trying every possible way to make it stop. It was the most miserable period of my mommy career.

Give OP a break. I'm sure she doesn't like her daughter being so aggressive either.

And the nanny had NO business hitting her child or any other. I think she is right to have concerns that she may be hitting the little boy she watches. It sounds like the move to hit her child was an instinctive reaction. It's not a normal reaction...unless somebody is used to hitting...a lot.

Anonymous said...

Yeah-it was the nanny who was in the wrong here ((insert eye roll))

mom said...

1:56
You may also have naturally easy kids to watch. All kids are different. I have one who I have always said could have raised himself and turned out wonderfully all on his own because he was so incredibly easy....nice...compassionate...all of those things "right out of the chute." The other two have needed a little raising ;)

One thing I have learned for certain as a parent is not to be too "proud." It seems just when I want to reach up and pat my own back for doing such a great job as a mom, one of my kids always does someting to bring me right back to reality.

Its one of Murphy's Laws I think.

I have said this to my friends at various times when their kids do something unexpected or embarrassing as well. They all seem to agree.

Liv said...

So your aggressive 2 year-old "barely touched him on the head" and the nanny immediately went to hit your daughter. Yet somehow you were able to get out your little spiel in the time it took for nanny to raise her hand. Was she raising her hand as a threat? Because if she were actually going to hit your child, it would have been done and over before you could get out a "Please..."

I have a feeling that OP may be embellishing a little bit here. I don't know, that's just my opinion.

Liv said...

So your aggressive 2 year-old "barely touched him on the head" and the nanny immediately went to hit your daughter. Yet somehow you were able to get out your little spiel in the time it took for nanny to raise her hand. Was she raising her hand as a threat? Because if she were actually going to hit your child, it would have been done and over before you could get out a "Please..."

I have a feeling that OP may be embellishing a little bit here. I don't know, that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Is it at all possible that she was raising her hand to protect her charge from your daughter's attack? And, maybe, if your child is violent like this you should be sticking closer to her or not letting her roam around without you holding on to her.

Anonymous said...

I, too, think the OP was embelleshing a bit. She was mad because a nanny threatened to hit her daughter. In my opinion, the mother should have immediately took the daughter by the arm and said "you don't hit! Apologize to this boy". It's one thing for the mother to apologize but it's way more important to make the child do it. At 2 years old, she is more than capable.

Anonymous said...

This story brings me back to when my son was a toddler, about 2 years old.

We were at a party and we were in a playroom area with another mom, her child and some other child. This other child walked over and hit this woman's daughter right across the face (of course, there was no parent/nanny to be found).

The mom very calmly kneeled down and said sternly to the child "that is not nice. we don't hit". Then she turned to her daughter and said something to the effect of "that was very mean. Are you ok?"
I learned something that day from this complete stranger. Keep your cool. Especially around kids. Because she was so calm, her daughter didn't freak out but learned to handle it and move on. Two minutes later her daughter was playing and having a wonderful time. Had it been me, I would have made such a scene that my kid probably would have taken 20 minutes to recover.

Anonymous said...

I am the OP and honestly, I am not embellishing at all. I was in arms length of my child -- WATCHING her every move.

I was going to say to the boy "are you alright?" and then turn to my child and calmly tell her that hitting is wrong and that she needed to apologize IMMEDIATELY or else we were leaving...HOWEVER, this nanny raised her hand soooo quickly that I had to react to her and not my child unfortunately.

I feel sorry for the little boy...her immediate reaction was to raise her hand-what does that tell me about how she is in private?

I am BY NO MEANS condoning my daughter's behavior, but she is 22 months and still learning...

UmassSlytherin said...

I too am curious what "raising a hand" actually looked like. Too bad we can't all be flies on the wall!

Two and three year olds hit. It is just a fact of life. An above poster had it right: you get down to the child's level and tell them it is wrong and that it hurts. Although I would have first asked the child who got hit if they are ok: I do that first, then deal with the hitter. I don't tell the child to apologize, since it makes apologies meaningless: rather, I make them see if the child is ok: "ask them if they are ok: see, she is hurt. Is she ok now?" And I say again to the child who got hit, "I'm so sorry that happened to you. That wasn't nice, was it? Tell that little boy/girl that you don't like that!"

It's not fun from either angle. If OP's daughter hit the child, she did not "barely touch him" and although it may not have seemed "in a mean way" to the mom, it certainly seemed mean to the nanny, it looks like.

That being said, if the nanny did indeed threaten another child with words or body language in any way, for whatever reason, nanny is not only wrong but CRAAAAzy as well.

:(

Anonymous said...

*eye roll* I "raised a hand" to defend my charge against the little unsupervised kid (well actually mom was right there, but not paying any attention. What a surprise) who insisted on pulling his hair. I guess it could have looked like I was going to hit the kid, but in reality it was a defensive gesture that came to me without thinking.

mpp said...

I'm sure you didn't mean for your daughter to hit that child, and I'm sure you don't condone it ...
that being said, I think it probably all happened so quickly that no one was able to react properly.
The Nanny was way out of line for even raising her hand to your child (and that is frightening ... I hope she doesn't hit her charge, and was just being over-protective ... but it's suspect) and you OP, I do believe if you had been given the opportunity, you would've had your daughter apologize for hitting the other kid.

And to Umass:
I'm curious why you think an apology from a child would be meaningless? I think they can be taught compassion (and I do agree with telling them to "ask if the child is o.k." - I think that is teaching compassion right there - all that you need to do is take it one step further), and an apology can be heartfelt if it's explained to the child what it would mean.

Marissa M. said...

Did you make your daughter apologize at least? I sure hope so.

LindaLou said...

Mom said, "One thing I have learned for certain as a parent is not to be too "proud." It seems just when I want to reach up and pat my own back for doing such a great job as a mom, one of my kids always does someting to bring me right back to reality."

this is so very true, mom!

all you people nattering on about how the 22 month old should know not to hit, give me a break! @@.
even if the little girl outright clobbered the other kid, that doesn't give the nanny the right to raise her hand to someone else's baby.

UmassSlytherin said...

mmp
I have always learned in my child development classes and in professional development workshops that young children don't always understand the concept of apology, and it is completely wrong to force them to apologize at the age of two and under. While it is fine to explain to them that they should feel sorry, you cannot expect them to grasp that concept at such a young age: drawing their attention to what they did and how they hurt another child is much more effective and sets the ground for understanding what an apology means and what it is for. That is all that I meant. Everyone has a different style. But for me, the "Say you're sorry," just doesn't cut it.

UmassSlytherin said...

and also, modeling behavior is the best best way to get children to take your lead: by saying to the child yourself "I'm so sorry they hit you," your child will eventually pick that up on their own. If they are three or four, certainly remind them to say it. But at the age of two and under, it isn't neccesary imho.

mpp said...

Umass
Sounds plausible, and I understand that under 2 they may not quite 'grasp' the concept of an apology, but personally, I would still get them into the 'habit' of saying it.
I think it should be learned as a knee-jerk reaction when you accidently hurt someone, but that's just me.
Thanks for clarifying!

UmassSlytherin said...

yw mmp.

It is true that most parents make their kids say sorry and there is nothing wrong with that. There has been a bit of debate about the issue in child development. I agree that it is the polite thing to do and in defense of people who do make their children say "I'm sorry" it is actually just politeness training, which I am all for.

word.

mpp said...

.... to your mother, lol.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a 2 yr old that didn't at sometime hit or push another child. I think some learn it at daycare some from brother and sisters or parents or TV.
If that Nanny was so quick to raiser her hand at a strangers child makes me wonder. I have seen people that do this and they usually make a connection with the others persons body. So if she was that quick to go for a slap I am pretty sure she is slapping her charge.
I do not stick up for a child that slaps bites kicks or hits. They need to be told that it is wrong right when they do these things and not half an huor later. NO, is something a 2 year old should understand. If I were the OP I would be working on that before the child hits someone who hits back and hits harder. Also if my child were a hitter, I would be having her/his hand in mine when taking them out in public to make sure there were no hits being handed out . You never know there may be a parent out there that is going to hit you for not controlling your child LOL

mpp said...

I remember taking my son to a birthday party a while back, and an older child around 6 or 7 hit him ... pretty hard, too.
The Mother stood right there without saying a word, so I took it upon myself to ask my son first if he was o.k., and although it left a little red mark, he said he was.
I then turned my attention toward the child and said "that wasn't nice" ... and before I could get anything else out of my mouth, Mom went OFF on me!
I seriously lost it. How dare she get all evil and scream at me?
How could a Mom ignore her child hitting another, but scream at another Parent because they said something to their child about it? Her priorities were definately out of whack, that's for sure.
And not 20 minutes later, the same child pushed another much smaller toddler down.
Everyone at this picnic/party had just about had it with this Mom and her feral child ... she left soon after because she knew a big confrontation was coming from them.

erics mom said...

I understand O.P. Its true at two they are still learning. And I am sure you were close to your daughter when this happened. My son is two and we were at Bryant Park yesterday. He was playing with a little boy 16 months old. Even though I was right there, my son took his hand and grabbed the childs hair. I had to pry his fingers away. After tell him no, we don't do that, etc etc. And I said sorry to mom and the baby. In front of my son. He doesn't really talk yet but understands everything. It just takes time. If its not your kid hitting it will be someone elses child, its a phase they all go thru. Its a learning process.

erics mom said...

1:44

Do you think a two year old is going to hold your hand out in public for more than two seconds. Maybe, your child, not mine. He hates when I hold his hand. He will at times, when he wants to. But most of the time he wants to explore the world around him.
It won't teach them not to hit either if you just try and control their moves.

Anonymous said...

how come your child is so aggressive, eric's mom?

mpp said...

Maybe I'm lucky, but my kid never hit, smacked, bit, punched or kicked anybody.
BUT .... whoo-hoo was there a phase with a fresh mouth!! I thought I'd never get through it!

erics mom said...

Agressive pulling hair at two? Thats not agressive, thats normal childhood behavior.

UmassSlytherin said...

agreed, eric's mom: it is quite normal.
I think your troll is awake: don't feed her and maybe she will go back to bed. :)

erics mom said...

LOL UMass

Marissa M. said...

MPP, i just don't get how some people ignore their children hitting other kids at 6/7 years of age.
That is pathetic on the parents behalf and to have the audacity to yell at you???? that woman has clearly lost her mind

mom said...

A few thoughts re the posts above.

I stood beside my son at all times at the park, at the playland, at the library, etc.,during his hitting phase. It was exhausting and he was still quick enough to get a few shots in. I tell you again, I have never been so frazzled in all my life. He was my first and I actually found myself fearing that I was raising a tiny little "mine feurher." We had never spanked or hit him, so I oculd not imagine how he was so spontaneously aggressive. He even head butted another poor little boy at Gymboree while they were on a little plastic teeter totter together. I could have died of shame. I gave him time outs, I talked with him until I was blue in the face. I read books. I called the doctor...several times...and I cried myself to sleep many times. When he was three he stopped. And he never hit another child again...at least that I ever saw or heard about. I heard that they can sometimes be aggressive at this age out of frustration when their words can't express all they want to communicate. I don't know if that's true or not. But my son just stopped cold turkey...and turned out to be a very nice, compassionate, non aggressive guy.

I did make my kids say "I'm sorry"...even though it was pretty clear at times that their "hearts were not into" the sentiment behind the words. I wanted them to at least know that they had a duty to do what they could to make thier mistakes right...whether they wanted to or not. And I wanted them to laern to be polite, even if they didn't feel happy or polite at the moment...as we adults are often called to do.

I have had friends (one in particular who I have written on here about a few times) who seemed to not care a bit that her child was a complete bully and hit, kicked, bit and threatened children on a regular basis...right in front of her. It was an appalling thing to watch. I kept an eagle eye on him when he was near my son...and the kid knew it (I would see him look at me out of the corner of his eye before he wuld hit somebody to see if I was watching him)...so he mostly left my boy alone, but went after all the others relentlessly. Once I said to her when her kid was relentlessly picking on my son, "What are we going to do about this?" She looked at me right in the eye and said, "I don't see a problem. Let them work it out." Many will disagree with me on what I did, I know (but I do absolutely believe in self defense)...but her son grabbed my son by the face and dug his nails in. (They were probably 4 or 5 by then) I reacted without even thinking by screaming out (as I ran towards them) "Let go of his face!" That sparked something in my son (who had long since, as I said, stopped hitting anybody)and he pulled the child's hands from his face, let out a cry, and started hitting him back. The other boy, who was usually unopposed and was only ever used to seeing his victims run away crying, froze in his tracks and his eyes got really wide.I stopped in my tracks and let my get a few good licks in. When the other child fell down I said to my son, "That's enough." I looked at her and thought to myself, "How's that for working it out on their own?" And we went home. She let her son abuse her younger children mercilessly and adopted the "let them work it out" philosophy even with the older boy against her baby. I saw her only once or twice more after the time she told me my son would have to "work it out on his own" with her child. That was a last straw for me.

Anonymous said...

wow..here it goes...Erics mom..if you cannot hold your childs hand in public for more than 5 seconds..then yes, I would say there is a problem. You are the adult..you need to atleast act the part and enforce rules..such as hand holding in public(especially if your child is going through the normal "hitting & hair pulling phase")..you are BTW correct this will not teach them to not hit but it will enforce that you are are the parent and you are in charge.

MMP..learning to apologize as a knee-jerk reaction?? Your child will soon sound like my MIL..with very insincere apologies..teach them by "showing them how to act" not forcing an apology that they do not understand or mean.BTW>>I love most of your posts

Marissa M..you have no class!!

Miserly Bastard..I very seldom agree with you ,however,I loved your post
I have never been at arms length and not able to reach my child before she "hits,throws or otherwise does something she should not"** I have however not been paying attention(when I should have BEEN ) and reached her just in time to witness her actions..I truly feel that OP had to be a bit further away than arms length..if she was that close..she had to be on a phone or paying attention to something other than her child..if so..no harm done..but be truthful about it..we all have kids..we know they hit and pinch and bite on occassion

OP states she tried to correct the situation..hopefully she truly did.

That said, I have a daughter who will be 2 at the end of June. She is devilish and agressive where as my other two were a bit more mellow.She does really well out in public(loves to play with other kids) but in our home she is very assertive and agressive when it comes to her toys.We are working on it!Because of this..I am always right by her side..at home if we have other children over and always when out in public(just until she gets throught this phase)

At a birthday party for our neighbors child..invitede guest,a4 yr old, keeps putting his hands all over every body's kids..taking their toys,pushing them down in the sand...kids& I move..he follows..I talk to mom, she without getting up ..just looking away from the group of parents she is talking with.. tells me "she prefers to let the children handle it themselves..work it out on their own.".but then yells.."be nice Tommy". no effect.
I finally talk to Tommy...no effect


Within ten minutes..my daughter had "Tommy" down on the ground , face first with both arms around his neck"

I have to admit, I gave her a few extra seconds before I pulled her off .

Tommy's mom was there in 2 seconds..now we had her attention!

OP..your child is young..she will learn

next time stay a little closer (arms length..I really don't think so)so you can handle the situation afterall you might run into my kid at the library or park and if your kid hits mine..she might get floored!BTW..I would NEVER raise my hand to your child!!!!!I'll just my kid beat the hell out of yours!!

mom said...

hehehe 12:14!
My daughter was (due to a birth defect, now totally corrected) always teeny tiny for her age. Angellic, delicate looking, quiet, shy little girl with almost white curls and big blue eyes. She never once (that I know of) struck the first blow...and she got along with other children very well...but heaven help any kid, bigger or not, (within reason anyway) that had the misfortune of mistaking her for an easy victim to hit or bite! Believe me, nobody came back for seconds! You should have seen people's eyes widen the first time they would witness her self defens skills in action. You would have never believed she had it in her unless you saw it happen. I am laughing now just remembering it. Maybe it was because she had two big brothers (but they were always sweet to her)...I don't know...but there was a hidden fire inside that tiny girl! I always kept an eye, but never really worried about her ability to defend herself. And I let her do it too. I figured anybody that tiny needed to know how to take care of herself and not be afraid to do it.

My second son, however, would not hurt a fly no matter what anybody did to him. The kid would not defend himself, even when I tried to get him to. I would say, "when somebody hits you it''s OK to hit back." He would say, "That would hurt them." I had to watch him like a hawk all the time and be ready to run to his defense. And I was worried that he would grow up getting beat up because of his extreme passivity. But fortunately by the time he got to school he was better able to take care of himself. Almost grown now, he is still a docile guy...but I wouldn't try laying a hand on his high level black belt behind today because, while he'd still rather walk away than fight, he will defend himself if necessary.

mpp said...

12:14
Thank you for the sentiments.
I don't think encouraging my son to apologize for his misdeeds at such a young age has made him insincere. On the contrary, he's extremely compassionate towards other people (and animals). But I do agree with you on "showing them how to act", or modeling my behavior ... I want him to see how I respond when I've accidently said or done the wrong thing - I understand that our kids are always watching us, even when we're not aware. I know we're only human, and I've made my fair share of mistakes, so this would be where we'd sit down and discuss the lesson that 'both' of us could learn.

mom said...

mpp,
I totally agree with all of that!

Little kids are hardly even able to see the world outside of how it directly affects them. Most kids are not going to be truly sorry about things on a regular basis until (in my opinion) they are way too old to get away with not saying they are sorry. Teach them that they need to act politely in a lot of situations no matter how they feel. Then maybe they will grow up realizing that, just because their dog peed on the new rug just before they left for work, it is still NOT OK to scream at the Starbucks girl for adding unwanted mocha to their venti latte. Oh what a world it would be if people still had the courtesy to consider the feeling of others, no matter how they might feel in the moment.

Anonymous said...

mom &mmp..I was at work..took a while to get back to the site and respond. I agree with both of you..our children do learn from us..right now my almost 2 yr old mimicks everything I do. If I kiss her baby sister on the forehead..she does too..if I tell her baby siter"no-no" she does that as well.

I guess I worry because in todays world society as a whole tends to teach children to "turn the other cheek" and while that may be the Right thing to do,it is not always realistic.I am not a PC mom and I do not pay attention to what anyone else thinks of my parenting..so I tend to be the odd-man out..95% of the time..if I were the op I would have dicsiplined my daughter and then told the nanny with the flying hand to step off and step off quick!
one thing is for sure..I know my child will hit again and take the ocassional toy and she will not always be the angel I want her to be, but I will be right there to help her through it ..sounds like the two of you will be there for your kids as well!
and see, I am just not as well behaved as the rest of you because just for the record..God help any stranger that EVER raises a hand to my child....

mpp said...

11:54
Oh, don't think for a second I would put up with anybody raising a hand to my kid either! I've had a few confrontations of my own ... it's bound to happen once or twice with people that always think they can Parent your child better than you can. And the most hilarious thing is that most of the time, these idiots don't even have kids!

mom said...

11:54
My kids are mostly grown...but I do like to think I was there for them as I should have been while they were learning all of these things. They all have very different personalities, but they're all pretty good kids/people too ;) I am proud of all of them.

Funny, the time I remember getting the most mad at a stranger for interfering is when a lady in a grocery store got into his face angrily told my two year old son that he was too old to cry. He wasn't even really making any noise, but was sad about something...probably that I wouldn't buy candy at the checkpout or something of little consequence. That really rubbed me the wrong way...on many levels. He wasn't bothering anybody. He wasn't throwing a tantrum about whatever it was he wanted, but he was genuinely sad...which is allowable, I think. And I hate when people tell boys not to cry. I was much mousier of a person then, so it already took courage for me to say anything to her. I said, "He's only two years old and he can cry if he wants to." Not too dramatic, I know...but it made her mad anyway. And I hoped it made my son feel better.

mom said...

OK, to go in yet another direction here...
About kids crying. I wanted to be sure my kids knew it was OK to cry when they were hurt or sad...but not OK to have a "spoiled" tantrum. I grew up being taught crying was shameful and it was really hard as a kid to get hurt, or whatever and have not only the pain of hwatever had happened, but also the shame of not being able to control my tears at some of those times. I did NOT want that for my kids.

Here is something that worked really well for us when the kids were little (for those of you who may still have tantrum age kids.) If any of my kids was hurt or genuinely sad I always made sure to hold them and comfort them and talk to them to help them feel better. If somebody started a "spoiled" tantrum because they were mad about not having their way about something I would say (very calmly), "It's OK if you feel like you need to cry, but you're being so loud that it's bothering me, so you need to do that in your room and come out when you're done." My oldest son was the funniest about it. He would walk off completely willingly, wailing loudly the whole way into his room, continue to howl for 30 seconds or less in his room, turn it off abruptly, and then come out acting perfectly normal and happy looking and say something like, "I'm done." Sometimes I had to work at not laughing. I WISH I had a video of my husband's reaction the first time he saw this whole exchange! It was priceless.

erics mom said...

I got into a conflict with a patron close by the Gap store in Edgewater, NJ (City Walk). My son is two and he was pushing his stroller. Now its a Graco stroller so its a little heavy for him. He only weight 24lbs. There was no one near us on the sidewalk. So I let him push and I was next to him. A woman in her fifties was walking up. All of a sudden she just stops in the middle of the sidewalk glaring at my son. At first I wasn't thinking much of it. Then while he was pushing the stroller closer to her she just stood there. Like she wanted him to hit her foot. I had my hand right next to the stroller. She pushed the stroller the front part, where the cup holder is. And started yelling at me, for not watching him. And letting him run into her. I thought she was out of her mind. I actually lost it and a screaming match followed. Really I shocked myself with the things coming out of my mouth. I don't really curse and scream, and threaten people but I was so angry. What if she made him fall back and he hit his head on the concrete,etc. Everyone was looking but didn't say a word.

I know this is bad but I looked to see where she went too. She was sitting outside at Baumgarts (I don't know the spelling). I am assuming with her husband. And I said right in front of her, that I should really call the police. For getting aggressive with my son. The husband seemed nice, and when I told him what she did, he just looked at her. Like what did you do. But no apology, she was still trying to yell at me.
See some people are unbelievable.

thanks for listening. can't you tell I am still upset.

Sprak said...

Eric's Mom, I know you are upset right now, but that's what mother's do, they protect their children. You simply couldn't help yourself. The trouble-making biddy was trying to best you but she didn't and as for what came out of your mouth, don't worry about it. People really should know how protective and defensive mothers are with regard to their children and they also aught know better than to get a mom stirred up like that! I say good on you and don't look back.

cali mom said...

Regarding apologies, the policy at my son's preschool in any such situation is NOT to force or insist on an apology from any child, because it IS meaningless. If they are taught that that is the final step to excuse them from such agrression, they can just as well purposely knock down someone's blocks, give a snotty look and say "SORRY!" with the argument that they DID apologize, so it's done. Don't think preschoolers can't pull that! Slytherin's method sounds very effective, as the goal is to teach them empathy, and instead of marching them over to the other child and threatening them with punishment if they don't spit out the appropriate words you are dictating to them, heartfelt or not, let them know that if they want the hurt person to feel better, they could let them know that they are sorry, or offer them something to help them feel better. (A toy, a hug, an invitation to play, etc.)

mom said...

Ahhh, but I never skipped the punishment in exchange for an apology. We had a "you do the crime, you do the time" policy...but I always had them apologize too.

Years later, my sometimes volatile teens still ALWAYS appear after a time and offer a sincere apology for their behavior after having been "out of line." And I have always apologized to them too, if I was overly upset about anything, or decided later I could have handled a situation better. I think that probably helped them learn there's no shame in admitting you're wrong...and also let them feel how good it feels to be on the receiving end of an apology.

I'm sure both systems work jhust fine. I think what matters MOST is consistency.

anonymous1 said...

i think its very important for a parent to be able to admit when they've been wrong and offer an apology,too. it's a good example to set for your kids. the never yielding, never wrong parent is not a good example to set-

cali mom said...

Yes, we have always made a point of apologizing to our son if we made a mistake or realized we had handled something badly. We make sure to explain how we feel we could have done better, and of course if I bump into someone walking past or something I will always say "I'm sorry" or "excuse me" to set the right example. But if he does something to us that deserves an apology, we give the appropriate consequences (time out) and then help him understand that what he did hurt us, and that it would help us feel better if he really IS sorry to TELL us so, and he usually makes it clear with expression and body language and gives us a big hug.

Other kids may not always want a hug, but luckily so far we have not encountered many situations that would require him to apologize to another child. None since he was still 2, I believe, (before he had started preschool) and I did on those 2 times tell him he needed to let the other kids know he was sorry, or we would have to leave the playground, and we ended up leaving. I tried to help him understand how they felt about what he had done, and I have come to believe he was just doing those things (throwing sand and knocking down someone's "castle") to see exactly what would happen if he did the rudest thing he could think of. He found out what would happen and nothing similar has happened in a long time. But now I would go with the "ask if they are OK, they are very sad and angry now because you hurt them, how can you help them feel better" approach.

mom said...

Cali,
I do like the idea you mention about asking your child to say sorry if he feels like he is sorry, but I still think I would follow it up with going home if he chose not to aplologze. I might say something like, "That's ok then, but we need to go home because that little boy is sad because you hurt him, and if you don't feel sorry about what you did then he might be afraid to play with you. We have to go now so he won't be afraid."

That gives him the option and yet still makes the point that it matters how other people feel.

Just for grins I asked my 21 year old, who happens to be, here whether he remembered having to say he was sorry even when he didn't mean it, and whether he thinks that has any bearing on his "apology policy" today. He said he remembers it and that sometimes it was really hard to do when he didn't mean it. But he said he thinks it helps him to be able to apologize more easily now...even times when he really doesn't want to but thinks its probably the best way to go anyway. (And I didn't tell him my opinion of the practice first...although, having been subjected to it himself, I'm sure he could have easily guessed;)

On a silly note...during the whole circumcision debate thingy, I asked my 17 yr old who happened to be sitting behind me, totally out of the blue and as if it was a perfectly normal thing, "Are you glad you were circumcised?" His answer was something to the effect of, "Holy crap! What?!!!!?" His eventual answer was noncommital, but he did remark that it probably really hurt.

I asked my 22 yr. old today what he thought my biggest mistake was in raising him. (I like having the "adult" perspective as they age...and we are pretty frank with each other around here so he would feel comfortable in honestly answering a question such as that.)He said I was a bit too protective...which I have to admit is true. But I was surprised that it wasn't the obsessiveness over safety issues that had bugged him as much as the fact that I didn't let him dress in all black, or wear some pair of black Nike shoes he wanted in jr. high. His point was that I held on too tight to some arguments that weren't all that important in the end...which, lloking back, is probably also true. But in my defense, and as I reminded him as he started to laugh, he went through an odd phase where he--and several of his friends--were quite odd. And it's hard to let your baby boy go out in public dressed in a way that you know would actually look frightening to strangers on the street. Who wants to think of people reaching over to lock their car doors when your child walks by?! He conceded that he did have to give me that one.

Anonymous said...

I thought your son would say he was upset with your spending so much time on the computer.

mom said...

Clever. Yes, my children expect me to come to school with them, sit beside them in all of their classes, carry their lunchboxes, and wipe their noses. They are really upset that I stay home and do other things during the day instead, but I was way too ashamed to admit that.

LindaLou said...

mom, i get the impression that calimom was talking about the act of making ammends, not punishment of any sort. if the child has already been willing to make ammends, what is the point of the punishment? the message i want to send my kids is that they should freely aknowledg ewhen they've harmed someone else and they should do everything in their power to make it right. not, uh oh, i was bad and mommy is going to punish me now. in most circumstances i just don't really get the punishment mindset. we did a little of that (not knowing better) when our oldest was small and it didn't work AT ALL. do you really think an apology manipulated by threats has any meaning at all?

Anonymous said...

lindalou
i'm curious now, after you said, "in most circumstances i just don't really get the punishment mindset. we did a little of that (not knowing better) when our oldest was small and it didn't work AT ALL" ....
can I ask how you chose to discipline your kids?

mom said...

My thinking was that my kids should not be able to trade an apology for the time out because that would basically give them free reign to do whatever they want, mutter "I'm sorry" (whether they meant it or not...and I think we have already pretty well established that very small children mostly DO NOT mean it), and feel free to repeat the bad behavior any time they pleased. because an insincere apology "costs" very little and is hardly a lesson or deterrent. I firmly believe that negative consequences for bad behavior is very important to help children learn the relationship between our actions and the consequences they bring. I actually kind of feel sorry for kids whose parents think they do no wrong, because someday that is going ot catch up with them. I'd rather have my young child sit on a park bench a bunch of times watching the other children around him having fun playing than have him one day sitting on a prison cell bench totally bewildered as to why his actions "suddenly" cost him something.

As for the apology, I simply consider it common courtesy...whether heartfelt or not. Just like saying please, thank you and excuse me when those things are appropriate.

I was actually trying to say to Cali Mom that I do like the compromise of allowing the child to choose to apologize if he felt sorry, but having a bigger negative consequence (like going home)if he chose not to. Even if the apology was offered, with my kids, the choice of whether to offer it would come AFTER a time out on the bench and a discussion about why we don't hurt people. To each his own.

I have seen kids who were allowed to treat an apology as a "get out of jail free" card. Do you think they have a better chance of making the correlation between the words and the feelings that should be behind them?