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Forum -> Parenting our children
Did I do the right thing?

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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 12:18 pm
I'm wondering if I did the right thing in this situation..
Yesterday I decided to take my young children (under 6) out for ice cream.
There was another mom there with a bunch of kids. She was distracted by one kid and not paying much attention to the rest, who initially came over to look at our baby. This devolved into them trying to touch him (I nicely asked them to stop, and tried moving the stroller away gently). It then further devolved into these kids calling my older children "babies" (mind you, my kids are older than they were) and other names. They also started kicking at them (they didn't make contact, but they came close)
I wasn't sure how to react to this.
I looked the kids straight in the eyes to show them that I saw all of this and disapproved, hoping that this would be enough to scare them off. It made no difference. I didn't think that I as a stranger should tell them off directly, and I didn't feel comfortable going over to their mother across the store to let her know how her children were behaving. She also seemed quite overwhelmed and later lost it with one of her kids who made a mess, which made me feel like maybe I did the right thing by not adding to her stress...
This behavior continued the entire time we were in the store.
I made sure to keep telling my kids to ignore them and that I was so proud of them for not fighting back, and we know that they are just saying mean words that don't mean anything. But I still have this niggling doubt that maybe they felt deep down that I wasn't there to defend them properly.
What would you have done?
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 12:24 pm
I probably would have suggested to my biggest to firmly tell the children to 'leave us alone'. You did fine you were right by their sides the whole time.

Check in with them today.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 12:29 pm
If the mom doesn't intervene, I would (and do) firmly tell them to leave us alone.

A few weeks ago I was at an indoor play area and an older kid who seemed to be on the spectrum kept on bothering my 4-year-old, throwing soft but large toys (like big, heavy foam wedges) at her when she got to the bottom of the slide. His parents were nowhere to be seen. I placed myself in between them and repeatedly told him that he cannot hurt or bother her.

If those kids would have touched your kids I'd say you definitely should have done something, but sounds like you did enough to make them feel protected.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 12:45 pm
I would have told them that they need to go back to their mother. But it sounds like you might have had more patience than I would have.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 12:52 pm
I would have told them off in a very nasty tone. My kids would probably be embarrassed but appreciate it.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 1:01 pm
I also would have told them off, but I think what you did was also okay. You say you think it’s not your place to tell off other people’s children, but it is your place to defend and protect your children.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 1:37 pm
I would have totally gone Scary Adult on them. It's important to show kids (both your own and others) that boundaries exist.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 1:41 pm
I would have reacted more strongly to this. I would have gotten between them and kids and said "You need to stop. Go back to your mother" in a firm tone. And I would have told my kids to ignore the best they could.
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Post Thu, May 25 2023, 2:23 pm
Thanks everyone, if there is a similar situation in the future, I'll know to be a bit more forceful.
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