was I wrong?

Schyla - posted on 04/21/2011 ( 31 moms have responded )

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The other day I was droping my daughter off at Headstart I was helping her with her morning work when another child in the class started running all over the class room (ya know that crazy out of control type running) WITH SCISSORS!!! (I kid you not the kid had a set of sharp pointed scissors and was running with them!) Now I know the teacher keeps only safety scissors and she keeps them up and these were not the scissors she uses and keeps up as well so they must have come from home. So the Mother of this little guy was still in the class and was doing nothing she kept halfheartedly saying stop running, stop running the teacher was occupied with another child who was upset and the teacher's assistant was in the bathroom with other kids helping them wash their hands so this little guy was in a dead run with these scissors and was headed right for my Daughter so I reached out warped my arm around him and took the scissors away and then let him go I said NOTHING to him I simply stopped him from hurting my child and himself or anyone else for that matter! I turned to help my daughter finish her work and was suddenly assaulted by this women (verbally not physically) She was yelling at me for touching her kid and going off on interfering nosy people stepping on her toes! and a whole bunch of bad words (In a class full of 4 and 5 year olds!) So I handed her the scissors and said alright next time I'll let him keep running and hurt himself and someone else because that sure makes more since then me stopping him when you couldn't be bothered to and I walked away. I have never believed in disciplining someone else child and I didn't feel that I did that I was only looking out for the safety of my child and this child and all the other kids in the class. I didn't lose my cool nor do I feel her anger was warranted as I never even said anything to the kid and I wasn't forceful when I took the scissors away. How should I have handled this?

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Tinker1987 - posted on 04/22/2011

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@Laura--you dont need to touch the child running around with scissors to stop the incident from happening.you can hold your hand out and raise your voice and say STOP. the kid obviously doesnt listen to the mother but maybe he would listen to someone else other than his mother. i just know if someone grabbed my kid no matter what the circumstances are,i would likely react the way the kid with the scissors mom did!. as for kicking the child out of the class,im not sure that is right either.that is not going to help the childs behavior problem,if anything the kid can use more help and assitance from the teachers.

Bonnie - posted on 04/21/2011

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I likely would have grabbed my child out of the way. Then reported the incident. If you weren't there to stop your child from possibly getting hurt, who would have stopped it then? A teacher can't be that busy that he/she can't stop something like this. A teacher and the assistants in the classroom need to be on their toes at all times and notice these things.

Kate CP - posted on 04/21/2011

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Nope, you shouldn't have touched her kid. Sorry, but you shouldn't have. If it were ME, I would have just taken my daughter and walked out. I would have also told another teacher or the principal or WHOMEVER I could find that a child was running around uncontrolled in the classroom with scissors and neither the parent NOR the teacher had enough control of the situation to stop it. I would also find a new school.

Schyla - posted on 04/23/2011

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since the only thing I did was grab him (gently mind you) and remove a danger and since I said nothing to him and immediately let him go and because this happened quite quickly I ONLY intervened when the situation became more dangerous (ie headed toward another child (MINE) with a sharp object) and since I was closer to the kid and the Mother couldn't be bothered to physically stop him herself (before he endangered another child) and both the teacher and the aid had their hands full I don't feel i was in the wrong and seeing as the mother claimes she didn't know he had scissors I feel comfortable in saying this discussion is now closed and Thank You to those of you who responded

Bonnie - posted on 04/22/2011

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I'm just saying that the teacher was still in the room even though the assistant was not. What if there were no parents in the room at the time? The teacher is responsible for those kids. She would of had to handle it.

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Sneaky - posted on 04/23/2011

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If someone had to grab my child and take a pair of scissors off them so they didn't hurt another child I would be so MAD - at MYSELF, for not supervising my child properly and almost causing my child and potentially others harm. I would be embarrassed, but glad that an adult was close enough to grab them and stop something potentially horrifying from happening. But then, I am a rational person.

As to the 'touching' other children, I think I've indicted already that I would approve of someone grabbing a child to stop them either getting hurt or hurting another but I have three other examples of touching other people kids too:

a) Once or twice I have picked up a distressed and crying baby when I have been dropping of my bub at daycare (this has only happened a couple of times in three years), though the ratio is 2 carers to eight bubs/toddlers (I think) sometimes one is changing a baby and another is already holding a screaming bub and I HATE to see bubs in distress so I will cuddle the crying one until the carer can come and grab them off me. No one has complained yet.

b) Our playgroup is held in a community hall which has a stage at one end. Kids are NOT allowed up there (post the 'accident' last year when one little terror drove a car of the edge and knocked himself unconscious), but the sneaky little monsters still get up there and occasionally the mums do not notice because they are (gasp!) talking or in the kitchen grabbing a cup of coffee. Only three weeks ago I caught one of our little terrors riding a scooter up there and when the threat didn't work (Stop and get down RIGHT now, before I get your mother) I just grabbed him (scooter and all) and relocated him back to the floor. I didn't grab him roughly, or to 'punish' him, I was just moving him from a dangerous situation to a safer one. I don't think his mum even noticed (if she had, she certainly did not say anything).

c) A friend has a highly active autistic bot who likes to RUN. He took off on her one day when they were going to the beach and he ran 3-4 kilometers (about 5 miles) along the foreshore to the next beach. Not a huge deal since she finally caught up with him, but what really annoyed her was that she was screaming at him to stop (this is a walkway along a road for heavens sake) and so many times adults walking toward the,m would just stand there and watch open mouthed as he ran passed (stopping occasionally to look back and make she was following of course) and then watch her stagger past, and not one person grabbed him and stopped him. As I said, not a big deal in hindsight since it all worked out OK, but he was four years old at the time. I am amazed that people would see a four year old running down the road with mum frantically chasing but too far away to catch him and not think to grab him. She certainly would not have gone off at anyone for touching her child in that situation!

I guess that makes me one of the 'it takes a village to raise a child' mob.

Heather - posted on 04/23/2011

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You handled it very well and thank you so much for taking those sissors away from him! If it were me in your place I would have done the same thing! don't beat yourself about it. Their are SOME children that need more supervision, sometimes having 3 people is not enough!!

Kate CP - posted on 04/22/2011

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"I understood that they WEREN'T safety scissors, that he had brought them from home somehow."

I went back and re-read the OP. I read it wrong. My apologies. I echo what Keli said.

Carolyn - posted on 04/22/2011

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yeah i think the touchy thing here is the physical aspect of it. I think an attempt to stop the situation without touching the child should have been made first, for example what Keli said.

If a complete stranger touched my child for any reason other than to keep him from getting hit by a car, a steep fall, etc, I would be upset as well. Would i have reacted the same way? no. But i would have been upset.

I understand wanting to stop any harm from coming, i would have moved my kid, asked other kids to move if i couldnt stop the child without resorting to physical contact and then spoke to the mother outlining the concern and called for the teacher. The teacher was present, a dangerous scissor wielding child cant wait, an upset one can.

I think a boundary was crossed in aspect fo the physical touching. It is not your place to touch other children in the classroom. That responsibility belongs to either the parents, or the teacher. There are other ways to intervene without putting your hands directly on the child.

I think its a difficult situation all around. Everyone's opinion will differ, people have different boundaries. At the end of the day what happened happened, you dealt with it the way you did. I just wouldnt be surprised next time someone gets angry if you put your hands on their kid is all.

Elfrieda - posted on 04/22/2011

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I understood that they WEREN'T safety scissors, that he had brought them from home somehow.

Kate CP - posted on 04/22/2011

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Laura: Well, the kid had safety scissors...so they weren't sharp. Also, the mom was attempting (admittedly it was half-assed) to get her son under control...and there was a teacher there, too. Now, if a child was wandering around in the street and there was a car barreling towards him he is obviously in imminent danger and yes, I'd pull him out of the road. But this is a different circumstance.

Laura - posted on 04/22/2011

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So for you who say she shouldn't have touched the kid, if you saw a kid in the middle of the road about to get hit by a car you wouldn't pull him from the street to save his life? To me this is the same thing. I would protect all of the kids in the classroom not just my own.

User - posted on 04/22/2011

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Sorry, but I disagree with you. I am a retired teacher and mother of five and I believe she did the right thing by removing the scissors from the child. If I only moved my child out of the way, that is saying I don't care what happens to the child with the scissors OR the other chidlren. By the time I found a teacher or principal (which wouldn't even be in the room) AND explained the situation to them, the child could have seriously hurt himself or another child.

My husband was a principal and one story he often relates comes to mind after reading the boy's mothers' reaction. He had disciplined a young boy after he was sent to the office. The mother came in yelling at him - about how unfair they were being - that her son wouldn't do what they were accusing him of (he was a 6th grader). This is what we both witnessed from too many parents - taking up for children rather than making them accept responsibility for their actions. As for the young man I mentioned above - when he was 20 years old, he was stopped for speeding. Drugs were found in the car so the police were given probable cause to search the vehicle. They found his mother in the trunk - he had stabbed her to death.

Jenni - posted on 04/22/2011

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@Lori I'm pretty sure they can if the child is posing a danger to the other children and they have already been warned about his behaviour.

Schyla - posted on 04/22/2011

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Lori they were not told they couldn't come back because they weren't disciplining their child they were kicked out for inappropriate behavior something that every single parent signed a paper on and agreed to before school even started for both themselves and the child and it was made very clear that there is a three strike rule and it was laid out very plainly what was and wasn't acceptable
like I said this was the finale straw but NOT the only incident

Cherie - posted on 04/21/2011

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I would have done the same thing, my first thought would have been to protect my child, then the other children to and in the time it would have taken to grab my child up and go report this child there could have been an injured child. It is also clear that the mother of that child offers no discipline and is trash and should not be allowed back.
You where great and kept your composer and you are the better person for it. Good going...

Lise - posted on 04/21/2011

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You did the right thing. You didn't smack the kid or hurt him, you stopped an unsafe situation. To the people who say you should have just picked up your child and walked away, what if 10 feet later he fell on those sissors and was seriously hurt is that better. At least your child is safe and nobodys toes were stepped on. Just my opinion.

Lori - posted on 04/21/2011

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I don't understand the parents that expect the teacher to be everywhere at once. It was explained where the teacher and assistant were.

Schyla - posted on 04/21/2011

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Let me say that I'm glad I'm not alone in my thinking and let me also tell you this incident happened so fast there was no time to think my fist instint was to protect ALL of the kids and there is nothing wrong with that and secondly This family was removed from the program due in large part to this incident along with others The teacher and the teachers aid along with a half dozen other parents who were all present were asked to write statements concerning this and the only thing the school along with the other parents have said to me was that I handled the situation just fine. If the teacher had done the exact same thing this wouldn't have been an issue so why in a parent co op class would it be an issue for another parent to do it?

Firebird - posted on 04/21/2011

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I would have done the same, but also reprimanded her for using foul language in a room full of small children. However, this is a small town, so everyone knows everyone and not many moms here mind if another mom picks up their kid... especially in an unsafe situation like that. I don't care if it's my kid or not, if a child is doing something that could lead to serious injury for himself or others, and no one is doing anything to stop it, I will. This is a safety issue. No one else's child should have to suffer because of a preventable accident.

Elfrieda - posted on 04/21/2011

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No, you were totally in the right! What happened to "it takes a village to raise a child"? Even if you had stopped him from running with no scissors, I still think you would have been right. Where I draw the line is if you had turned him over your knee, or sent him to time-out. You did great. Don't worry.



Personally, I'm grateful when people help discipline my son. I have a sister-in-law who lets little kids do whatever they want, because of this idea of "not my kid, I don't touch". When my toddler is around her, I can't let my guard down for a minute. If he gets into something breakable, even if it's right beside her, she won't even take it from him! It's so annoying. I wouldn't even mind if she smacked his hand, though if it was not a relative, my hackles would rise. The thing that really bothers me is when he was a newborn and she was holding him, my two nieces who were 4 and 6 wanted to hold him, and she let them just take him!!! She was tsking her tongue and giving them disapproving looks, but that's not good enough, why not take charge?! Luckily I was nearby and saw it out of the corner of my eye, and rescued him. (did the whole "all kids sit in a row, each one gets to hold him for a minute" thing. But she should have done that, that's my complaint.)

Tinker1987 - posted on 04/21/2011

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i would have grabbed my own child out of the way rather then touching hers.( im with kate on this one).

Jenni - posted on 04/21/2011

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Yeah, my Mama instinct would have kicked in and I wouldn't have thought twice about stopping the kid and removing the scissors. I sure wouldn't want to see anyone's child being injured but especially if it were my child in potential harm's way I turn into Mama bear. Can't help it, it's instinctual.

Kristy - posted on 04/21/2011

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I think maybe she was mad because you solved the problem, and she couldn't even get her child to listen to her! She just directed the anger toward you, and I would have done the same thing or atleast moved my child out of the way!

[deleted account]

You did the right thing, the mother is a half-wit. I would have done the same thing as you did. :-)

Amber - posted on 04/21/2011

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Another thought....I wonder how many times this has happened to her since she was going on about other people always stepping on her toes??
Sounds to me like you aren't the first one to protect others from her bad parenting!

Nikki - posted on 04/21/2011

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I would have done the same thing. That woman was just a bitch. I would also expect any other reasonable mother with common sense to do the same thing to my child if they were running with scissors and I didn't see. I wouldn't worry about it, she is just stupid. You did the right thing.

Amber - posted on 04/21/2011

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I'm pretty sure that I would have done the same exact thing. If there is a sharp object heading towards my child and I can put myself in the middle to keep them from harm, then I'm doing it.

If they had just been running around and you corrected them, you'd be out of line. But when it's something dangerous and it's putting your kid(s) in danger, you have every right to protect your own child.

And as a mother, I would have thanked you for taking the scissors from my child if I couldn't reach them...but I can't imagine that I'd ever let it get to a point where somebody else had to intervene!

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