What would you do if...?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GoingNorth, May 5, 2010.

  1. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    This were your child?

    I got up very early to take the dog out and couldn't get back to sleep. Since Wally World is 24 hours; I decided to go there to pick up a few things and take advantage of the store being dead empty.

    A four or so year old boy was in full meltdown. He bolted for the door and I reacted totally instinctively and caught him by the hood of his sweatshirt as he flew past me.

    Upshot is that I've got a dandy set of tooth marks on my left hand. The little so-and-so BIT me!

    Okay, I can totally see this from the kid's point of view. What I don't get is the mother's reaction..."Oh, he has issues"

    I don't know about you, but if my kid bit someone I'd be mortified! I'd certainly ask if they wanted medical attention and at least ask if they were okay. I'm fine. The bite didn't break the skin, just left bruising. It's the cavalier attitude of the mother-figure (I have no idea if she was the mother or foster parent or even the nanny) that got to me.

    I've had more reaction out of owners whose DOG snapped at me than I got out of this woman.
  2. nandz

    nandz Guest

    Wow, I am appalled by that! I would have disciplined my child right away and asked you if you were ok and needed help by a dr...that is ridiculous!
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    That's my "take" on the situation, too. I don't know about discipline. I think this child was so far gone in meltdown that discipline wouldn't have worked, and admittedly, I'm sure I scared the bejabbers out of him grabbing him like that.

    All I could see was him getting out into the parking lot, which is huge and borders on a very busy 4 lane road. Grabbing him was sheer reflex on my part, and I suspect that biting me was the same on his part.

    Like i said; it was the attitude of the mother that surprised me.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think it's very easy to allow our children's issues to get in the way of good parenting, especially when they are younger. Issues can be a reason that poor behavior is fueled but must not be an excuse for the poor behavior. A lot of us end up picking our battles but, in my humble opinion, being viloent is a basket "A" behavior whether committed against a family member, friend, caregiver or stranger. You deserved an outright apology from the child (or the parent if the child was unwilling or unable), the child deserved to know that biting is unacceptable. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The "having issues" was the entire explanation for the behavior. No apology. No asking if I wanted medical care. Nothing. I'm just glad the bite didn't break the skin. I've had a human bite "go bad", and was on IV antibiotics for it.

    One thing that surprised me is that Wal-Mart has special carts with a thing up front where you can strap a toddler into a sort of chair arrangement. One would think that if one had a "bolter" that one would use one of these carts.

    I didn't consider getting bitten or the like as a risk when grabbing the child. I just wanted to keep him safe from outside hazards.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Wow... You're my hero. I would probably have reacted the same, however I'd have raised a stink about the bite. Whether the woman said anything or not.
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Step. I don't do confrontation really well. Plus, I was so shocked at first being bitten and then at the mother's reaction that I couldn't come up with anything to say.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Is it possible the mother was unaware that you were bitten? Obviously, she didn't see the event from your point of view....and may well have only seen the kid racing past you and trying to get by--in which case her reaction might be perfectly rational.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    She didn't say a word about "issues" until I told her that her kid had bitten me. It was definitely an excuse for the behavior. It's funny; my kid sister was a biter up until about three years of age.

    She nailed me a good few times, but given the way I used to push her buttons, I don't know if I can blame her, LoL.

    We're both BiPolar (BP), but she's type ! and I'm type II.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O that's different! The mother was definitely out of line!
  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Daisyface; that's my take on it also. I showed her my hand when I returned the escapee to her custody. It was just red marks then, but it was still obvious they were toothmarks.

    They've started to bruise now. He got me right in the muscle at the web between the thumb and forefinger on my left hand. I had no doubt that had he not bitten me through the fabric of his hoodie, that he'd have broken the skin. He wasn't kidding around.

    I'm just getting tired of this "issues" thing being used as an excuse for poor parenting. I'm not arguing the fact that difficult children are very hard to parent, but there's still a responsiblity factor there.

    My kid sister certainly never bit a strange adult...just me. She did try mom on for size and got bitten right back, which solved the problem. Of course, today this would lead to a DCFS visit, but...
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I can see telling you he has issues, but I would also have apologizedd profusely and let you see me addressing this with my son, too, by punishment or immediately removing him from the store or something.
  13. JilonM

    JilonM Guest

    YES! The problem here lies with the parent! "Having issues" is not an excuse! Im sorry for anyone who feels differently. I just recently got my son on medications (ive been resisting it for quite some time) and nothing he has ever done in the past has had an excuse of "he has issues."
    I know how hard it is to make a child behave when they have millions of thoughts running through their minds at the same time, or they are in the middle of a melt down. I know how frustrating it is and how embarrassing it feels!
    I would be mortified if my son did that to someone!:D:laugh::mad::confused::peaceful::whiteflag::(
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    She may have been too exhausted to react properly. I know there was a few times when my public reaction was not what it should have been because I was too tired and overwhelmed.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Poor kid, Not only does he have these "issues", he has a mom who cannot react appropriately to his behaviors so he may NEVER learn to react differently.

    in my opinion she was WAY off. Did anyone at the store say anything? I would have expected the greeter to offer ice or something, and to want to write up an incident report as the store could be held liable if you were the litigious type.

    The mom may have been exhausted, but it is no more an excuse or reason than having "issues" is. I can see a child biting out of instinct when grabbed by a stranger, esp a child in meltdown who is one big ball of reaction with very little thought left. Actually, I could see Wiz doing it if surprised up to about age 10. He wasn't a biter but if grabbed unexpectedly by a stranger who got close to his mouth well, he is so tactile defensive that he might very well bite.

    But no matter HOW exhausted I was I would NEVER just whine about his issues if he bit/hit/hurt/mangled someone. Reacting the way the mom did means the kid may very well NEVER learn not to bite/hit/whatever others. MY kids would have KNOWN that an apology was in order IF they could, that THEIR allowance/birthday/fun $$ would be used to pay for this person's doctor visit and they would NOT have gone out in public for a LOOOOOOONG time, not until I could TRUST them.

    I would have tried to INSIST you get medical treatment. Heck, our Wallie World would have also done an incident report and encouraged you to see a doctor = on their dime!!!! But our WW seems to be very on top of things. Not sure yours is if no staff member asked if you were OK. Regardless of the hour they are supposed to have a greeter to help in situations like a child running out, etc.... (In many stores the greeter is to prevent theft. Ours does that but also does SO MUCH more and is expected to do the other stuff also. Keeping kids from running outside, dealing with events like these that happen near the door, both are examples of other things the greeter is supposed to handle.

    I am so sorry you got hurt. Thanks for trying to help keep a volatile difficult child safe!
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Susie, it was very early in the AM. There was a greeter there, but she had her back turned and was sweeping around the registers. The incident happened in the foyer and was not witnessed.

    Filing an incident report didn't even occur to me as it certainly wasn't WM's fault, Know what I mean?? Suing anyone didn't occur to me, either. I've been icing the hand on and off and that's keeping the swelling down. I checked again and no, the skin is not broken. My hand just looks like someone used it to make dental impressions.

    What I SHOULD'VE done and didn't was get contact info on the parent-person. Getting bitten was one thing; it was the guardian's reaction to it that really flabbergasted me.

    I mean, OBVIOUSLY the kid has issues and I agree that if his issues are used to excuse bad behavior, this kid is going to grow up to be heck on wheels.
  17. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Wow! That woman's behavior was horrible! Not only should she have apologized profusely to you and then made the child apologize, she should have THANKED YOU for stopping her child from running out into the parking lot! And apparently it didn't occur to her to do either one! Luckily, neither one of mine were 'biters', but if one of them had ever done something like that I would have been mortified! Maybe the only 'issue' this kid has is that he's growing up to be rude and thoughtless - just like his mother!
  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Donna, like I said: I think the kid just freaked out. I might've done the same at that age if a stranger had grabbed me in mid-meltdown. in my opinion, the mother's reaction was way off.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I didn't mean that is was in any way WM's fault. Of course it wasn't. But the store should still have done an incident report if their people were on the ball. There are a lot of people who WOULD sue WM over this, esp if they couldn't get info on the parent to sue them. Some people just hoover that way.

    I agree the mom should have thanked you profusely. You saved her child from a very risky situation - being outside in a public place near busy streets while in full meltdown. in my opinion the parent sure is NOT leading by good example. Part of me wants to cut the mom a break because the late hour, the kids meltdown, etc....

    But you know what? Regardless of the situation, had MY difficult child done something like that? I would have profusely apologized and then thanked you very sincerely. I would have PUSHED my contact info on you so that if you needed medical care I could pay for it. I problem would have begged you to stay there while I either got ice from the snack bar (if they had one), or got an instant ice pack from the pharmacy. This mom's reaction gives ALL moms of difficult children a black eye.

    I hope your hand feels better soon. If it hurts a lot, or is swollen, keep it above the level of your heart as much as you can. My mom's hand surgeon swears by this. Dad nagged the daylights out of mom after her last two surgeries on her hands so that she kept her hand mostly above her heart. It speeded her healing up dramatically. VERY big change from the one operation where she didn't do that. (Mom has both wrists fused because no cartilage between the little bones because arthritis,)
  20. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    GN, I run a roadside produce stand, and I have grabbed many a kid who is getting too close to the road. I have never been bitten, though. I always have my two rat terrier dogs with me, but they are inside my stand where no one goes but me. They are very well trained and have a little "gate" that they are behind. BUT, I still can't believe how many people let their little kids go up to them and "pet" them after I've told them not to. My dogs have never bitten anyone, but I certainly don't want there to be a first time. I was always taught not to approach a dog that did not know me. What are people thinking?

    Anyway, I got off of the subject, but no one has ever thanked me for saving their kid from the road. In fact, most people act ticked off. I would definitely prefer that than some little kid getting hurt.

    Hope your hand feels better.