Author Topic: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there  (Read 9577 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3866
Without too many details I would like to know what I could have done/could do in this situation without being rude. I'm trying to just give the bare bones.

The situation was an informal get together with friends and friends-of-friends. The child in question was being tickled and had clearly told the person to stop. The parent in question did eventually say something (on about the fifth occurrence :-\). Also, the parent in question is supremely non-confrontational and would hate to make waves or have waves made.

My big problem was that the only thing I could think of to say was "Stop! Didn't you hear them tell you to stop! What the Ehell is WRONG with you! Leave them alone!" which kind of failed the non-wave-making criteria. I had actually decided that I was going to say that, and consequences be darned, if it happened again when the mother said something.

Is there something a bit less extreme that I could say if it happens again? I see this friend and f-o-f semi regularly and although this has never happened in my presence before my limit has been well and truly reached and I genuinely don't think I could watch this even one more time without intervening for the kid. Is this one occasion when I can forget manners or is that my teacher-ness skewing my view (it does sometimes, occupational hazard)?
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

AmethystAnne

  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter (formerly Laura___)
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3728
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 07:41:28 PM »
"<Child's name> said stop. Now, please stop"

I view tickling beyond the "Stop!" as torture.

nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1011
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 07:47:16 PM »
The poor kid!

I think in a situation like that, it's okay to make a bit of a scene.  Children need to know that they do have the right to be safe in their bodies, and if their parent isn't reinforcing that then it's okay that you did.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 07:56:33 PM »
My creep meter would be off the charts on this one.  Tickling is torture IMO, and I would not be able to hold my tongue wither.  The parent needs a spine to protect the child, but until they get there, I would say, the minute it starts "Tickling is not funny, stop it now" in a veryveryvery firm voice.  If they did it again, etiquette be darned I would remove the child myself from this person. 

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2041
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 07:56:39 PM »
Without too many details I would like to know what I could have done/could do in this situation without being rude. I'm trying to just give the bare bones.

The situation was an informal get together with friends and friends-of-friends. The child in question was being tickled and had clearly told the person to stop. The parent in question did eventually say something (on about the fifth occurrence :-\). Also, the parent in question is supremely non-confrontational and would hate to make waves or have waves made.

My big problem was that the only thing I could think of to say was "Stop! Didn't you hear them tell you to stop! What the Ehell is WRONG with you! Leave them alone!" which kind of failed the non-wave-making criteria. I had actually decided that I was going to say that, and consequences be darned, if it happened again when the mother said something.

Is there something a bit less extreme that I could say if it happens again? I see this friend and f-o-f semi regularly and although this has never happened in my presence before my limit has been well and truly reached and I genuinely don't think I could watch this even one more time without intervening for the kid. Is this one occasion when I can forget manners or is that my teacher-ness skewing my view (it does sometimes, occupational hazard)?

Make waves.  Lots of waves.

I remember one time when my sister was tickling a cousin to the point where the cousin was crying.  Sister wouldn't stop when cousin demanded it, and didn't even stop when grandma yelled for her to do so.  Finally, I grabbed a handful of Sister's hair and dragged her away from Cousin and dropped her at Grandma's feet (by this point, Grandma had already gone to get "the spoon")

It was bad enough that my sister got spanked by Grandma, but when my parents got back from their golf outing, my sister had to sit there and explain to my parents why a large chunk of her mid-back-length hair was gone.

ETA: This cousin is 3 years younger than me, and my sister is 3 years older than me.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28687
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2013, 08:07:40 PM »
Well, if you apply the "redirect" (what do you want TO happen instead of what do you want to STOP), you could say, "Child, come with me--let's go outside, I want to show you something in the backyard."

Or,"Hey, I get time with Child now--come over here, Child, I want to talk w/ you / read you a book / some other sort of activity."

Or you can say, "Hey, Tickler--that's pretty painful for Child."

I would probably also be inserting myself physically into the situation--sliding and arm between them, etc.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9931
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 08:17:12 PM »
"<Child's name> said stop. Now, please stop"

I view tickling beyond the "Stop!" as torture.
POD except I would leave off the please. If that didn't make the person stop - I would get physically in between them. I admit I have issues with tickling. With me it triggers coughing fits and breathing problems, and I'm very likely to defend myself full on.

Depending on the relationship I had with the parents I might speak to them about the message being sent when the child says NO and a room full of trusted adults allows someone to keep hurting them.

I had a similar conversation with a good friend. She and her DH are youngest kids. At one point I found out they had a set of rules that were unfair.

1. Oldest wasn't allowed to tell youngest to do anything - That was being bossy
2. Oldest wasn't allowed to tattle unless youngest was in danger or drawing blood.

So youngest would go up and smack oldest - but not hard enough to bruise or draw blood. Oldest couldn't say stop oldest couldn't ask for help.

I looked my friend in the eye and said, "So you are telling your oldest a girl she has to tolerate her brother or any other kid hitting her as long as it doesn't leave a mark. Just sit there and take him touching/hitting her with no options" (she knows I was punished at school for being a tattletale when I reported being hit by bullies but not having a mark. I had marks, just not visible to lay people due to my skin condition. Doctor was ready to call CPS because of the injuries)

 
Light bulb went off. They started to define the difference between standing up for yourself and being bossy.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3866
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 08:36:13 PM »
Thanks guys. My "don't make a scene" training was warring with my instinct to get this jerk to back off and I felt cripplingly awkward last night and horribly guilty this morning. Next time I'll just go right on ahead and make a scene if necessary.

I do know the mother doesn't like it but this particular group that she is in is so mired down by the Geek Social Fallacies that it's beyond a joke. After these replies my thoughts are as follows: As an adult it is her choice to remain friends with jerks. Doesn't mean I have to put up with watching a child be harassed as a 'joke' by a 'friend' without doing something.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15620
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 08:37:26 PM »
Make a tidalwave over this one.  Now is not the time to be a "nice" girl.

I've always found tickling torturous in more ways that one.  I'd do whatever it took to stop that person.

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3150
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2013, 08:46:41 PM »
I consider this abuse.  And in my opinion, this is a safety before etiquette issue.  If you are witnessing abuse, you consider etiquette and manners AFTER the child's physical and emotional well-being. You stop it IMMEDIATELY by any means necessary, even if means physically removing the person's hands from the child.

This sort of "covert abuse" is just as harmful as physical as it makes a child question whether they have the right to have boundaries.  I am a bit sensitive to the issue as this seemed to be a friend's parent's favorite form of humiliating her.  When we were kids, Tori's dad got into the habit of tickling her in a typical "joking around" manner at first, but then Tori would stop laughing and ask him to stop, he would tease her about "not being able to take it" and keep tickling until asking would turn to Tori BEGGING him to stop, and he continued to tickle her until she cried.  And then he would get mad and punish her for being a "drama queen" and a "baby" and tell her to grow up.  He would punish her for being upset by something that he did. Tori's mom just told Tori that her dad wouldn't tease her so much if she didn't react to it.

It was SO painful to watch, because it made Tori a) not trust her dad b) wonder what SHE did to deserve her dad's treatment c) doubt whether she had the right to tell someone not to touch her.  Her friends (myself included) telling him to stop did no good.  He would tell us to stop being disrespectful. The only thing that stopped it was when we were around 9 and her dad started the tickling in the middle of her birthday party*, tickling her well past her asking him to stop after she'd had cake and ice cream and she threw up all over him like that scene in "I Love You, Man". (Whited out for grossness.)

And even then, he fussed at her for being a drama queen. 

But he never tickled her again.

*Tori said he only did this in front of her friends.  It was a passive aggressive, "I'm going to embarrass you and put you in your place" gesture.  I think he wanted her to know that even if she was getting older, he was still in charge. 

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28687
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2013, 10:08:14 PM »
Here's another thing perhaps we can all put in our toolkit.

You don't have to make a scene to intervene. Just don't yell. Don't accuse. Don't use words like "jerk."

You simply be "inexorable." So you say, "Tickler, that's pretty uncomfortable for Child. She's told you to stop already. You should listen to her wishes."

Feel free to throw out OTHER code words like, "She should have control over what happens to her body." "She deserves to have you respect her wishes." or even "It's important to teach children that they can tell an adult to stop touching their bodies, and that the adult should listen to them."


NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3943
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2013, 10:12:02 PM »
If it were me, I'd just throw out a quick, "Hey, stop already.  She/he's had enough - listen to her/him,"  maybe with a hand on their shoulder to show that I'm willing to stop them if necessary.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4039
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2013, 10:16:49 PM »
Using words to stop battery?

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2041
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2013, 10:37:25 PM »
Using words to stop battery?

As with any situation, a person should use the minimum force necessary to get the desired result.  If a barked "STOP" from a third-party gets the job done, then there is no need to use physical force.  In my story above, two adults had already given verbal orders to stop, so when I stepped in, I bypassed words and went straight to physical force.  Grabbing my sister's hair was very deliberate: it was the maximum amount of pain I could inflict without any significant risk of causing injury.

MorgnsGrl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 666
Re: "Get your hands off that child!" when the parent is right there
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 10:38:29 PM »
1. "Hey! Stop!"
2. Get up, physically insert self between child and adult until child has safely gotten away.