Thursday, 21 April 2016

Should I tell off another mum?

So, Anthony's a bit of a stickler for rules. Rules are great if you have autism; they set boundaries, they prepare you for what's expected, in a funny sort of way they make you feel safe.  This means it's easy to feel nervous, upset or unsafe when the rules are broken by other people.  One of the things said a lot in our home is "Who's job is it to say what happens when a rule in broken?"  because Anthony will storm around ordering siblings, parents, grandparents and visitors to 'go to their room' or 'sit on the stairs'.

But what's really confusing is when other adults ignore the rules for their kids.

Our school has a rule that you can't ride your scooter inside the school grounds.  Drop-off and pick-up time is chaos and there have been several scooter related injuries both in and outside school grounds that mean the school set a rule.... but it's effectively down for parents to enforce.

Every day we only just make it to school in time by respectively running and scooting from David's special school to Anthony's mainstream school which is a 10 minutes walk down the road and through a cemetery. Despite nearly being late, Anthony understands the 'no scooting' rule and every morning dismounts his scooter at the gate and either gets dragged along on it by me if he is tired or walks while I pull it to his class (no small feat when I've been running with a buggy carrying his younger sister).  At least once a week we see another child scooting through the playground and Anthony comments how they will need to be told off.  But the other day, it was one of his class mates.

"Jessica's riding her scooter!" he gasped and then yelled it two or three times more as I gathered my response.

I glanced over my shoulder and there, indeed was Jessica, accelerating across the playground with her mum behind her.

"Mum, you need to tell her off."

"Anthony, whose job is it to tell Jessica if she needs to be doing something different?"

Now don't get me wrong, Anthony had this down. He knew it was Jessica's mum, what was upsetting him was that Jessica's mum wasn't doing anything to stop her.  Jessica's mum was ignoring the rule completely. And any moment now, Anthony was going to tell her that.

"Anthony, do you think you should tell Jessica's mum what she should be doing?"

"Mum, who is older, you or Jessica's mum?  Because if you are older you can tell her off."

Thank goodness we had got to the classroom door and everyone had dismounted.

Because the truth is that I'm not going to tell off Jessica's mum! Because that's not my job. It's our own jobs as adults to set and adhere to rules and that's something Anthony is going to have to discover for himself as he gets older. Nevermind that as the family with the additional needs kids I don't want there to be any more distance between us and the other families than what's there already. The proper route of course is complaining to the school office and getting them to 'remind' ignorant parents.  But I think I'll keep that to myself for the moment along with the fact that Anthony hasn't noticed the 'no scooters' symbol in the cemetery - we'd be late for school everyday if he enforced that one!

Links
Our blog - Anthony's always to blame, troubles on the school run
Our blog - Our terribly truthful child

autistic boys scooter in the cemetery

As listed on:

Mummuddlingthrough



Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

27 comments:

  1. Argh! This sort of stuff drives me nuts. Quite honestly, I never tell of another mum but I have been known to tell off another child on occasion! Rightly or wrongly...interesting topic isn't it? Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

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    1. Yeah, it can be a bit tricky telling of a kid if their parent is there. Up coming post..

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  2. You made such a great decision. But hats off to your responsible little man! It is a difficult one. And could lead to bigger issues if you had told the mum off. It's all about educating our own children. But I would have itched to say something to that Mama! :)

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  3. I definitely tell people like this off in my head! It puts you as a parent in such a difficult position. But like you, I don't think I'd ever open my mouth to voice that telling off! #coolmumclub

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    1. Whispering what I would say on the way back home?

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  4. ah bless him, I love the question, who is older? Good logic. My son gets upset and struggles when I tell him that I can no longer come into class with him to put his coat on his peg, he gets terrible seperation anxiety. I have no contest to the rule but other parents do not like it so just go in. My little boy then sees them and asks me too, so I remind him of the rule. The other day he asked why is the rule for some and not others, why do we do it? And he also told me to tell the other parents off..I didnt I told him there may be things he doesnt know. But it is difficult and I wish other parents would stick to the rules in places like school, for the benefit of the little ones. Thank you for such a thought provoking post #KCACOLS

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    1. I know, his 'are you older' logic is brilliant, made me smile!

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  5. It's awkward isn't it when your child is doing what they should and others aren't. I'd love to be confident enough to actually say something but I tend to go home wishing I had. We do the drag along on the scooter too!! x #kcacols

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    1. I know, seems to have endless energy on the scooter but couldn't possible walk when asked to stop!?!

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  6. Argh its so hard isn't it? You spend ages having to explain the rules to your child and then they watch other people break them. I guess that's just a life lesson but it does make you mad and sometimes I would like to say something but know that it wouldn't make any difference and that I would probably be whispered about in the playground! #KCACOLS

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    1. I already am! That's what being the SEN parent feels like.

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  7. Hehe, loved the last line! Kids are so sweet and honest - I usually say they'll be told off later, because the adult concept of rule bending is way too dangerous... ;) #KCACOLS

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    1. I know.. Seriously we'd be late everyday!

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  8. Ugh, this is so hard, I can't even count the number of times I have wanted to tell off another Mom. One time I did. We were at the Zoo, in the children's area and she was standing there puffing away on a smoke. I went off. I smoke, but our Zoo is not that damned big and if you can't make it through with your child then you have a serious addiction issue. How dare she stand in the play area with swarms of kids around smoking. I think I am working myself up all over again lol. #KCACOLS

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    1. Err, yes that's not good! And surely you weren't the only one thinking that! Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. My boy is just like this with rules, especially ones about danger - in fact, at the moment, anyone breaking them makes him sob hysterically. As someone who has always stuck to the rules too, I also find it very irritating! #SpectrumSunday

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    1. Mine tends to get quite cross.. Tends to escalate the situation. Poor guy crying about it though... Hug hug hug

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  10. I know what you mean! This is so annoying and irritates me big time too. I have not told off another mum yet but I would've loved to! I don't like when people are not following the rules. I don't get it!! Your son is so lovely!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I'm so happy to have you this week!! I would love to see you again on Sunday :) xx

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    1. Thanks for hosting! Will try!

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  11. I love this. You're amazing. Thinking on your feet like that in the morning, on a school run. Rules that trump and override existing rules. Mind boggling! Well done you!

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    1. I do a lot of thinking on my feet, though in a way it's all partly planned when your kids are autistic. Theres always a bank of strategies in your ahead waiting for retrieval. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. My son shouts at people if they do something wrong, like crossing the road when the don't walk lights are on. He shouts "LOOK MUM, THAT NAUGHTY DADDY/MUMMY IS CROSSING THE ROAD WHEN THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED!!" I stick to the rules and I get immensely annoyed when others don't. #SpectrumSunday

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  13. That's such a difficult one isn't it? I love that Anthony understands and follows rules though. Ignorant parents annoy me, rules are there for a reason and good on Anthony! Although definitely a tough one for you! Thank you for joining me on #spectrumsunday lovely, I really hope you join me again this week xx

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