What would you have done? Opinions…

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
6034 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I would probably call CPS if I saw the same kind of behavior. People are not able to observe a stranger’s day-to-day parenting skills, and making threats to lock a kid in a hot car is crossing a line. Kids are defenseless and in many cases don’t even know when they are being abused because abused kids might not have ever had a period of normalcy in their lives to use as a basis for comparison.  Since we’re all members of the same community, we should all be looking out for those who are less able to protect themselves— kids, the elderly, the mentally or physically disabled, the poor.  If the behavior does not constitute abuse, there is a good chance (although not 100%) that the CPS investigation will uncover that.

I have to say that I have a hard time believing that there are not other ways to get unruly children under control that do not involve threats of violence, cursing and raising your voice. I know kids can be incredibly difficult sometimes, but that doesn’t make it okay to threaten them in that manner. Dude needs a few parenting classes.

Post # 3
Member
6753 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think most parents have whispered threats under their breath at some point, but his were particularly awful. However, I’m not sure it rises to the level of calling CPS. 

When i do this in public, my threats are vague, as in “if you don’t straighten up you will be sorry”. I’m sure some well-meaning person could interpret that as I’m going to go home and beat my daughter- when in reality it means losing TV time, or going to bed early.

Post # 4
Member
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Royal Park Hotel

stardustintheeyes:  I live in NYC and I see women tell their kids to “shut the fuck up” pretty much once a week.  Usually these women are obviously poor, seemingly ill-educated and look as if they have been run-ragged.  They usually have 3-4 kids with them at one time.

They were probably raised in the same way and it’s fair to say their kids will also grow up the same.  I think it’s a shame.  I don’t call the cops because telling your kid to shut the fuck up isn’t against the law – it’s just shitty parenting.

Post # 5
Member
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I would never be ok with swearing at my children, verbal abuse is harmful. However, the issue I have with this story is how quickly it escalated into police and CPS getting involved. While I would never be ok with how he speaks to his children, I wonder if the woman was just blowing things out of proportion because he offended her. I do not see how getting arrested in front of your children is less damaging than telling them to “shut the **** up.” Maybe, it is due to my own personal issues in feeling like parenting rights are being taken away by the system. It seems almost everything you do is wrong these days and people completely outside of the situation can butt in and cause huge issues for the parents. This story proves that point, we don’t know the whole story, but the dad is going to be viewed as a villain regardless of what actually happened or was said.

I have dealt with people doing this to me, here’s the story:

My son was 4, my FI and I were painting the living room. I needed to run and grab a couple more brushes from the store, my son wanted to go with me and I said no. He had a temper tantrum, but my FI took him inside and I left. Apparently, 2 mins after I left, my son ran out the door while my FI was in the bathroom. He ran out after my son, and my son was screaming and crying when FI caught up to him. My FI called me while he was chasing after him to let me know what happened, I came straight home. I was gone for maybe 15 mins, and 5 mins after I got home there was a knock on the door. It was the police asking if we had a 4-5 year old boy in our home. The neighbors had apparently called the police! We let them in and my son was standing in the corner by the door in time-out. They asked my son what had happened, and he sobbed to them “Mommy went to the store without me and I wanted to go with her!” The police were actually really nice to us and my son showed them his room and some of his favorite toys. They spoke with us little longer and said that they are required to check up on these things but everything looked fine. Of course it was fine! Neither of us would ever lay a finger on our children, and the whole situation was ridiculous. My son ran out the door having a temper tantrum, so people automatically assumed he was being abused or something. 

I know I went off on a tangent, but this is why I am skeptical of some of these stories. People need to mind their own business, unless it is something serious. Do I think it is ok to speak to his children that way, absolutely not, do I think it was worth calling the police, absolutely not. The woman could have said something if it bothered her that much and then gone on her way. 

Post # 6
Member
11740 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t know about being arrested, but I think calling CPS is warranted.  That way, Dad knows what he did was wrong and is also on the radar of CPS. 

Post # 7
Member
1242 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand

stardustintheeyes:  I would say I had a very similar upbringing; I think a little fear of repercussions is beneficial so I will likely raise my child in the same manner. I don’t believe there are many circumstances in which I would say something to a parent because you just never know how the person will react (whether verbally or physically) and I would not put myself in that kind of position. I don’t think I would even call the cops or get CPS involved BUT I think what he said was horrible, especially in light of recent events in the media so in that case I agree with her calling the cops (But again, I wouldn’t have said something to the guy directly- there are too many crazy people in this world to predict how a stranger will react to basically being scolded).

Post # 9
Member
2593 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I don’t think swearing at your kids is okay.  HOWEVER, I wouldn’t say anything to someone else who did.  But threatening to lock them in a hot car?  IMO, that crosses a line that I am not comfortable with, and I probably would have reported him as well.

Post # 11
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee

My parents did not censor anything they said to me.  I also heard a lot of “shut the hell up” when I was growing up.  They are not the type of parents who sugar coat things for children, and that’s just how they chose to raise me and act around me.  They were great parents and I turned out just fine (although with a bit of sailor’s mouth myself).  I’ve seen parents curse at their kids in public, and generally it does not bother me.  A small glimpse of someone swearing at their kids doesn’t give me the full story on the type of parent they truly are.  Sure, you can tell a parent your opinion on their language, but accusing them of verbal abuse is crossing the line.

The one item which would raise concern for me is the threat of leaving them in a hot car.  This is something which should never be taken lightly.  Stories of kids dying in cars have been all over the news lately.  There’s a difference between dropping the f-bomb around a child and making a threat to put a child in harm.  If I had overheard that in public, I would have called CPS or the cops too.

Post # 12
Member
4031 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

stardustintheeyes:  I’m torn. It brings out the rage in me when I see parents treat their kids like shit, and what the dad said was unacceptable. I like that the woman said something, but I’m not sure if the police or CPS should have been involved. There was one time when I was working as a serve in college that one of my managers called CPS on a parent. The mom and kid went to the restroom and the little girl could be heard screaming and sobbing from the bathroom. As they walked out, her mom was screaming at her and yanking on her little arm the entire way. The entire restaurant stopped because it was so heartbreaking-the little girl was really, really upset and the mother was out of control. This story…I don’t know. I wish it was acceptable to confront shitty parents because they deserve to be called out and I hate seeing kids treated like shit, but I’m not sure this was a case for the police. 

Post # 13
Member
5544 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I would a million times over rather have cps investigate and find nothing than miss a kid who is being abused. Around here, several kids have died from heat stroke in cars. That is never funny, never a joke and if I heard it, would call the cops. A little inconvinance is worth it if it keeps a kid alive. 

I will come out and say it, I find it classless to curse at anyone, but especially a kid. There are a lot of ways to express oneself without being vulgar. 

Post # 14
Member
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

stardustintheeyes:  I am curious if there are other witnesses. I also believe people are a little too quick to contact CPS. Thankfully, in my situation, the police were able to see the situation for what it was and they didn’t file a report, they simply had us sign off that they spoke with us and there was no issue. I believe CPS is important and they should be called for serious issues, but I think that people jump the gun far too often. 

As a parent, you get stressed out and can say things that you never thought you would say. It could have been an off day for this father, speaking like that is never ok to me, but I have snapped at my children in public before. The one thing in this story that would really make me question him is if he actually did threaten to lock his kids in a hot car. That is not something to ever threaten or make light of, especially given recent news stories. 

Post # 15
Member
4072 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Considering that every year children die from being left in hot cars, I would not take the threat lightly, and I would have called CPS. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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