Post # 1
As I was leaving the gym yesterday, I heard someone behind me say “Shut up! Shut your face!” …then a small whimper, and she repeated “SHUT UP!”.
At first, I thought she was talking to me, so I turned around. I realized then that a young woman was talking to a toddler (she looked to be maybe 2 or 3?)
Apparently someone else passing by made a comment or gave a look, not sure which since I was in front of them, and the woman snapped at this other person “It’s my daughter, I’ll talk to her however I want.”
Now, I’m not one to go around telling people how they should raise their own offspring. I’m not a parent, I don’t have kids, but I do interact daily with children at work. I don’t feel like it’s my place to correct someone else’s parenting style.
However, I also feel like a child will grow up and behave in the way that has been demonstrated to them. If this child is talked to that way regularly, she will probably grow up thinking that this is an acceptable way to communicate. I think it’s a shame.
I did hold the door for this woman and her child, she said “Thank you” and I said “You’re quite welcome”… I guess I wanted to demonstrate appropriate and respectful adult behavior, I dunno… :/
What would you have done? Would you have said something about how she was demeaning her child in public? Would you just chalk it up to the fact that the kid may have been misbehaving and mom lost her patience? Just let it go, live and let live?
Post # 3
I wouldn’t have said anything, but I would have given her a look.
I have a 2 year old and I know how stressful it can be, but never in my life would I tell her to shut up.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2012 - Watch tower lodge, Black hawk state Park Rock Island, IL
let it go, you dont know what caused the outburst and it may not be something that happens on a regular basis, I agree that a two or three year old shouldnt be talked to like that but i admit i have told my six year old to shut up when super stressed and have hit my limit. I dont say anything unless the parent is swearing at the child and calling the child names …there is no reason for any parent to call any child ” a little shit” or ” a little bitch” period. but something like shut up…eh better to just let it go.
Post # 5
I had a simular thing happen at a craft store, a woman and her friend were pushing around a toddler in a shopping cart and the little girl was crying, so instead of comforting her, or trying to calm her down the mom started wailing on the little girl, like hitting her hard- all while cursing at her telling her to shut the eff up. I didn’t know what to do, so I made it very ovbious that I was watching her, to kind of let her know that other people can see her and don’t approve. In the scheme of things, it’s not our place. If she want’s to talk to her kid like that, she can. I have no respect for mothers who cuss at children. I know kids are stressful, but there are other ways to get around it. I think you behaved appropriatley.
Post # 6
Oh, good… a parent who can maybe shed some light 🙂 Thanks. I think her tone is what struck me most. It was, like, … venomous? I know kids really push buttons. I got irritated with my niece because she was interrupting me, so I looked at her and said “Excuse me please. It’s my turn, it will be your turn to talk in just a minute. Thank you” and it was no big deal. I just don’t think I would talk to anyone that way, adult or child.
Post # 7
I don’t think I would’ve been able to say something, I’m kind of big on the “deer in headlights” look and completely blanking out when I’m in a situation like that. I probably would’ve just stared at the woman. I see no reason why anyone should treat someone, especially their kid, like that.
Post # 8
@Kkaattii: If she had put her hands on the child that would have been different. I don’t think her safety was at stake, but it just seemed odd to me I guess.
Post # 9
I had a similar thing happen the other day–I’d just gotten to the train station and this woman started screaming (and I mean SCREAMING) across the platform. I don’t know what happened, but I gathered that she and her SO must have had some argument and he walked away. Because she was yelling, “FINE, f-you, just f-ing leave.” She was with two young children and just shrieking out the f-word every other word and saying to the kids, “Yeah, he thinks he’s going to f-ing leave, fine, he can f-ing leave. F-him, we don’t need him.” She was so loud and everyone was just staring in shock. I felt so bad for those kids. I didn’t say anything either, but I was certaibly very uncomfortable.
Post # 10
@maymorganite: Basically this. I doubt I would’ve had the presence of mind to say something, but it would have definitely struck me as out of line.
Post # 11
I would have wanted to say something. I probably would have given her a look because I wouldn’t want to make it worse for the kid. If you cause a scene the kid will probably get reprimanded that much more. =/
Post # 12
@maymorganite: Same here. When I get shocked I get deer in the headlights. I probably would’ve wanted to say something, but wouldn’t know what to say to get through to someone like that. I usually look at the child afterwards to give her the look of, “not everyone’s an asshole, I’m sorry your moms freaking out on you”. But I’m guilty of getting pushed too far and yelling myself, but I never say shut up. I say “KIDBUNNY, SHUSH!!!!!” I always feel bad after yelling though.
Post # 13
I wouldn’t have said anything since it’s not my place but I definitely would have given her the side eye. Unless you personally knew this woman and her child was of some relation to you, it’s really none of your concern. Maybe mom was having a shitty day and snapped or maybe that’s how she talks to her kid all the time. Regardless, her daughter isn’t your problem so if she grows up to be a train wreck because of the way her mother treats her, Mom can only blame herself.
This makes me think about someone who I know VERY personally (it’s a family member). Apparently she was so fed up with her 9 month old a few weeks ago when she wouldn’t go to sleep that she starting yelling at her and calling her a “fucking bitch” while she was rocking her. Had I witnessed this myself I would have said something. I know that dealing with babies can be frustrating but there’s really no excuse for that.
Post # 14
Because I’m in NYC, we are always in close proximity so I see a lot of this stuff. I must admit that I’ve stopped putting my mouth where it doesn’t belong after being threatened twice. Once a lady threatened to stab me in my neck and the other time, a guy threatened to follow me home and ‘you know what will happen when I do’ so no, I do not put my nose in other people’s business no matter how much it pains me. The only time I’ve done it was when I saw a cop harrassing a young black guy. I went up to the cop and asked for his badge number etc because I’m an attorney. The cop cooled it down. To the OP, I would have done the same thing. Maybe if I leave NYC and become less shell shocked, I might start saying stuff.
Post # 15
@UpstateCait: Wow, at least the child won’t have any memory of being called that. Poor thing.
@bRooklynRocks: You were threatened? What an example to set for the kids! Sounds like Mom of the Year there 🙁
I didn’t say anything, I don’t think it’s my place and I certainly didn’t want to cause a scene, I just felt very uncomfortable and gave her a look.
Post # 16
@DaneLady: Sometimes a look is all it takes to make someone feel like a real asshole. I’ve mastered it! lol