Post # 1
I live in a big city. We recently left yuppie land and bought a home in an area that has a lot more children. In the time I’ve been here I’ve seen some of parenting in public that makes me uncomfortable. Let me clarify – I’m not talking about things like using a pacifier vs not, or kids on a leash or not. Some of what I’ve seen is cursing/yelling at kids, forcefully sitting kids into strollers, total indifference to what the kids are doing and slapping of kids hands, etc. Although, I’ve noticed uncomfortable faces on people, I’ve never seen anyone intervene or make a comment about it.
Do you intervene if you’ve witnessed a situation like this?
Post # 3
I used to live in an inner city area and saw that sort of thing all the time. It seemed to be the norm. One of the pluses of living in “yuppie land” is that people are largely better educated and know how to handle their children without verbally and physically threatening them.
So what you’re seeing is generational and par for the course. You could say something, but you’d be laughed at from there to the end of the block!
Post # 4
i cannot stand seeing parents swear at their children or aggressively spank them in public. if i see that in person, i often feel like i’m on an episode of ‘what would you do’ so chances are, i will most likely say something.
Post # 5
@missebelle: I have definitely thought to myself, if this were being recorded, everyone watching would ask, “why didn’t anyone intervene?” but like @solidarity: mentioned, it seems to be the norm which is pretty sad, actually.
Post # 6
I can only talk from a situation I delt with at work. I was a hostess at a restraunt and was getting flagged down by several guests who were saying these parents at a table were being very rude to their child. I cannot remember the exact details but one had mentioned something that happened in the bathroom which i couldnt figure out because the boy was 8-10 and it was females who reported it. but the parents were being very forceful and rude to the child about eating. anyway, many tables were reporting this to us and complaining and my manager had to keep visiting the tables and apologizing but explained there wasnt a whole lot we could do unless the staff witnessed physical abuse… it was really sad and many tables left and one couple left and the woman screamed at the table and the parents didn’t even break focus from staring at their child and firmly talking to him. they weren’t being loud but they were extremely focused on him watching him and talking to him firmly and he was staring at his food.
Now personally, I think in public i want to go smack some of the kids not the parents. HA. my Fiance grew up in an old fashion home with strict discipline. I’m not going to intervene because someone is swearing at their parents. If a parent was physically threatening and there was more people then me, I might consider a call to CPS or the cops to see if theres anything that can be done but you would need to have a liscense plate number or something to track them. i doubt cops would just show up on scene. And same goes for if i saw physical abuse like slapping across the face or being held at the throat… i dont think much can be done for, “well she was forceful when she put him in the stroller”. It would have to more then that before cops or CPS would even take you seriously i think. But I personally would never intervene myself and say something that is completely out of line. Unless it was an extreme measure of physical abuse.
Post # 7
Not unless I’m saying it to social services (it’s gotta be that bad).
Dirty looks at the parent, absolutely. It’s a clear message that I don’t approve of the behavior and if they’d like to discuss it, I’m more than ready and willing.
Post # 8
Well, one time I saw a baby with a purse strap (skinny) wrapped around it’s neck. The mother was shopping and I didn’t think she noticed. I was working at the store at the time, and I politely said something like”oops, someone got a little tangled, looks like she’s got your purse string around her neck there…”
Well this woman unleashed a holy hellfire shitstorm on me. O.O
I was not calling her parenting skills into question.. I just figured she didn’t notice. 😐
I’d be hesitant to speak up honestly. Someone who can hit their own kid isn’t going to show much restraint when confronted by a stranger.
More recently I was at the pool, and this woman was violently brushing her daughters hair, and she was screaming at her for taking so long to get ready (literally, 6 mins after classes had ended…) and asking “what was wrong with her” and calling her stupid and stuff. I made eve contact with her and gave her the stink eye for a few seconds and she stopped, and I just walked away. .. not really confronting but errrr.
Post # 9
I’ve never said anything, but I’ve also never seen anything bad enough to warrant needing to. I’m not going to say anything unless it’s bad enough to call CPS.
Post # 10
No. It’s not your place to tell someone if you disapprove of someone’s parenting. It’s also none of your business. You have no idea if there are underlying circumstances. I have a child with behavior problems and pre medication there were many times I may have yelled or swatted his butt because I was just so darn frustrated. A stranger coming up to me and giving me their opinion would definitely not have gone over well. A child may have any type of disorder that you can’t see by just looking at them, and yes parents get frustrated and do things they may not normally do in calmer circumstances.
If a child is being visibly abused (ie hit hard on the face, thrown around, etc) then yes someone should step in.
If you don’t have kids, you don’t get to insert your opinion. I’m sure I will have many disagreements on that, but if you are not a parent (and babysitting, nieces, nephews, do NOT count) then you have no idea what its like sometimes.
Post # 11
personally I don’t have an issue with the hand slapping, but I also realize that it’s not my place to say something about others’ parenting unless it’s the situations you listed. even then I usually just stare disapprovingly
Post # 12
I don’t think I’ve witness any abusive behavior (I probably live in yuppyland) but sometimes I do see extremely permissive behavior and I have called it out by speaking to the child. Like, a kid is hitting their brother and being a brat at a wedding and their parents aren’t saying anything. I’ll say something like “Excuse me, child, I don’t think your brother likes being hit and you’re embarrassing your mother.” 😛 But that’s only when I’m feeling really b*tchy.
Post # 13
I probably wouldn’t say anything unless the child was in danger. When I’m downtown in shadier areas I do see a lot of people treating their kids roughly or cursing at them/around them, etc (literally heard a man yell “get in your effing stroller” at his toddler while I was stopped at a Popeye’s once..) It makes me sick, but I have to lookout for myself too in those situations, who knows the parent could flip out on me! If anything, I’d try to contact an authority figure like store/restaurant staff, a cop, or call 911 if it is that bad.
Post # 14
I would rather someone approach me than reprimand my child.
Post # 15
When fi and I had just started dating we were in a video Rental store. I heard the woman say to a 2 year old, that he could pick out 2 games. He picked out 2 and showed them to her, and she started screaming at him about how he was so greedy and that he should have picked uppenny one and he started crying and she grabbed a video out of his hand and started hitting him over the head with it telling him he was a bad boy. The store was dead silent and she picked up the games paid for them, said something to the cashier about kids being difficult and stern parenting and walked out yelling at the kid embarrassing her. I walked up to the cashier and asked for her address and phone number. I was going to call CPS. The cashier wouldn’t give it to me ( I get why, liabilities and what) And she calles CPS and the cops. Everything was caught on tape.
ETA: I think everyone was in shock that this was happening in front of us. I know a thought that went through my head was ” I this really happening?”, and after the woman left a lady on the other end of the store said out loud ” did that really just happen?”
Post # 16
Being a parent is hard and testing. With toddlers the bad days often out-weigh the good and sometimes you HAVE to shout at your child to make them listen. The PP was right about people who have no children making comments because they don’t know what its like for us sometimes. If somebody was being violent to their child then i would step in but not for shouting at them. I feel horrible if i have to smack my sons hand in public because people judge me but what they dont know is that usually it is because he ran away from me and into a road where he could have been hurt so he gets a telling off and a light smack on the hand. If some stranger wanted to call social services on me for caring about my child and punishing him for doing something dangerous it would not sit well with me.