Oh, my God! This is so me also, but I'm the opposite of you in one aspect. My trouble is that I can't keep my mouth shut. I just tell them like it is because I feel like if I don't say something, I've just allowed an unjust act to continue, and i feel like I'm less than human when I allow an injustice to go on, such as allowing a parent to punk their child and take advantage because the child is too small or too scared to stand up to them. I don't mind my own business, at all.
How i intervene deeply depends on the situation. Sometimes, if it is not too bad, I'll ask the parent if i can help them in any way. There ave been times when a mom is sceaming at a toddler to shut the f--- up, I've said, "My, i see things are going rough right now." Then, I will offer the child a drink or toy--I carry a bag of trick to use at any time to calm upset children on the bus or wherever because some parents are not considerate of them and drag them all over the place at their leisure and without giving them naps and stuff--and i'll give it to the child. Then, I'll talk to the parent about how they feel and what I'd do and tell them I enjoy talking to them. If I see a parent beating the snot out of a child, i'll say, "Stop! What are you doing?! JCool it! You are going to kill the kid! Calm down!" And this is only when it gets really bad. Sometimes, I've called the police.
I feel that it is my job to intervene because I do not like emotional or physical abuse. I don't like parents hitting their kids, yelling at them, or putting them down or controling/forcing them to eat and do things they do not want to. And when they try to make kids fit a mold in society, such as telling boys to shut up, toughen up, and stop that darn crying, I get hot with anger. Boys can cry like anyone else. And they wonder why so many men become abusers.
I also dislike babywise people who insist on being rigid with their babes, such as a strict regimented feeding schedule and strict baby training as if to say they were on the same level as the dogs I have here and can do things when commanded. Please don't get me started on people's parenting. I can go on for hours, even days and years.
For awhile, i thought I was alone here on this forum. I thought I was the crazy one. But, i feel good that others are in the same boat. I feel better. Thanks for posting this topic. Thanks so much. I'm not alone anymore.