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Do you ever say anything to strangers?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
The other day I was at the mall and a mom was walking a few feet ahead of her 2 young girls, maybe 4 and 6. It seemed like they were pretty sick of shopping. She was saying things to them like "The Easter bunny isn't going to bring you anything for easter" I guess in an attempt to make them walk faster. I was so tempted to ask "does that method ever work for you?" but of course I didn't because the situation was pretty minor and I'm also a big chicken lol.
But have there been times where you stepped in and said something about someone's tactics? Or when do you think you'd draw the line and say something?
post #2 of 64
I don't think I would ever comment on someone's parenting techniques. I mean, I would defend a child who was being beaten, but I don't think that's what you mean, right? I certainly wouldn't have said anything in the case you mentioned. Not by a long shot.
post #3 of 64
If a person is not physically abusing a child I don't feel it's okay to ever critique a complete stranger for using a different parenting style than I would.
post #4 of 64
Thread Starter 
No I didn't mean beatings. I would definately say something (and report) abusive parents.

But what about just spankings?
post #5 of 64
spanking falls under "physical abuse" as far as I am concerned
post #6 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
spanking falls under "physical abuse" as far as I am concerned
So you would say something? How would you say it?
post #7 of 64
You never know she could be a very gentile and patient parent in most cases. No one is a perfect parent and every one has a moment of weakness. I don't think you would like some one to call you out on you parenting skills so why would you do it to another mom. I don't understand why so many parents think all family's should raise kids the same way. My mom has told me since I was young that every one dose things differently. No ones right and no ones wrong just different. So no I wouldn't have said any thing it isn't my place to judge another mom when I am not perfect my self and can understand the challenges that come along with being a parent.
post #8 of 64
No, I would not say a thing. I would assume the best - that she was also tired and in a hurry and it was not one of her finer parenting moments. And that saying something would only make her feel that much worse.

I don't know about you - but I've had moments where I've said something less than gentle to my 7 year old ds. I've also usually realized what I said was totally rude, or uncalled for and try to stop and tell ds I'm sorry - and I also feel like a total a** and have to work hard not to beat myself up over it. I don't think it's fair to take a snapshot out of someone's life and judge their parenting skills, or even worse, make a comment about how they are parenting!!
post #9 of 64
Thread Starter 
Ok well first, let's remember that I didn't say anything.

Secondly. She wasn't saying it in a stressed out voice or "losing it" or anything. It was like, singsong voice. Almost kinda mocking. "the easter bunny is going to bring you anything for eeeaaasterrrr" kwim?
post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
Mods, just go ahead and delete this thread. I didn't mean it in a "judging other parents" way. I meant it in a "when would you step in" way.
post #11 of 64
Sorry mama, I hope you didn't feel attacked by my post - that wasn't my intention! I know you didn't say anything to the woman, and I get that you just want to feel out when/if it's sometimes ok to say something. I'm sure I would have felt sorry for the girls, but I do believe that it's not my place to step in and say something about another person's parenting. I guess that might be different if it was someone I know well (depending on the circumstances), but not with a stranger.
post #12 of 64
Thread Starter 
No not yours hun. More Misty's and Juljay's. Kind of implied that I think I'm better than other moms and don't tolerate other parenting styles. I do. That's why I didn't say anything to the mom. Someone more brash might have.
post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post
No not yours hun.
I'm glad.

I am kind of curious if anyone will post to say that they would speak up about a strangers parenting (physical abuse aside). What if someone was really screaming abuse at their kid or something? Or taunting and teasing them when the kid was in tears - yk? I happen to be very non-confrontational, and (as mentioned in my other posts) I don't believe in butting in over other peoples' parenting techniques... but maybe there is a point at which it's ok/important to say something - to stick up for a child?

What do you think mamas? Anyone BTDT?
post #14 of 64
The Easter Bunny thing does work very well so saying something would probably get you that answer. My mother used to use it and I used a birthday cancelation once when my patience was just gone. I later apologized and we got through it, but it does work.

I have spoken up when I see a really frustrated mom going over the edge, but not in a condemning way. I usually say something like "it gets easier" or "we've all been there, it will get better soon."
post #15 of 64
Thread Starter 
Yea I agree. I think there are times where parents aren't technically abusive per se, but condiscending...
post #16 of 64
I wouldn't. It's been done to me and it was terrifying for both me and DD. I guess the woman was well-meaning, but she completely misunderstood the situation. And when she got in between DD and me, I nearly had a heart attack. I shook for 2 days.
post #17 of 64
Thread Starter 
Oh man, I wouldn't physically step between the mom and child. That must have been scary!
post #18 of 64
I thought that's why the Easter Bunny and Santa were invented...to have something to hang over the kids' heads during times of the year that tend to be consummeristic nightmares.

I mean if you DO push the myth of the Easter Bunny, it only seems natural that you would also push the myth that he comes only to the good little boys and girls and that the bad children recieve a basket of rabbit poop...or something.

I know Santa holds great weight for my nieces. My SIL need only whisper "tsk tsk tsk what would Santa think?" anytime betwen July and December and it's all smiles and sunshine for at least ten minutes.

We don't do the Easter Bunny or Santa. We decorate homemade chocolates and cookies and give them to eachother, as a celebration, but leave judgemental mythical beings out of the mix...because that is sort of their purpose for being isn't it? To be all judgy and pick which kids deserve toys and candy and which ones were too rotten (or poor) to count?

So in THAT case, no I wouldn't say anything because they are just being socially appropriate/normative, and to confront them would probably give away the hoax which they probably go to great lengths to keep up.

But if I saw a mom or dad being particularly verbally violent with a child and felt it was only escalating, I would WANT to suggest to the kid/s that they give mommy/daddy a break, and then ask the parent in question if I could offer to keep thier kid safe while they go outside and scream/have a cigarette/punch a wall, or I would WANT to maybe lighten the mood with a punchy bit of parenting humor we can all relate to that would result in the awkward silence/laughter that only a diffused disaster can create...but more likely I would ask a nearby guard or police officer to step in and diffuse before someone got hurt.
post #19 of 64
This thread reminds of a very painful regret I have from long ago. I was a teenager, working in a big department store chain. There was a woman there, raging at her kid, screaming, pulling her arm and the poor girl was just hysterical. I think she ended up peeing on the floor. My manager (also very young) and myself just stood back surveying the situation, feeling completely helpless. I think about it often (I get tears in my eyes even writing about it now). The poor child haunts me, but so does my lack of response and the utter helplessness I felt. I SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING! but what?
Sorry, OT, but it's been in my heart for so long, just had to get it out somewhere.
post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuba'sMama View Post
This thread reminds of a very painful regret I have from long ago. I was a teenager, working in a big department store chain. There was a woman there, raging at her kid, screaming, pulling her arm and the poor girl was just hysterical. I think she ended up peeing on the floor. My manager (also very young) and myself just stood back surveying the situation, feeling completely helpless. I think about it often (I get tears in my eyes even writing about it now). The poor child haunts me, but so does my lack of response and the utter helplessness I felt. I SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING! but what?
Sorry, OT, but it's been in my heart for so long, just had to get it out somewhere.
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