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A spanking mom verbally attacked me yesterday. REALLY long.

post #1 of 216
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this belongs here or in TAO...

Anyway, we were out with the kids yesterday, at a fun and games restaurant. It's a big place, kids get overwhelmed, it was the day after Christmas, KWIM?

Anyway, we were in the dining area, a HUGE room full of families when a family with two kids about the ages of mine sat behind us. Their toddler was a baby-toddler, maybe 18-20 months old and a 6-8 year old son. The toddler was having a melt-down, not surprising in a place with SO much going on.

The dad says loudly, "If you don't stop crying I'm going to spank you."

Dh and I exchange glances and my own son (6.5) starts looking nervous. He is super sensitive to other kid's feelings and gets upset if he sees a spanking.

The baby's dad then proceeds to whack the crap out of him. He was holding him in his arms, the baby laying sideways and he hit him 3 or 4 times in front of my kids. We're talking a 6'4" 200 pound grown man beating a 20 pound toddler. Right in front of my kids.

I turned to my kids and said, "Spanking is wrong, mommies and daddies should not hit their kids." Then I said something to dh about how I hate seeing that in public.

I didn't yell it or make a scene or anything. I just spoke to my family at my table.

The mom went nuts. She started screaming at me and calling me an idiot. She screamed that she would say more but she is a good Christian woman but that I am total idiot. She screamed that kids need "discipline."

I told her I agreed but that I feel spanking is abuse. She called me an idiot again. She was being SO loud, it was really embarassing. Then someone stood up and said she agreed! She said that if more kids got spanked our country wouldn't be like it is. So, basically I was in public with a stranger going crazy on me in a room full of people who agree with her... in front of my own kids.

She must have said "Kids need disciplne" 30 times. Meanwhile her toddler was still melting down and her older kid was jumping up and down in the booth.

I don't even remember half of what I said but I just kept saying that you can discipline without hurting them. I wished I had the presence of mind to quote research or anything but she just WOULD NOT let it go.

So, eventually they moved tables (she was still yelling about me) because she didn't want to sit by the idiot woman who accused them of being abusive.

She followed us around for the rest of the time we were there and kept talking aboutit. When we went into the game area she stayed a few paces behind us and told anyone who would listen what happened. She kept pointing at me and ranting. People would look at me and shake their heads like I was a monster. My kids didn't have a clue it was going on but I felt totally harassed.

I spent the rest of day alternating between feeling guilty and feeling like I stood up for what I believe. I feel like if my kids see something I feel is WRONG I should tell them why I feel it's wrong, especially WRT to violence.

I tried to put myself in her place... envisioned what I would do if someone saw me nursing my toddler and called it abuse. I realized I would definitely NOT start screaming and making a scene. I certainly would not follow a stranger around and harass them. If you believe what you are doing is good and right do you feel the need to go nutty when someone confronts you?

She just COULD not let it go and I feel bad, like I judged her or something. I mean, I did judge her, I think spanking is abuse and I would have felt bad had I let my 2 and 6 year old see a dad beat his toddler and not said anything. But still... I feel so weird about the whole thing.

I just keep hoping that even though it turned SO ugly maybe she went home and today she has thought for even a split second about the people out there who get by without violence. Dh says no, that she just hates me and will still beat her babies.

Whew, that was long.
post #2 of 216
s for you.

for her kids.


~Tracy
post #3 of 216
OMG! : Your "nightmare" of a day made me cry. I am so upset for you and the poor children. Yours for having to see the abuse and theirs for being abused. What is wrong with kids today, is that unfortunately they have parents like those people! I am so sorry you were harrassed after such a horrific episode.

post #4 of 216
Holy Crap! I am so sorry you had to experience that!

I'm at a loss for words... But I agree with your DH - she will continue ranting about you and beating the kids.

But maybe her kids got to hear just one voice that spoke to their inner knowing and confirmed that what mom and dad do is hurting them. Maybe it will take 15 years before your willingness to speak has it's full impact.

It still sucks being harrassed and ridiculed, and I'm just so sorry you were singled out like that!
post #5 of 216
You had every right to say what you did. As a parent you have a responsibility to comfort your children and raise them how you see fit. I am sure we all would have done the same thing.

You didn't confront this woman. You didn't stand up and publicly criticize her or make a scene, SHE DID. Please don't feel bad.

I feel terrible for those kids, and I really think that mom knew that hitting her kids is wrong. She reacted like someone who felt guilty. If she truly felt like what she was doing was the best thing, she probably would have just rolled her eyes and ignored you.
post #6 of 216
That's terrible. If that happened to me I would have gone to the management of the establishment & told them that I was being followed & harrassed by another patron, could they please handle the situation. Maybe they would have told her to stop or she would have to leave.

I think that you did the right thing by telling your kids that spanking is wrong, etc. Did you say it just so they could hear you or loudly so that the other woman & her husband would "accidently" overhear you too? Just wondering why she would have such a over-the-top response~ not that it makes her reaction right, but maybe she felt attacked? Or maybe she hates it when her husband spanks the kids, but feels powerless to stop him? Regardless, the way she treated you was wrong & I'm sorry you had to deal with that.
post #7 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynski
I really think that mom knew that hitting her kids is wrong. She reacted like someone who felt guilty.
I think so, too.
post #8 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
But maybe her kids got to hear just one voice that spoke to their inner knowing and confirmed that what mom and dad do is hurting them. Maybe it will take 15 years before your willingness to speak has it's full impact.
I second that. Alice Miller has some great insights into the role that having one adult who tells an abused child that what is happening to him or her is wrong can have. I've heard similar anecdotes from people who talk about how important it was when that one person spoke out: They realized for the first time that they weren't bad, or lazy, or stupid, or deserving to get hit.
post #9 of 216
Wow, I'm sorry. I thought we were living in the 21st century, I can't believe how many people think that hitting their kids is ok. I stopped going to those chucky cheese typed of places because I've seen way to many things like that happening. Unfortunately it's all legal, so calling the police won't do any good either.
post #10 of 216
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I have been feeling like crap.

I said it like I would normally speak. I didn't speak up but nor did I whisper. I feel like whispering would have made it seem like I was in the wrong and needed to whisper my opinion, KWIM?

Thank you all for reading and responding.

Blerg.
post #11 of 216
Oh my gosh, I couldn't read and not respond. How horrible! How horrible for you and your family to witness that and how horrible for that crazy woman to rant and harrass you like that. I mean, what would have happened if your son had piped up and told YOU (or her) that spanking was wrong? You know how children can be so honest sometimes. She probably would have been a crazy woman on him, too! I feel bad for you and even worse for her children. For her to go off like that seems like she is totally insecure. To go off on a stranger like she did makes me wonder how else she treats her poor children besides spanking.
post #12 of 216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla
Wow, I'm sorry. I thought we were living in the 21st century, I can't believe how many people think that hitting their kids is ok. I stopped going to those chucky cheese typed of places because I've seen way to many things like that happening. Unfortunately it's all legal, so calling the police won't do any good either.

Exactly! I left feeling SO depressed that such a cross-sampling of parents of all types seemed to feel spanking is OK. I guess I was kidding myself believing that the majority of parents don't spank on a regular basis.
post #13 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
Exactly! I left feeling SO depressed that such a cross-sampling of parents of all types seemed to feel spanking is OK. I guess I was kidding myself believing that the majority fo parents don't spank on a regular basis.
I wonder, though, if the other parents maybe just felt intimdated by her since she was so aggressive. A lot of them might not agree with spanking but they were too afraid of feeling her wrath to say anything.

((HUGS)) to you. What an awful experience.
post #14 of 216
Okay - would it be totally un-GD of me to say you should have socked her one?








Sorry. I just couldn't help thinking that a good shiner in the eye might have made that nilly see your point.

What an ignorant jerk. I am sorry her kids have to deal with her every day. How frightening.

Lastly - maybe our country is the way it is BECAUSE of spanking.
post #15 of 216
I have been your child in more than one scene like that. My mother is only 5'1" but if she sees a child getting hurt, EVERYONE will know it, and she doesn't care if the others agree with hitting, she'll go off on them, too.
I remember feeling scared that my mom might forget and hit someone. I remember being in complete awe of this tiny powerful woman I called Mom who was not afraid to stand up for all children, not just her own.

Many of the children she stood up for, are now parents themselves and won't hit their child(ren). Three of them had homebirths and I attended.

I truly believe it is possible to end the cycle of hurt and violence, and, yes, sometimes you just have to leave and get your family to safety.

post #16 of 216
I believe you did the right thing.

You know.....even Christians who do believe in spanking would never threaten and spank in a public place. That is demaning and abusive. So that excuse, holds NO water.

I too think she feels guilty with her choice to spank. She seemed defensive.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe you were in the right place at the right time for a reason. You may have saved these children from a life of beatings.....you never know

Also....as horrible as what happend to you was....I think it was good that your children saw it.

They saw that their mama has courage to stand up for others who have no voice.... they saw that you can present debate in a gentle loving matter.... they saw that two wrongs don't make a right, hense why you stayed calm and loving......they saw that even when people are against you, you do not have to run and hide. You carried on with your day as planned......they saw how loving and great their mama is!!!
post #17 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
Exactly! I left feeling SO depressed that such a cross-sampling of parents of all types seemed to feel spanking is OK. I guess I was kidding myself believing that the majority fo parents don't spank on a regular basis.
Just because many of the parents at this establishment felt "spanking is OK" doesn't mean that all of them spank on a regular basis. A parent might spank once or twice in their entire parenting career but still beleive that spanking is appropriate in some situations. Some of her "defenders" might not have been aware of the specifics of why her child had just been spanked. Or, they were afraid of her- it's easier to nod your head and go on your merry way than risk being her next target.

Spanking a baby because he wouldn't stop crying? That's just really sad.

I don't think I would have had the guts to say "spanking is abusive" to her face. I probably would have said "We discipline our children in other ways" and left it at that.
post #18 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbarthauer
I wonder, though, if the other parents maybe just felt intimdated by her since she was so aggressive. A lot of them might not agree with spanking but they were too afraid of feeling her wrath to say anything.
post #19 of 216
Quote:
I believe you did the right thing.

You know.....even Christians who do believe in spanking would never threaten and spank in a public place. That is demaning and abusive. So that excuse, holds NO water.

I too think she feels guilty with her choice to spank. She seemed defensive.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe you were in the right place at the right time for a reason. You may have saved these children from a life of beatings.....you never know

Also....as horrible as what happend to you was....I think it was good that your children saw it.

They saw that their mama has courage to stand up for others who have no voice.... they saw that you can present debate in a gentle loving matter.... they saw that two wrongs don't make a right, hense why you stayed calm and loving......they saw that even when people are against you, you do not have to run and hide. You carried on with your day as planned......they saw how loving and great their mama is!!!
Well said, Angelbee.
post #20 of 216
Quote:
I spent the rest of day alternating between feeling guilty and feeling like I stood up for what I believe.
Why would you feel guilty? She made a scene and treated you poorly, but standing up for what is right would not be admirable if there was no risk to it, kwim? You took a risk in order to make a public stand, and you took the brunt of a lot of anger as a result. But *many* admirable people have affected change by having the courage to do what you did regarding many situations. Should you feel guilty if you stand up against blatant racisim? Or wife beating?

Quote:
I feel like if my kids see something I feel is WRONG I should tell them why I feel it's wrong, especially WRT to violence.
Exactly. And not just your kids either. But all the people in the resteraunt too. And more importantly, *their kids* need to hear it spelled out too. That baby who was hit needed to hear it. They need to hear that what happens to them is undeserved. And maybe they need to hear it 20 thousand times before it makes a real difference -- but what you said was a start. Well done!
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