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Child Beaten In Store

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I was in the Wal-Mart. I was in the shoe section. Not that that's really important but... I ramble. Anyway, this lady was there with her two kids. One was a girl about 8 years old and one was a boy probably 6 years old. The mom was helping the girl try on shoes and handed the little boy a drink to hold, and he dropped it. he started crying, visibly upset about it. It was clearly an accident. And the momma jerked him up nearly off the ground and beat the hell out of that poor kid. First of all, can it actually be legal to beat you child in public. BTW, I'm sure she would call it spanking/discipline. It took all I had not to say something to her. But I would have started screaming and probably gotten thrown out of the Wal-Mart. Anyway, I just kinda wanted to vent/share.
post #2 of 85
Silence...suggests approval.
post #3 of 85
Why not call the police?
post #4 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
Why not call the police?
:
post #5 of 85
What in the hell are you doing?!!? would be an appropriate response
post #6 of 85
I have been known to pull a "ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS" when I see stuff like that.

Makes them stop for a second and rethink what they are doing. Or at least give them someone to be mad at in hopes that it deters them from continuing the beating (or picking up where they left off later) because they are too busy telling me to go to hell.
post #7 of 85
Unfortuantely, I know from being the child who was beaten in public, that outside comments just made me get it evenn worse at home. It's always the child's fault for crying too loudly or drawing attention to the abuse.

I'm so sorry you saw this
post #8 of 85
Thread Starter 
My silence had nothing to do with suggesting approval, it had to do with not knowing enough about the law to know if what the woman was doing was illegal or not. Just because I think it's wrong doesn't mean I'm allowed to force my beliefs on others. And I was with my mother and grandmother, firm believers in spanking. I didn't even want to have that conversation, AKA fight, with them again.
post #9 of 85
That must have been tough for you to see.

Regardless of legality, and setting aside the moral issue, it was unbelievably rude of her to have done that in front of you.
post #10 of 85
Was she spanking him or beating him? It is legal to spank your children on the bottom in most places so long as you don't leave a bruise. It is not legal to hit your kids on other areas of their body especially if you leave a bruise. If she was actually breaking the law and beating him you should have called the police, if she wasn't that is really sad but there is not anything that can be done to stop it and speaking up may make things worse for the child and perhaps for you also if she decides to attack you for questioning her.
post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
Was she spanking him or beating him? It is legal to spank your children on the bottom in most places so long as you don't leave a bruise. It is not legal to hit your kids on other areas of their body especially if you leave a bruise. If she was actually breaking the law and beating him you should have called the police, if she wasn't that is really sad but there is not anything that can be done to stop it and speaking up may make things worse for the child and perhaps for you also if she decides to attack you for questioning her.
: From your OP it's difficult to tell exactly what happened.
post #12 of 85
I've never been in that situation, and in the moment I'm not sure I could think of an appropriate response - I might have just stood there dumbfounded.

But, not having been there and reading about it what comes to mind is I might have just offered to help her clean up the drink to intervene. "Oh, gosh, it's so frustrating when you're trying to buy shoes and things aren't going your way - let me help you clean up the spill!" and to the boy "I'm sure you didn't mean to spill that drink - it's ok, everyone has accidents".

I don't know if that would have caused him to get a bigger beating at home as someone else suggested it might, but I know when I get frustrated/frazzeled out in public interacting with other people kind of defuses the situation.

So sad for that little boy...and the mama too.

=================
Mama to DS 5/03 & DD 2/06 (HBAC!)
: ICAN “You never know when you're making a memory.” ~ Rickie Lee Jones
post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamahart View Post
What in the hell are you doing?!!? would be an appropriate response

: But I agree that, many times, it will make things worse for the kid later.
post #14 of 85
I have intervened. You can say "Stop! Hitting hurts. Please do not hit.". You are safe to speak up. It doesn't have to be adversarial.


Pat
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
You are safe to speak up.
Yes, but it doesn't mean it would be safe for the child, unfortunately. Just because we doesn't know what goes on later doesn't mean it should be dismissed.
post #16 of 85
I have been in this situation a couple times, and fortunately or unfortunately, I dont know.... but I had visceral reactions both times..

It was basically, "Om my god, please stop! Its not okay to hit!"

and it was once accompanied by my sobbing daughter saying "momma! that momma hitting baby!"
because this woman was smacking a 10-12 month old baby on the face hands and then butt. it was awful.

and then my sensitive daughter told EVERYONE we saw, "momma hit a baby" and I had to explain that she wasnt referring to me.
post #17 of 85
Quote:
Yes, but it doesn't mean it would be safe for the child, unfortunately. Just because we doesn't know what goes on later doesn't mean it should be dismissed.
I firmly believe the emotional abuse of being told that 'you deserve to be hit', is more damaging than the physical assault subsequent to a stranger speaking up in the child's defense.

As a child, when I first heard an adult say that 'hitting children wasn't ok', it helped me to know that SOMEONE didn't approve. It was the first time I'd ever imagined the possibility of my feelings being validated.


Pat
post #18 of 85
Thread Starter 
She was spanking his butt, but he was squirming a good bit so she got his little legs and popped his hands in the process. I just used the term beating because that's what spanking is to me. But just to clarify, yeah, most spankers would have thought it completely normal and appropriate.
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigama View Post
Unfortuantely, I know from being the child who was beaten in public, that outside comments just made me get it evenn worse at home. It's always the child's fault for crying too loudly or drawing attention to the abuse.

I'm so sorry you saw this
'tis true
post #20 of 85
This is horrifying. I agree with pp who stated that sending the message that this kind of abuse is not ok is so important. I don't know that I would have known how to react at the time but it is important to acknowledge that speaking out is valid and necessary. The more we speak out as a society and REFUSE to accept the abuse of children the less likely it is to be perpetuated IMO.

I am so shocked that a child would be hit in public in this day and age. I have never witnessed it and hope I never do (we live in Canada so it seems less likely) but I also hope I have the courage to speak out and perhaps even help if I do.
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