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Child Beaten In Store - Page 2

post #21 of 85
Sorry you were witness to that. It's totally insane that she would be that upset over a spilled drink.
post #22 of 85
Oh how awful and sad.

I live in the deep south where unfortunately spanking is very, very common. We've run into this a few times ... the first time I was shopping alone, but was so shocked/scared/upset that I let out a very loud *gasp* and must have looked horrified. The Mom then laid in on me saying, "What, you've never seen a parent discipline a child?!"

Another time my son with with me. Another Mom was hitting (spanking, I guess) her child in a shopping cart. My not-so-shy son started asking me at the top of his lungs why that Mom was hitting and hurting her child. I tried to quickly get by so I could talk with him about it .. and as we passed them he asked the Mom directly, "why are you hurting your baby?" This Mom turned bright red and mumbled something.

I've never considered the fact that the kid might get it even worse at home after that. I feel really bad now.

Honestly, what *IS* the best thing to do in that situation? I've always thought it would be good to let that child know what their parent is doing is not acceptable to everyone, that there are parents who don't hit/hurt. But when I've actually been confronted with it, I go into some sort of shock and don't seem to ever respond right.

What is the right way to handle that sitution?
post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
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.
Very true. From a household with an abusive father, I know this to be the case. When the neighbors could hear/see, it only made him more angry.


But certainly, you need to do SOMETHING, if only to show your own child what was happening was NOT okay. Alerting store security would be appropriate.
post #24 of 85
Well; let's see. Speaking up takes guts that (let's be honest) not everyone has. It also (as other's have said) possibly puts the child at risk later if the parent is truly violent. So; let's examine the parents actions and stack it up against what we know.

We know that usually people try their best to save face in public; so the odds are; that mother was at her wits end.

We know that people usually spank/hit because they feel backed into a corner without options. They feel unheard. Frustrated. Etc.

This mother hit because the boy dropped the drink; thus making a mess for her to deal with; and most likely it was just the 'straw that broke the camel's back' so-to-speak. This mother is probably overloaded with stress and things on her agenda.

As a passerby; instead of making her feel worse; perhaps it would be best to offer to help her. To come by and say "I see that you're having a really hard time right now; you look like you're overloaded with stress and I bet this just made things harder on you. Can I help you by finding an employee and a mop to clean it up?". Offering her some sympathy and a solution may trigger her to realize that hitting the child is not a solution; and solutions aren't all that hard to find; and that you understand she's stressed. This makes her feel heard and helped.

Should you feel so bold afterwards; you might offer to meet for coffee sometime. If I had to guess; I'd say she feels really alone in life; unheard and misunderstood. Maybe you can be the one who brings positive back into her life.
post #25 of 85
My child spills a drink at least once a day; usually 2 or 3. Imagine if that poor boy is "spanked" (I consider it "deliberate hurting") every time? Yes, this particular mother may have been acting out of stress in a one-time situation (let's cross our fingers) but unfortunately she represents a great number of parents who spank (or worse) for every little mistake.
post #26 of 85
I used to work in retail, and whenever we saw something like this, security was called and occasionally law enforcement was involved as well. I would have at least alerted the store that this was happening and possibly called the police.

So sad that this still happens so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pajamajes View Post
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 #27 of 85
Wow! A lot of wisdom in your response! Thanks for sharing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
Well; let's see. Speaking up takes guts that (let's be honest) not everyone has. It also (as other's have said) possibly puts the child at risk later if the parent is truly violent. So; let's examine the parents actions and stack it up against what we know.

We know that usually people try their best to save face in public; so the odds are; that mother was at her wits end.

We know that people usually spank/hit because they feel backed into a corner without options. They feel unheard. Frustrated. Etc.

This mother hit because the boy dropped the drink; thus making a mess for her to deal with; and most likely it was just the 'straw that broke the camel's back' so-to-speak. This mother is probably overloaded with stress and things on her agenda.

As a passerby; instead of making her feel worse; perhaps it would be best to offer to help her. To come by and say "I see that you're having a really hard time right now; you look like you're overloaded with stress and I bet this just made things harder on you. Can I help you by finding an employee and a mop to clean it up?". Offering her some sympathy and a solution may trigger her to realize that hitting the child is not a solution; and solutions aren't all that hard to find; and that you understand she's stressed. This makes her feel heard and helped.

Should you feel so bold afterwards; you might offer to meet for coffee sometime. If I had to guess; I'd say she feels really alone in life; unheard and misunderstood. Maybe you can be the one who brings positive back into her life.
post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Silence...suggests approval.

What a horrible guilt trip to place on the original poster or anyone else that has remained silence out of not knowing what the 'right' thing to do is.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
Well; let's see. Speaking up takes guts that (let's be honest) not everyone has. It also (as other's have said) possibly puts the child at risk later if the parent is truly violent. So; let's examine the parents actions and stack it up against what we know.

We know that usually people try their best to save face in public; so the odds are; that mother was at her wits end.

We know that people usually spank/hit because they feel backed into a corner without options. They feel unheard. Frustrated. Etc.

This mother hit because the boy dropped the drink; thus making a mess for her to deal with; and most likely it was just the 'straw that broke the camel's back' so-to-speak. This mother is probably overloaded with stress and things on her agenda.

As a passerby; instead of making her feel worse; perhaps it would be best to offer to help her. To come by and say "I see that you're having a really hard time right now; you look like you're overloaded with stress and I bet this just made things harder on you. Can I help you by finding an employee and a mop to clean it up?". Offering her some sympathy and a solution may trigger her to realize that hitting the child is not a solution; and solutions aren't all that hard to find; and that you understand she's stressed. This makes her feel heard and helped.

Should you feel so bold afterwards; you might offer to meet for coffee sometime. If I had to guess; I'd say she feels really alone in life; unheard and misunderstood. Maybe you can be the one who brings positive back into her life.
This is a very kind, centered response in this situation, but what would it look like from the child's perspective? If I were 6 and my mom smacked me, then a strange lady was nice to her and offered compassion and understanding (remember I'm 6 and I don't understand the intention behind diffusing a situation), it might reinforce the idea that I was bad and deserved to be smacked.

thoughts?
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
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.
Thank you for sharing. I never would have thought about it in that way. DH and I saw a lady give her child a whopping on her rear in a store's parking lot. I was shocked, upset, and dumbfounded. I'm normally someone who would intervene in various public situations, but in that case, I didn't. It was also pretty quick though, and then they drove off. However, from your post WuWei, I don't think I will remain silent next time I witness such abuse. And if it happens, I hope the appropriate words come to me that validate the child's feelings but don't cause a worse beating at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
This is a very kind, centered response in this situation, but what would it look like from the child's perspective? If I were 6 and my mom smacked me, then a strange lady was nice to her and offered compassion and understanding (remember I'm 6 and I don't understand the intention behind diffusing a situation), it might reinforce the idea that I was bad and deserved to be smacked.
: I think the woman needs some gentle discipline herself. Maybe taking a more middle of the road approach, so the child also learns that his mom's actions are not OK. Saying something to the mom like "It looks like you are having a very rough day, but please don't take it out on your child. Please let me help you clean up." And then looking at the child and saying "I know you didn't mean to spill the drink. It was an accident, which sometimes happen to everyone..." Etc.

Of course, the woman might not be too thrilled about that approach either...
post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
This is a very kind, centered response in this situation, but what would it look like from the child's perspective? If I were 6 and my mom smacked me, then a strange lady was nice to her and offered compassion and understanding (remember I'm 6 and I don't understand the intention behind diffusing a situation), it might reinforce the idea that I was bad and deserved to be smacked.

thoughts?

I think the most important factor is defusing the mom first.
post #32 of 85
I saw a father hitting his little girl at the park one day while I was a nanny of two two year olds. As we walked by, I looked the father in the eye and said "that's not okay" and then to the daughter "Sorry that happened to you". Others were watching, but did nothing. The father got very embarrassed, and his daughter went off to play. I feel like I sent the message that what he was doing was wrong to him, his daughter, and the girls that I was watching.
post #33 of 85
:

Poor little boy.
post #34 of 85
I once got my lollipop stuck on a rack of socks, and pulled down two rows of socks trying to hide it from my mother. Of course, she saw, and proceeded to beat the crap out of me (arms, face, butt, etc). Because I was crying and my mother was making such a scene, a lady came by and offered to help us get it unstuck and was very very kind and great to both my mom and I. When we got out to the car, my mom drove to the next parking lot, said something to the effect of "I cannot believe you embarassed me like that in public, you were carrying on so loudly that that woman stopped by, you're lucky she was nice to you, etc," and proceeded to beat me again.

Sometimes you can't win, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try. I'll always remember that beating, but always remember that lady too.
post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
I once got my lollipop stuck on a rack of socks, and pulled down two rows of socks trying to hide it from my mother. Of course, she saw, and proceeded to beat the crap out of me (arms, face, butt, etc). Because I was crying and my mother was making such a scene, a lady came by and offered to help us get it unstuck and was very very kind and great to both my mom and I. When we got out to the car, my mom drove to the next parking lot, said something to the effect of "I cannot believe you embarassed me like that in public, you were carrying on so loudly that that woman stopped by, you're lucky she was nice to you, etc," and proceeded to beat me again.
OMG. I literally gasped out loud when I read this. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by pajamajes View Post
Yesterday I was in the Wal-Mart.
I think everyone has already addressed everything else... DH and I were talking about this, and when I read it to him he immediately picked up on the fact that yes, indeed, it happened at a Wal-Mart. Every situation we've ever seen involving an adult bullying a child has been in a Wal-Mart and it really makes me wonder what it is about WM that seems to make moms like this. Just a genuine curiosity, not a stereotype, as I also shop at WM on occasion And it's not just us... in high school, my band director always gave a musical comparison of how quiet and gentle is often more effective than super loud and abrasive... and he called the analogy "The Wal mart Mom" (he GD'd his kids as well).
post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnymw View Post
I think everyone has already addressed everything else... DH and I were talking about this, and when I read it to him he immediately picked up on the fact that yes, indeed, it happened at a Wal-Mart. Every situation we've ever seen involving an adult bullying a child has been in a Wal-Mart and it really makes me wonder what it is about WM that seems to make moms like this. Just a genuine curiosity, not a stereotype, as I also shop at WM on occasion And it's not just us... in high school, my band director always gave a musical comparison of how quiet and gentle is often more effective than super loud and abrasive... and he called the analogy "The Wal mart Mom" (he GD'd his kids as well).
I wonder if it's the bright chaotic nature of a wal-mart. I stopped shopping there about three years ago, but a few weeks back, a friend of mine needed to go into one for something while I was with her. I was really overwhelmed just being in there because it was SO bright, there were so many people scurrying around, etc. It was sensory overload for me!
post #38 of 85
I was "disciplined" in a WalMart, too, when I was in third grade. We were in one of the aisles and I did something obnoxious, I don't remember what. I guess I kept doing it, though, because my dad got upset and put his hands around my throat like he was going to choke me (he didn't squeeze hard or anything, but it was still pretty scary) and this woman who was pushing her cart past us stared. That was when I really understood that the things my parents did to discipline me, past spanking (I didn't like spanking and knew it wasn't a good idea, but I kind of accepted it because everyone else I knew got spanked, too) was bad. So even if you don't say anything, just staring and making eye contact with the child might help him/her understand that it's wrong. Calling the mom out, IMO, would just make things worse. Maybe he'll find a way to deal with it, if it's really bad at home, by calling CPS or telling an adult about it. The way I dealt with it was moving out right when I turned 18, and it was the best way to get myself away from my parents. Then DP and I moved to Tennessee, and I don't talk to them anymore.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnymw View Post
I think everyone has already addressed everything else... DH and I were talking about this, and when I read it to him he immediately picked up on the fact that yes, indeed, it happened at a Wal-Mart. Every situation we've ever seen involving an adult bullying a child has been in a Wal-Mart and it really makes me wonder what it is about WM that seems to make moms like this.
I heard verbal abuse at IKEA. The little boy (5?) was sucking his thumb, and his grandma was swearing at him for it. I stopped and stared-- wasn't planned-- I was just shocked. Then the grandma started making aggressive comments to me (and her daughter joined in). I had my baby strapped to me so I backed away. I still don't know what I should have done.
post #40 of 85
Firm believer in speaking up, here. If I see a child being mistreated in public I speak up , weather it is a parent smoking a cigarette in the car or my favorite while wearing the baby. I say something. I think that in this situation saying something at the very least shows both of the children that SOMEONE thinks that this is not ok, and hopefully when they ar parents them selves they will remember the "crazy lady in the Wal-mart that stood up for them and gave them the idea that kids should not be hit. Some parents would take this out on their kids later and some I truly beleive hear what youare saying and take it to heart.
You could say something like " I know you are frustrated with his spill but ABUSE is not he answer." using words like child abuse, or beating to the mother will help them to get the point. If you don't say something it is easy for everyone involved to turn a blind eye, and you never know maybe there were other people in the store that shared your view and would have followed your lead, proving your point to your mother and grandmother

My favorite thing to say to smokers is " I know you love your baby , maybe you didn't know second hand smoke is bad for babies and causes ear infections, upper respiratory infections, athsma, and heart conditions in babies, if you really need to smoke right now I will hold your baby, or sit with them in your car while you step outside"
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