or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Child Beaten In Store
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Child Beaten In Store - Page 3

post #41 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.


Pat
I agree completely. I reject the thought process behind "the kid will get it worse when they get home... better keep quiet". Of course, no one wants to think of being the catalyst in that situation -- but the fact is, no one hits their child because *you* spoke up. They might *say* that is the reason... but chances are, the child gets hit anyway for anything if that is the case.

However, speaking up and letting not only the child, the hitter, and people around you know that it is NOT OKAY plants a seed (as in Pat's example) that imo, stays with a child. They have a spark lit inside them that says... there are people out there who think this is wrong, maybe I am not bad, maybe I don't deserve this. ... and that hopefully, sticks around a lot longer than the abuse does.

I made a vow a long time ago to always say something, because the times I didn't left me feeling so powerless and like such a coward. Sometimes my approach varies, but I do always say something now.
post #42 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.


Pat
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
I agree completely. I reject the thought process behind "the kid will get it worse when they get home... better keep quiet". Of course, no one wants to think of being the catalyst in that situation -- but the fact is, no one hits their child because *you* spoke up. They might *say* that is the reason... but chances are, the child gets hit anyway for anything if that is the case.

However, speaking up and letting not only the child, the hitter, and people around you know that it is NOT OKAY plants a seed (as in Pat's example) that imo, stays with a child. They have a spark lit inside them that says... there are people out there who think this is wrong, maybe I am not bad, maybe I don't deserve this. ... and that hopefully, sticks around a lot longer than the abuse does.

I made a vow a long time ago to always say something, because the times I didn't left me feeling so powerless and like such a coward. Sometimes my approach varies, but I do always say something now.

I completely respect and admire both CC and WW, and I want desperately to believe that as an intervening adult, I would do more harm by not speaking up. But I just don't always believe that. The honest to god truth is that there are some really unstable and psychotic parents out there and sometimes saying something really DOES make the parent give it worse at home. I clearly remember being 5 years old and my mother literally pulling me down the sidewalk by my hair, which was always kept long and in a ponytail so that she'd always have a handle. When she got tired of pulling me by my hair she pushed me in front of her and kicked me in the rear repeatedly, as well as smacking me and cussing at me. Of course I cried and screamed, and she hollered at me to shut up. A woman came out of her apartment and tried to make small talk with my mother and she asked if I was okay. When we got home not only did the beating continue, but I ended up with a black eye and bumps on my head from being thrown, by my hair, into walls. The whole time she re-iterated that "I" made a scene. "I" was being dramatic and "I" called attention to us, and how dare "I" embarass her like that.

That woman was trying to help in the only way she could. But she made things worse. At that age, I already knew that my mother's behavior was not okay. I didn't need someone to say anything to her, I needed someone to remove me from her. If they couldn't do that, I wanted them to keep thier mouth shut. A kind look from an outside adult did more good to me than saying anything.

So yeah, I firmly believe that sometimes saying something does some good. And sometimes not saying anything is better, and it's really hard to tell which is the right thing.
post #43 of 85
When I see this happen (and I see it all the freaking time) I just give the parent the look of a thousand deaths and hug my kids tight. I have yet to see anyone say anything back to me. They can take it as they like, but I'm sure they know that I'm glaring at them for abusing their children.
post #44 of 85
I'm keeping all of you who posted about your experiences as well as children that this is happening to in my thoughts.

It is just horrible, and I am so very sorry.
post #45 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigama View Post

That woman was trying to help in the only way she could. But she made things worse. At that age, I already knew that my mother's behavior was not okay. I didn't need someone to say anything to her, I needed someone to remove me from her. If they couldn't do that, I wanted them to keep thier mouth shut. A kind look from an outside adult did more good to me than saying anything.

So yeah, I firmly believe that sometimes saying something does some good. And sometimes not saying anything is better, and it's really hard to tell which is the right thing.
Even though I knew my mother's behavior was wrong, i also didn't know what else existed. Yes I could see kindness in a stranger and think, wow, they might not treat me this way...but no stranger was ever going to just take me in. Anytime CPS came over to the house my mother made sure to tell us that if the house was too messy or if we seemed unhappy they would take us away and we would have to live with people we didn't know. That was infinitely more scary than getting pushed around and slapped and not having anything for dinner. Plus, she was so unstable. Yeah she hit. Yeah it hurt. But it also hurt to see her cry and be frustrated with us/her life...which happened just as often as her getting angry. Sometimes she was so sad/angry at herself it seemed okay for her to take it out on us because otherwise how was mommy going to be okay? And if mommy wasn't okay, what was going to happen to us?
post #46 of 85

speaking up

I'm a very infrequent poster, but a regular lurker and wanted to speak up.

Until recently dh and I spanked. When she was born, we vowed we would never spank, but as she got older we resorted to spanking. Partly because we were at a loss of what else to do, partly because everyone we knew spanked, and partly because it got immediate results. Before DS was born, I realized that there were other ways to discipline.

I remember when were at a store, DD was throwing a huge temper tantrum and I told her she needed to stop or we'd go into the bathroom for a spanking. A lady walked by and made a comment about how I shouldn't spank.

That's all it was-- a comment. She didn't give me other suggesstions to defuse the situation, she didn't give me any sites to look at to get guidance, she just made a rude comment and went on her way.

Did she make me think that spanking was wrong? No, she made me decide that she was a rude women who was very judgemental.

Speaking up and saying it's wrong, itsn't going to stop them from spanking. They need guidance, direction, encouragement, and support.

You wouldn't walk up to a mom holding a crying baby and just say "oh, you should wear her" and walk away without pointing her in the wrong direction, so why walk up to a parent who spanks and say "oh, you shouldn't spank" and walk away?
post #47 of 85
What is it with Walmart and child abuse?
This same thing happened to my husband at our
Walmart. Except this was a couple and the man
was doing the abusing to a litlte girl. My husband
said no one said anything but everyone was staring.
The people apparently were on meth or some type of
drug.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the guy got
aggressive with my husband and they almost got in
a fight, but the couple ended up running out of
the store really fast. Probably for fear of the police
catching them with dope or something.
If you fear for your own safety and don't want to
speak up, just call for security or call the police.
At least that way, you would have done something.
post #48 of 85
my aunt is a county crisis child and youth worker. in PA you are not allowed to physically attack your children. grabbing a child by the arm and hitting them is considered assault.

While out in public with my aunt, I was sat down on a bench and told not to move, while she went over and took the child from the parent beating them and told the parent that they would stay there until the police came.

but for an everyday citizen it's significantly harder to know what to do. I agree with some of the prior posters saying to the mom stop hitting isn't right. I also would have called the police and the store manager over to get this womans information.

FYI If you ever feel a child is being abused, call 911 demand a child welfare safety check. They will send an officer to hold the situation until a crisis case worker appears.

to the OP, I'm so sorry you were put into that situation. I think sometimes witnessing abuse is as tramatizing as being abused, and sometimes worse!
post #49 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
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
Sure you're safe. But who knows how that child will have to pay for your actions later on.

(You is a generalization here not directed at WuWei personally.)
post #50 of 85
I how it would have helped diffuse the situation if you (or anyone) had gone up to the mother and said something like, "It sure is frustrating, can I help you clean you this soda?" Or whatever it was. Who knows what their shopping trip had been like up to that point? Maybe the kids had been really difficult and that was just the last straw? (Not that, that makes it ok) Maybe an offer of help and a few seconds to step back and realize how small the incident really was, would have made all the difference. Just a thought.

At the very least you would have interrupted the spanking, without the mama feeling confronted.
post #51 of 85
A lot of people shop at Walmart. It is the largest retailer in the US. It is no surprise that a lot of stuff happens there.

And no offense, but it's cheap and a lot of poor people shop there. The poorer you are, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to spank and use physical violence, the more stress there is in your life for many reasons. It is a social issue.

To the OP- I am glad you posted because I also would have no idea what to do.
post #52 of 85
Reading this post and abuse accounts is making me sob. I am so sorry for those of you who were beat and children who continue to be beat today. I was never spanked as a child but my dh was a child of abuse. It breaks my heart the ptsd that he goes through everyday as an adult. I'm so sorry.
post #53 of 85
First let me say I am so sorry you had to witness this. I have seen this and I experienced it many times. My parents would do the same to me and I had many trips (some in a squad) because my parents would shove, hit, pull hair, and one time break arms because I was "not acting right" as they would say. Now as a parent, I DO speak up by offering to help the parent and trying to sound helpful and understanding. It is so wrong to hit a child and many parents don't get it. They are overloaded. I am NOT defending these parents, just trying to understand why they do it.
To ThreeBeans: How horrible to suggest she approved of it! Geez...!!!!!!!
post #54 of 85
nak

In this country that woman probably would have been arrested. Spanking/smacking your child has recently been made illegal here.
post #55 of 85
I don't think anyone should confront a person in public who is abusing an elderly person, it might make the person be meaner to them when they get home.

If you see a dog fight, or a starving dog chained out back, I think you should keep walking because the people may get mad if you call someone.

I think if someone were screaming at and hitting a person in a wheelchair, you should be quiet because that person may be the disabled person's only caregiver and you wouldn't want to mess up that situation.

I think if you find bedsores and bruises on your grandmother at a nursing home, you should keep it to yourself because it took a lot to get her in there and you don't know if you can afford another one, or if it is accepted by insurance.

If you see a person hitting their spouse in public, or holding a woman down to assault her ... it is best not to get involved or call anyone because the women might not want to get her man in trouble and might think the good outweighs the abuse.


See, in those situations I would do something (or call someone if I didn't want to confront myself) because those things go against my moral code in every fiber of my being -- just like spanking.

I will always speak up. A group of people "minding their own business" is how most of the world's worst atrocities have been allowed to be commited.

I just feel very strongly about this... I am not directing it at any one person in particular.
post #56 of 85
I have read all these posts, and I still don't know what I'd do in that situation. I hope it's something I never have to witness.
post #57 of 85
I don't know if this would work. I know it wouldn't work long-term, but maybe it would stop the situation without causing more problems.

What if, instead of focusing on talking about the situation (hitting, yelling, etc.), what if you came up to the mom and started asking her about something unrelated? You know . . .start helping clean up the soda, and then start talking to her about something else (like how there is a sale, or boy isn't the weather awful, etc.). Then, focus your attention on the child. Compliment the mom on her child, how beautiful he is, or something else. No mention of hitting, no mention of parenting-- just a human to human connection. Maybe that would stop the situation (at least for the time being) with no repercussions for the child of having "made a scene."
post #58 of 85


I've only been in this sort of situation once, where I really WANTED to do something, but didn't have a clue WHAT. For the most part, people who are just spanking their kids (open-handed, on the bottom) are NOT "abusers," in that they are just doing the best they know how, and they are unlikely to punish their child if someone approaches them about the spanking. I was spanked, and almost everyone around here does it. MOST of them may be offended that you would criticize their parenting, but they wouldn't take it out on their child. It can be hard to know, though, can't it?

The one time I had a similar experience was in WalMart, alas. This woman was cussing at her son -- he was maybe 5 or so. I was irritated by this, but I didn't say anything. This woman was very sour and hateful-looking... I was sure this wasn't just a stressed-out reaction. She gave me the creeps. I met up with DH on another aisle and told him about the woman; if we were quiet we could hear her yelling, wherever she was.

A little while later we met up on another aisle. The woman paused to pick something up and talk to the other woman who was with her, and the little boy walked in front of the buggy (or cart... we call them buggies here) to look at something. As soon as the woman (mom, I assume) was ready to go, she said, "Get out of the way!" After about 2 seconds, when he didn't move, she ran the buggy into him. I was so appalled, and I will always, always be angry with myself for not intervening. I felt sick to my stomach; the other woman didn't say anything at all. I told myself I would tell an employee about it when I saw one, but there weren't any around. I know I was just sort of rationalizing why I "couldn't" help. That was the last we saw of them, until we were out in the parking lot. I was at the soda machines, and the women and boy were at their car. It was a station-wagon type vehicle; the boy was sitting in the back seat, while the women put the groceries into the very back of the car. He turned around to ask them something, and the mom (?) started yelling at him to "turn your @$$ around and sit down! You always have to make everything so difficult! Why? God, I wish I'd never f***ing had you!"

I just didn't know what to do... I knew then that the people would be gone before I could get help, and I felt positive that my own intervention would have just meant more abuse for the child. This was probably 2 years ago. I still think about that day. I am determined never to let anything like that slide ever again, but it doesn't make me feel any better about letting that boy go home with that terrible woman.
post #59 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
I don't think anyone should confront a person in public who is abusing an elderly person, it might make the person be meaner to them when they get home.

If you see a dog fight, or a starving dog chained out back, I think you should keep walking because the people may get mad if you call someone.

I think if someone were screaming at and hitting a person in a wheelchair, you should be quiet because that person may be the disabled person's only caregiver and you wouldn't want to mess up that situation.

I think if you find bedsores and bruises on your grandmother at a nursing home, you should keep it to yourself because it took a lot to get her in there and you don't know if you can afford another one, or if it is accepted by insurance.

If you see a person hitting their spouse in public, or holding a woman down to assault her ... it is best not to get involved or call anyone because the women might not want to get her man in trouble and might think the good outweighs the abuse.


See, in those situations I would do something (or call someone if I didn't want to confront myself) because those things go against my moral code in every fiber of my being -- just like spanking.

I will always speak up. A group of people "minding their own business" is how most of the world's worst atrocities have been allowed to be commited.

I just feel very strongly about this... I am not directing it at any one person in particular.
I've read this whole thread, more than once, and I just don't see where anyone even so much as implied that one should NEVER intervene, or that one should "mind their own business" or turn a blind eye to an abusive situation. I have real problem with blanket statements in general, but especially in the vein of It is always better to intervene than not because at least it sends a message or It will never be worse for the child just because of me saying something or even One should never intervene at all because it will just make things worse for the poor kid. Sometimes, circumstances call for intervention. I will give you that 100%. However I think it's wise for all of us to aknowledge that though our intentions may be pure and good, that sometimes-sometimes the act of speaking up WILL make the situation worse for the kid. And unfortunately, there's not a solid way of knowing for sure what the outcome for the kid would be. There's only instinct to guide us in this situations. If I felt, instinctually, that the mom was having a rotten day and was just plain old at her wits end, I might say something to try and defuse it. But if I got the abusive vibe from her (and as an abuse survivor, this instinct is pretty keenly honed in me) I would most likely either inform a manager or casually notice which car was hers, take down the plate number and call 911. I would not, under any circumstances, directly speak to the parent or child because I strongly feel that my direct and obvious action would, in fact, make that kid's life worse.
post #60 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by APBTlover View Post
I just didn't know what to do... I knew then that the people would be gone before I could get help, and I felt positive that my own intervention would have just meant more abuse for the child. This was probably 2 years ago. I still think about that day. I am determined never to let anything like that slide ever again, but it doesn't make me feel any better about letting that boy go home with that terrible woman.
I certainly hope that there will never be a next time, but take down their license plate and the make/model of their car. You can call the police with that information and they will send someone to investigate. I know what hell CPS can inflict upon a family, and I don't wish that on anyone who doesn't deserve it, but this is a case where THEY DO DESERVE IT!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Child Beaten In Store