Witnessed a mom spank/beat her son today - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had witnessing something like this. I went to the hair salon for a quick trim.The woman who came after me had her son with her. I would say he was about 5 or 6. She was agitated because the beautician was late. She complainedto me that she had things to do etc. She handed her son a capri sun pouch and told him not to drink it. He opens it anyway. The entire time she's telling him she's the boss and she's tired of him not listening to her. He finishes the pouch and then she goes off! Yelling that she is going to beat him. He starts crying. She spans him on his legs, arms all while yelling at him. The little boy cried and she tells him she's doing to give all of his juice away because she is tired of him not listening to her and thinking he's in charge. Afterward she looks at me and tells me she doesn't know what to do because he won't listen to her and he had a drink pouch an hour earlier and this was for after the salon visit. Perhaps I should have kept my big mouth shut but since she chose me to vent to I told her that kids have a hard time with impulse control and if she didn't want him to have it until she was going to leave the salon she probably should have kept it out of sight. Oh, I forgot to mention.THe entire time she yelled and spanked him she told him over and over how greedy he is
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#2 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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I would have called CPS. If she's like that in public, imagine what she's like at home!

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#3 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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That's so, so sad. I'm glad you didn't just tell her what she wanted to hear. That poor boy.
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#4 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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And yes, if you knew she had to be there for a bit longer, I would have excused myself and called the police.

The fact that she was like that in pubic and then basically solicited advice from you makes me wonder if she's not crying out desperately for help. Maybe she's got anxiety, rage or depression issues that make it hard for her to parent well. Either way, she needs some intervention.
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#5 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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#6 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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That must have been really upsetting for you to see. I'm glad that you gave her real advice.

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#7 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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I'm glad you said something. How did she respond to your advice?

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#8 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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Still, it's absolutely awful when you see it happen I used to hate it when I would be at work (retail) and have a parent come through yelling at his/her kid and sometimes swatting them.
Though I have to say from the OP's description, it sounds like a bit more than a simple spanking

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#9 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 11:09 PM
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I'm glad u said something
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#10 of 35 Old 06-12-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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That must have been hard to see. I'm glad you were able to say something.
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#11 of 35 Old 06-13-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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If she didn't want her DS to drink the juice right then, why did she give it to him in the first place?

That seems kinda mean to me. I mean if someone handed me a brownie and said, "Here you can hold this and look at it, but don't eat it until I say so," then I'd probably eat it anyway and I'm an adult. It just seems unreasonable to me to do that to a child.

Anyway glad you said something, and didn't condone her behavior.
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#12 of 35 Old 06-13-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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I agree that she should have kept the juice out of sight. She definitely handled it very poorly. I have to say I feel sorry for her though. I have a hard time with DS1 not listening to me sometimes and I have felt so angry that I could behave that way. Luckily I have a parenting ideal that doesn't involve physical punishment or humiliation, but if I didn't have that idea in the back of my mind I could see how someone could get to that point. I imagine she's not in a good place. I feel very sad for Mother and son to be honest.

It's complicated.
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#13 of 35 Old 06-13-2010, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad you said something. How did she respond to your advice?
She nodded and kept going on and on about how he does not listen, thinks he's the boss of her and how tired she is of him not listening. I'm not sure how CPS works in other states but in NYC you have to give an address and other information. It wouldn't have been a case where they would have come to the hair salon to investigate her. It was hard to watch.

Not to justify the mothers behavior because it was not appropriate IMO but she seemed like a parent who needed some time to herself and possibly some sleep. Not sure what her personal situation is but it seemed like she could have benefited from being at the hair salon alone and not with her son. I kind of felt sorry for her because she seems like a parent who was in desperate need of a break.
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#14 of 35 Old 06-13-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Not to justify the mothers behavior because it was not appropriate IMO but she seemed like a parent who needed some time to herself and possibly some sleep. Not sure what her personal situation is but it seemed like she could have benefited from being at the hair salon alone and not with her son. I kind of felt sorry for her because she seems like a parent who was in desperate need of a break.
That's a compassionate observation. Indeed, there's a good possibility the mom is tired, stressed and/or depressed. Whatever her trouble is, it's interfering with her ability to parent her son positively. Hopefully, you planted a seed in her mind that will compel her to seek out resources that can help her learn how to respond to her son positively whenever he pushes her buttons. Perhaps next time she leaves the house with him, she will keep the juice pouch in her bag until she's ready to let him drink it.

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#15 of 35 Old 06-14-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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You did the right thing by saying something!
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#16 of 35 Old 06-14-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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The whole situation sounds like Pearl-Style entrapment to me... It's just mean to give someone something they want and then tell them that they can't enjoy it!

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#17 of 35 Old 06-14-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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If she didn't want her DS to drink the juice right then, why did she give it to him in the first place?

That seems kinda mean to me. I mean if someone handed me a brownie and said, "Here you can hold this and look at it, but don't eat it until I say so," then I'd probably eat it anyway and I'm an adult. It just seems unreasonable to me to do that to a child.

Anyway glad you said something, and didn't condone her behavior.
Exactly. That's mean and manipulative. And good going OP!
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#18 of 35 Old 06-14-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Sounds like the mom is also creating the problem of not listening, he had a Capri sun an hour earlier and then she gave him another. Sounds like a classic case of sugar-induced non-listening created by candy conditioning.

I hate seeing all of that, yuck.

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#19 of 35 Old 06-14-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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The whole situation sounds like Pearl-Style entrapment to me... It's just mean to give someone something they want and then tell them that they can't enjoy it!
As much as I hate the Pearls, their "followers" tend to exhibit more self-control than the lady in the OP, though. They may trap children and punish them, but they're generally calm about the punishment (which I think is kinda creepy). I don't know which I think is worse, freaking out and hitting them or doing it calmly.

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#20 of 35 Old 06-14-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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That is so sad, how horrible!

I wonder if there's any way to intervene if you or I or anyone else witnesses something like that again? Like legally could we step in & physically remove the child from their tyrade??

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#21 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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That is so sad, how horrible!

I wonder if there's any way to intervene if you or I or anyone else witnesses something like that again? Like legally could we step in & physically remove the child from their tyrade??
I don't know. I don't think so. Especially in places where spanking isn't illegal. I know that I'd be pissed if someone thought I was being cruel to my child (for whatever reason...even scolding) and "removed him" from me...

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#22 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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Yeah, I can't imagine you'd get very far trying to 'remove' a child from his/her mother/father for mearly spanking them. Honestly, you'd be liable to be charged with kidnapping more than the parents with abuse. Spanking is not illegal most places. Its not even unusual in many areas... and I for one can *not* imagine what I'd do to someone who tried to remove my kid(s) from me because they disagreed with my parenting.
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#23 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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But I just can't imagine standing by doing nothing. To me that is so much more than 'disagreeing with parenting choices' -- I mean, if we saw a 25-year-old woman being hit by her boyfriend, we'd step in & stop them, right? And legally that would be acceptable? But kids just have to suffer, because it's their PARENTS hitting them, so that makes it OK? Is there a point where it IS acceptable to intervene?

Obviously I don't want to be charged with kidnapping or something (and in any case, I'm just talking about pulling the kid away from their parent 'til the parent calms down, not walking out of the store with them or something)... but I would feel morally obliged to step in... this is a hard one for me, it's not like any other 'parenting choice'...

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#24 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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And yet, thats all it is. You disagree with spanking. Thats fine. You don't have to spank your kids. Some people disagree with not vaxing - even think people should have their kids taken away for it (they call it 'medical neglect'). But, that doesn't mean they can, doesn't mean they should. In the eyes of the law, in the eyes of many (even most in some places) parents, spanking is *the* way to discipline children. No ifs ands or buts about it... and you are not going to change their minds, certainly not by grabbing their child away from them while they are trying to discipline them. As like as not, the kid would just get in more trouble later on, and so would you - cops *could* be called in that case, I would think (I mean, just imagine that some stranger grabbed your child away from you for something, anything, and refused to let you take them back untill you had "calmed down" to their likings... somehow I don't think I'd be calming down anytime soon, while some strange woman held onto my child!!).
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#25 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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But I just can't imagine standing by doing nothing. To me that is so much more than 'disagreeing with parenting choices' -- I mean, if we saw a 25-year-old woman being hit by her boyfriend, we'd step in & stop them, right? And legally that would be acceptable? But kids just have to suffer, because it's their PARENTS hitting them, so that makes it OK? Is there a point where it IS acceptable to intervene?

Obviously I don't want to be charged with kidnapping or something (and in any case, I'm just talking about pulling the kid away from their parent 'til the parent calms down, not walking out of the store with them or something)... but I would feel morally obliged to step in... this is a hard one for me, it's not like any other 'parenting choice'...
Would I step in front of an angry man acting out violently? Uh, no...at that point it would be a matter of safety for ME as well. Besides, I've been in an abusive relationship (emotional/verbal) and I can tell you that if someone speaks up and "makes a scene" it's worse for the victim later.

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#26 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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As bad as it is to see that in public, an outside observer for just a few moments in their lives can't really make a logical judgement. We don't know what philosophies that mom holds to, or what kinds of stressors are in her life. KWIM? I'm not trying to justify, but trying to look at the other side.

When my boys (now 9 and 7) were small, I actually had a busybody step in and try to take my youngest son from the cart at Walmart. She heard me cursing to my husband on the phone, and assumed I was calling my baby a little s#!%. You just never know. I'll be the first to admit that I flipped out on her COMPLETELY. Although I felt she had no business jumping into my family, clearly she though she did. How would you guys react if someone did that to you?

I think it's different when you either 1) know the person OR 2) see an act that clearly violates your local law and can call the authorites and know they will respond in time.
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#27 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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As bad as it is to see that in public, an outside observer for just a few moments in their lives can't really make a logical judgement. We don't know what philosophies that mom holds to, or what kinds of stressors are in her life. KWIM? I'm not trying to justify, but trying to look at the other side.

When my boys (now 9 and 7) were small, I actually had a busybody step in and try to take my youngest son from the cart at Walmart. She heard me cursing to my husband on the phone, and assumed I was calling my baby a little s#!%. You just never know. I'll be the first to admit that I flipped out on her COMPLETELY. Although I felt she had no business jumping into my family, clearly she though she did. How would you guys react if someone did that to you?

I think it's different when you either 1) know the person OR 2) see an act that clearly violates your local law and can call the authorites and know they will respond in time.

I agree that witnesses sometimes think they see one thing but the story is so much different.

My son once was having a tantrum during a nice meal out. I took him outside and tried to corner him with my body both to shield him from prying eyes and not give him a chance to run away.... some guy came up and said he would call the police on me.. that he saw me hit my son's head into the wall. Uh, no.... I hadn't even touched my boy that point.. I merely was herding him with own movements.

Back to the spanking.... sometimes if you interfere you make things worse for these kids. If they were "so bad" as to attract attention.. they make get a worse beating at home. Trust me, I grew up in the sunny South. I did not know anyone growing up who was not spanked as a child.
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#28 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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OK, I am going to split hairs, but not in the way you are porbably thinking.

I have not read through this thread, although I tried when it was first started. I got through the first sentence of the OP, and realized I just couldnt do it. But now, everytime this thread comes up in new posts, its hitting a major nerve for me with the the spank/beat part. The thought is a major trigger for me.

I have seen other posters ask to have thread names changed before. I do not know if it something I can do, but this is me respectfully asking for a thread name alteration. Por Favor? I am told ALOT that I am way to sensative. Maybe I am, but the thought of ANY CHILD being treated as the very title of this thread suggests makes me want to retreat into myself with my kids in tow and disappear off the grid.

I am so so sooooo sorry if this a totally awful thing to ask. Please forgive me if it is.

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#29 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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Hopefully you not just agreeing with her gave her something to think about later when she had some time to calm down. You never know when what you have to say will start the seed of change in someone.

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#30 of 35 Old 06-15-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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That poor boy. Ugh, I can't stand reading stuff like this. I feel so helpless.

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