Witnessing abuse. I just don't know what to do. - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-11-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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It's unfortunate to have to shame others into doing the right thing, but if her own logic and parenting instincts have already failed, then the ends (of sparing the baby more abuse) justify the means.
Except that I've heard from enough people like Sierra, to know that there's a better and more effective way to connect with parents and help children.

Just as there's a better way than shaming our own kids to achieve a desired end.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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It's unfortunate to have to shame others into doing the right thing, but if her own logic and parenting instincts have already failed, then the ends (of sparing the baby more abuse) justify the means.

do you have any evidence that shaming has actually changed that parents behavior? my feeling is that it would only serve to compound the problem.

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DGS born 2005
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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do you have any evidence that shaming has actually changed that parents behavior? my feeling is that it would only serve to compound the problem.

Good point, and many people have expressed concern that angering the parents might cause them to lash out even more at their children later.

I suppose rude comments could cause some to stop and think about what they're doing, but in general I think saying hateful things to someone who's already angry and out-of-control, simply isn't going to be helpful to the children.

I agree with posters who've said that the children need to know their parents' abusive behavior isn't the "norm," and that most people don't approve of their parents' screaming at them and shaming them.

I just can't help thinking there's a better way to help, that shows compassion for the parent and helps us form a connection that can help the child -- and I'm not talking about connecting by "trashing" children and sympathizing over how difficult they are --

I'm thinking more of saying things like, "When I'm trying to get things done, sometimes I can miss my children's signals that they're getting tired/hungry/stressed (and little people do get hungry/tired quicker than big people), and if I've got my mind fixed on just getting from task A to task B, I tend to snap at my children, which worsens the problem. Somtimes I just have to stop and focus in on my kids."

Also, on the bus/train, I think it would do most parents a world of good to hear someone else's reassurance that they don't need to feel self-conscious or embarrassed because their small children are simply acting like small children. I agree with other posters who've said that some parents end up getting more stressed in public than they do in private, because they worry that other passengers are getting annoyed at them for not "controlling" their children.

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Old 12-12-2008, 04:03 AM
 
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My 5yo was pretty upset that the baby was crying and no one was comforting her. The mother did eventually get her help and then come back to her children; if I remember right, she never picked up the baby, but I think the baby eventually stopped crying.


This was sort of me today. The bad mom... not the good mom. I was at Kohl's- it was the third or fourth stop of the day- Darn this holiday shopping- I was looking for a single pair of jeans in a particular size- I knew exactly what I was looking for and was trying to run in and run out of the store- I was overwhelmed at the thought of unbuckling and buckling the LO in and out of the car seat, so I just threw the entire carseat in the stroller.

You guessed it- he starts crying in the middle of the jeans. The trip was supposed to be so fast that I left the diaper bag in the car, so no pacifier. I didn't pull him out of the car seat, and I continued to hunt for my jeans. While he cried pretty much the whole time.


I'm such a bad mom sometimes.

But at least I spoke to him very kindly the entire time ("Poor Colin.... it's so hard to be dragged into these stores all day. You are so sad and frustrated. You need a cuddle, don't you. It's ok- mom will get you out of that seat very soon.") And I did leave the store the second I found what I was looking for.

Sorry- just had to confess.

Sleepy mama to Colin Theodore 8-12-08 and Trevor Arthur 7-17-12.

 

 

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Old 12-12-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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And, actually, I wasn't considering myself the "good" mom in that other scenario. I could have done better by seeing if I could help comfort that baby (if the other mother was open to that, of course).

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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so sad that your child has to witness this horrible behavior when i worked in a shop, i saw a few things parents do that i thought were totally outragious. i was told i could not do/say anything no matter how much i wanted to. depending on the situation, i woulod speak up, if i felt safe to do so. most of the time your in a situation where you could become a victom yourself. i have spoken up many times in the past, but now i have my own baby to watch out for. plus, i don't know if my words ever stopped anything.

i did have a friend call the police on a woman kicking, pushing and screaming at a two yr old who was walking down the side walk.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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could you put a christmas card in the stroller without being noticed? Put some parenting links... nospank, offer to help, hope her day gets better, empathize with her stress?

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Old 12-13-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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could you put a christmas card in the stroller without being noticed? Put some parenting links... nospank, offer to help, hope her day gets better, empathize with her stress?
That's a great idea -- to have some cards or something on hand with information that we can give to parents who seem like they need some help.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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As someone who deals with anxiety, I think I would need some short term solutions for myself in addition to knowing that I was doing what I could long term (writing letters, talking to people, offering to help, etc). For me, it would likely be something like listening to music to drown out the noise and bringing a book to share with my (toddler) DD.

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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if you have a cell phone with video, maybe you could record the abuse and send it in to your child protection agency.
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