what do you do when you see a child being hit by parents in public??? - Mothering Forums
Gentle Discipline > what do you do when you see a child being hit by parents in public???
EmmaJean's Avatar EmmaJean 05:09 AM 04-27-2003
I was at Lowe's this evening with my dh and ds when I was very disturbed to see a woman hit her toddler in the back with a handful of paint sticks/stirrers!!! The are long and flat, not round, and I've actually known a woman who used one as her spanking tool. YIKES!!! Anyway, this woman hit him in the mid-back, not butt, when the child was bending over to (assuming) touch something he shouldn't (he was sitting in the big part of the shopping cart). It was just once but hard enouch that it was very audible, and I know it hurt, even though the child didn't cry. I assume this means he's used to it.

Anyway, I was stunned and shocked and didn't know what to do. I should have turned around and stood up for the child, but I've never done that before, and I was so scared about what to say.

Dh and I reitterated our promise to our son and ourselves that we will never hit him. He's only 16m, so he doesn't understand what we're saying (it's mostly for our benefit since we were spanked as children), and I hope he doesn't learn what a spanking is until he's much older and hears friends talking about it or something.



lilylove's Avatar lilylove 04:55 PM 04-27-2003
I am pretty non-confrontational, so I probably would have tried to see her plate# as she was leaving and called the authorities. But to do something that drastic I would have to be VERY sure I did not misread the situation. Also about confronting moms, sometimes that can do more damage then good.. Thats my 2 cents.
laurelAR's Avatar laurelAR 06:07 AM 04-29-2003
EmmaJean, that is HORRIBLE! I see stuff like that all the time too and it breaks my heart. I feel compelled to say something, but I just can't KWIM? And even if I did it wouldn't matter I don't think. I am very good at giving them dirty looks where I KNOW that they see me. Is that mean? Unfortunately, spanking is still pretty common in these parts you know? And I am so tired of seeing those moms in the stores screaming at their kids to SHUTUP and jerking them up by ONE ARM. I can't stand it. I am interested to see more replies about this type of thing.
Mallory's Avatar Mallory 10:01 AM 04-29-2003
Have you read this thread?Do you say anything

Here is another one-When to interfere
LunaMom's Avatar LunaMom 11:43 AM 04-29-2003
There have been so many threads on this subject, and I'm always shocked and saddened at what people report having seen. I haven't seen quite so much of it - I think I may have witnessed a small slap once or twice, and then a dad putting his baby daughter in the car and yelling at her that she's a "bad girl!" But I never saw anything that made me feel compelled to act. I guess it brings up the question of spankings vs. abuse, and while most mamas here probably see little difference between the two, as do I, the law is different, and kids don't get taken away from their parents because they receive spankings. However, kids DO get taken away from their parents for all sorts of inappropriate reasons (extended bf and co-sleeping seen as sexual, for example?), so I must say that it freaks me out a lttle to hear how quickly some people say they would "call the authorities" if they witness a parent hitting a child. It's sort of a double-edged sword, isn't it?

I like the idea posted in another thread, I forget who said it, of saying to the parent, "You know, there are security cameras in here," but just to play devil's advocate - could that cause the parent to bring the kid out to the car and perhaps do even worse things because no one is looking? I worry that saying anything to the parent might result in the parent being even harder on the kid later, KWIM?
EmmaJean's Avatar EmmaJean 01:07 AM 04-30-2003
Oops! Sorry for being redundant!! I really appreciate your links and thoughts. I was just so upset, I had to say something here. You know that feeling??

Thanks again!