Why are people so cruel to their children?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just witnessed two examples of cruelty to children that just made me question why people are the way they are.

The first was in a large doctor's office. There was an area for children to play in. A mother had her approx. 2 year old son in it. She kept telling him to sit down and watch the tv. He was trying to play with a bead maze but she didn't want him to and so kept tying him to a chair with a blanket. He would cry quietly until she let him free - usually after 5 minutes or so - and then he would sit quietly for a minute and get up to play with the bead maze (within 2 feet of the chair). She would yell at him to sit down and watch tv again, and he wouldn't so the cycle was repeated. This happened the entire time I was waiting, for about 45 minutes. I understand being tired and frustrated as a mother, especially in a doctor's office, but I can't imagine tying my child to a chair. The nurses and receptionist were watching this whole thing and never said a thing. I could only wonder if maybe he was special needs and this was a way to calm him? Could that be valid? Otherwise is this a form of abuse that could be reported? I have no idea what I could have done in the situation to help.....

Then I picked up my children and went to a playdate at someone's house. I had never been there, and was trying to possibly start a friendship with the mother. She seemed somewhat gd in that she doesn't spank and we've had a few conversations at a local playpark where she seemed to think along the same lines as I do. Her children are also the same ages as mine so I thought it might work. We got there and our children were playing happily together. Her youngest dd is around 2 and tried to take a toy away from my son. The mother went and got a spray bottle filled with water and squirted her 4 or 5 times in the face with it. WTH? She said she was trying to "train" her to behave. I made excuses within a minute or two and we left. We obviously will never go back there.

I just don't understand how people can act that way towards their children. It makes my heart break.....
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#2 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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All I can say is, "Wow." I cannot imagine even witnessing those actions. I would have gotten out of that house as quickly as I could as well. I am always trying to be more GD, especially need to work on how I have been using threats and yelling/raising voice. I cannot imagine ever being that mean to a child.
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#3 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so upset about both situations. I feel like I should have confronted both mothers, but I have no idea how to do something like that. Those poor kids deserve someone to stick up for them but how do you do that in a society that sanctions, even approves of, child abuse in the form of spanking?

I didn't know what to do in the doctor's office as I was in too much pain to really get down to the child's level to play with him, and who knows if that would have set the mother off even more.

As for the playdate mom, I expressed my disbelief to her (which was when she explained her "training") but she saw nothing wrong with squirting a baby (I think two year olds are still babies) full on in the face. How do you get through to those people? I was so horrified I just focused on leaving, not on educating her...
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#4 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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I have heard that the spray bottle is a fantastic teaching tool when you are trying to train your cat not to climb the curtains. I can't quite understand the leap from cats to pre-schoolers.

As for the doctor.. that's just weird. Maybe Mom is a germaphobe and didn't want him touching anything in the dr office that might have been touched by a sick child. But, that's all I can think of.
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#5 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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Maybe the first child was sick and she didn't want to spread germs. Maybe he's immune-compromised.

The second mom is just. . . well I have nothing nice to say about that.
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#6 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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I don't let my DD play with toys at the doctor's office. But - I then bring my own that she can play with.

I've seen alot of bad parenting on both sides. I've seen people who believe so much in 'modeling' good behavior rather than teaching it that no one wants to play with their kids because it's so awful.
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#7 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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Well, the first mother, to me, was probably stressed out and didn't want her child to play with the toys in a dr's office. I hated to go to my pediatrician because there wasn't a well-child room and I didn't know who came in with what before us that day. If I was already stressed, then I could see myself practically tying my child to his chair.

The 2nd mother was out of line and I think you should avoid her. The child isn't a cat for crying out loud.

Reading your post, I wonder if you've recently had a miscarraige. I had a stillbirth and I would get furious at anyone that I didn't think was worshipping their child.

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#8 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never even thought of the child being immune compromised but that could have been it.... maybe. Still don't understand tying a child to a chair though. This was not a pediatrician's office, it was a Women's Health Center.

Maybe it is just the constant barrage of callousness to the needs of children that finally got to me. And, yes, lisa49, I did have a baby born too early in August, however, I do have three living children that I got over "worshipping" pretty quickly. LOL.

And I am definitely not the poster child for GD. I am constantly trying to improve though....

Am I overreacting?
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#9 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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Oh man - pretty bad.

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#10 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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I don't know about the dr.'s office. I can't imagine having to wait 45 minutes tho. Perhaps she was afraid of the child getting sick. It is still a drastic (and sad) "solution". The squirting a child in the face is just

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#11 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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My mom used to do the water thing with me :/ She said "that's how you train wild dogs" or something. I'm not scarred or anything but I don't have much of a relationship with my mother either.

The first mom should have just walked the kid around or something. She tied him to the chair? Another dog technique I guess.

*sigh*
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#12 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Eclipse95 View Post
I just witnessed two examples of cruelty to children that just made me question why people are the way they are.

The first was in a large doctor's office. There was an area for children to play in. A mother had her approx. 2 year old son in it. She kept telling him to sit down and watch the tv. He was trying to play with a bead maze but she didn't want him to and so kept tying him to a chair with a blanket. He would cry quietly until she let him free - usually after 5 minutes or so - and then he would sit quietly for a minute and get up to play with the bead maze (within 2 feet of the chair). She would yell at him to sit down and watch tv again, and he wouldn't so the cycle was repeated. This happened the entire time I was waiting, for about 45 minutes. I understand being tired and frustrated as a mother, especially in a doctor's office, but I can't imagine tying my child to a chair. The nurses and receptionist were watching this whole thing and never said a thing. I could only wonder if maybe he was special needs and this was a way to calm him? Could that be valid? Otherwise is this a form of abuse that could be reported? I have no idea what I could have done in the situation to help.....

Then I picked up my children and went to a playdate at someone's house. I had never been there, and was trying to possibly start a friendship with the mother. She seemed somewhat gd in that she doesn't spank and we've had a few conversations at a local playpark where she seemed to think along the same lines as I do. Her children are also the same ages as mine so I thought it might work. We got there and our children were playing happily together. Her youngest dd is around 2 and tried to take a toy away from my son. The mother went and got a spray bottle filled with water and squirted her 4 or 5 times in the face with it. WTH? She said she was trying to "train" her to behave. I made excuses within a minute or two and we left. We obviously will never go back there.

I just don't understand how people can act that way towards their children. It makes my heart break.....
When we went to a peds office that had a waiting area like that I tried to get my kids to sit and avoid the toys and I tried to keep them from playing with other kids. The whole germ thing just freaked me out too much.

OMG I just had to edit because I didn't read that she TIED the kid to the chair! How did i miss that? Egads. I think I would have told the doctor or a nurse. That's just plain wrong.

With the water squirting mom, I don't think I could have hid my reaction well. That's just nuts. I know some people do that to their cats, but I don't think that is very gentle either.

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#13 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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The squirting is pretty bad. I've joked with DH before about doing it to our 5 yr old DD who chews on everything. But we've never even done it to our cat. It's just mean.

As for the doctor's office, whether it's a well woman clinic or a peds office, I don't want my kids touching the toys at the doctor's office. DD2 was sick a lot her first 2 yrs of life. We had a cycle of colds, ear infections, stomach bugs. It never ended. I used to be totally relaxed about public places, but these days I'm obsessed with them keeping their hands pathogen-free! We bring books and things to the doctor's office whenever we have to go. I also bring antibacterial wipes for toys they insist on playing with or for their hands after playing with said toys. Yeah, I'm a nut.
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#14 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even if mom was worried about germs, is tying your child to a chair at any time ever okay?
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#15 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Eclipse95 View Post
Even if mom was worried about germs, is tying your child to a chair at any time ever okay?
Oh hell no. I missed that sentance when I first read your post.

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#16 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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We squirt our cats sometimes when they rip at the door to get outside, but we absolutely NEVER squirt their faces, and we never let them see us squirt them, lol.

And OMG...the thought of squirting a child?? And in the face?? WTF could that ever teach anyone? I have never heard of ANYONE squirting children with water bottles...and this is in the land of Spank as Thou Wilt! That's just insane!!

Now I'm questioning whether or not I should even be squirting my cats. They are REALLY bad cats, lol, but the squirting doesn't even really work. They still tear at the door, they just run away when they feel water. And then they come right back again.

I can't even think about the woman who tied her kid to the chair. What is WRONG with some people?!

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#17 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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We squirt our cats sometimes when they rip at the door to get outside, but we absolutely NEVER squirt their faces, and we never let them see us squirt them, lol.

And OMG...the thought of squirting a child?? And in the face?? WTF could that ever teach anyone? I have never heard of ANYONE squirting children with water bottles...and this is in the land of Spank as Thou Wilt! That's just insane!!

Now I'm questioning whether or not I should even be squirting my cats. They are REALLY bad cats, lol, but the squirting doesn't even really work. They still tear at the door, they just run away when they feel water. And then they come right back again.

I can't even think about the woman who tied her kid to the chair. What is WRONG with some people?!
I TRIED that with my cat when she was a kitten to keep her off the kitchen counters... it didn't work because she LIKED the water spray and would try to play with it. She's one of those weird cats that likes water. As for using it on kids? There are no words.

(P.S. Putting double-sided masking tape on the counters worked b/c she didn't like her paws touching the sticky.)

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#18 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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well i dont think you're overreacting. Its hard to speak up, I know, for one thing you were probably in shock. modeling appropriate parenting is always good. In the 2nd case, I agree, leaving was excellent. If the mom contacts you, maybe explaing to her that you don't want your child to see another child being disciplined in that manner, so you won't be hanging out again. She may not even realize some peolpe would think its abusive or just plain disrespectful.

I agree, very sad
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#19 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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Okay, I took the "tied" to the chair comment as a figure of speech. Am I wrong? I could think of several reasons for the first mother's behavior.

As for the second mother, I think someone needs to explain the difference between a cat and a child to her.
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#20 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I took the "tied" to the chair comment as a figure of speech. Am I wrong? I could think of several reasons for the first mother's behavior.
No, the child was TIED to the chair each time with his blankie. Physically restrained. Not sure how else to say it.
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#21 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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That's horrible. I don't think I would have been able to keep my mouth shut if I saw that.

I'm sorry you had to witness something so upsetting.

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#22 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 08:21 PM
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Tying a kid to a chair w/a blanket would never have occured to me in a million years. I wonder what she does to him at home.

The squirt bottle thing made me think of cats! We used to squirt our cat for scratching the couch. It didn't work. But I never squirted him in the face! So when she is out in public, does she take her squirt bottle with her?

That would have been hard to deal with on both accounts.
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#23 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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No, the child was TIED to the chair each time with his blankie. Physically restrained. Not sure how else to say it.
Was it like when people leash their kids when they're out shopping? I used to think that was cruel until I had kids who darted off. Now I think it's more practical, although we haven't resorted to needing to do it. Without seeing the exact incident and knowing all the details of the woman's life I just can't say for sure that I think it's cruel. Some of y'all are going to think that must mean I condone tying kids to chairs under any circumstances. But that's not true. I'm just wondering the details of the situation. For instance, was the kid screaming and trying to get out of the blanket? Was the mother leaving him to sit alone? etc. In those cases I'd say she probably needed to try something else. And, unless you have or know a kid with an immune deficiency it's possible that tying them to a chair is preferable to having them get extremely ill. A fever in an immune deficient kid is a lot more serious than in a healthy kid. And we don't know that this kid had an immune deficiency which is why I said that without knowing the details I can't judge whether the mother was being cruel.
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#24 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 09:18 PM
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Was it like when people leash their kids when they're out shopping? I used to think that was cruel until I had kids who darted off. Now I think it's more practical, although we haven't resorted to needing to do it. Without seeing the exact incident and knowing all the details of the woman's life I just can't say for sure that I think it's cruel. Some of y'all are going to think that must mean I condone tying kids to chairs under any circumstances. But that's not true. I'm just wondering the details of the situation. For instance, was the kid screaming and trying to get out of the blanket? Was the mother leaving him to sit alone? etc. In those cases I'd say she probably needed to try something else. And, unless you have or know a kid with an immune deficiency it's possible that tying them to a chair is preferable to having them get extremely ill. A fever in an immune deficient kid is a lot more serious than in a healthy kid. And we don't know that this kid had an immune deficiency which is why I said that without knowing the details I can't judge whether the mother was being cruel.
I think if this were the case, she would have had a leash. The immune deficient thing is more probable, but if she was that worried she could have asked to be put in a room.

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#25 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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I think if this were the case, she would have had a leash. The immune deficient thing is more probable, but if she was that worried she could have asked to be put in a room.
Yeah. I was thinking about it after I posted that. Why tie a kid when you could hold them in your lap or walk them around or something? It is really weird. Still, who knows what the situation was? I just don't like threads that are quick to judge when we don't have all the details, and I usually don't post on them. The squirting water thing got me, though! That's just nuts.
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#26 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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If it's a Women's Health center what if the mom was sick? I can think of a lot of really plausible scenarios where a caring, desperate mother is reduced to that kind of behavior. Maybe they're both sick. Maybe they just saw a kid with something awful chewing on the bead thing. I'd chalk that up to not knowing what was going on and moving on.

The water thing, though, that's awful. Talk about dehumanizing, yuck.
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#27 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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Yeah, maybe she's a germophobe and doesn't want him touching stuff in a nasty doc's office. Tying him to the chair is pretty bad. I don't know what the docs or nurses should've said though. The 2nd example is way worse IMO

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#28 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess it was the way the mother (in the doctor's office) was acting towards the child in addition to the actual physical restraint. She was texting on the phone, then yelling at him and tying him to the chair, then back to the phone, etc. I try really really hard not to judge parents unless I know all of the facts, but it really looked like it was just inconvenient for her to interact with him. Each time he moved from the chair, she would threaten him (i.e, "Do you want to be tied up again? Sit back down or else!") and he would sit down and then get back up, move away and she would grab him by the arm (yes, I have grabbed my kids a few times, not proud of it, but I have), drag him crying back to the chair and tie him down again. In addition to expecting a child that age to sit for that long, which seems unreasonable IMO, she really had no other interaction with him.

Plenty of times, I have not been proud of how I've handled situations with my kids in public. And, if he was immune comprised somehow or she was sick, I can understand it is really hard to deal with a 2 yo in public (I have a 12 yo, a 3.75 yo, and a 22 mo), but still, TYING a child to a chair? How can that ever be okay?
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#29 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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I am constantly amazed by people who do not prepare for waiting rooms and then get angry when their young child won't sit still and behave for long periods of time.

It's so sad, when my kid pulls out his books, small toys, writing pad and crayons and the poor bored kid next to us has to sit there bored. We always share with those kids, but I have to think: IF you don't want your child touching toys in a doc's office (I know I don't) esp if said child has an immunity issue....isn't it just common sense to prepare ways to distract the kid?

Tying him to a chair is a desperate and selfish act.

Squirting a kid in the face is just messed up. I have nothing else to say to that.

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#30 of 53 Old 12-28-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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I think you should take the advice of your siggie line and consider saying something if you see this kind of thing again. Not going off on the other moms but you can state your reaction -- oh my gosh, I could never spray a child in the face, it's so cruel and I'm sure it only confuses her. This is how I handle hitting..... I really think the spray bottle is a mean thing to do to a little child, how would you like to be sprayed in the face like that?

Seriously. It would take a lot of courage to say it, but it's the truth.

I'm sorry you had to witness both children being mistreated.
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