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The other day I'm shopping and this mother is being absoluly horrible to her children. She's hittting them, calling the names, shouting threats, ect. I'm sure you've seen this kind of scene in a store before. This is not the first time I've seen a mama behaving like this.<br><br>
It makes my blood boil<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/af.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="aunt flo"> It's not as if she was wacking her kids in the face with a belt or anything totally abusive so I couldn't call the cops. I just wanted to look at her and tell her that I'm glad she's not my mother and she should treat her children with kindness. But, that wouldn't be appropriate. So I did nothing and walked away shaking with anger and feeling a deep saddness in my heart.<br><br>
So, what is appropriate? Would you or do you approach these parents? I'd like to hear how you handle these situations.<br><br>
I came up with an idea. I'm going to have a t-shirt made that says, Please...Be Kind To Your Children. I figure I can get the message across that I don't want to see children treated badly in my presence. But the only problem with that is that I almost always sling my baby and then you won't be able to see my shirt.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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mama_kass, tough call. We moved from RI (where I never saw this sort of thing) to Virginia, where I see it almost everyday, and it breaks my heart every time. I tend to lean toward leaving the situation alone, though (unless it's obvious abuse). Whenever I do see it though, I always give dd a kiss and whisper in her ear how lucky she is! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm with MilliesMum.<br><br>
I can totally understand why you'd be upset. I would be too. I am not perfect, and i do have bad days. But everyday is a new day, and i work very hard at not yelling, i work at being gentle when i discipline. i would never yell and scream, call names to my child in private much less in public. How very sad, that they must suffer public humiliation on top of it. Still, we have no idea if this is an everyday occurence, or an isolated incident. People loose it and snap for a variety of reasons, of which i hope i never have to deal with. (Please, do not misunderstand, i am not making excuses, just sharing what i think when i see crap like that).
 

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My friend used to go and offer support to the parent. I have never been able to do that. I mean, she would say something like, "It seems like you are having a really hard time there, can I help you out?"
 

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I like captain optimism's idea. I don't see how saying something negative would be at all helpful; more likely than not, the mom would take out her embarrassment on the children once you were out of sight.<br><br>
It sucks that there is so much leeway between "discipline" and "abuse," though. If I saw someone beating their kid in the store, I would report it, but if someone smacks her kid on the hand repeatedly, I can't do a thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I just hug my dd even more that day.
 

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I shoot the parent very dirty looks.<br><br>
That isn't the right thing to do, I know, but that's what I do.<br><br>
Poor little kids<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
lisa
 

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I really think what we SHOULD do is speak up and say something to the parent(s) about their hateful attitudes...towards their children.<br><br>
Buuuutttt...we're all (at least I am) still yet too socially chicken.<br><br>
But looks do go at least part of the way. Today, for example, while my dds and I were eating lunch out I gave a father a cold stare just as he was rearing back his hand to pop his dd (probably around 4) on the backside. When he saw me looking at him he suddenly gained control of himself.<br><br>
I always wonder how these people act when they're not in public. I fear it's much worse.
 

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this is such an awful situation-- one that i've encountered before and one that i've either interveined or chosen not to. More often than not (though it hasn't been that often) i'll sort of saddle on up, dd in tote and pretend that dd wants to see other moms kids... then, we can strike up a conversation about how hard it is to grocery shop, etc., with kids and often i'll share incidents where my dd has started screaming at the top of her lungs in the frozen food aisle and how frustrating it is (even if it wasn't- though it often is...) basically i find that if you can make a connection, it helps to diffuse the situation...
 
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