Is it wrong to publicly correct a mother on how NOT to discipline her child in t

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  1. Miss Info profile image67
    Miss Infoposted 12 years ago

    Is it wrong to publicly correct a mother on how NOT to discipline her child in the streets?

    The other day, I saw a mother vehemently shake and drag her young crying child (who seemed about 3 years old) in the streets, while leaving Target.

    In New York, if you call the police on harsh public discipline of children, the police probably will not come. In the same regard, if you reprimand a parent on the treatment of her/his child in public, you are subject to the wrath of that already angry mother (or father) for interfering. After all, you do not know the child or the parent, nor are you raising that child yourself.

  2. Stacie L profile image88
    Stacie Lposted 12 years ago

    I wouldn't worry about receiving an angry parents wrath if it will save a baby's life! shaking a baby can kill them and if you stand by and watch without reporting it, you are just as guilty.
    yes, i have spoken to parents in public about slapping their children and also for ignoring them as they ran wild through a store..

  3. mikicagle profile image82
    mikicagleposted 12 years ago

    You are absolutely right-you don't know the child or the parent. You don't know what the child did and you don't know why the parent is acting the she is. As long as the mother isn't abusing the child you have no right to step in. If you have a problem call the police and let them handle it.

  4. StephanieBCrosby profile image82
    StephanieBCrosbyposted 12 years ago

    I am divided on this question: I am somewhere between Stacy L and mikicagle. There are certainly times when the child's life may seem in danger and you want to step in. The problem: people are sue happy and it may turn out that the good Samaritan ends up getting the short end of the stick. I also agree that you may not know the extent of what the child did, say ran into the street after a ball and could get killed. The parent may not make the "right" choice (not that there is any) in terms of punishment, but they will try to make sure the child never does it again.

  5. Dexter Yarbrough profile image69
    Dexter Yarbroughposted 12 years ago

    I would say it depends upon the circumstances. If a parent is disciplining a child that has obviously been bad, for example hitting him/her on the bottom a few times, that is none of your business.

    If the child is obviously being beaten, call for police assistance. Most people know the difference.

    Also, what may seem like discipline may actually be a parent struggling with a child. Children, when upset, can writhe and squirm and can be amazingly strong at times. The parent may be trying to regain control.

    The key is not to let your personal beliefs guide you. Some parents believe in physical discipline and some don't. Mind your own business if a child is not being abused, especially if you don't have all the facts.

  6. edhan profile image38
    edhanposted 12 years ago

    It is hard to step in without knowing the mother as it is not your authority to question her. Every mother has her own way of teaching her kids but that should not be happening. It is sad to see this sort of scene as I wonder what direction our education system had brought us.

  7. kirsteno profile image59
    kirstenoposted 12 years ago

    That is such a hard question.  I would say if the child's life is in danger, say something.  If not, make yourself a mental note to never do it to your own child.

  8. Pamela Sarzana profile image58
    Pamela Sarzanaposted 12 years ago

    my answer is, Dexter Yarbrough covered it pretty well.

    Years ago, I was coming out of a store, I heard allot of screaming and scuffling coming from behind me. I turned around to see what was the matter .A very elderly and tiny little woman that i would have guessed to be approx 80ish. She was hauling what I presumed to be her grandson out of the store by the hand. Obviously against his will by all the whooping and hollering he was doing.

    She didn't scream, or yell or even reprimand him. I kept hearing a popping noise, as I lowered my eyes I saw that the loud popping noise was coming from his new shoes kicking her in the bare shins hitting the bone each time he thrust his foot to kick her.

    I never forgot it, I don't know why. I know what I would have done, and I don't think I would have waited till I got him to the car either. I would have set his "tail feathers" on fire.

  9. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 12 years ago

    I think it would be wrong to correct the parent in front of the child-this will only make the parent embarrassed and defiant.  I would ask the parent if I might speak with them quietly. 

    If I thought there was abuse I would call the police immediately and try to get their license number.

  10. Loveslove profile image60
    Lovesloveposted 12 years ago

    It is nobodys business how a parent disciplins their child....however if you suspect that a child is in danger from the disciplin it is getting then call the police .

  11. zduckman profile image61
    zduckmanposted 12 years ago

    I believe it is important to speak up if you see abusive bahavior. By not saying anything you are condoning the behavior....remember the phrase " it takes a village" a villager and help work for the greater good of all.
    It can never be wrong to do whats right. Abuse takes many forms. Harsh verbal abuse is very damaging. I have said something to a parent in the past and would not hesitate to in the future.....All this talk of call the police...I don't know where you live, but most police would not bother to respond to such a they have real business to attend to. If you see something you don't agree with TAKE A STAND dammit....that is the problem with this country today we are just a bunch of sheeple affraid to leave the heard.

  12. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 12 years ago

    to me it would depend on what they are doing as a way of punishment. i have told off parents before for treating their kids bad in public and i'm glad i did but i had watched them for a few minutes before i said anything.

  13. sunchild28 profile image56
    sunchild28posted 12 years ago

    it is not good to correct a mother in public.

  14. NorthEast Timber profile image60
    NorthEast Timberposted 12 years ago

    I wouldn't admonish her.  I would approach her and say something like.  "I can see your frustrated right now, is there anything I can do to help?"  Maybe she needs someone to act like they care. 

    I'm not excusing her behaviour, but who knows what her troubles may be and she is obviously overwhelmed at the moment.  A sincere and friendly offer of help would be much better than an accusation or public humiliation.

  15. www.lookseenow profile image61
    www.lookseenowposted 12 years ago

    It’s not my business to interfere with a parent’s responsibility to train up a boy according to the way for him even when he’s out in public, but a parent should not be irritating his children.  If he, or she makes a spectacle of it in public, then that would be a source of irritation both to the child, and to the onlookers. 

    When he (the child) grows old he will not turn aside from the training, or the mannerisms of his parent’s good, or bad example.  (Proverbs 22:6)

  16. lovelife08 profile image59
    lovelife08posted 12 years ago

    I would only interfere if the child were in some form of danger.  Otherwise, I would just shake my head if I disagreed with the way a mother disciplines her child.  We all have different ideas about how to deal with unruly children, and telling another mother how to deal with hers is just asking for trouble, so unless she is abusing the child in some way, leave it alone.

  17. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    Most of the time people who are "loser parents" don't care what anyone else thinks of them and would get angry at anyone who presumed to tell them what they shouldn't or should do.  Having said that, though, the way I see it is this:  Such parents don't think twice about embarrassing and demeaning their child in public; so a dose of their own medicine  (while most likely useless, other than to make them aware they should be rotten to their child behind closed doors) isn't such a bad thing.

    Maybe it's not such a bad thing for a child in that situation to have someone step in and send the message, "You know what?  This isn't what parents are supposed to be doing.  That  person who is treating you this way is wrong, and someone in this world sees it and will say something about it."  It won't help the child in his immediate situation a lot, but at least there's a shred of a chance that he'll get the message that he's not the one who has something fundamentally wrong with him.

    Besides, who knows - Maybe the parent is someone who actually doesn't realize how "bad" his own behavior is.  Maybe it would be something that would make him at least stop and think, or maybe it would be an incident he'd vent to someone else about (and that "someone else" might have a chance to point out that the stranger wasn't all that wrong).

    Last week when "this moron" killed her little six-year-old boy at a hotel, people said they'd heard her screaming at him that afternoon.  To me, saying something, doing something, (especially if someone's stupid enough not to know what shaking a child can do) is always better than doing nothing.

    I'm the biggest one in the world for minding one's business when it comes to other people's kids, but parents who are behaving abusively toward their kids give up their right to have other people mind their business.

  18. twilanelson profile image61
    twilanelsonposted 12 years ago

    Once in a restaurant my youngest daughter was quiet but she kept moving around.  An older gentleman was so annoyed he offered me his belt and his services.  We all laughed.  I do understand this was a  serious situation, and it is not wrong if you are sincerely concerned for the child.  Be careful and keep your distance as you know it can be dangerous territory.

  19. slaffery profile image60
    slafferyposted 12 years ago

    I wrote a hub about this but I just want to say that if a child is in obvious danger, you are mandated to report it.  However with that being said, you have to be careful about how you do this.
    1) I would never approach a parent directly because if a parent is bold enough to do this in public to a child you don't know, then what you are dealing with?  You are no good to get help for that child if you put yourself in danger.
    2) If you approach that parent and tell them what they are doing WRONG who do you think they will take it out on?  The CHILD.  So that probably is not the best solution.
    3) Again, if the child is in real danger, and yes shaking a baby can do irrepairable harm, then you discreetly call the police and you try to discreetly stay around the child as best you can, get a license number  if you can.  Let the trained individuals handle it as it can be dangerous not only for you but that child as well.
    4) Someone made the comment that you don't know the whole story, probably true but if a child appears to be in danger, you are mandated to report something that is questionable.  It's a touchy subject but a child's life could be in danger or lost if no intervention takes place.

    Trying to decide whether or not to make that call is hard for even people who may work with that family or know of situations going on.  So don't beat yourself up just try to do what you feel is in the best interest of that child in that situation. Use your best judgement.  It's better to be mistaken then for a child to lose their life.

  20. James Halpin profile image60
    James Halpinposted 12 years ago

    First off this was not a baby.  This is a what appeared to be a 3 year old child . Which could mean they were also 4 or 5. I would have to ask what you mean  by vehemently shake? Because you said she was shaking and dragging him. So the shaking could've really been a shake to get him to walk as she held him with one hand. Which I'm guessing she had a willful little child who was tired of walking and she had to drag him to get him to the car.  I agree with a pp. If you were that concerned you should've asked if she needed help.

    I only question this after the media storm of the mother who dragged her son around with the monkey leash/backpack.  When all the truth finally came out it was just a game that him and his father used to play and he asked his mom to do it,

  21. good2read profile image59
    good2readposted 12 years ago

    Obviously, kids can act up from time to time, and parents may need to get physical to get a point across. for example, a child runs into the road. The parent would need to A: grab their child to save them from danger and B: give them a little smack, not vicious, but enough to give the child an indication not to do that again. Some occasions a child may act up in public and if a parent is shouting at a kid to keep them in line, then it's the right thing to do, in my opinion, and you should just ignore them and mind your own business.

  22. stanwshura profile image70
    stanwshuraposted 12 years ago

    Wrong?  No way.  Ineffective - sadly, I'd say yes - UNLESS you take it to the end of the line and follow-through with the processes needed (and law enforcement/DSS/social work) to effect the necessary changes.


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