What would you do if you saw someone smack a child?

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  1. innerspin profile image88
    innerspinposted 11 years ago

    What would you do if you saw someone smack a child?

    Out shopping, I challenged a grandmother who smacked her toddler grandchild alongside me, because he was whingeing. We ended up having a row in the street, which I've never done with anyone before. How would you have acted?

  2. krillco profile image88
    krillcoposted 11 years ago

    While it certainly is not something I would ever do, or have ever done, nor teach the parents who come to me for counseling, in most places, spanking/hitting a child is not illegal. I THINK lots of stuff when I see it, but do not comment. Now, if there is genuine abuse happening, I will/have made intervention.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for answering. I usually keep to myself, this one time got to me.

  3. sctlyles21 profile image62
    sctlyles21posted 11 years ago

    If I saw someone smack a child in the face for no apparent reason, I would call the police. I can understand if the child was acting up publicly & embarrassing you in front of everyone, but smacking someone else's child for what reason is not normal at all.

  4. pstraubie48 profile image80
    pstraubie48posted 11 years ago

    Actually I saw a hit her child with her shoe. She took off her hard shoe and hit her little girl with it. I butted in and told her she could not do that and that I was going to get someone. We were in the ladies restroom.
    She wagged the shoe at me and wanted to hit me with it. I put the door between the two of us and called for someone. As luck would have it someone was able to get a store person to come. They escorted the lady away. I do not know what happened after that.
    But I had to butt in. I was a teacher and it had been my life's work to protect children. Would I do it again? in a heartbeat.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That must have been quite scary. Thanks for your answer.

    2. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      kudos to you for being brave and standing up for that child.

  5. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 11 years ago


    While I don't agree with any form of spanking, if it was just a swat to the butt or hand I would mind my own business. However if it was someone hitting thier child with closed hand or in the face I would call someone and say something.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, peeples. Interesting pictures you posted. It was more than a restrained swat.There's not much space to explain ourselves, I appreciate your input.

  6. ithabise profile image74
    ithabiseposted 11 years ago

    This is a sensitive issue. I grew up with spankings, today believe in spanking, and feel that it is a parent's right to discipline their children (even without spanking) as they feel is necessary and as is reasonably appropriate. I feel that spanking can be reasonably appropriate as a disciplinary action. So I disagree with the "No Spanking" faction.

    In any situation I would be extremely careful about intervening. I'm not sure that I could know what has led up to that moment, for the adult and the child. Further, I would restrain myself because I really don't want to become an intervening party in another home's culture (so as to upset it and bring real trouble to it) for something I may be shortsighted about. I think a parent or guardian would have to force my hand by doing something so egregious to a child that I confronted the situation or just called the police.

    Yes, we must err on the side of caution for our children. But there is always some concern for ourselves, too. A heated confrontation is one thing; a fight, brawl, or violence with another adult(s) is worse. People are crazy these days, and the right one will go off like dynamite. This is why I'd be really careful. Don't get me wrong though: No child should be beaten or hit in the face or just railed against unlovingly.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not a complete" no spanking" supporter,  this lady smacked the toddler several times right beside me, shouting at him, so on this occassion I untypically spoke up. You're quite right that it's a sensetive issue. Thanks for answering.

    2. ithabise profile image74
      ithabiseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Innerspin, I will say that I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum on leaving children and pets in hot cars. I'm immediately looking for the guardian or dialing the police. What's your opinion here?

    3. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I've not been in that position. If the child/animal looked in danger I don't think I could walk away.

  7. RavenBiker profile image60
    RavenBikerposted 11 years ago

    Nope.  I don't do a thing.  None of my business.  I turned out okay.

  8. JenJen0703 profile image80
    JenJen0703posted 11 years ago

    Honestly, it would depend on what the child was doing wrong and how the adult smacked him/her. While I do not think spanking children a lot is a good thing, I do understand that sometimes it is needed. Swatting a child on the rear end can send a message without severely hurting a child.

    However, if I saw someone smack a child with an object, or in the face, or with a closed hand, I would definitely step in and say something to the person. I would also call the police and follow the person if I had to.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There are a lot of variables in the question, that's true. This occassion seemed way over the top. It made me wince. Thanks for your answer.

  9. grinnin1 profile image70
    grinnin1posted 11 years ago

    That must have been something! Was the row a physical or verbal one? If physical, I think grandma needs to not be watching a small child with her apparent lack of self control and anger issues.
    I think public places are difficult for parents and children sometimes, because kids get tired and parents want them to behave in front of others. That leads to frustration, and it's tough to always make the right decisions when you're frustrated.
    If I see a parent spank a kid on the bottom when they're throwing a fit, okay, maybe not the best way to handle things, but it happens.
    If I see someone slap a kid in the face or actually hit them - that to me is a different category. I would definitely let the parent know that I saw what happened, I might say something to the effect of "maybe you need to take a break" and I would call Child Protective Services immediately if I thought it looked like an abusive situation.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Purely verbal, thank goodness. I said," Smacking like that hurts," as it was repeated, on his bare legs. She shouted maybe I should take the "spoiled brat" home myself as she was sick of him. Then a few other things. Oh dear! Thanks for joining in.

  10. fpherj48 profile image60
    fpherj48posted 11 years ago

    You said, "Grandmother?"   Oh dear......Gram Dawg (that's me!) has serious issues with this whole picture...   I am not even going to get in to a monologue on "to spank or not to spank,"....but I will say, I translate "spanking," ...a far cry from HITTING- SLAPPING -SHAKING -yanking or kicking ....only psychos do these things to children.  (Having said this, I need to add that NO ONE other than parents has a right to even consider raising a hand to a child....even a Grand Parent.   I'd cut my own hand off before I ever spanked a grandchild.)
    Whether or not I would do anything at all, remains in knowing the scenario.....You say this made you wince, so I'm guessing Gramma was fairly rough and nasty.  In that case, knowing myself so well, I would make my presence known, with a look of sheer disgust and perhaps a snide comment...maybe....on the lines of, "And to think there are thousands of lovely people who actually WANT children."    I'd be satisfied with simply "embarrassing" and belittling Gramma Rage.
    In the case of utter abuse, I would step in, call the authorities and look around for other witnesses.  "Abused Children are EVERYONE'S business."

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's interesting, I think smacking and slapping are virtually the same. Maybe I meant slap. Must look up defenitions.This was harsh. My knee-jerk reaction on this occassion was to say something. If I hadn't, I may still be regretting it.Thank you!

    2. fpherj48 profile image60
      fpherj48posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      LOL...a matter of "definitions"...I consider a "spanking," a subtle swat on the bummer, over diapers and/or clothing....I guess we all have our own meanings..lol

  11. DzyMsLizzy profile image86
    DzyMsLizzyposted 11 years ago

    With a shoe??? No, that's inappropriate; I might have "offered" to hit the b***h with my own shoe, so she could see how it felt!
      However, a well-placed open-handed swat across the backside when a kid is acting up in public will get from me a congratulations to the parent for not being afraid to discipline their child.

    I got spanked and it did not damage my psyche.  There is something to be said for "protecting kids," but the CPS and the laws on the matter have gone over the top and created a climate of irrational fear on the part of parents.
    Unfortunately,  kids are essentially being taught to be victims, and the moment any real discipline is applied, they have been trained to report to the authorities, as if they are being actually abused.  (The Hitler Brown Shirts youth corps come to mind--taught as they were to turn in their own parents....)   
    A simple spanking of one or two swats is not abuse...but everyone is afraid, and this needs to end.

    1. ithabise profile image74
      ithabiseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I fully agree, DzyMsLizzy.

    2. krillco profile image88
      krillcoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hitting is not discipline. Disciple comes form the word 'disciple'. A disciple follows the master not out of fear of being hit, but out of respect. Work on respect between your self and the child ,and you will never have t o hit.

    3. ithabise profile image74
      ithabiseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Spanking a child does not signal a lack of respect between a parent and child. And what does that mean when a child flagrantly disrespects the parent?

  12. edhan profile image38
    edhanposted 11 years ago

    It depends whether there is a risk of the child's life. It will be awkward to intervene unless there are signs of danger or harm to the child.

  13. sassydee profile image72
    sassydeeposted 11 years ago

    wow this is a very hard question!
    1. because I don't know the whole situation nor do I know them
    2. grandmothers are old school and are set in their ways
    3. if the grandchild is with the grandmother is it because her child trustes her judgement to watch their child?
    4. it's none of my business, however if I saw a child get beaten then that would be a different story
    5. I wouldn't want to anger the grandmother more and then take it out on the kid

    I probablly would just give her a look and say something like oh my gosh to let her know that she is crossing the line! Hopefully that will make her kind of think about it rather than reacting in such a way!

  14. ChristinS profile image39
    ChristinSposted 11 years ago

    I say kudos to you for standing up to her.  I'm sorry I know this opinion will be unpopular - but hitting a child is lazy parenting.  There is a reason we are moving beyond that now and it's because it's time to grow up and realize that violence is not a solution to problems.   I have never hit my kids but they are disciplined and for the most part well-behaved.  I was a verbal and physical punching bag when I was growing up and it took a lot of effort and a willingness to break a cycle to not continue that.  It was called "discipline" too.  Bull! Discipline is positive reinforcement and helping kids understand there are consequences for actions.  Remaining calm and showing restraint are how to set strong examples.  Lazy people lash out and don't control themselves.  That's a lot easier than learning how to show restraint and use logic/reason to solve issues. 

    We can discipline a child without hitting them. People call it "spanking" because it sounds more acceptable, but call it what it is - hitting and aggression.  Also, people in public tend to show restraint - so if she was willing to do that to this child in public - think what he gets behind closed doors?  The fact you spoke out is a good thing and hopefully it will cause her to pause and reflect. 

    One day we were walking out of the store and there were several people around and I saw a woman hit her approx 3 year old child so hard he flew off the cart he had been hanging on to.  she then screamed mercilessly at this kid and drug him to the car.  I followed her, made sure she saw me get her license plate and immediately called the police. I was floored at the number of people who stood there and watched and did nothing or who turned away.   There is NO excuse for child abuse and I get tired of hearing "well I was hit and I grew up OK".  Yeah, so did I - fortunately, but that doesn't justify violence as a solution.  Take some parenting classes, anger management classes or whatever you need to do - but take accountability for your actions as an adult whose responsibility it is to shape the life of a child. There's no justification for this woman's behavior and you absolutely did the right thing calling her on it.  Defenseless children need people who are willing to be a voice for them.

    1. innerspin profile image88
      innerspinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks so much for your detailed reply. Well done on breaking the cycle from your childhood, and for reporting that incident, which sounds awful.

    2. peeples profile image94
      peeplesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Great Answer!

  15. Darknlovely3436 profile image70
    Darknlovely3436posted 11 years ago

    i depends on where the child is being smack , on the hands of a punch in the face is something different, sometime  children need a little smack .. on their little hands
    I was on line in the store last week , i saw this little boy misbehaving his mother spoke to him about four times, and he did'nt listen to her, so she when over to him and smack him , the little boy came up to his mother and kick her so hard
    that everyone in the store watch with open mouth.

    Now as i often said , you should disclipine your children in the privacy of your home. right away i could have tell that she never really disclipine that child
    else he wouldn't have embrasses her liked that in public..
    as a parent i felt like jumping in and saying something, but i refrain myself from doing so... "train up a child in the way it should go. because he/she get older they wouldn't stray from it.
    (Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it..

    1. Darknlovely3436 profile image70
      Darknlovely3436posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

    2. krillco profile image88
      krillcoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is never a need to strike a child, for any reason. Really. Never have, never will.

  16. austinhealy profile image74
    austinhealyposted 11 years ago

    This is really a double edged sword question. If you do not intervene, you might feel bad about yourself and the poor child who has been publicly abused. On the other hand, if you say something, you might stop the beating right there right now, but take the risk that when getting home out of any public scrutiny, they're going to beat the poor child senseless. A hard decision really. I suppose the right answer to your question would be a one case at a time approach. Even though I don't see a clear answer, this a great thought provoking question

  17. profile image54
    ParkourParker99posted 9 years ago

    I have been in this situation before. I saw a man hit a kid and try to kidnap her. I was actually coming out of karate when I saw it. I dropped my stuff and ran at him. He didn't see it coming and I cracked him in the nose and he doubled over. The cops came and I got a medal for it. So I'd help again just to stop the dipsh*ts in my town.

  18. Moon Daisy profile image80
    Moon Daisyposted 8 years ago

    There's a fine line between smacking and abuse, which is why I'd never choose to spank my child.  But that's a personal choice, and I know lots of parents do it.  And it's not illegal to use smacking to discipline a child.  For that reason I wouldn't intervene.  But if it was more than smacking, (eg. using a shoe like someone below talked about, punching or something that looked more like 'attacking' or causing real pain), then I would get some help, or if necessary intervene myself.

  19. profile image0
    cy10posted 7 years ago

    I would have interfered too - slapping a toddler just because he was whining is a bit harsh. Toddlers don't know the difference between right and wrong, and it is up to adults to teach them. Slapping them, however, shows that hitting is okay. The grandmother should have stepped aside and told her grandchild firmly but not harshly, "Stop whining, that is not okay," or something like that.
    Whenever I see a weird mark on a child, or see a child get smacked, I remember it, so if it happens repeatedly, I'd report it to CPS. Of course, I wouldn't remember a random child in public, but I would be concerned.


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