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to keep my opinions to myself

(9 Posts)
Amateurish Tue 21-Jun-11 14:20:58

Or should I speak up when I see awful parenting in public?

Tesco yesterday - mother hands her 3yo son sitting in trolley a packet. Son drops it on the floor. Mother then says in a very agressive tone:

"you little shit"

son then says it slipped

"do that again and I'll smack you one"

I silently walked on, saying nothing.

But then thought I should have had the guts to give her a peice of my mind. Does anyone else ever do this, or is it better to keep your thoughts to yourself?

SenoritaViva Tue 21-Jun-11 14:23:35

Difficult one. Generally I keep my thoughts to myself. 'Slap him one and I'll slap you one, harder' might not necessarily teach the child anything particularly. I suppose if I saw her actually doing it (slapping him one) I might report her to staff.

It is so sad that people talk to their children like this.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 21-Jun-11 14:26:07

It is so difficult. I have intervened once.

This morning I saw a mother and father I know from the school playground driving in to the car park with their two year old stood in the front passenger seat foot well. Makes me so angry.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Tue 21-Jun-11 14:30:41

Always makes me think of the life that poor child must have. If someone is happy to call their child a 'little shit' in public, then you can guess that the same at the very least is happening behind closed doors. I always feel so sorry for the poor little mite.

I don't subscribe to the whole good mother, bad day, loving, child driving her bonkers, snapshot of her life so never judge thing. All I think is, poor child being called a little shit (or little bastard, or twat, or being smacked in the head etc)

However, what can you do that won't make things worse for the child? Maybe that's the worst the mother ever says. Or maybe because you challenge her, she'll blame the child and take him home and leather him. You just don't know.

If I saw an adult physically laying into a child, or screaming at them to such an extent that the child was clearly very distressed, I'd have to act. Although they'd just give me a gobful, or threaten me, or maybe go home and make the child pay. So would it actually help the child at all? Unless it was so severe that the police were required, which almost never happens in public.

I just feel so sorry for children with parents that treat them like that. Because they are so vulnerable. They're in a situation that they can do nothing about. The people who are supposed to love and protect them are the ones turning on them. They must feel really unloved. And it's not like they've any control. They can't say I don't want to be with you any more. They can't do anything. They're just stuck there, living that.

HowlingBitch Tue 21-Jun-11 14:31:56

I always find it hard to bite my tongue especially when they swear sad.

I always try and tell myself that this women could be the most loving parent in the world and that she could be having the worst day of her life. I think you can always tell the children who hear it daily apposed to the ones that don't.

I say unless it gets psychical don't say anything but feel free to give dirty looks!

Amateurish Tue 21-Jun-11 14:41:36

If they were the most loving parent in the world and having the worst day then they might actually take on board reasonable criticism.

Has anyone actually intervened - what was the result?

clickityclackity Tue 21-Jun-11 14:44:00

This is why I hate the holidays because that's when you see all the abusive parenting that a child's attendance at school usually covers up. You see children being hit, shouted at - called little bitches, shits etc as stressed parents have no choice but to 'deal' with them. I keep my mouth shut because I know it will be worse for the child.

itisnearlysummer Tue 21-Jun-11 14:50:07

but then amateurish the most loving parent in the world probably wouldn't call their child a "little shit" even on the worst day - especially in public.

I'm not the greatest parent ever but the absolute worst I have ever done is to tell my DCs to "shut up" and that was still in the house.

I also tend to think that if that is how they are prepared to behave towards their child in public then what do they do in private. I think most of us appear to be 'better' parents in public than we would in private.

Pictish Tue 21-Jun-11 15:37:12

Yanbu to keep your opinions to yourself, no.

Even if she did call her child a little shit, it's nothing to do with you, and your interference will result in nothing more than you being told to get to fuck.

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