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To have walked past this woman without doing anything?

(57 Posts)
LiegeAndLief Sat 02-Nov-13 22:39:49

I really think I might have been, but I don't know what I should have done.

Was walking down a pedestrianised shopping street today and there was a lady at the far end with a toddler in pushchair and a child about 5 or 6 ish having an absolute meltdown, shouting at her and repeatedly thwacking her really hard. There were a good 10 people on the street and every one of them hd stopped dead to stare at the poor woman. I was the only person moving on the street! Lots of tutting and whispering going on.

I really wanted to tell all the staring people they were bastards, but I'm a bit timid and I didn't know what to say. I really wanted to offer some support to the mum and tell her all the staring people were bastards, but I didn't know how. I thought about asking her if I could do anything to help, but I was worried that would sound like I thought she wasn't coping and she would be offended. So I just walked past. And have felt awful about it ever since.

What is the right thing to do in this situation?

mydadsdaughter Mon 04-Nov-13 13:19:41

My DS was a nightmare for tantruming, he would bite, kick ,hit and shout and scream usually somewhere VERY public and I used to get all sorts of comments aimed at me, my favourite being " he's got behavioural problems" angry so unless you were a friend ( we lived in a very small town, so most people know each other ) I would not have appreciated any comment however helpful you were trying to be so you were not being unreasonable.

MindyWiller Mon 04-Nov-13 14:45:32

Theas and Greensleeves- i actually wouldn't mind someone giving me a little encouraging comment, it's when people start trying to cajole and bribe my son out of his tantrum i get pissed off.

my strategy has always been to ignore his screaming and demanding- he acts up for attention so giving in is the worst thing i can do. i just sit on a bench or stand and wait it out- for some reason this seems to attract brainless busy bodies random people and they start talking to him/offerring sweets if he is good etc.

but a wee "you're doing fine" would make me feel a little better actually.

everlong Mon 04-Nov-13 14:54:33

Calling them bastards is a bit extreme and silly.

You didn't help either.

How do you know what all of those people were thinking? You don't.

People might have thought ' look at her waltzing passed not bothered '

Those situations are horrible for everyone especially the poor mum.

Jenny70 Mon 04-Nov-13 14:56:03

I usually make a comment, like "it's usually mine doing this type of thing in public" or "at least your day can only get better from here" - something supportive to the mum, but not sounding judgemental, more like "this is ususally me in your shoes, it happens to all of us!" type of thing.

Said it once to a youngish looking mum and she nearly cried, she said she thought it was only her child to tantrum in public, I reassured her my 5yr old (then) was more than capable of screaming in shops, in the street, in park or anywhere! But laughed and said I am always pleased when it's not mine causing a scene, but I have been there many, many times before.

bababababoom Mon 04-Nov-13 15:34:18

I would want people to just walk on and leave me to deal with it. Any interaction is just distracting me from dealing with my child and giving my child attention for behaving badly.

I usually try and catch their eye and say 'is there anything I can do to help or you happier dealing with it on your own?' then offer the help asked for or if not retreat with a sympathetic smile and a 'we've all been there in some shape or form, even most of THEM STARING' ... usually works smile

Jinty64 Mon 04-Nov-13 17:48:45

Ds3 (7) had a huge meltdown in town at the weekend. He has ADHD as does ds1 (18) so I have been there before. It is really rare for him to have such a meltdown but he hasn't adjusted to the hour change yet and I had taken longer than I meant to so he was tired and hungry. I took a couple of minutes to see if I could talk him round, realised it wasn't going to happen and decided to make for the car.

I wasn't aware of anyone standing watching but I did get a few sympathetic smiles and a kind lady held the car park door open so that I could propel him through. I wouldn't mind anyone asking if they could do anything to help although there was nothing anyone could do but, I'm afraid remarks like "respect your mother" or "the policeman will come" would not be welcome and may bring out the worse in me.

One thing I have noticed though, and perhaps it's just chance, is that when ds1 was little and used to tantrum I was often subjected to remarks about "needing a good smack" or "taking a hand off his bottom". That doesn't seem to happen these days.

So in my opinion YWNBU and you did the right thing.

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