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AIBU to ask another mum not to hit her small child?

(203 Posts)
Marylou2 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:08:51

Just that really. Whatever his alleged misdemeanor he was about 2 and she grabbed him and hit him several times on his arms and back. It was in the children's department of Next.I asked her to stop hitting him which to be fair she did so she could start screaming at me to mind my own business. What would you have done?

LaurieFairyCake Tue 15-Apr-14 13:11:30

I would also have told her to stop hitting him, that it was illegal, and if she continued I would report her to SS.

If she looked like a naice person and not your average scumbag who was likely to turn on me and kick the shite out of me then I might have tried to talk to her.

TravellingToad Tue 15-Apr-14 13:11:41

I think you should mind your own business.

How people choose to discipline their children (within the law) is up to them.

TravellingToad Tue 15-Apr-14 13:11:56

it's not illegal though, is it Laurie?

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:12:36

If it was a smack I would have left her to it, if it was more violent then I would have said something

Tinkerball Tue 15-Apr-14 13:13:54

I wouldn't have got involved personally. Laurier I think you're wrong in saying its illegal.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 15-Apr-14 13:16:46

Defines hitting as physical abuse. Certainly hitting a toddler does not count as defence.

Xihha Tue 15-Apr-14 13:19:36

No YANBU, there is no reason for hitting a child several times, a slap on the wrist maybe but not several times. I would have said something too, better that they are screaming at me than hitting a poor little toddler. I'd also be worried that if they are willing to do that in public the child is likely to be getting treated worse at home.

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:20:22

Laurie If you continue reading though it states if there's physical harm and injury. Like a bruise being left or something more serious?

I'm not sure the guidelines aren't very clear are they.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 15-Apr-14 13:20:51

It's not illegal to smack a child, as long as it is within the remit of 'resonable punishment' and isn't done with an implement (like a cane or belt) and doesn't leave a mark. Ethically I don't know if I agree with that, but I don't think technically she was breaking any laws.

LtColGrinch Tue 15-Apr-14 13:21:02

I think you should have minded your own business....

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Tue 15-Apr-14 13:21:27

I think it might be illegal in Scotland (may be wrong). It also is in other parts of Europe.

In the rest of the UK I think it's legal as long as you don't leave a mark confused hmm shock

Difficult to make a call on how to deal with it. I've witnessed similar and tried to gently intervene, only to be the one on the receiving end of the wrath, I've also turned a blind eye to things that I though were wrong and felt guilty about it forever afterwards. Depends on the level of alleged abuse and how brave you are. It is a very difficult thing to decide, and where does the line fall between being a concerned member of the public and a busybody?

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:21:44

I think I was right In the UK, spanking or smacking is legal, but it must not leave a mark on the body that's wiki

LtColGrinch Tue 15-Apr-14 13:22:05

I'd also be worried that if they are willing to do that in public the child is likely to be getting treated worse at home. - or, more likely, that's the standard punishment whether at home or out & about.

Because that's the norm...

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 15-Apr-14 13:22:27

And you don't think that her screaming at you was just going to make her more wound up and lead to a 'see, now you have embarrassed me in public' screaming fit at the toddler and possibly further hitting? How did you phrase it?

LaurieFairyCake Tue 15-Apr-14 13:24:11

There is no excuse for hitting a 2 year old several times in public.

Whether illegal or not that is what I'd have said to her in my most bossy voice. Hopefully someone telling her it's illegal would stop the violence.

It's certainly reportable and I think it's likely to pass into law next year, I heard a debate on radio 5 a few months ago and the nspcc rep said it was going to.

passmethewineplease Tue 15-Apr-14 13:24:15

You were reasonable, who wants to witness a poor toddler getting smacked/hit/tapped repeatedly?

Someone has to be the child's voice IMO.

annebullin Tue 15-Apr-14 13:24:17

Poor child.

Hairylegs47 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:28:14

Poor child.
I would've said something too, I don't care if it's none of my business. You did the right thing.
Remember it wasn't so long ago that a husband was allowed to best his wife. As long as it was within reason.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Tue 15-Apr-14 13:28:19

For a young child, I like to think I would have stepped in and tried to diffuse the situation.
I have, however, stepped in when I thought a teenager was being beaten up by a gang, and then was turned on by all of them (including the "victim", because it was apparently just a game).

Hairylegs47 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:29:21

That should be beat, not best, though some men STILL ...sad

nolongerbumpieorlumpie Tue 15-Apr-14 13:30:04

OP, I applaud your response, it sounded horrific, no child should be attacked and humiliated in anyway, ever, especially one so young and defenseless.

Secondly, those who say its not illegal need to get a grip, op was not trying to do a citizens arrest but was looking out for a child. It is illegal to hit a child if it is more than an open hand and doesn't leave a mark, however IMHO (and as a sw), it is not affective and is immensely emotionally damaging.

Food for thought, if the mother can loose it to a little one in public, what could she do behind closed doors and what impact would that have on his emotional development and happiness, especially with noone to stand up for him there?

70hoursaweekandcounting Tue 15-Apr-14 13:30:40

I wouldn't have intervened

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Tue 15-Apr-14 13:32:41

Nolongerbumpie - no-one pointing out the legalities on the subject of "hitting or not" were saying it is acceptable.

Sorry - just wanted to make that quite clear.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 15-Apr-14 13:32:44

And it's always our business when a toddler is hit several times in public. Because 2 year olds can't protect themselves.

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