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Flicking an unknown child for throwing rocks at terrapins

(286 Posts)
Rafterplease Sat 16-Aug-14 18:38:32

I'm sitting in a pub and we are discussing an AIBU of one of the group.

Here's the scenario:

L is in Greece. There's a park with a pool and terrapins in it. A kid - roughly seven - is throwing rocks at the terrapins. The kid is blond but probably Greek. L is standing next to the kid and, fairly gently, instinctively flicks the kid with the back of her hand and says (in English) 'don't do that'. There was no parent in sight. The kid ran away.

L just didnt think, acted totally on instinct. She feels very guilty about doing this. Should she be beating herself up over it?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 16-Aug-14 18:39:33


SinkyMalinks Sat 16-Aug-14 18:41:25

Nope. Poor terrapins.

WooWooOwl Sat 16-Aug-14 18:41:33

Yes, she should be beating herself up over it. You don't do that to other people, especially people who are much smaller than you.

Does 'L' not have a voice she could have used to try and stop this child?

ADHDNoodles Sat 16-Aug-14 18:43:48

I'm confused on what this "flicking" is. Here it's snapping your finger off your thumb like flicking an insect away.

But you probably shouldn't be flicking children, especially if she's in a country where she's not speaking their native language. If a strange person touched me in an aggressive manner and yelled at me in a language I didn't understand, I'd be a bit intimidated too.

When you're in another country, you have to be on your best behavior, and flicking the locals is not on.

SirChenjin Sat 16-Aug-14 18:46:49

I'm not sure I would have 'flicked' him, but I would have yelled or shouted -which I know also upsets a lot of people who feel that children should be spoken gently to and their actions explained to them ad nauseum.

On balance, L probably shouldn't have - but I suspect the terrapin was very grateful to her.

BOFster Sat 16-Aug-14 18:46:55

She was getting his attention, not smacking him upside the head. It was fine.

SixImpossible Sat 16-Aug-14 18:47:23

Does not sound like she hit the child. Sounds more equivalent to poking them on the shoulder. Yes, she could just have tapped them on the shoulder, but I don't think what she did was hitting, and I don't think she should upset herself over it.

HappyAgainOneDay Sat 16-Aug-14 18:48:16

I'm glad she did.

SirChenjin Sat 16-Aug-14 18:48:44

Can you define the flicking please OP, because otherwise this thread will run to hundreds of posts while the strength and nature of the flick is debated wink

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Sat 16-Aug-14 18:48:57

Terrapins are cunts.

<harsh but true>

But she needs to control her 'instincts'. What she calls flicking is what someone else might call assault.

Telling the child to stop is fine. 'Flicking' him is not.

raffle Sat 16-Aug-14 18:49:25

I always flick people that I see being abusive towards terrapins, she has no need to feel bad.

VeryLittleGravitasIndeed Sat 16-Aug-14 18:51:47

I was reading something the other day that said the modern approach to child rearing where only the parent can discipline a child is creating little monsters. Not sure I agree 100% and I certainly wouldn't want strangers telling DD what to do so I'm a product of my era, but I can see the logic if there's no parent around.

In this case; I think the kid wasn't harmed (she didn't hit him in the face or hurl verbal abuse or similar) and the terrapins were defenceless and needed protecting. Maybe not the best approach but not the end of the world.

RahRahRasputin Sat 16-Aug-14 18:52:18

Hm. I think L was unreasonable to flick someone else, especially a child, but the child was probably more unreasonable to be throwing rocks at innocent animals, and his parents were unreasonable to leave him unsupervised given that he was the sort of child who would do that. (Pretty sure that is not normal behaviour for a child, certainly none I know, although perhaps attitudes are different if they eat terrapins there or something? confused)

Bit hmm that her instinct was to flick him though, rather than just to say something.

BOFster Sat 16-Aug-14 18:53:31

Me too raffle. Even if the terrapins are cunts.

TheBloodManCometh Sat 16-Aug-14 18:55:38

Sounds fine to me.
She didn't throw rocks at him and then chase him down the road did she?

BringMeSunshine2014 Sat 16-Aug-14 18:56:39

Nothing wrong with what she did. If a child is old enough to be out alone and is hurting (or trying to hurt) an animal then they are old enough to be told off by a stranger. End of. It was a flick... it's not like she battered him with a 2x4 is it?

AlpacaPicnic Sat 16-Aug-14 19:01:54

I think a tap to get his attention is perfectly appropriate when anyone is hurting something defenceless.
Although I did lol at 'terrapins are cunts' grin

CarbeDiem Sat 16-Aug-14 19:06:20

I think flicking someone else's child is unreasonable. Telling him to stop wasn't.

OwThatHurt Sat 16-Aug-14 19:12:26

Probably not a great idea to flick a child but really not something to worry about.

(I say this as someone who really doesn't like terrapins confused )

gamerchick Sat 16-Aug-14 19:16:30

Little bugger deserved a clip tbh.

Capitola Sat 16-Aug-14 19:19:34

She should have told him to stop.

The flicking bit was not OK.

Topaz25 Sat 16-Aug-14 19:19:41

I wouldn't have got physical but it sounds like she only tapped him lightly and she was right to intervene. I can't stand to see kids picking on animals.

chopinbabe Sat 16-Aug-14 19:33:55

Appalling. No child should be woman's, 'flick' is another woman's beating.

I hope the mother calls the police and your out of control friend is castigated.

Bettercallsaul1 Sat 16-Aug-14 19:34:13

My sympathies are firmly with the terrapins!

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