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Abuse? What would you have done?

(178 Posts)
Cubtrouble Sat 11-Feb-17 16:24:17

Went to museum yesterday.

In a line for film there with my child (5), there was a family a few people in front of us, mum, dad, boy and girl, boy was around 8/9, girl maybe 7 or 8.

Girl was attached to mother wrist with "lead" like a fabric strap, loop at either ends round her and mums wrist. Mother was an absolute animal, shouting loudly at this poor girl, stand still or I will smack you, get back next to me, stop this, stop moving, etc, in the line and again in the pre film briefing, "sit still, for Christ sake stop moving"
The girl complained the strap was tight and it was loosened roughly with the mother telling her off yet again. She was roughly yanked along when it was time to leave.

The behaviour was noticed by plenty of other people. It was loud and very aggressive.

I wanted to say something- staff noticed but no one did anything.

The dad was at least 6'4. He didn't utter a word. The mum was short and fat and angry.

I was obviously with my own child and on my own and I didn't think I could say anything without altercation and that would have been frightening for my own child. I was genuinely concerned it could have turned out badly for ME. So I kept quiet.

The kids for what it's worth looked clean and well cared for in nice clothes.

What would you have done???

Didn't see that again. Was obvious to staff who could have removed them from the show or told her to stop? But should they?

Allthebestnamesareused Sat 11-Feb-17 16:31:52

Sorry you lost me at the mother was short and fat ...... What does tgst have to do with anything.

You do not know the circumstances? They were using what you might use with a toddler and as you don't know whether the girl had any SEN you can't judge.

It sounds like the mother might have been st the end of her tether snd the stress of queueing was getting to her especially if perhaps the girl had been getting restless.

hmm Anyway she was short and fat .......

HecateAntaia Sat 11-Feb-17 16:31:56

i would have wanted to report it. it sounds awful.

there are those who will say its a snapshot blah blah and this is true but it is a snapshot of a child being mistreated and that is not excusable. any more than a snapshot of a person smaking their elderly parent is ok. or a snapshot of someone kicking their dog is ok.
the fact that it is your child makes it less ok , not more.

realistically there is not much you can do given you have no idea who these people are.

i have to say though that your 'lead' comment - my children had wrist straps for years. they have autism and id rather have a child on a wrist strap than one dead under a bus. it isnt about trwating them like animals
it is about ensuring their safety. giving you vital seconds when a child wont hold hands or is too strong for you to hang on to.

the mother's weight is neither here nor there unless you think it is the reason she was rough with her child?

Crumbs1 Sat 11-Feb-17 16:34:05

If it was that awful you should have the courage of your convictions and said something (evil,being good people saying nothing). If it wasn't bad enough to say anything then you should probaby accept people have very different parenting styles and said 'short fat mother' (why short and fat has anything to do with it I can't imagine) may have been looking at you and wondering why you didn't keep your child under control properly.

OfaFrenchmind2 Sat 11-Feb-17 16:39:39

Ahhh, those short and fat mothers. What a blight.

JumpingJellybeanz Sat 11-Feb-17 16:42:24

I'm a short, fat mother. I also keep my child on lead. Must be genetic.

BeyondUnderthinking Sat 11-Feb-17 16:44:46

Ah, fat mothers who keep their kids on leads...

Leggit Sat 11-Feb-17 16:51:27

You ruined it with the short and fat hmm

Cubtrouble Sat 11-Feb-17 16:56:38

Ok. Sorry re fat comment. I'm Chubby too.

What I meant was- had I said "please stop yelling at your kid" and mother had got angry she could have snapped me in half.

I felt intimidated.

Wrist strap noted. The child wasn't being disruptive, naughty or doing anything really at all.

Cubtrouble Sat 11-Feb-17 16:58:55

And explain to me- if there are two kids and two parents why you couldn't just hold their hand? I'm trying no to judge here.

I've seen them used at Disney when it has been very very busy and both parents and kids gets distracted. But this was NOT busy.

BenadrylCucumberpatch Sat 11-Feb-17 16:59:26

Were the short and fat woman's children both bone thin, clearly malnourished, and begging their DM for something to eat, while she ignored them and stuffed her own face?

If not, I don't see how her size is at all relevant to her parenting ability hmm

Magzmarsh Sat 11-Feb-17 17:05:39

Not sure why you're so upset about the wrist strap, they're not an instrument of torture. Some kids are bolters and at least they had her safety in a public place covered.

The fat comment was totally unnecessary and I kinda can't be bothered taking your post seriously because of it.

That and all the exclamation and question marks.

missyB1 Sat 11-Feb-17 17:05:41

People will obsess about the short and fat, but anyway back to the point........... it sounds awful I cant stand those bullying parents who just want to intimidate their kids. Its always tricky knowing what to do in those circumstances, i tend to address kind words to the child and ignore the parents.
So possibly "hi are you looking forward to the film? Which one are you seeing?"

Magzmarsh Sat 11-Feb-17 17:07:06

Don't know how that rogue exclamation got in there confused

SalmonFajitas Sat 11-Feb-17 17:08:50

I also object to the short, fat comment but it doesn't change the fact that the DD sounds like she was being treated dreadfully.

I would want to report it (yes its a snapshot -maybe she was caught at her worst moment etc. but that's the point of reporting - it gets investigated and the full situation is taken into account). I'm not sure how you're meant to report that kind of thing though if you don't know the family?

HecateAntaia Sat 11-Feb-17 17:08:50

because when they are older they are stronger.
because it is surprisingly hard to hold someones hand when they dont want it held.
because the force required to physically hold someone who wants to get away may injure them.
because the forced physical contact for , for example, a person with autism may be deeply distressing for them

etc etc

SalmonFajitas Sat 11-Feb-17 17:09:54

I kinda can't be bothered taking your post seriously because of it.

Why? It's an objection comment but it's hardly the girl in questions fault that OP made the comment is it?

TheFlyingFauxPas Sat 11-Feb-17 17:12:10

Ds was runner. We used a strap. I used to call it his lead. He could be holding my hand then suddenly wpppppp he'd be off. Usually towards a road and traffic. Didn't matter how 'busy' it was. Ds didn't like his lead but it probably saved his life a few times. He also has asd. Invisible but unpredictable. Well, kind of predictable. Hence, his lead.

Cubtrouble Sat 11-Feb-17 17:15:41

Magzmarsh. I didn't use exclamation marks.

I'm not upset, my mother isn't a bully.

The comment on the mother being fat was unnecessary. I said sorry. Not particularly sorry to be honest. I'm also fat. I'm not a bully though. Truth hurts.

LynetteScavo Sat 11-Feb-17 17:18:10

DS1 was a runner. He looked perfectly calm and as if butter wouldn't melt most of the time.

I would have asked the mother very firmly not to threaten her child with violence in front of mine. We would probably have had words, but I'm a mardy cow these days, and I think the mother would have got my point.

My DM would have praised the child for her lovely behaviour, and congratulated the mother on raising such a well behaved child. She is the most passive aggressive person I've ever met

HecateAntaia Sat 11-Feb-17 17:18:55

same here.
without reins or a strap we would have had to hold them tightly at all times. never relaxing our grip. never forgetting for a second that unless they were in a painful vice like grip they might without warning break free and run into the road.
a wrist strap was an extra safety precaution that was vital. not to mention how distressing physical contact could be for them. it was less cruel to have the 'lead' than to cause them discomfort and distress.

may not be the case here of course. but wrist straps on children is normally for good reason and people need to think out of their nt boxes.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 11-Feb-17 17:19:13

Dd2 had a wrist strap until she started high school. She was the person that wanted it, she has an ASC and felt comfortable and safe with it. She's 20 now and on occasion still wishes she could use it.

Cubtrouble Sat 11-Feb-17 17:22:25

Ok- wrist strap/lead aside, IF the child had Sen or was someone who runs off, I cannot find a justification for the way she was spoken to. I don't recall speaking to anyone like that, especially my kids, even when really really pushed to my limit. She was cruel.

BenadrylCucumberpatch Sat 11-Feb-17 17:24:35

Either the parent's behaviour was serious enough to warrant intervention from you, or it wasn't.
You (and every other person there) decided at the time that it wasn't.

So let it go.
You don't know who they are, where they live, or if this was just the result of a frazzled-nerved mother at the end of her tether, who put her boisterous DCs on safety reins for her own sanity at the end of a long day.

That margin of error is probably why you and everyone else didn't get involved at the time.

FWIW, if I saw what was clearly an abusive mother victimising her young children, I would put their safety above my own.

If i saw a snappy mother with two children on reins, while her DH was doing nothing to help calm the situation (as you said), I'd presume she's over-stressed because her inattentive husband is the problem.

YouHadMeAtCake Sat 11-Feb-17 17:24:51

People need to get over the short and fat comment. If she was, she was and it's a description. If she said tall and thin I doubt anyone would pick up on that!

"I will smack you?! " goes practically unnoticed but a description is immediately jumped upon . hmm I would have said something to them. It sounded abusive and you obviously thought so. If she behaves that way in public, how does she behave behind close doors.

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