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Public domestic?

(56 Posts)
Tainbri Sat 10-Jun-17 20:27:04

I was shopping today and my attention was drawn to a mum going absolutely ballistic at her (6yo?) son. I have absolutely no idea what the lead up to this was but it was the mother that made me look round, not the behaviour of the boy. When I looked he was hanging his head in shame, she was shouting. I just can't get it out of my mind. I thought it was none of my business but it's niggleing me. AIBU?

NapQueen Sat 10-Jun-17 20:27:48


A mum scolded her son.

You have kids?

Tainbri Sat 10-Jun-17 20:34:55

Yeh I do, that's why I looked round. She was shouting, imo publically humiliating him, people were staring. I felt uncomfortable. My son can be naughty, but I don't create a public display. I actually posted because I'm feeling guilty that I should have done more confused

NapQueen Sat 10-Jun-17 20:37:08

Maybe she wasnt creating a public display but reacting in the moment to something she had already quietly tried to check him on.

RNBrie Sat 10-Jun-17 20:37:09

You don't know what he'd done. You don't know what led up to it. You don't know what else she was dealing with at the same time. She probably needs some support rather than any judgement.

TeaBelle Sat 10-Jun-17 20:37:54

Shouting may not have been her finest parenting but not overall a problem IMO. What she was shouting may change it though, for instance if she was actually insulting or humiliating him with her choice of words. S

Calyrical Sat 10-Jun-17 20:38:44

My mum once slapped my brother so hard round the face in public. Looking back it would have been nice if someone said something!

Madbum Sat 10-Jun-17 20:40:29

IMO that's not ok, it would be wrong to scream and shout at your other half like that, so why is it ok to do it to your child?

2ducks2ducklings Sat 10-Jun-17 20:46:11

Maybe he'd just run into the road and his mother reacted like that out of fright/shock.
Maybe he'd been doing the same thing all morning and she'd asked him numerous times to stop and he wouldn't.
There are a million reasons she could have reacted this way. Most of them are not sinister, but I do understand that it made you uncomfortable to witness. It's a difficult one to comment on unless you saw the incident that led to the outburst.

eeniemeenieminiemoe2014 Sat 10-Jun-17 20:49:29

i massively shouted at my toddler in public recently, she had just run into the road and the car only just stopped. i have never known fear like it hence the shouting.

dont judge until you have walked a mile...

Tainbri Sat 10-Jun-17 20:58:25

Madmum that my take. It was in Next. No dangers, I turned round because of the shouting. I think he'd possibly pushed his cousin or something, there were two women together. I'm not judging what led up to it but I only turned round because of the mother NOT the child. It was the mother's (very loud screaming) that made me look round. I am sure she was at the end of her tether and what I witnessed was "the final straw" but I felt awkward as she wasn't holding back. It's not like the boy was arguing and she went on at him. Actually I walked away, so I don't know the rest. But it's bugged me all afternoon.

wouldthatitwere Sat 10-Jun-17 21:04:53

things like this can stay with you for a while, a few weeks ago I heard a mum shouted at her dawdling toddler to "hurry the fuck up or I'm going to punch you in the face!" when I say toddler I mean she looked like she had just learned to walk.

wouldthatitwere Sat 10-Jun-17 21:05:23


ginswinger Sat 10-Jun-17 21:06:47

My 6yo decided to open the front door to a complete stranger once. I'd gone over the rules of never opening the front door without a parent there but she ignored me. I shouted at her for a good ten minutes. I'm not proud of it but I was so terrified she would ignore me. You might have caught the tail end of a very scared mum like me.
PS, she's never done it since!

Tainbri Sat 10-Jun-17 21:07:38

Wouldthwtitwere - the vocabulary I witnessed and that exactly it sad

PinkPeppers Sat 10-Jun-17 21:10:04

Public humiliation, really??

Tbh i much prefer someone who is shouting than someone who keeps their voice donw but the child down saying things like 'you are stupid/an idiot' or 'cannot you do anything right??'
Muc worse and with long lasting damage to the self esteem of the child.

You have no idea what the child has done. The mum might have been scared to death (eg 'playing' hide and seek and the mum thinking she has lost him etc...). She might have a really hard time (you have no idea of what is going in in her life atm).

And please remember that if you are happy to judge her, then there will also be someone happy to judge too the day when instead of being all perfect, you will do one big parenting 'mistake'. Because we all do at some point.

PinkPeppers Sat 10-Jun-17 21:13:44

Drip feeding sorry.

So the issue isnt the shouting is it, its the vocabulary she used.
And the fact it made YOU unconfortable (Ive noticed that at no pint you mention the child being distressed, crying or anything like this).

Thats sort of vocabulary wouldnt sit well with me either.

TheFirstMrsDV Sat 10-Jun-17 21:13:59

You don't know what happened but you do seem determined that nothing led up to it.
No wonder it's playing on your mind. You are refusing to entertain the possibility that the mum had reacted suddenly and out of character.

Someone will say 'if she is like that in public God knows what she is like behind closed doors sad' any second.

The mother may be abusive and that child is in a living hell.
The mother may be lovely but snapped and the child is happy and well cared for
The truth could also be on any part of a spectrum between the two

You can't know so you need to move on from it.

Sandsnake Sat 10-Jun-17 21:16:54

I hate shouting. If it was an out of control, fear based reaction e.g. Kiddo had done something really dangerous then I can maybe understand. If it was more of a deliberate discipline thing as a result of bad behaviour then I don't think it's really on. Mostly because I don't think it's appropriate or fair that members of the public should have to listen to it (it's stayed with the OP all day and may have affected others too).

But maybe I'm in the monority on that - as I said, I really hate shouting!

DeadGood Sat 10-Jun-17 21:20:39

"And the fact it made YOU unconfortable (Ive noticed that at no pint you mention the child being distressed, crying or anything like this)."

Wow, obtuse much?

The OP writes "When I looked he was hanging his head in shame".

The boy wasn't crying. He was standing there, taking the abuse. Does that make it ok? It makes it worse in my opinion. It's obviously not new to him.

Seriously, did you want the OP to make something up? "He was wailing and crying"?

AyeAmarok Sat 10-Jun-17 21:28:29

Or the boy had deliberately done something bad he had been told previously not to do.

Don't make it such a big deal. Badly behaved child gets told off by his parent. That is not a bad thing.

NotYoda Sat 10-Jun-17 21:35:14

Children have always 'run into the road' whenever people on MN see them being hit or shouted at.

OTOH you don't know what this was. It's not ideal to shout and it's sometimes a sign you've lost your control, but it might be a very infrequent thing

wouldthatitwere Sat 10-Jun-17 21:47:48

I think you can tell by the vocabulary used whether they are generally abusive or if they just flipped. I've flipped at my toddler when I really had had enough and wanted to get us home - I shouted "please can you just walk a bit faster so we can get home at some point today?!?!" not hurry the fuck up or I'm going to punch you in the face, or something along those lines. OP was there and heard what was said and had a bad feeling about it, probably for a reason. another thing that stayed with me for a few days was a son, maybe 6, who was desperately crying and say he was sorry to his mum but she was not having any of it - it was plain to see she had reached her limit but he was apologising and it broke my heart..

Tainbri Sat 10-Jun-17 22:04:59

No that's fair enough. I think my point was the punishment seemed worse than the crime. And I never saw why that was. It wasn't that she shouted it was that she carried on shouting, the kid never said a word, just stood there, it made me feel uncomfortable because half of me wanted to go over and say, I think he's got the idea, but instead I walked away, leaving her screaming. Normally I'd forget it in a couple of mins, afterall like you say, plenty of parents give their kids a telling off, but this was so loud and public and the kid was like a statue with his head down. Dunno, I'll never know, but needed to get it off my chest!!

DeadGood Sat 10-Jun-17 22:20:08

I would hate to see that too, OP.

There is a limit to how much a parent can scream at their kid before it slips into "wrong"

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