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To have confronted a mother smacking her child in public

(537 Posts)
Roux95 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:46:47

I was with OH in a clothes shop this afternoon looking for some bits. It was an extreme rarity for us to be child free so we were enjoying having a wander round without the double buggy!

When looking at some clothes I could hear a hysterical child having a tantrum, a hissing (parent i assume) and the sound of smacking. I looked around the racks I was browsing and sure enough a woman was knelt down at child height, hissing at the toddler to behave, smacked the child on the chest area and then went to smack the child's face but shot her hand down when she clocked that I was watching.

I was angered by what I saw and raised my voice at her to stop hitting the child, i told her we don't do that crap here (she was european - this is possibly not relevant but I know some cultures parent differently) and that her behaviour was disgusting and she should be ashamed and how would she like it if somebody her own size hit her.

This must have shocked the child as they stopped crying and the mother(?) sheepishly put the child into the pram rushed off.

OH was visibly embarrassed at being part of this confrontation but I think I was justified personally. In hindsight I think I could have said all of the above without raising my voice but my maternal instinct kicked in and I was furious for the child.

Was I being unreasonable for interesting? What would you have done?

Roux95 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:47:59

Sorry I forgot to add, the child was around 3

DracarysThis Fri 17-Jan-20 23:48:20

You had me up until we don't do that crap here (she was european - this is possibly not relevant but I know some cultures parent differently)

Asdf12345 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:48:42

Where in UK culture so we not smack kids who deserve a smack?

Miljea Fri 17-Jan-20 23:50:20

I didn't think snacking was illegal in England as long as it doesn't leave a mark?

WhatsInAName19 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:51:13

Well obviously she shouldn't be hitting a toddler, but I'm not sure what you hoped to achieve. Other than make her feel even angrier, which that toddler has then got to contend with for the rest of the day.
I'm not sure what the best thing is to do in circumstances like this where you don't have any information regarding the person's identity, but I can't see that confrontations like this actually do anything to help the victim. Exactly the opposite, really.

Davespecifico Fri 17-Jan-20 23:52:14

I’d struggle to cope with seeing any smacking, but the chest and face - that’s awful.

Roux95 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:52:18

I realise it was the done thing generations ago but it's illegal to smack now and rightly so.

I said "we don't do that crap here" because I realise that some other nationalities will still smack. There was no racial undertone before anybody says so.

lollybee1 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:52:26

Did you really say we don't do that here. That sounds really really bad.

Reginabambina Fri 17-Jan-20 23:52:42

You could have delivered it better (British people hit their children an awful lot, and swear at them/emotionally abuse them even more ime). But the intention was not wrong.

YappityYapYap Fri 17-Jan-20 23:53:30

She hit the childs chest then went to hit their face? There seems to be an awful lot of mum's losing their shit these days and hitting their kids (there's another quite serious thread up at the moment). Maybe we just notice it more now that it's deemed very unacceptable? I think there's more abuse than we think going on. I think I read a thread earlier on this week where the mum was saying she didn't want to feed her child because the child had woken her a few times through the night? Do people seriously not understand what parenthood entails anymore?

GlamGiraffe Fri 17-Jan-20 23:54:13

I'd draw the line at smacking a small child around the face.
Its hard to know what I would have done.i would definitely given the death stare.

It's illegal to smack children in Germany so she wasnt german, or was having free rein whilst out of the country.

WireBrushAndDettolMaam Fri 17-Jan-20 23:54:50

Umm loads of people in the U.K. still smack. Some of the do a lot bloody worse!

Roux95 Fri 17-Jan-20 23:56:13

I can see the points about my choice words, it was said in the heat of the moment as what went through my head was "you might be able to do that where you are from, but you can't here"

No racial undertone intended so apologies for any offence.

She knew what she was doing was wrong because as soon as she realised I was watching she stopped.

What did I hope to achieve? It was my hope that she would think twice next time

Pingue Fri 17-Jan-20 23:56:33

We do do it here. It’s legal to smack unless you’re in Scotland.

WorraLiberty Fri 17-Jan-20 23:58:21

I realise it was the done thing generations ago but it's illegal to smack now and rightly so.

What??

Roux95 Sat 18-Jan-20 00:01:00

Well the Brits who do hit should be ashamed of themselves too.

Tapping a child on the hand is one thing but smacking and hitting the child in anger as this one was is unforgivable. It's ineffective discipline and serves no purpose other than to relieve the frustration of the parent.

She was visibly angry

BecauseReasons Sat 18-Jan-20 00:01:51

Which country are you in?

Roux95 Sat 18-Jan-20 00:01:58

As far as I was aware you can no longer physically punish by way of hitting. If I'm wrong fair enough, however my point remains the same. I do feel she was absolutely in the wrong

Roux95 Sat 18-Jan-20 00:02:24

I'm in the UK

Pingue Sat 18-Jan-20 00:02:37

Well the Brits who do hit should be ashamed of themselves
I agree but I’m not sure where you got the idea that it’s illegal?

BecauseReasons Sat 18-Jan-20 00:03:20

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales?

user1473878824 Sat 18-Jan-20 00:03:43

*”you might be able to do that where you are from, but you can't here"

No racial undertone intended so apologies for any offence.*

Yes. There’s no undertone at all there.

Roux95 Sat 18-Jan-20 00:04:34

I genuinely thought it was against the law to hit a child now and have done for years, it appears I could be wrong so I accept that.

It is wrong though, people have children removed for less than I witnessed today. The poor child.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-Jan-20 00:04:35

As far as I was aware you can no longer physically punish by way of hitting. If I'm wrong fair enough, however my point remains the same. I do feel she was absolutely in the wrong

Your point might remain the same but unless you're in Scotland, what you told her was wrong.

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