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To be sad at the amount of horrible parents out there (not a happy thread)

156 replies

Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 22:37

In town shopping today I was behind one lady who told her dd to 'stop waving your toy around or the ladies in the shop will smack you'
And I held a lift for a lady to come in with her toddler and baby. The toddler instantly sat on the lift floor and looked scared. She said 'sorry mummy'' and the mum shouted 'I don't care of you are' aggressively. The 2-3 yr old was covered in bruises mostly on her face and arm and Very very thin.
I can't stop thinking about it. There's nothing I could've done, don't know who she is, or what their story is - I just know that here's no way I would treat my children aggressively or with anything but love! Yes, I can lose my temper after a hard day but wouldnt be aggresive. something about this situation has really played on my mind and I feel sad.
There's nothing I could've done though is there?

OP posts:

rubiesandpearls · 08/06/2013 22:40

I dont think so, no. Just take some comfort in that there are many caring individuals like you out there who spot these things and potentially save or salvage a childs life.


HollyBerryBush · 08/06/2013 22:41

You saw two people in bad places.

You have no idea of the time frame of behaviour, no idea of the back ground, no idea of medical issues - just a snapshot in time.

Did you offer to help or just judge?

Only you know the answer to that


Startail · 08/06/2013 22:42

I'm guilty of being horrid parent in public today. Cursed DD2(12) roundly for failing to follow simple instructions.


debduck · 08/06/2013 22:42

that's a silly question! of course you are not being unreasonable. Be kind to yourself X


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 22:47

I don't think I'm judging. I have spent all day thinking maybe she has a condition that causes her to bruise or she's been in an accident but when paired with nasty aggressive mum who expects her dd to sit on a dirty lift floor you can't help but feel sad!

OP posts:

PrettyKitty1986 · 08/06/2013 22:48

My three year old is thin, covered in bruises from head to toe and usually (if we've been out for longer than an hour) wearing dirty clothes to boot.

He is not abused. He is just a three year old.


stopgap · 08/06/2013 22:54

That would upset me, too, particularly the latter tale. YANBU.


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 22:56

I'm sure he comes across as a happy little boy though? Doesn't look at you like he's scared and I'm sure you're not loudly aggressive in public?

OP posts:

HollyBerryBush · 08/06/2013 22:57

But you didn't offer to help? or offer any comfort really?

My dad was very ill in hospital, I had a 12mo and was heavily pregnant. the cashier threw my change at me, I was holding 12mo by the hand, trying to put my purse away and pick up my shopping. 12mo went into that dead arm spin. I could have cried when someone snarled 'look at that' but I didn't, I got myself sorted out, and stalked after her and thanked her so fucking sarcastically for (not) helping me. A tiny bit of kindness would have gone a long way at that one moment in time. I'm not usually that weak, it was an aberration of circumstance, never repeated.

So again Op - what did you do to help either of the ladies you saw today?


Mumsyblouse · 08/06/2013 23:02

I don't know why people are so keen to tell you that this is perfectly normal, their children bruise too and there are a million reasons why this is all just a snapshot blah blah. Every now and again I see something like this, that is just a jolt because you immediately recognize something isn't right- the look on the child's face, the slight cowering, the aggression you feel coming off the mum. There's no reason to think you imagined this, or that this is perfectly normal.

I have seen loads of kids shouted at by mums, I shout at my own. This is normal. I once followed a mum down the road (walking that way) who was saying such vitrolic things to her son, berating him in a way I have never heard I actually felt physically sick and it stayed in my mind for ages afterwards. I guess if I'd come on here, lots of people would have told me that they tell their children off in public and it was probably just a bad day. I really don't think so and most people can tell the difference.


Dahlen · 08/06/2013 23:02

OP, you don't know the ins and outs of what you've seen today, but you're not over-reacting. THe child abuse stats in this country are absolutely shocking. If you count neglect, as well as emotional, physical and sexual abuse, not to mention the number of children who are not directly abused but who are growing up in dysfunctional families, the number of children who are actually growing up in a stable, happy environment, is shockingly small. It's still a majority, but only just. Sad


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 23:02

What could I have said?!
"Oh sorry. i see your child is bruised and possibly neglected and apologising to you but you dont seem to care, can I help in any way?' While we were both standing in a lift.
Or the first child in the shop " can I help your daughter stop waving her toy around to avoid being physically assaulted by the general public at all?'

OP posts:

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper · 08/06/2013 23:03

I hate it when people on threads like this start demanding that the OP should have offered to help or sarcastically asking if she did. What could she have done to help in either situation?


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 23:03

Thank you mumsyblouse - actually some sense has been said!

OP posts:

InNeedOfBrandy · 08/06/2013 23:05

I was a horrible parent today, ds would not blow his nose so I stopped him in the middle of the path through the fete we were at and refused to move until he did. I shouted at him to for pretending to blow and not actually doing it. Oh well.


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 23:06

I think if more people reported these feelings of something not being quite right we would have less children growing up being abused. Sod the ' what ifs ' and 'dont judge' - leave that for social services to decide. A wasted visit is better than another child being abused.

OP posts:

InNeedOfBrandy · 08/06/2013 23:07

Bruises don't mean abusive or that anything is wrong OP, mine are covered in bruises from playing/falling over/out of trees/fighting between them/trampolines/jumping off swings ect ect


Mumsyblouse · 08/06/2013 23:08

And- what help can you realistically offer, past trying to smile or catch their eye? They clearly don't give a shit about you or care what a stranger thinks. In the case of the lady I saw, I wondered whether to intervene, if she was drunk/on drugs or simply one of the nastiest people I'd ever encountered, but I don't think, apart from in MN world, going head to head with aggressive or drugged up or potentially ill parents is the best idea in the world or indeed would help their child. Do you really think bending down and saying (in what will be perceived as a patronising and interfering tone) 'are you ok' to the little child will make any difference to the awfulness of their life. If you know who they are or know where they go to school then possibly reporting them or telling the school is an option, but if it's just a snapshot of a few seconds, they are gone. If I'm sorry you had to see this OP, some children do really have shit lives.

And- no, I'm sure the Op wasn't talking about people shouting mildly at their children to blow their nose.


apostropheuse · 08/06/2013 23:08

The thin two-three year old with bruises could be a perfectly normal very active child who is naturally thin and gets into scrapes, hence the bruising. I think an abuser would be more astute than to mark the child's face.

Some children can drive their mothers to distraction with their behaviour and just won't listen no matter how many times you try to reason with them or guide them towards better behaviour. The mother may well have lost her temper, but you have no idea how many times she may have tried to deal with it in other ways. The woman may have been at the end of her tether.

It's not possible in the space of a short ride in an elevator to judge the situation you witnessed.


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 23:09

I just hope there are caring people who live near or know this woman who can report it - just in case something is going on

I will probably never see her again and it makes me sad that I can't help the poor girl

OP posts:

HollyBerryBush · 08/06/2013 23:11

Well, when I see harassed mums in queues etc, I usually offer to unpack their trollys on to the belt so they can deal with their child - but I'm odd like that - I remember what it was like being left to struggle.

There is always something you could have done - you could have smiled, gave a kind word, offered to help her with a buggy and toddler and shopping to the car. Not difficult is it? "you pick the little one up, I'll push your buggy, where are you parked"


maddening · 08/06/2013 23:11

So what holly could the op have done to offer to help? Bit flippant as there is nothing the op could do as the mother wasn't physically harming the child right there and whatever her circumstance it is doubtful the op offering some random "help" (whatever help you deem possible to a woman and child in a lift) to even a fantastic parent of a child simply playing up due to tiredbess would likely not have gone down well - the op acknowledges that she doesn't know the ins and hasn't publically berated the woman for her parenting skills


HollyBerryBush · 08/06/2013 23:13

I think I just posted a rational and helpful solution


Doubtfuldaphne · 08/06/2013 23:14

And also I hope it is that she is just a very active child and I misjudged the situation. It's just made me sad that's all.

I think it shows that I care.

OP posts:

MadameDefarge · 08/06/2013 23:15

I am astonished at the amount of apologists for child abuse.

mumsy is right. You know when something isn't right. It might well be different set of cultural norms, but it is not right that a child cowers apologetically while a mother gets in their face.

Shame on you lot with your ooh could have been a bad day. You all know perfectly well there are good days and bad days, some bruising that's ok some thats not. Some shouting that is fine some that is not.

I think we would all process information at the same rate and come to pretty much the same conclusion. Yet another child living with a parent who can't manage themselves or their children adequately.

I have shouted at my child in public, he has had bruises, but I have never threatened him. Or made anyone fear for his safety.

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