Saturday, September 02, 2006

What would you do....

...if you witnessed a mother back-hand her child across the face in a public place?? I was in Target yesterday and came across a family in the toy department. The three kids were in the 8-11 year old range and were arguing with the mother over purchasing a toy. Mom was yelling that she doesn't have $20 per child to spend and the family seemed to be agitated. I felt sorry for the mom at that particular moment. Later on in my trip, as I was approaching the checkout area, I could hear screaming and crying. The 10-ish year old daughter was extremely upset and was trying to explain to mom that mom didn't keep her word about something. At the exact moment I was walking by, mom back-hands daughter across the face. It wasn't with all her might or anything, but it probably stung. I was just bothered by that display. It seemed inappropriate. Period. I just kept on walking. Rick said I should've just hit the mom and ask her how it felt! LOL! I really don't know what I could've done. What would you do??

I also wonder when the law steps in. Hollie, if you read this, I wonder if Jeremy could shed some light on this. Do they ever get calls about a parent hitting a child in public? Would they even respond? Just wondering....

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ummm...well you know that voice in your head that says "something just isn't right", well I can imagine you felt that way. I have witnessed such STRANGE behavior from moms and thought...."should I say something" or am I asking for more trouble for the kid. Now mind you if I thought there was no middle ground and the parent was going balistic then I would of course say something to someone who worked at the store, or say something to the parent. But where do you draw the line? Is spanking too much? Well if that is the case then where do I stand as a parent. I will spank my kids if I really feel that they are out of line. And I mean REALLY out of line. My kids know when they have hit that point and I really quite rarely need to spank them(honestly probably twice a year). So...I have probably added more confusion to this subject, but thought I would weigh in. You just might hit some opposition on this one. Spanking or hitting your children is always controversial...especially in the Christian community. But I will take a stand on one thing. I WILL NOT HIT MY KIDS IN THE FACE. It is degrading and disrespectful, which I believe we owe our children a level of respect. So that they will learn how to give and receive respect. Anyways... On to another topic!

TTYL

Erin

Rebecca said...

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I definitely don't want to start a debate about whether or not to spank *grin* (although I consider spanking and "hitting" two different things). I will be the first to admit that there have been plenty of times when I get to the end of my rope with my children. I don't think this has ever really happened in public though. I almost always take them both grocery shopping with me and they are good as gold. Really. I wish there was something that I could've done to help that mom, like some kind words or something, but I don't think it would've helped. If I saw something really serious I probably would've alerted someone at the store. I do feel empathy towards the mother. I'm sure I've felt what she was feeling, but it's all about what you choose to do with those feelings that counts.

Anonymous said...

I know what it is like to be in a public place and be that mom that is so past the point of having a little patience and you feel as if you are about to explode at your children... maybe I am alone here! I agree with you, there is a difference between "spanking" a child and "hitting" a child. I too don't want to start a debate on the subject but we as a couple have decided that our children will get spankings on the rear and I will admit that my dear son has gotten a few flicks in the mouth, was I right in doing so, that could be another debate in itself! I guess what it comes down to is that in this world today we are no longer as parents aloud to use spanking as a means to discipline our children, it is looked down apon. Now, look where we are, children today can pretty much get away with anything! I don't know what that mom's day had been like before going to that store. I do think that if I would have seen it I too would have been cought off guard... ok I'm rambling on here... get to the point. I guess what I am trying to say is we don't know what the big picture was, does she always do that to her children or was she having a really bad day and something set her off. We didn't see what happened after the fact, did the mom say she was sorry to her daughter for hitting her, we will never know. I guess sometimes giving the benefit of the doubt is not always the best thing to do! Especially when there are children involved! I will ask Jeremy what he thinks and let you know!

TTFN~ Hollie

alicia said...

Well having sort of been on both sides I can answer one question at least for you.... Yes the police will respond if an outsider calls saying inappropriate behavior has occured. They will then come out and question both parties and the child on what has happened and take it from there where they see fit. I can honestly say that sometimes something is happening that seems A LOT worse than it really is or you are seeing just a part of what really happened, but I guess on the other side of things some people might say better safe than sorry. Unfortuantly in these days right now, even if it was an abbusive situation DCFS is really backed up and might not get to it for awhile anyway. This has not happened to me personally but it has happened within family. But I would personally like to say that I am with Hollie on this one too, We also believe in spanking on the bum, (we also believe that spanking and hitting are two very different things) But alas I have twice so far hit my son on the mouth also, I DONT think I was right in doing that and after I cooled down set him down and appoligized for it and told him what I did was wrong. Sometimes your emotions get the best of you and when I'm in a store and my kids or even just one are acting up(yes its hard to believe but from time to time they do ;0)) and people walk by and can tell I'm at the end of my rope what has helped me just a little bit is instead of just staring or shaking there heads as if to say "look she can't even control her children" because honestly that just makes me more upset, a couple of times an older person or a mom will politely pat me and say we've all been there do you need any help or can I do anything for you? Just knowing that I'm not alone in the way I feel takes about 50% of the pressure off!!! But that's just me and like Hol maybe we're the only two people that this happens too, but I doubt it :0)

alicia said...

I just wanted to clarify a couple of things that you may be thinking about what I wrote. When I say I hit my son in the mouth it was more of a flick/hard tap (I am in no way condoning what I did at all) but wanted to make sure no one thought I had taken a baseball bat to him or something. Secondly despite what I said about DCFS I do think they have a very tough and noble job in what they have to do, and I give them a lot of credit, They have done much good for those little ones that have really needed help, so if anyone is reading this that works for them Thank you for all you do!

Rebecca said...

I appreciate all your input & there have been many times when I've felt like throwing one (or both) children out the window! I guess I just tend to think that people are more on their "better" behavior when they are in public since they KNOW people are watching, so I would think maybe thinks are even worse at home. Maybe this was not this mom's case. And you do never know what happened in the five minutes or five seconds before you were there to see anything. As parents in this house, we too have taken a stand on hitting in the face and also believe it to be degrading and disrespectful. Just wouldn't do it. I did however think of one thing I could've done to help the Target mom. PRAY! That should've been the first thing to come to mind, but embarrassingly enough, it was not......
So glad we can talk about parenting/mommy stuff, even the tough topics. That's what makes you guys great! *grin*

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify my post so I know that my point is clear.

As parents, Sean and I have chosen to try our best to restrain ourselves from hitting in the face. That does not mean that I think I need to call the DCFS on any of you if you have "hit, tapped, flicked" your children in the face. I was hit in the face when I was a child and I can say that I remember being hit in the face as a lasting memory instead of probably the numerous times I was spanked. That is primarily why we have chosen to discipline our children the way we have. I have to be honest with you all...I have lost my temper on many too many occasions and although I didn't hit in the face I knew that I was out of control. In my family it is a learned trait. Which is absolutly no excuse. I would like to think that I am an improvement on my rearing but I have not hit the "teenage" years with my four girls yet and am quite thankful that God has given me a husband with a cooler temper than myself. At least I know that if I am out of control he can talk rationally to our kids about things that perhaps I just need to walk away from(i.e. K2's hair cut incident, K1 and K2's poop slinging episodes).

So my point is this. I am striving more and more each day to remember these three things.

Never raise your voice to yell.
Never raise your hand to hit.
Never raise your foot to kick.

And I agree...hitting is different than spanking...and who really kicks their kids...but they are good principles to teach my kids.

TTYL

Erin

Anonymous said...

Hey Erin... Sometimes I kick Kasen in the butt, but he likes it!! He runs out with his bare bottom and says, "I shake my booty!" So I give him a little kick and tell him to get his underdrawl's on ;o)

So I asked Jeremy and he pretty much said what Alicia said. He also said that 9 times out of 10 those calls turn out to be "BS" calls (for lack of a better term). They would respond but most likely nothing would come of it. It's nice to know that I am not the only mom to "lose her cool"! Maybe that is something that we could all be praying for each other for!

TTFN~ Hollie

Rebecca said...

Maybe I should clarify too then ;-) I don't condemn anyone who in a moment of out-of-controledness flicked their child in the face. It is something to work on though. I have been at the end of my rope with my children too many times to count and am working daily on being more patient. It seems like the more patient I become, the more they test me!

Erin, I think I was watching some special about raising 16 kids last night and those were some of the very "house rules" that the children were reciting! I really think that would be a neat way to help children remember how to treat others ;-)

Rebecca said...

LOL Hol! You crack me up!! That's so funny about Kasen shakin' his booty ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hollie:

I have to admit...Kyla says the same "shake your booty" remark. HOW WEIRD!!! I secretly think it is adorable.

Erin

alicia said...

"LET ME CLARIFY" LoL Just kidding, just thought it was funny how everyone is clarifying themselves. I didn't really think anyone would call DCFS on anyone, but I thought I would tell what I know and what I feel. I like those little sayings too, Erin thanks for sharing, easy to remember, kind of goes along with what the kids are learning in school, peaceful hands, peaceful feet and kind words!
And I would agree that hitting in the face does make a lasting impression that's why I swore I would never do it too, I think I still flinch away to this day if someone puts there hand near my face. thank goodness God forgives (and my son too!! :0)
I also wanted to say that I think its great those of you that have such self control, Praise God and I pray that He will give you strength to keep it that way!! I am learning a lot from you all and am thankful for you my friends! But this isn't my blog so I should go now!;0)