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Would you ever berate a parent in public?
For the way they were talking to their child?


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157 replies to this topic

#1 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

As per the title really
Would you say something to a stranger about the way they were talking to or disciplining their child?
Just wondering after an incident I saw today

#2 idignantlyright

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

Yes, I have.
I told the woman whose kids catch the bus with DD8yrs that if I ever saw or heard of her hitting her kids again, that I would call the police.
Probably explains the reason she stopped chasing her youngest down the street, when the child got near me. When the child got on the bus she was screaming at her mum that she was never going to see her again.

#3 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

In all honesty, I probably wouldn't have the guts to say anything. sad.gif

#4 protart roflcoptor

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

This has been done to death here.

And without more details who knows? The answer is;"it depends".



#5 Fr0g

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

I'd like to say "Yes, every time, absolutely" but sadly, no.  

I watched a 'father' kick his 11 year old son in the calf muscles yesterday.  His crime?  I don't know, he was sitting down crying, eating a carrot and 'father' took exception to his son's tears.  This was at a sporting event.

I didn't say anything.  So many other parents saw it, everyone shook their heads but not a thing was said.  



#6 *LucyE*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

Generally, no I wouldn't.

#7 The Awesome One

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

No, none of my business (unless I saw actual abuse, if I saw abuse I would report it).

#8 adl

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:10 PM

Saw a similar topic on Can of Worms....answer was most would disapprove but would not say anything unless very severe and more likely to call police than get involved themselves which is probably what I old do...


#9 WYSIWYG

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:19 PM

I wouldn't berate them, but I may have a gentle word with them, dependent on the situation. I wouldn't want to make things worse for the kids.

#10 bakesgirls

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:22 PM

QUOTE (GoneWithTheWhinge @ 26/11/2012, 01:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As per the title really
Would you say something to a stranger about the way they were talking to or disciplining their child?
Just wondering after an incident I saw today


It really depends on the circumstances, but most likely not. I don't know what has happened to the lead up of the child being spoken to or disciplined. I don't know the full story.

People have different ideas as to what constitutes inappropriate discipline and/or manner of speaking. I know people who thinks it's bad parenting to tell your kid off, that everything must be spoken about in a calm rational manner at all times.

TBH, if some random came up to me and told me off for speaking some 'stern words', I'd tell them to go jump, and that's putting it politely.

#11 BVB09

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

You don't really give us much to go on OP  ! Can you tell us a little more ?

I agree with PP, depends on the circumstances and what the child did.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:27 PM

If I thought the child was being physically abused ( being beaten, not a smack) I would ring the police.

Not for verbal abuse though, not sure how much it would achieve other than to be abused and threatened yourself.

It makes me incredibly sad but I am pretty sure verbal abuse is not a crime.

#13 idignantlyright

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 26/11/2012, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I thought the child was being physically abused ( being beaten, not a smack) I would ring the police.

Not for verbal abuse though, not sure how much it would achieve other than to be abused and threatened yourself.

It makes me incredibly sad but I am pretty sure verbal abuse is not a crime.

You may find that in cases of minors, they may find a reason to do something about it.

#14 Peggybrown

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

I didn't berate at all, but in a large shop I have once told a man I would call the police if he did not stop hitting his child. Unbeknownst to me, at the same time someone else had gone to get security. It was an awful experience to see this poor child cowering on the ground and I have often wondered how she is and what the outcome of the incident was.

#15 Cranky Kitten

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

I don't know if you'd call it berating but I have had a go at a parent at a park - I'd already politely asked him to keep a closer eye on his son who'd been playing roughly with babies a lot younger than him, pushing them and trying to sit on top of them. He resumed paying more attention to his phone than his kid and was 50m or so away when said child took it upon himself to raid my pram, grab a toy and run off. So I yelled at the father to come and get his son and return the toy after having the child completely ignore my gentle request that he return it.

I probably wouldn't have gone off at him had he not grumped and carried on about having been interrupted in his ever so engrossing task of playing with (not talking on) his phone.

Generally though, I'd like to think I have the guts to step in and say something if I saw a parent beating a child, but coudn't be certain.

#16 la di dah

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

I know my mother once got badly beaten (peeing blood) over saying something - not really berating anybody - but telling him he needed to stop or she'd call the cops.

There's a point where, yeah, I'd get involved. I can fight better than my mom can, for one. And there comes a point where I'd rather take the whupping than not have said anything. Besides I'd probably have legal recourse at that point.

But I probably wouldn't for verbal abuse, honestly, unless it was a specific threat. "You are in so much trouble" no "when i get you home" no, not even "you little [expletive deleted]" or whatever.

I kind of feel like it has to be imminent danger and also maybe have a chance of actually getting the kid out of a bad situation not just make me feel better for airing that I think people who give wee children Monster and then call them "b**ches" are gross.

Oh yeah and worth me possibly spending the rest of the day in the ER.

#17 ShimmerBug

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

It really depends on the circumstances. It would have to be pretty drastic for me to say something, I'm afraid. Can you share some more information OP?

#18 ShamelesslyPooks

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

Not berate, no. I sometimes strike up a conversation with the parent *if* I think it's safe to do so. If it is severe enough, I would call police or security or whatever. A few times when working in retail, I've asked parents not to allow dangerous things to happen. Putting their baby in a plastic shopping basket on the automatic conveyor belt is one that springs to mind. Allowing their child to climb up the displays and throw things at customers (carers were laughing) is another. Not screaming at people is another. One time I got a manager to call the police for a woman and managers waited with her, her husband was being verbally abusive and they had approached him ask him to stop. I asked her quietly to the side if she was ok and she said "no, help me". She was covered in bruises and her children looked scared. I've run over to people to go "oops, watch out" or something if they have bent over with a baby in the bjorn and it looks like they will fall out. So yeah, there are totally times to speak up.

#19 TheMuriels

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:32 PM

Yes, I would say something most of the time, because I think it's important for kids to know they're not alone and that other adults do care what happens to them.



#20 MaeGlyn

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

I did. One of my neighbors was beating up his 12 year old step-kid into the fence and telling him it was because his real daughters were always in his room playing on his computer. He was also verbally abusing him. It made me really angry, he was a 12 year old who was being beaten for being a good brother.

I gave him a piece of my mind in a polite way and told him if he didn't stop abusing this child, I would call the police. His response was to bring his wife and to beat my doors and then go over to the male neighbor across the road, beat him up and move out the following week and his step-son didn't have an abusive dad anymore as they broke up.

I did it because it was a good moment, as it would have shocked him living next to quiet me for 6 months listening to the yelling ect, he respected me a bit for some reason, I come from a family like this : ( and I could lock my doors and windows and be safe while he was going baresko. I wasn't hurt because of luck and it went well. I would recommend making sure you are safe and not doing this unless there is a solid door. Calling the police is better.

Edited by MaeGlyn, 26 November 2012 - 02:49 PM.


#21 ChunkyChook

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

Never said anything to a parent but by god did I give it to someones child one day!! To say I was ropeable at the time is an understatment!!



#22 Ally'smum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

I have never seen anything where the parent would need to be pulled up on their behaviour but I have called the police when I saw someone holding a baby on their lap in the front seat of the car.


If I felt I would be threatened by the parent I would probably film it rather than approach them, then hopefully that would be useful.


QUOTE (ChunkyChook @ 26/11/2012, 02:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Never said anything to a parent but by god did I give it to someones child one day!! To say I was ropeable at the time is an understatment!!


Actually I have done this a few times at the park and at play centres.

#23 glasnost

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

QUOTE (ChunkyChook @ 26/11/2012, 03:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Never said anything to a parent but by god did I give it to someones child one day!! To say I was ropeable at the time is an understatment!!


See, I never get this. What on earth were you trying to achieve by "giving it" to a child whom you have presumably never met? Aren't we supposed to be the adults i.e. the ones in control of our anger?

#24 Freddie'sMum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

Having been at the receiving end of one man's tirade against me - it makes you feel like stink.

I took our girls to McDonalds - to get something to eat but more importantly to let off steam by playing on their playground.

It was our moving day - we had been living out of suitcases for the past 3 days - we had arrived to our new (empty) house and was told that the moving company was running about 2 hours late.

I offered DH that I would take the girls to McDonalds to fill in a bit of time.

When it was time to go - I yelled up to the playground - "c'mon girls it's time to go".

Then when they came down and Miss (then) 6 was mucking about putting her shoes on - and I told "please try and put your shoes on, you can see I am helping your sister with her shoes"  - Mr Grumpy Old Fart pipes up:

"I'm glad you are not my mother"

I didn't even register that he was talking to me, I was engrossed in getting their shoes on and to back to our new (empty) house.

So, he repeats it.

"I'm glad you are not my mother"

Then I register that he is talking to me - and a complete random stranger is passing judgment on my parenting skills.

I was not swearing at my kids, I was not abusing them in any way, if I sounded tired and cranky it was because we moving house and I was stressed.

At this point, Miss (then) 4 clung to my leg and said "I love you Mummy".

I can't remember what I said back (if anything) but I do know that his comments made me feel like the absolute worst mother in the world.

So, IF you are going to put YOUR 2 cents worth in - be damn sure that the parent (usually mother) is actually doing something wrong, I sure as hell WASN'T and this git decided to make sure everyone in the McDonalds playground thought that I was.







#25 mini mac

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 26/11/2012, 11:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really don't see it would do any good if I did.  It's not like the parent is going to have a 'light bulb' moment due to anything I said.

But maybe, depending on the circumstances.


Agree. Chances are they won't change habits just because some stranger got on a high horse. Unless it was worthy of calling the cops, its probably not worth interfering




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