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Strangers Punishing Children 2010-10-08 04:00:22

Lil Community: What Would You Do If a Stranger Tried to Punish Your Child?

Motherhood can be a mind-boggler. This post comes to us from lola82, who asked members of The Mommy Club what they'd do in this situation.

Hello Mothers, I have a story for you! Since I have no children I'm curious about how'd you react in this situation.

This morning on my way to work, I braved the rush hour crush on the bus in the normal way, by tuning everyone out and reading the morning news on my phone. Usually my 20 minutes en route is uneventful, but today I witnessed an all-out fight between an elderly man and a mom with a young toddler.

To learn what led to the fight, read more.

While the mom was on her phone, the toddler kept himself busy by stepping on passengers' feet. Most people just smiled at or ignored him, but he kept doing it as his mom sporadically ordered him to stop before turning her attention back to her conversation. After a while, an older, white-haired man sitting close to the action shouted, "If you step on his feet you'll teach him a lesson! He'll stop if you step on him." People just laughed nervously until the old man actually started doing it! He would kick at the child and step on his feet again and again, harder and harder, until the mom finally intervened. The incident escalated to a full-blown verbal fight between the man and the mom, with threats to kill and beat up each other. A commuter even had to hold the man back when he tried to get up to fight, and the bus driver stopped us in the middle of the road to mediate.

What fascinated me about this interaction was the mom's behavior as well as the man's. While he definitely shouldn't have called her son a brat or tried to teach the toddler a lesson himself, I thought the mom should've spent more attention to her child and less time chatting on the phone. As someone without kids, I have no idea how hard it is to keep a child on his best behavior in public, so moms, what do you think? Was the mother at fault for not getting her son to behave, or was he just being a normal hyperactive little kid?

Source: Flickr User Seattle Municipal Archives

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