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Strangers Punishing Children

Man Steps On Tot's Foot to Teach Him Lesson, Moms Respond!

Last week, we shared a story from The Mommy Club about a man on a bus who decided to teach a feisty toddler a lesson. Many of you had strong reactions to the incident. While some thought the man overreacted, others thought the mom talking on her cell phone was at fault.

  • "I get really annoyed at parents who don't try to control their kids. The mom should really have paid attention and made sure her son knew this behavior was not okay. She didn't, and I think it would have been absolutely fine for someone to have spoken up. But the man's reaction is crazy." – starbucks
  • "The title of this post is misleading. It says punish, but this man abused the kid! If I were the mom (frankly I'm more diligent than that to begin with and my kid knows better than to run around crazy in public) and someone told him to stop I'd be fine with it. I would apologize to them and pull my son on my lap. Someone kicking him and yelling at him is a totally different story! But even if someone did kick him, I wouldn't stand up threatening to kill someone." — amandachalynn
  • "I think the man was out of line, but the mom is defiantly at fault, too. Like starbucks said, it would have been fine for someone to speak up. I also get very annoyed at people who do nothing to control their kids because it gives us all a bad name." — Carri
  • "All of you millennium Moms crack me up. The Mom was totally at fault 100%. The elderly man was doing what elders do, teach the young consequences of their actions. Its just too bad the elderly man wasn't related to him, or else it would have been a different conversation. It does take a village...and if you don't like the villagers raising your child, get off the freakin' phone!" — mamasanh
  • "Both at fault. Mom is the bigger problem. Americans are raising their children showing them that technology is a priority. I am appalled at how many parents with children, of any age for that matter, that pay more attention to a hand held gadget than their child. And this isn't just about parents of children that are misbehaving. I have seen numerous accounts of poorly behaved and perfectly behaved children with parent that would rather be having screen time than interacting with their children. Sad, but true." — madcitymom

Keep reading to see how other mamas chimed in!

  • "The boy sounds super stressed. When I see stressed people I try and help, not add to their stress. If I saw some old man hurting a child I would tell him to back off." — lickety split
  • "This man was out of line. He is an adult, and should have the self control to not kick a child. If you have anger issues and you feel the need to step on someone's feet, step on the mothers. The kid was trying to get attention, and while the mom should have been paying attention, it does not give someone a reason to kick a child." — Anonymous
  • "What that man did was abuse, no question about it. I also do not think that the mother should have been on the phone and ignoring her child but as a parent with 3 kids I understand that on occasion it's not avoidable. If the school calls me to tell me that my oldest is sick and someone has to pick him up from school, you can bet I'll be answering! I don't care if I'm in public and if my younger child acts up a little it's something that has to be dealt with, however the phone call is very important and must be handled first." — Anonymous
Join The Conversation
talonsage talonsage 6 years
Yes, the mom should have handled the situation better. That's a given. However, no matter what my child does does not give ANYONE the right to physically touch them, especially in a manner that is quite frankly abuse. The "elderly gentleman" henceforth referred to as "dumba$$ old fart" could have been arrested and charged with any number of things, most starting with endangering the welfare of a minor and assault. My daughter is autistic. I've gotten plenty of looks when she decides she's going to pull shit with me and I don't put up with it. Most people think I'm too hard on her, but I know exactly how hard I need to be to head off an overstimulated meltdown in the middle of a populated area. I'm not always successful. Had that duma$$ old fart so much as stepped on my child's toe with the intent to "discipline" her the would have had to scrape him up off the seat because this mama don't play that. The mom should have taken care of biz. I don't know if she was responding to an emergency via her phone, but if so, you move the child so he has no access to step on people or cause that kind of disruption. If there was no emergency, then she needed to put down the f&^%$!@ phone and take care of business. Bottom line: if my kid is acting up and I look like death warmed over and you want to distract her from meltdown mode VERBALLY somehow? I will kiss you. I've done similar for other parents clearly at their wits end. However. You lay a hand on my child and that's the last time you'll use that hand for ANYTHING EVER. Dumba$$ old farts, take note.
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