Author Topic: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart  (Read 9343 times)

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Offline Andrew A.

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Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2009, 07:35:48 PM »
I have to agree with the final sentence. First, I do everything in my power to keep my daughter from making a scene in public and her occasional scenes are very short. However, if anyone ever did anything like that to her, it would take everything I had to not just lay into him. I'd do my best to avoid escalating the situation but I have to admit, it would probably be the most difficult thing I would ever do.

Offline r-at-work

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 07:05:18 AM »
one look at that guy's pleasant face  ::) and I could see he was having more than a bad day... I've only had one of my kids throw a tantrum in public, at a mall... it was a "lay down on the floor and cry" thing... I pulled him over to one side and let him go at it... I did have several women come up and ask me what was wrong... I told them that he was in the process of throwing a tantrum and I wasn't giving in (and letting him play video games)... they all voice opinioins that made it sound like I was not only doing the right thing but they weren't sure they would be 'strong' enough to let their kid embarass them...I told them he was only embarassing himself... my older son was mortified

on the other hand I've been in MANY stores, sometime late at night, and seen parents with crying children, some sobbing that they were hungry or tired or had to go to the bathroom... I hate to say it, but I think lots of parents don't realize that kids have a lower tolerance for those things than adults as children have almost no control over their lives, except to cry. What I usually say to parents is "poor mom" or "poor dad" as I know that this might be able to get to the store.

The only time I spanked my kids was when they ran into the street.

I would be interested to know if that guy had any kids. I'd also be interested to see what kind of defense he puts up, maybe just no contest and pay the fine.
-Rita



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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 07:59:31 AM »
He is being charged with a felony, I suspect he might not get off very lightly, unless the mother decides it is not worth pressing charges.
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 09:23:51 AM »
Rita, I have seen some parents do things with their kids that I would disagree with. If you always give in to a tantrum, when you are in a store and can't, it's going to get ugly. I've also seen parents seemingly doing everything right and the kid just has to get it out. I've been in that position. Fortunately, I don't give in to a tantrum so she knows they won't work and she gives up quickly (she also knew what a time out was before she was 18 months old and knows that she better shape up quickly when a warning is given) but it can be tough in a public place. It's not like the parent wants the kid to make a scene but it sometimes happens.

I've by no means gotten everything figured out in just under 20 months but I have had some good guidance and figured a few things out. Unfortunately, some people don't have the benefit of the kind of guidance I've received.

As for this specific situation, though, we don't know the story. Maybe the mother was letting a tantrum like your scenario play out. Maybe the mother didn't have control of her child. Maybe something else. No matter what, though, no stranger has the right to strike anybody's two year old. I hope he does get the book thrown at him. He deserves to.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 10:09:07 AM »
Maybe it is a sign of the times.  I grew up in a time when you could be disciplined by people in your community who knew you (granted, that is not the case with this guy as he was a complete stranger) or your parents.  I took "pops" in school and I am sure that as much as I did not like them that I did deserve them and they were of benefit.  I do not recall crying babies in stores or in restaurants back then, either.  I think maybe it signifies a shift in our society, that we have lost the cohesiveness of community to the degree that we do not care as much about each other.  Disciplining a child, even one you do not know, is showing that you care about your community and the individuals within it -- you want to see that child getting the right message and reinforcement of good behavior.  If you do not care then you just ignore it and hope it goes away on its own.  Same with letting your kids annoy others with their out-of-control antics in public settings like stores and restaurants.  I am not saying anyone here is guilty of that, but I know you have likely witnessed instances of that.  If you care about your community then you take steps to remedy that behavior.  If you care only about yourself, then you just let the kids do whatever.  I have heard stories of waitstaff approaching parents to ask that they control their kids only to be upbraided by those same parents.  I know parents who would be horrified if their kids behaved that way in public and would hurriedly leave the scene with their children to find a more isolated spot to address the discipline.  That just seems increasingly rare anymore.  And so then we will see people who did come up in a time when there was more personal accountability within a more cohesive community and they are not used to the excessive poor behavior (from both children and parents) and react badly.  Not an excuse for this guy, lack of control on the part of others is not a good reason to lose control yourself, but a possible explanation.  There is just so much separation and isolation anymore, and I paint myself with that same brush. 

Of course, he was shopping at Wal-Mart, so maybe that is what you get when you do that. ;)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 10:17:41 AM by Andrew A. »
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Ed

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2009, 11:27:18 AM »
Carefull Andrew -

It sounds like you are syaing that the poorer people that shop at Wal-Mart deserve less respect than those that can afford the more expensive stores.  ;)
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Offline Ed

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 11:37:18 AM »
Also - if an individual tried to touch my child - Oh Lord help that person!  An individual's mere annoyance at the antics or issues of a child cannot be an excuse to even think that they could touch that child.

It is usually the childless adults that whine the most about children - crying and tantrums and all that.

I will defend my family to the point that any threat is 100% incapacitated. 
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 12:00:45 PM »
I don't think things have changed as much as you seem to think they do. When my daughter is old enough that she might be under someone else's supervision or otherwise playing with the neighborhood kids outside of my supervision, if she does something she shouldn't, I hope whoever is supervising will discipline her. However, they better not lay out any physical punishment. This is the same thing I've heard my mother say. She expected others to discipline my brother and myself when we weren't under her supervision but, if anyone laid a hand on us, she would have come down full force on them. In my opinion, that's just appropriate. It was when I was a kid and it still is when I am a parent. You discipline other kids but leave physical punishment decisions to the parents.

As for kids crying in public, I agree. If you can't get the kid to calm down quickly, then you get the kid out of the public setting as quickly as possible. Of course, if you can't carry the child and they are doing one of those laying on the floor tantrums, your options may be limited. I remember seeing tantrums years ago, though they were not nearly as frequent as I see today. Maybe I didn't notice them, maybe I'm now in places with more people so I should expect more, maybe they really are happening more often. I can't say. I do know that I am never comfortable when Shayla starts crying in public and I will always try to either get her to stop or get her removed from the public place as quickly as possible when she does. You might hear her cry if she's at a store or restaurant with me but you won't hear her crying for long. She will either be gone or calmed down. I think more parents are like this than you realize. It's the kid throwing a tantrum for 15 minutes that you notice, not the many who don't throw any tantrum or who cry for a minute or less before calming down or being removed from the situation.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2009, 01:42:34 PM »
[Careful] Andrew -

It sounds like you are [saying] that the poorer people that shop at Wal-Mart deserve less respect than those that can afford the more expensive stores.  ;)
Not poorer, just not classy.  Far wealthier people than I shop Wal-Mart. 8)
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 02:04:39 PM »
As for kids crying in public, I agree. If you can't get the kid to calm down quickly, then you get the kid out of the public setting as quickly as possible. Of course, if you can't carry the child and they are doing one of those laying on the floor tantrums, your options may be limited. I remember seeing tantrums years ago, though they were not nearly as frequent as I see today. Maybe I didn't notice them, maybe I'm now in places with more people so I should expect more, maybe they really are happening more often. I can't say. I do know that I am never comfortable when Shayla starts crying in public and I will always try to either get her to stop or get her removed from the public place as quickly as possible when she does. You might hear her cry if she's at a store or restaurant with me but you won't hear her crying for long. She will either be gone or calmed down. I think more parents are like this than you realize. It's the kid throwing a tantrum for 15 minutes that you notice, not the many who don't throw any tantrum or who cry for a minute or less before calming down or being removed from the situation.
If a kid you cannot carry is throwing a tantrum in public then there is likely a lot that has been overlooked leading up to that point -- it is not really what happens then and there that matters, it is what did not happen in the hours, days, months, and even years prior that matters.  Is the kid obese?  Is the kid old enough that it should have been given stricter discipline all along?  Does the kid have a chemical imbalance to the point that more than just one person should be along on any outing at any age, for the safety of all involved? 

You are right, it is the ones that are really bad and allowed to continue to be bad that really get noticed, not something that lasts for less than a minute.  Also, parents I know are usually more attuned to these things than I am.  Where I live, there are plenty of parents who think it is a great idea to bring their tots with them to bars late in the evening.  That seems akin to a bunch of rowdy frat boys or bikers rolling up to Chuck E. Cheese to pound some pitchers.  I also recently had the noisy-baby-in-a-movie-theater experience, the mother apparently thought it was okay to just bring it along and did not feel compelled take it out.
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Ed

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 07:21:28 AM »
Children do not under any circumstance belong in bars nor do they belong in any movies that they will not be able to follow/appreciate/understand.

I would never consider taking one of my children to a movie that was not made for children.  When my children were younger and the youngest started to cry or act up during the movie I took him out into the lobby.  It would have been inconsiderate to do anything else.

Parents are very often looked down upon for utilizing physical punishment - how can anyone begin to condone a stranger applying physical punishment.
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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2009, 08:47:00 AM »
I don't think things have changed as much as you seem to think they do. When my daughter is old enough that she might be under someone else's supervision or otherwise playing with the neighborhood kids outside of my supervision, if she does something she shouldn't, I hope whoever is supervising will discipline her. However, they better not lay out any physical punishment. This is the same thing I've heard my mother say. She expected others to discipline my brother and myself when we weren't under her supervision but, if anyone laid a hand on us, she would have come down full force on them. In my opinion, that's just appropriate. It was when I was a kid and it still is when I am a parent. You discipline other kids but leave physical punishment decisions to the parents.
To revisit this for a moment, I think things have changed more than you seem to think they have.  Did your grandparents never spank you?  Mine did with me and my sister.  I am sure that my parents had family members who disciplined them, even with a spanking, while in the care of a relative.  Now I am also sure that a relative or family friend would want to find the parent to discipline a misbehaving child, but if that were not possible I am certain that it would have been deemed appropriate by the parents that a fitting disciplinary punishment was given in the moment of the misbehavior.  I know I have read plenty in literature set in the past about kids receiving physical punishment at the hand of someone other than their parents.  Did you ever receive corporal punishment in school?  Like I said, I did.  My parents did not go to the principal to complain about it.  Despite all this, my sense to this day is that my parents were sheltering and overprotective of me.  Given the more transient nature of modern society, not to mention ever-shifting values, it seems like there is less connection between neighbors (i.e. if you see any kid on the street near your home, can you immediately tell who his or her parents would be?) and thus a diminished sense of personal accountability within the community.  This is born out in public statements made by people like Bill Cosby and Jim Brown -- their commentary may be specific to the African-American community, yet that community does not exist in a vacuum and there are impacts both to and from the whole of western society.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 09:19:13 AM by Andrew A. »
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2009, 08:54:58 AM »
Children do not under any circumstance belong in bars nor do they belong in any movies that they will not be able to follow/appreciate/understand.

I would never consider taking one of my children to a movie that was not made for children.  When my children were younger and the youngest started to cry or act up during the movie I took him out into the lobby.  It would have been inconsiderate to do anything else.
Right, and I was seeing a documentary film, not "UP."  I think in that case (as well as with bars and so on) the parents wanted to do what they wanted to do but did not want to bother getting a babysitter.  I noted many young kids when I went to see "Transformers 2" earlier this summer -- they did not bother me at all, but I was a bit disconcerted that parents thought nothing of exposing their kids to that level of violence, even if it is animated and between robots.  Of course, this is something I experienced growing up, as well.  My parents would not let me see movies like "Rambo" even though many of my peers saw movies like that at the same age. 
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline r-at-work

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 12:05:58 PM »
If a kid you cannot carry is throwing a tantrum in public then there is likely a lot that has been overlooked leading up to that point -- it is not really what happens then and there that matters, it is what did not happen in the hours, days, months, and even years prior that matters.  Is the kid obese?  Is the kid old enough that it should have been given stricter discipline all along?  Does the kid have a chemical imbalance to the point that more than just one person should be along on any outing at any age, for the safety of all involved? 

when my kids had his melt down I was a single mom, I'm 5'2", was was 6 y.o. and already over 50 pounds but not fat, just really solid... he has no organic issues, just that day he couldn't deal with my decision (not to play video games at the mall, just pick up the ONE thing we needed and go home)... so I guess I'm saying that I have empathy for the parent of the screaming kid... it's possible that this parent was at Walmart between a job & getting the kids home from the sitter and had no one else to help and was trying to ignore the tantrum... raising kids is a process, even with the best advice each kid is a new path, each day and every day...

the GUY that slapped the kid does need to have to book thrown at him... no question there...this was not a relative or family friend giving aid, it he really didn't like it he could have walked away and acted like an adult or asked the parent if everything was okay (which it clearly wasn't, but maybe the parent really did need help)
-Rita
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