Author Topic: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart  (Read 10495 times)

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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2009, 05:02:53 PM »
There are many possibilities.  On the other hand, I know from observation and experience that parents can be irrationally defensive of their young (a natural biological response) and that might play a role here.  This sort of thing does not just happen out of the blue, there are surely reasons behind it from each participant's involvement.  Ignoring one's own child's tantrum does not require subjecting innocent bystanders to it.  Then there is the fact that there are a whole lot of unfit parents in this country -- not saying whether the mother in question is, but we have all seen them or might bear the consequences someday.
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2009, 07:17:17 AM »
Honestly, while I didn't get in trouble a lot, I can't recall grandparents, teachers, or anyone but my parents using physical punishment on me. I don't think I would be opposed to a grandparent using physical punishment but that is even different than a neighbor.

As for neighborhoods, I know what you mean but all neighborhoods are different. One reason for my recent move was the neighborhood. We moved from a "keep to yourself" kind of neighborhood to one where people do know each other, where people even on the other side of the 70-some home neighborhood know each other by first name, where you can see a kid riding bike down the sidewalk and know who the kid's parents are. Maybe this isn't the typical neighborhood but it's one that we chose to move to largely because of factors like this.

As for this particular scenario, we will probably never know the family dynamics that led to the tantrum. Maybe the parents had not been doing a good job. Surely, the parents made at least a few mistakes along the way (who doesn't?) and maybe they made a lot of mistakes or maybe they just didn't care enough to try to correct the mistakes. Regardless of that, though, I keep going back to one thing. Any parent who would not have a big problem with a complete stranger hitting their child is, in my opinion, an unfit parent. This guy was completely in the wrong and should have the book thrown at him.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2009, 08:26:38 PM »
"Throwing the book at him" if he did not injure the child is as over-the-top of a response as his was.  Being arrested and pleading to a lesser (misdemeanor rather than felony) charge might teach him a deserved lesson.  So far there seems to be a desire only to sympathize with the parent and not with the man.  It could be that he has hearing aids that are highly sensitive to the shrill shrieks of toddlers and that for the past decade he has been subjected to the shrill shrieks of other people's tots on half or more of his visits to MallWart and all those other times he has simply walked away.  Perhaps something else was going on and he was having a bad day, week, month, or year -- maybe he had a GM pension that was cut or his wife's medical insurance had been dropped.  Dealing with the thoughtlessness of others can be trying at times.  I know I have said regrettable things when I have felt pushed to my breaking point.  I get the sense that he was not assaulting the child and had no intent to harm but felt that if the parent was not going to adequately discipline this child then he would.  He was certainly out-of-line and there is no excuse for it, yet I know I have felt a similar impulse when dealing again and again with people who apparently thought nothing of foisting their undisciplined, unruly, and unleashed dogs on other people on trails where I live.  If those people do not care enough about their dogs (not to mention fellow trail users) to train and discipline them or keep them leashed then it is left to me to administer some sort of reinforcement to keep them from charging/jumping on me.  If I have to decide whether I allow a dog to possibly injure me or use force to avert what appears to me to be inevitable physical contact then I will choose the latter.  I will never get why people presume that anyone and everyone else along the same trail that they are using is interested in meeting their dog(s).  I love dogs but when I am out to run I am spending my time to focus on that and without any interest in playing with random dogs.  I do not presume that everyone else out there to meet me and shake my hand, so I do not run up to them yapping away with my hand extended.  Anyway, I am getting off on a tangent here.  I was in a store this evening and was on an aisle with a mother who was there with her shrieking young child.  As I observed, the mother was doing as little as possible to get the little girl to behave.  Not that this is necessarily the case in this story, but at the end of a work/school day there could easily be impatience and grouchiness on the part of a kid and apathy/lack of energy to deal with it on the part of the parent.  Again, not an excuse and it is out-of-line to subject innocent bystanders to the fallout, but I do understand that this is a reality for a lot of people and it seems like they are either incognizant or unconcerned with how it might affect anyone else and how sensitive they might be to it for any number of reasons.  It is a two-way street and I think that, at least in certain locales, that a breakdown in common courtesy and thoughtfulness regarding others has led to the proliferation of this type of situation.
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2009, 06:42:20 AM »
First, "throw the book" was probably a poor term to use. I hope he gets a punishment that fits his actions, which I would still argue were quite severe.

As for your comparison between a kid throwing a tantrum in public and dogs running loose, I'm sorry but I don't see the comparison. One is an admittedly extreme annoyance, another is a safety issue. As far as I'm aware, the number of incidents where someone had to seek medical treatment due to listening to a toddler throw a tantrum is pretty low. In the United States, nearly two people every minute seek medical treatment due to dog bites (and these are only the cases where the doctor reports the cause of the injury as dog bite, surely understating all dog related injuries which are not always reported as bites). I understand your point of common courtesy but I simply disagree that these two types of incidents, beyond some base level of common courtesy, have anything in common.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2009, 08:21:45 AM »
That is perhaps because you are looking without a broad enough perspective.  In either situation, the essential result is others having to deal with the side-effects of someone else's lack of control, irrespective of the details of possible outcomes.  When you are sitting in a restaurant and someone's kid shrieks and/or starts running around and raising a ruckus, it is a rude interruption of your activity, an activity that is not bothering anyone else.  When you are running in a park and someone's dog runs up to you playfully (or not), it is a rude interruption of your activity, an activity that is not bothering anyone else.  Another example might be thoughtless drivers, which carries even greater possible danger yet still often necessitates others who did not invite it having to deal with it.  To repeat, dealing with the thoughtlessness of others can be trying at times.  It can bring forth similar impulses regardless of the actual cause and possible outcomes.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 08:24:40 AM by Andrew A. »
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2009, 02:56:59 PM »
Maybe we're just viewing this from different angles. Regardless of dealing with side-effects on someone else, one is an annoyance and another is a danger. Thoughtless drivers are also a danger. There are many annoyances that we deal with every day. Some people find how I dress to run annoying and think my wardrobe choice is thoughtless, some might find my way of landscaping my yard or the fact that I don't always mow the lawn as soon as the grass is getting a bit long annoying. People get over annoyances every day, even multiple times a day. People shouldn't have to get over unnecessary risks.

Also, when a child is throwing a tantrum, there is no immediate risk (is there any risk?) to one's health. When a dog is chasing you, there is. Defending yourself from a chasing dog is far different than slapping a stranger's toddler.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2009, 03:40:29 PM »
I never claimed there were no differences in the details, but you are seemingly trying to insist that there are zero similarities.  Perhaps I am not communicating my point clearly enough.  If I do not like the way you look, I can just not look at you.  Same with your yard.  The three examples I gave are intrusive annoyances.  Regardless of the possible consequences of each, they are still essentially that.  Others would include someone choosing to mow the lawn or fire up their leaf blower or gun their motorcycle's engine or hammer nails or cut wood with a chainsaw near your home at 3 a.m.  No, they do not present much danger to one's safety yet they are not easily avoidable and, bottom line, they are someone else's responsibility.  Danger or not, nobody sought your permission before inflicting loud noises on you while you were asleep, or dining out, or shopping, or before letting their dog chase you or before driving in a highly discourteous manner.  They just did it without regard to the feelings of your or anyone else.  Each is the result of the thoughtlessness of someone else and results in others having to deal with noise or danger.  I am no immediate risk (is there any risk?) to your health if I run up to you and jabber away with my hand thrust out to shake, yet you have to deal with that intrusive behavior in one way or another and you did not invite it simply by being in that place at that time. 
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 Ryan

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2009, 07:34:14 AM »
Just as you never claimed there were no differences in details, I never claimed there were no similarities, just that in my opinion the differences in seriousness of infringement. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one and continue to view it from different angles. I understand where you're coming from but I also think we can find many things that people, even ourselves, do that some might consider infringing on themselves. As a parent, I can tell you that parents don't get to choose when a tantrum is thrown. You can only deal with it when it happens. In almost any case, I'd choose to remove the child from the public setting and I think most parents also would but, in some scenarios, that may be a choice that is, at best, difficult to make.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2009, 08:38:09 AM »
I do not disagree, yet at the very basic, conceptual level those are all uninvited "infringements."  I also see it as being a difference between things that fall very obviously into that category of immediacy and relatively innocuous things such as not matching your shirt to your pants or letting your grass grow more than three inches tall.  Some things you can block out and ignore and some things you simply cannot.  There is also a difference between a parent swiftly dealing with a child screeching (loud noise is an assault to the senses) in a restaurant or a store and a parent blithely disregarding it and continuing to irresponsibly subject others to it.
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 Ed

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2009, 01:13:02 PM »
As a parent I must add my two cents.

Sometimes a parent has no choice of when to complete some neccessity shopping (prescription medication) and therefore cannot leave.  Parents have been told that spanking is physical abuse, yelling is emotional abuse - so what are we left with?  Reasoning?  With a todler that is in tantrum mode -yeah right!

Also, I am kind of curious as how a crying child is an "assault" to the senses when a fully grown adult male physically slapping a child is not assault.

Lastly, no set of circumstances that the man had been in should ever be an excuse to touch another individual - child or adult.
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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2009, 04:43:17 PM »
As a parent I must add my two cents.

Sometimes a parent has no choice of when to complete some [necessity] shopping (prescription medication) and therefore cannot leave.  Parents have been told that spanking is physical abuse, yelling is emotional abuse - so what are we left with?  Reasoning?  With a [toddler] that is in tantrum mode -yeah right!
So tantrums must be dealt with in the middle of a crowd?  Why?  Funny, but I have seen and heard of plenty of parents taking their kids to a quiet, isolated place (outside the store or restaurant) until the kid is calm enough to return.  As opposed to the woman I witnessed in the grocery store last week who essentially did nothing to quell repeated outbursts.  Why did she allow that?

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Also, I am kind of curious as how a crying child is an "assault" to the senses when a fully grown adult male physically slapping a child is not assault.
I am kind of curious where you got the idea that it is not, as that is a disturbingly deviant suggestion.

Quote
Lastly, no set of circumstances that the man had been in should ever be an excuse to touch another individual - child or adult.
Thank you for pointing out the obvious, since you now agree with the rest of us on that I expect world peace to commence immediately. ;)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 04:48:52 PM by Andrew A. »
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Offline Ed

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2009, 10:56:26 PM »
A crying child is an assault to the senses?  I have thicker skin than that.  It must be a tough life if little things like that are appearently that disturbing to an individual.  People need to learn to toughen up in life and suck up things that bug them - to a point of course. 

Maybe that young child that was assaulting your senses had an ear infection or was sick and the mother was obtaining some neccessities for treating that child.  Maybe not - but maybe. 

I do not allow my children to display that type of behavior in public becuase I want to teach them that good and or proper behavior gets the attention that they are looking to receive.
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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Stranger Slaps Mother's Crying Toddler At Georgia Wal-Mart
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2009, 07:36:20 AM »
A crying child is an assault to the senses?  I have thicker skin than that.  It must be a tough life if little things like that are [apparently] that disturbing to an individual.  People need to learn to toughen up in life and suck up things that bug them - to a point of course. 

Maybe that young child that was assaulting your senses had an ear infection or was sick and the mother was obtaining some [necessities] for treating that child.  Maybe not - but maybe.
I have thicker skin than that, too, yet I do not presume to speak for how thick everyone else's skin should be -- i.e. what everyone else should gladly put up with.  Maybe I am out (not at Chuck E. Cheese or Mickey D's) having a nice quiet meal and my date is annoyed by someone who is allowing their kid to scream in a restaurant for the entire meal.  How wise would it be to cop your attitude and tell her to "just suck it up?"  Would you be as "thick skinned" and understanding if a bunch of frat boys or bikers the next booth over from you were being obnoxiously loud while you were out for a nice, quiet meal with your wife?  How about if the neighbors had a party on Tuesday night in their back yard with loud music going until 3 a.m.? 

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I do not allow my children to display that type of behavior in public [because] I want to teach them that good and or proper behavior gets the attention that they are looking to receive.
Exactly.  So why defend the crappy parents who allow it?
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 #28 on: September 19, 2009, 01:01:05 PM »
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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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.

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