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Captain_Fantasy's avatar

What would you do if you witnessed a really questionable example of parenting in public?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) February 20th, 2010

WARNING: There’s a story coming.

I’m at the electronics store. I see a woman with her son at the register purchasing a video game. The boy is maybe 7 years old and has his right arm in a makeshift homemade sling. The woman while making her purchase is rambling on about how the US is circling the drain and how China is going to invade and take over. She says the situation is absolutely hopeless just like our educational system.

The clerk looks over the counter and says “what happened to your arm little guy?” Mom quickly pipes in, “Yeah funny thing about that. We have no idea what’s wrong. After this we’re going to the ER. I figure it’s no big deal and since we’re just going to sit there for the next 6 hours, we should get some stuff done first.”

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24 Answers

essieness's avatar

Wow, WOW, WOW.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do except take it as a lesson in how not to parent. I hate to jump to conclusions about their home life, but my instinct is to feel very sorry for that little boy and wonder what kind of adult he will turn into.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Yeah I figure it’s one thing if you decide not to go to the ER immediately if you’re the injured one, but that’s a hell of a decision to make for someone else, especially your own child.

Vunessuh's avatar

When I was at Toys R Us some years back, I saw a woman smack her 12 year old son across the face. He was definitely mouthing off, but I could tell the woman was on something. She wasn’t drunk, I think she was on some type of hallucinogen because she was paranoid and talking about random things circling around her.
She smacked him again 10x’s harder and that’s when I grabbed the boy’s arm, put him behind me, took out my phone and called the police.
I was prepared for her to come at me, but instead she says, ”You can keep him.” Needless to say, I was pretty disgusted that she could say that about her own son.

I hope to God he isn’t anywhere near her now.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Way to step in Vunessuh . That’s more than just bad parenting, that was a crime in progress.

essieness's avatar

@Vunessuh Kudos to you! You definitely have bigger balls than I would’ve had, and I’m sure you were that little boy’s hero!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I thought Joan Crawford was dead.

ucme's avatar

I would by definition ? it.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy Well, that’s the thing, it was a crime.
I let something similar go the year before and I still feel guilty for it, so I wasn’t going to let it happen again.

susanc's avatar

People with no health insurance use the ER for normal doctor visits. So “going to the ER” doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an emergency.

But it’s a horrible story.

Axemusica's avatar

Well, I myself am not a parent, yet, or that I know of. Most of the people in my life are though. I currently live with my brother and his wife with 2 young’uns. My best friend is married with 5 young’uns, so I’m no stranger to children and often have to assert myself to children.

Recently, there has been reports of a male in the area of (my best friends house) kidnapping children. Lightly bumping him with his car to make them fall down, then apologizing and saying he’s a “nurse” and can take them to the hospital. Well, yesterday my friend and I were out and about. Ya know, being busy folks and on our way back to his place. Which happened to be around the time school was getting out. We see this little girl walking quite slowly, all by herself. She had to be at least 8 or 9.

My friend starts rambling on about how he would never let his child walk alone like that and how lazy parents are to let such things happen. I thought about just picking her up and taking her home, but you really can’t do that. My friend was furious, but what could we do?

mammal's avatar

put it down to experience, but yeah, assume help is on it’s way

babaji's avatar

certainly taking care of herself first…,very sad.
hope the little guy is all right.
Saw a very large lady in a voice that you could hear two blocks away, say to her little son that she was going to throw him away if he didn’t walk faster to keep up with her.
Everyone was giving her some love….
once in a similar situation i said something to the Woman who was disrespecting the dignity of her son, and for two blocks as she was walking away she called me every name in the book, shouting at the top of her lungs for me sticking my nose into her business.

MissAusten's avatar

The world is full of people with their priorities out of whack.

I used to work in a daycare center for employees of a very well known pharmaceutical company. The vast majority of the parents were highly educated, well-off, and good to their kids. There was one family that I always wanted to say something too, however. The mom was a secretary or something for this big company, and her husband worked elsewhere. They had a little boy who was about two years old when he started in my class. All three of them reeked like cigarette smoke. You could smell it as soon as the mom brought the little boy in. His hair, clothes, and coat smelled very strongly of smoke. Obviously, at least one of the parents smoked in the house or the smell wouldn’t have been clinging to him that way. Smoking in your home when you have a small child is questionable enough now that we all know what it can do to your child’s health (my parents both smoked around us all the time, but back then no one thought twice about it). What really made me mad was that this little boy had breathing problems and his mom would complain about having to put him on a nebulizer for breathing treatments whenever he caught a cold. She worried that he would develop asthma. I was trained to administer medications to children, and I remember holding him on my lap, with the nebulizer, smelling his head and thinking it smelled like the ashtrays my dad always had around the house. I never had the nerve to say anything to this mom about it, like to ask why the little boy was so exposed to second-hand smoke if he was prone to breathing problems. I don’t have anything against smokers, but in that situation, wouldn’t you just start smoking outside? Was she in such denial that she couldn’t see that maybe her son’s health problems were linked to the smoke, or at least maybe aggravated by it? She was clueless in a lot of ways. The boy was a real handful, and I remember one day she said, “No matter how much we spank him, he doesn’t behave!” In that case, I asked the director to talk to her about effective discipline methods for toddlers, but I don’t think she ever changed.

essieness's avatar

@MissAusten Some people are just too dumb, or too selfish, to get it.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

Sounds to me like the mom might of had a role to play in the condition of this boys arm.

lfino's avatar

@Vunessuh, how did the incident at Toys R Us end? Were police called or did anyone else intervene? How did the boy act after his mom told you to keep him? I just feel so bad for him.

Vunessuh's avatar

@lfino Yes, I proceeded to call the police and when they arrived, two other witnesses confirmed my story. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about what happened after that.
The kid didn’t do anything. He just stood there behind me. After she told me that I could keep him, she continued to browse the shelfs. It was bizarre.

stevenelliottjr's avatar

There are some people that just don’t deserve the privilege of having kids. If you see someoe abusing their kids or mistreating them you have an obligation to inquire what’s going on. Kids can’t defend themselves or stand up for themselves for a long time. Their parents are supposed to do that for them. There is no greater injustice than treating a child abusively or neglecting them

I have an 18 month old and thank God everyday for the blessing! Nothing like coming home and hearing him say “dada!!” with a big ‘ol smile on his face. How people can mistreat children I’ll never understand.

lfino's avatar

@Vunessuh, I hope that boy was one of the lucky ones that was able to somehow rise above the abuse and become a good person. Do I live in a fastasy world? Yeah….probably.

Vunessuh's avatar

@lfino You don’t live in a fantasy world. My mother and my best friend got the shit kicked out of them when they were young and they were able to break the cycle of abuse. They are two of the most incredible women I know. I’m sure it happens all the time. :)

lfino's avatar

@Vunessuh, my nephew is messed up because his mom told him all the time that she didn’t love him. I’m really glad your mom and your best friend made it out though. It’s good to hear those stories.

Vunessuh's avatar

@lfino Sorry to hear that. I know some people aren’t as fortunate. I’ve run into plenty of them as well.

mattbrowne's avatar

Serious unambiguous abuse needs to be reported to the youth welfare office.

lfino's avatar

@mattbrowne, in my nephew’s case, it was late 60’s, early 70’s, rural midwest. Nobody talked about it out loud then. He lived with us as much as possible, but when his mom decided to return, nobody could do anything. It was really sad.

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