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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:52 PM
Original message
Saw horrible incident today; emotions are raw.
A woman was with her 3 or 4 year-old boy. He was being fussy as she tried to bring him through some revolving doors. She yanked on his arm, hurting him. He started to cry, and she screamed at him, You fucking asshole! Im so sick of you.

Ive seen this kind of thing before, and its always upsetting. Sometimes I do confront the parent, due to limited impulse control.

This time I actually burst into tears, I looked at her and said That was HORRIBLE!

She looked kind of shocked and I just walked away.

I thought of this again because I was just looking at pictures of orphaned Iraqi children in GD. Children just need to be loved, and so many go without. If they have loving parents, we kill them. If their parents are relatively safe in this land of privilege, they are unworthy, immature, and incompetent.

My emotions are just right on the edge. How can we just witness these things and go about our days? I dont know what to do.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Poor impulse control?
I'd say that was due more to a feeling of civic responsibility. It takes a village...

I'm glad you yelled at her... maybe she'll think about how she treats her child.

Stuff like this makes me sooooo angry. Some people just DO NOT DESERVE to have children, dammit.

I will never get over the fact that you have to take a test for a driver's license, or to sell food, but ANYONE can have a child. Far too many suffer needlessly... day in and day out...
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. I agree.
My friend just told me I should be careful because sometime one of these crazed abusive parents might get violent with me. I also feel like it's poor impulse control because I might be able to find a better way to point it out to them. But when parents are clearly abusing their kids, I don't feel like it's none of my business.

If my husband ever treated our son like that, I would leave him and make sure he only had supervised visits until I was sure it would never happen again. If I ever treat my son that way, I hopE my husband would do the same thing.

Thank the universe and all the unseen forces, my son has two loving and capable parents. Every child deserves a loving and capable caregiver. It's so sad what goes on in this world.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. In situations like this.
because of the obvious instability of the parent, sometimes making a judgmental comment, (not that you did, I am speaking in generalities) can cause immediate long term danger for the child.

An intervention technique that offers some promise is to gently say to the offending parent something along the lines of "Gee, kids can be such a handful" or "I have been there, too" you get the idea, and then ask if there is anyway you can help.

I have confronted people before about their treatment of their children and I did sometimes think I had done more harm than good. When I was practicing psychology, I had a 'stressed out parent' group that I ran and some of the parents indicated that they would not be offended if someone approached them in this manner.

JMO.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #36
49. It's so sickening to me
that we have to worry about 'offending' the parents, as they're hurting and emotionally scarring their innocent offspring.

:grr:
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #49
57. Less about offending and more about getting through, I think.
I couldn't care less if I hurt this woman's feelings or made her mad, but did I have the best impact for the sake of her boy?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #57
63. I know... and I know you're both right.
But I grew up getting slapped around and yelled at, so this is kind of one of my buttons. I can try but I usually fail at trying to discuss these kinds of issues calmly.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #63
70. I understand.
It's obviously one of my buttons too.

:loveya:
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #36
69. I agree with you. Somebody helped me once this way.
Parenting is difficult, and sometimes even the best parents lose it. I think I'm a good parent, but one day when my son was very young I was in the mall with him and I got so frustrated with his behavior I actually put my hands around his neck. I wouldn't have hurt him, but I was a little bit out of control.

An elderly woman sitting near me came and sat down next to me on the bench, and gently talked with me about how difficult it was to be a parent, how she remembered having bad days like this, and what a wonderful gift children are to us.

She didn't criticize me directly. She just gently kind of put me back on the right track. I was tremendously grateful to her.

Actually, I think bursting into tears and saying "That was horrible" might have had a similar impact on the out-of-control mom. While you weren't supportive, at least you called attention to her behavior. You may have shocked her back into reality.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. Thanks so much for sharing that.
I would like to strive to be more like that elderly woman.

And as a new parent, one day I may find myself needing someone like her.

There, but for the grace of "unseen forces" go I.

;-)
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. I once saw a guy smack his young son right across the face in the grocery
store. The little boy was filthy dirty and looked to have old bruises on his body. I didn't do anything and I still hate myself for walking away.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. It's haunting.
You can't help every single person, but I know what you mean. I'm so sorry, for everyone.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. You did the right thing
I hope she was shamed into acting like the responsible adult she needs to be for that child. It takes a village...
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. Thank you.
I hope it was just an isolated incident, and that she'll think about it and do what she needs to do to reduce the chances of it happening again.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. That would have pissed me off.....
In a gazillion years, I could never picture my niece doing that with the triplets -- who are four years old. Thank the gods.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
26. What a message to get when you're 4,
that your mother is sick of you. It is 100% natural to feel that way from time to time. Being a mom is HARD! But you cannot ever make your child feel as though they are unloved and unwanted.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. A friend of mine made a citizens arrest once
against a man who slapped his daughter in public. He testified against him in court and the asshole got something like 45 days in jail and lost custody of the child (he was a step father). I wish more people would have the guts to do that.
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candle_bright Donating Member (584 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Bravo to your friend!
I've never seen anyone hit a child, but I sure have seen more than a few parents yell hateful, humiliating, and profane things at their kids in public.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
29. I think that takes a lot of guts.
And it's the right thing to do.
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Glenda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
66. HOw did he make the citizens arrest?
Did he get the guy's name, etc?
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #66
84. Actually, I was wondering the same thing...
...on my way home tonight.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #66
98. It was at an amusement park with lots of witnesses
He restrained him and announced that he needed someone to go find a cop. So I guess technically he didn't arrest him, the cop did. Isn't that what a citizen's arrest is? Like if a convenience store clerk pulls a gun on a robber and then calls the police while he holds him?
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Glenda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #98
100. I guess if you had numerous people around...
They could help out in restraining him, and one could comfort the kid as well.
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Ironpost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. First, regain your composure
and then give thanks that your children will not have to hear those words. Love conquers all
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. Yes.
Sometimes I feel like I really can't do anything but try to be the best mom I can be for my little boy. I know that if I can do that, that's worth a lot. But I just want to adopt every kid in need in the entire world. Not very practical.
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Bush_Eats_Beef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. It won't be a problem today...
...it WILL when that kid turns 40 and begins a lifetime of therapy sessions.

All of the divorces, lost jobs and substance abuse problems will be traced back to that "You fucking asshole! Im so sick of you" moment.

It's a shame that humans can become parents simply by screwing. There should be a screening process of some sort for people like the one you ran into.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. It's true.
I know.
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jswordy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. Do you have kids?
I'll bet not.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. She has a baby boy.
n/t
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I have kids
And I've confronted - in a friendly, mother-to-mother way - women (I've only seen women do it) who have manhandled their children in front of me.

I'm curious about your question. What does having kids have to do with getting upset at seeing a kid abused in public?
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jswordy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. I am saying that there is no such thing...
...as a perfect parent, as much as many of us seem to be of the opinion that we are perfect enough to publicly pass judgment and mete out a sentence on another. It appears that many are ready and willing to insert themselves into the lives of others without benefit of any knowledge of those lives, so that they can shame the other parent publicly and thus feel superior and like a savior of the child.

The action may make the person who butts in feel better, but it does absolutely nothing to change the dynamic between that parent and child. Nothing.

I repeat, There are NO perfect parents.

You may now attack me.

:)
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Beaverhausen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. There is a huge difference between not perfect and what she saw today
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 04:36 PM by Beaverhausen
are you saying that what she witnessed is OK and forgivable?

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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. There is a line
and crossing it becomes abuse. No one is perfect, you are absolutely correct. And parenting IS tough. But, like I said in a post further down in this thread, if a parent can't refrain from such behavior, then they need help. Sometiems a reaction from a stranger can be what it takes to shock a parent into reality. If not, hopefully someone in that parent or child's life will reconize the problem and step in to help.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
35. No, sorry
but one is subject to righteous shaming if one screams at their little child in public that s/he is an asshole. It does not take counselor-level knowledge of the inner workings of the family dynamic to know that that is fucked up.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #35
88. Right, if they do that in public, how much worse it must be in private
:-(
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. There are no perfect parents
and that doesn't excuse lousy parenting. There is No Excuse WhatSoEver for a parent to talk to a child that way.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
47. I don't attack
I do find your take on the original post interesting.

Given your perspective, no one would ever be justified in intervening when an adult is hurting a child. Am I getting that right? And that would be, in your estimation, because no one is perfect? So, if such a thing as a perfect parent existed, only that person would be justified in intervening?

That's a rather absolute and hypothetical take on the situation, I think.

I doubt that anything an outsider can do would permanently change any parent-child dynamic, but, in the moment that a child is being abused, it might - it just might - make an impression on the child that someone was paying attention. That could make a difference down the line for the kid.

You really think people would attack you for having an opinion such as yours? Or do you think that people who would disagree with you are all "attackers"?

You do post an interesting, passive-aggressive, controlling final line. That's the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy that so often characterizes so many discussions that seem to have vast potential at first, but are shut down by that sort of defensive crouch.
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Left Is Write Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #25
62. I have three kids, ages three to seventeen.
I'm not perfect, and I think we all know there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

However, there is a world of difference between "not perfect" and "abusive." What the OP witnessed today was abusive, plain and simple.

I've dealt with a lot of parental frustration, impatience, fuss and worry over the years, as well as all manner of children's behavior, and I have never once cursed at my children or called them names. One need not be "perfect" to recognize abuse.
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #25
93. No attack -- I agree 100%.
There are no perfect parents -- you just try and do what you think is right for your children.

As much as I love my parents, my father said some fucked up stuff to us as kids.
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #25
97. I'm sorry
This incident is NOT something that a parent- even an imperfect parent- does.
You say that to your kid, you're fucking abusing the child.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
34. I wish I had your tact.
And I'm also curious. Why are only parents allowed to care?
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Amaya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. WTF does that mean?
?
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Beaverhausen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. what the hell is that comment supposed to mean?
please, do tell.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. You lost me on that one.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. And just what is that supposed to mean?
That all parents understand the desire to hurt their children and curse at them hatefully for the slightest, most meaningless things?

:nuke:
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. What's having kids got to do with it?
The woman NEVER under any circumstance had a right to say those words to a child. NEVER.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
37. No Kidding.
I hope the poster doesn't mean that if I weren't a mom, I wouldn't understand how her actions could have been justified. There is no justification. It takes a human being to know that.

I am a mom, however, and I know that it's very hard. Which means it's time to step up. If I ever were abusive toward my son, I would hope that a person wouldn't ignore it because they aren't a mom or dad. I would hope that any person would point it out and encourage me to get help.
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complain jane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Well I don't but my best friend does, and her daughter drives her nuts.
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 04:10 PM by the dogfish
But my best friend has enough common sense and control over her emotions to know that when she's infuriated by her child, there are plenty of options other than abuse be it physical or verbal. Anger management. Therapy. Time-Outs.

As a result her child is turning out to be a bright and thoughtful human being instead of an insecure and angry individual.

A child's job is to be needy and require healthy discipline. Calling your child names and physically abusing them is not parenting, it's the weak and easy way out.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
38. Agreed. (nt)
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complain jane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #38
68. I think a big part of the problem is
that too many parents (mothers especially) have no idea what they're getting into. My friend was horrified at first, and very, very ashamed to admit she felt that way. She said it's the most trying, frustrating job in the world and that she was totally unprepared for all that it brings. She loves her child very much and she's a good person. But she said there are times when she simply hates being a mother. She knows it will pass, and it does, and she knows the rewards are huge, and she said that with all the sacrifice comes the first real love and the first real joy she's ever known.

But I think that the fact that a lot of new mothers feel ashamed of themselves for struggling with the major changes a baby brings is very isolating and only makes things worse.

She's learned that it's ok to have those feelings and by learning that, she's learned to talk about them and channel that frustration into appropriate avenues.

Just my two cents.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #68
74. I think I'm lucky that I've been in therapy...
...since my car accident. When I was in that horrible accident, and had the miscarriage, I went into therapy as I was having some PTSD symptoms. Even though I've really made progress with my grief and anxiety, I've stayed in therapy because I found it so helpful, and since I got pregnant again while in therapy and knew my life was about to change again big time, I'd take advantage of having a great therapist.

One of the things we've talked about a lot is how it's very natural to have feelings of resentment, and all kinds of other negative feelings about your baby. After all, the baby is literally sucking off you. It doesn't mean you don't love your baby more than anything. It doesn't mean you're a bad mom.

It's been really helpful to me to be able to share some of those feelings with someone who is there to support my well-being and who knows that it is natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #68
89. There is precious little honest preparation for the demands of the job..
There is no way to describe the stress and how just plain hard the job is and there is (to the same degree) no way to describe the rewards. As a result, the whole thing necessarily comes as a tremendous shock to most mothers.

Only older siblings in a huge family have any realistic idea of what they're getting into.
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complain jane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #89
99. It didn't help that my friend
had a really hard childhood either. Her doting mom passed away when she was 10 and her abusive alcoholic father killed himself shortly after. Motherhood being hard enough, she's really doing an outstanding job overcoming her resentment, jealousy and anger to be a good mother.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
33. I'm a mom.
I was also a nanny for 3 little girls before I became a mom. So I do know first hand how nerve-wracking kids can be, how tired moms are, how very hard it is. TOUGH SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time to be the grown up. Time to do better. There's no excuse for abuse.

And even if I weren't a mom, I aught to know there's know excuse for what I saw, and I aught to care.
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iconoclastic cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
73. Now, why would you say something like that to a fellow DUer?
Come on. Don't be defensive and hostile.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. very upsetting, the poor little boy
that shows the parents inability to control themselves. I really detest people like that. Too bad she didn't figure out earlier that she didn't really want to have children.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
40. My heart just went out to him so much.
I hope he has someone who's there for him.
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madison2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. I was over at a friends house and when she was drinking
she started telling me that her 9 year old was the "spawn of satan" while he was in earshot. I don't have kids but I can't imagine ever saying that about one of them if I did. Or swearing at them with words like "asshole". I think its inexcusable.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
42. You don't have to have kids to know right from wrong.
But having kids can make it a bit more emotional to witness such things, I think.
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madison2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #42
76. they're my neighbors, and after that I found I was always trying to build
up his self esteem. He wasn't used to it. He got in trouble at school and had to change schools. No dad around , just a mom who calls you evil- how could he feel good about himself?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
90. Back in 1987, I visited a Japanese friend from my student days
Her children (8 and 5) were quite whiny, and as the evening went on, she kept on saying to me within earshot of the children, "I wish I'd never had them. They're nothing but trouble. Sometimes I wish someone would kidnap them."

I didn't say anything at the time, but her attitude bothered me, and when I returned to the States, I wrote her a letter saying that her attitude had disturbed me and that she should consider how her children felt when she said things like that. Furthermore, I told her, I was approaching an age where it was unlikely that I would ever have children, and I thought that hers were basically good kids, that she was lucky to have healthy, intelligent, good-looking children, and that she should try praising them when they did something right instead of constantly snapping at them, because that's how my mother dealt with her kindergarten kiddies.

I thought, "Well, I've probably permanently pissed her off," but she wrote back and said I was probably right and that she would try to be more positive about her kids.

We continued to exchange New Year's cards for a couple of years, but when I tried to look her up in 1991, she was not at her old phone number or her old address, so I've lost track of her. Both her children are young adults now, though.
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. Your impulse control is amazing!
I probably would've told that bitch off loudly and proudly. What the hell kind of people have kids these days?? :puke:
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #19
43. I was just emotionally blown away...
...I had no idea how to be effective in the situation. I just blurted and ran.
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
21. That's so horrible to see
I'm so sorry for you. As a new mother, that must have been exceptionally hard. :hug:

I was at the grocery store today and saw a 3- or 4-year-old boy having a complete meltdown. His mom also had his baby sister in a carrier in the cart. She was so good to him, just kept cooing that it would be okay, Mommy was almost done, etc., with no guilt or threats or anything. She was so patient, it was really sweet. So there are some good parents out there. :)
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #21
46. Thanks for sharing that.
It was hard to see as a new mom. I feel way more sorry for the little boy than for myself, but I do also feel injured by the incident. Thanks for acknowledging that.

And thanks for the grocery store story.

I know which mom I hope to be.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
27. It's heartbreaking and infuriating.
You did the right thing. Parenting is difficult, and it's easy to lose your cool, but there is no excuse for such emotional abuse. If it's too difficult for a parent to refrain from such behavior, then they need help.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #27
48. See, I should have said something about getting help.
That's where I blew it. At least I didn't ignore it. She can't go on thinking that it's okay. But I should have said, "I hope you will talk to a social worker or a friend and try to get some help, because it's wrong for you to treat your son that way."
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #48
60. It's hard.
When you see something like that, it's such a visceral, emotional response. Most people want to be good parents. Sometimes an angry, emotional response in public is all they need to know they've crossed a line, and may itself encourage them to get help, even if they appear defensive. There are exceptions to that rule, and they're the kind where no reaction or suggestion from a stranger will probably make much of a difference, sadly :(
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
39. Sometimes, in situations like this,
because of the obvious instability of the parent, sometimes making a judgmental comment, (not that you did, I am speaking in generalities) can cause immediate short term danger for the child.

An intervention technique that offers some promise is to gently say to the offending parent something along the lines of "Gee, kids can be such a handful" or "I have been there, too" you get the idea, and then ask if there is anyway you can help.

I have confronted people before about their treatment of their children and I did sometimes think I had done more harm than good. When I was practicing psychology, I had a 'stressed out parent' group that I ran and some of the parents indicated that they would not be offended if someone approached them in this manner.

JMO.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
50. Right! That's what I mean about impulse control.
I swear. I should practice, so that next time I see something like this (and sadly there will be a next time) I will have a strategy and I won't feel so out of control.

Thanks.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #50
55. You certainly are not at fault for reacting emotionally to such a
distressing scene, and frankly, the group that I ran came up with that technique because some of them had indicated that they would feel rage to a person who addressed their parenting skills and we decided to come up with a solution.

It seems to work, at least for some people.

Believe me, you are not alone in reacting that way to a child being hurt. I have to control myself a great deal, and I used to treat some of these offenders for a living! It was all I could do not to scream at them. I just recognized in some of them that there was an obvious disconnect or deficiency and went from there.

But, FWIW, I no longer practice. I got burned out with seeing so many sad children. I do something completely different now, and I have recently felt the itch to go back into practice. Hoping I can surpress it for a little longer.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Thanks for all your input.
Maybe down the line, there's a calling in all this for me.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #50
86. In that moment
You were PERFECT.

A young ice dancing colleague (10) was sitting next to me dawdling and picking at the chip on his boot. His mom suddenly SCREAMED at him and came bounding across the locker room with her hand raised. I don't know what got into me, but I stood up and blocked her access saying, "YOU DO NOT hit him. GO SIT DOWN." She was so startled by my intervention she simply followed my instruction.

"Drew, take your skates off NOW, dry them thoroughly, including the blades and when you get home stick that flap down with some crazy glue." He gave me such a cute look and made an extra special effort to care for his VERY EXPENSIVE boots and blades which I inspected. I called to him as they left, "DUDE, don't provoke yer mom, OK?" She glared at me, grabbed him by the arm and yanked him out. I did so worry about what happened once they were in the car...
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #86
94. Stunned her!
I would have worried too, but at least you kept him from being hit. At least you didn't just watch him get hit and not do anything.

I say, good job.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
44. I'm so glad you said something
I read an article and I will try to find it for you - it's about how children who are in emotionally abusive situations get comfort when they have an outside voice express that it is not normal. I'll see if I can find that article and if I find it I'll send the URL via PM.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #44
52. OMG. Thank you!! (nt)
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Beaverhausen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #44
58. post the link. I never know what to say when I see this
a friend was saying the other day that when she witnesses this she will walk up to the child and the parent and put her hands on each of their backs and look into thier eyes. She says it calms them down.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. Sure
There are two articles by this woman about intervention. The best kind of intervention, according to her, is an offer to help the parent rather than saying something negative about what was witnessed.

http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/intervention1.html
http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/intervention2.html
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
45. Was this at the supermarket?
I don't know what it is about supermarkets that make parents lose it with their kids, but I see it alot.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. They lose it everywhere
You just happen to see it in a supermarket.

Check any parking lot on any given day - you'll find a meltdown situation of some sort.

Or a playground.

Or - the worst of all - a soccer game.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #45
53. Supermarkets are the worst
You've got your kid in the cart reaching for all the pretty packages that you don't intend to buy, which leads to dozens of potential tantrums. And you can't usually just get up and leave like you can a lot of places - you need food and if you don't get through it then you have to go back and start over another time.

I've gotten frustrated in the supermarket with my daughter, but I would *never* talk to her like that. Kids believe every word their parents say. They don't understand that some of what's said is in frustration.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. It's true.
But it was at a hospital. Clearly not a place you go when everything is okay.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
64. I know what it is about supermarkets
It's the fact the parents go to the supermarket to get food, and drag their kids along.

They ought to be, instead, going out with their kids and getting some food while they're out.

Same actions, totally different attitude. A trip to the store with your small child ought to be a running conversation about the colors of the fruits, what color packing is their favorite, singing silly songs about what you find in the aisles, and sometimes using it like a library - the child can take a weird item like a coconut to feel and hold for a while, and put it back nicely before they leave. And there ought to be a stop at the lobster tank to watch for a bit. Meanwhile, you toss some things in your cart.

Shopping can be every bit as much quality time with your child as going to the zoo, and can be every bit as fun and as educational. But not if you are treating the outing as a chore.

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Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #45
75. I see it a LOT at resteraunts
There's been numerous time that I've seen it at the local Chinese Buffet here in Plainfield. I am always too scared to say something- scared it will get worse for the child when they get home. Unfortunately that's how it works with some abusive parents- they take the judgement out on the child, and blame the child for it.
It's disgusting. I'm not a mother, but I am an Aunt... the Aunt of a precious red-headed blue-eyed, cheery and lively 3 yr old. I don't understand how anyone could treat kids that way. For any reason... I don't think there's any excuses.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #45
82. supermarkets...many times the last stop before heading home
parent and child tired.....child acts up, parent is embarrassed because many adults freak out if a child acts like a (tired) child in public......parent gets a lot of angry looks seeming to say 'can't you control your child so I can shop in peace?'

remember these feelings from when my son was small
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
59. I have to go home now!
I'm going home now to be with my family. Thanks so much for talking about this with me, everyone.

(I do mean everyone, too. Even if I didn't like what you had to say, it added to the exploration.)
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
65. That poor child.
What a horrible thing to say to a child. I can only imagine that the child will never forget the terrible things his mother said to him.

I'm glad you said something. Seeing something like that can certainly leave one feeling helpless. Have you considered volunteering at a big brother/big sister or some other organization? Or even reading to local grade-schoolers (they always need volunteers.) It may give you a sense of hope - at least you'd feel like you'd made an impact in a child's life.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #65
78. Right now it's all I can do to take care of my own son.
But I was thinking, since I'm doing well in my career and may have more to share soon, that when my son is older we might consider becoming foster parents or adopting a child or children in need.

Also, when my son gets older, I may have more time to do the big sister thing, which is a great idea...or becoming a mentor.

Excellent suggestion.
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TrustingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
67. most likely this is how she was treated as a child...
this is how our great society allows parents to treat their children because of of poverty, anger, lack of education and hospital care, desparation, so many reasons but no real excuses. Not everyone is noble and strong to overcome. Too many need help, and there is no where to turn to for them.

It's a collective sin.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #67
79. It's true.
It's hard not to harden my heart to that mother, but she needs love and understanding as desperately as her boy.

All I can do now is hope someone is there for them.
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iconoclastic cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
72. Yeah, you have to wonder what's going on up there...
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 06:49 PM by iconoclastic cat
During parent conferences a few months ago, I watched a parent freak out about her son's grade report (which I assume was unsatisfactory): she opened the envelope, let out a string of curses, and then turned to her son and yelled, "What the fuck is wrong with you, n----r?"
I wanted to puke.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #72
80. Oh, No!
I would have said to her, "I think you've answered your own question."
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iconoclastic cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. From what I understand, she's currently incarcerated.
Apparently for assault. Go figure!
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
77. besides abusive words, jerking the kid's arm can dislocate the
elbow. This happened to my daughter three different times, none of which were abusive, all of which were just accidents. Twice it was her own damn fault for deciding she did not want to do whatever it was the caregiver had in mind, and sitting down while being walked down the hall. Caregiver was holding her hand, kid plops down in the hall and pop goes the elbow. Pain and crying ensue. trip to the doctor and a quick pop back and no more pain. It is called nursemaid's elbow.

NOW: we have the potential immediate physical risk and the obvious emotional psychological damage going on at the same time. What a cruel thing to say to a kid.

I know I used to lose it with mine and boy could she stomp on my very last nerve...when I got that mad at her, I would tell her that if she did not calm down, I was going to mail her to Kentucky (and then call my mom and let HER calm her down). She adored my mother, so just the very idea of talking to her was enough to get her attention. Plus she had no concept of how the hell I could mail HER anywhere and even laughed at the idea a couple of times. Sure gave me a chance to get myself together.

On more than one occasion, when I have seen parents jerking their kids around by the forearm, I have approached them with just a gentle touch on the arm and asked "did you know you could accidentally dislocate your baby's arm that way?" Usually I get a look of utter shock, they did not KNOW ... and if my kid is with me she will say OH yeah, I did it three times by accident myself and it HURTS... we are such a tag team ....

In my roundabout southern way, I am just saying that a way to pop the tension and get the parent's attention is to focus on that little "what if" which, if nothing else, could get them to think a bit about consequences.

Oh yeah, don't walk around holding your little kid's hand with his/her arm way high in the air, especially if you are tall. All they have to do is fall, plop down, or give a good jerk and pop goes the elbow.

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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #77
83. My giant kid will probably be taller than me...
...by the time he's 2. He'll have to be careful not to dislocate my arm. ;-)

Good suggestion to start with "Did you know..." That infers that I think the person wouldn't hurt their baby on purpose and may help them to be less defensive.
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
85. I have seen this at my school
Told the troll of a parent that if I hear that type of speech around children at my school, there would be consequences. People like this should never be parents. If I saw this at my school, along with the physical action done to the child, a cps report would be made immediately.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #85
95. I wish I could have made a cps report. (nt)
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
87. I'm glad you spoke up
That little boy will know that at least one adult cared to intervene.

I'm still haunted by a little girl in downtown Portland about ten years ago whose father was screaming at her in filthy language simply because she was being a tired toddler late on a Saturday afternoon.

I was too cowardly to speak up.

Ten years later, I sometimes wonder if she isn't a street kid now, because that's precisely the type of families that hardcore street kids come from, families where the physical and emotional abuse are so bad that the dangers of life on the streets are preferable.

I haven't witnessed any such scenes since, but next time I'll give the parent hell.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #87
96. It's hard to let go.
We can't be responsible for everyone, and we can't always do the very best thing in every moment. At some point, you do just have to move on. But it's hard when you think of the difference you could of made. Especially concerning a child who so needs an advocate. It's just hard.
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
91. My God...think of how deeply those words from his mother are
going to hurt this little guy. I have a three year old daughter and a 16 month old son and I can never imagine saying something that hurtful to them.

I don't know if I could have kept my mouth shut in that situation. She probably would have received an earful. If not from me, definitley from my wife!!!
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. I know.
I wish I could have just stopped time and pulled her aside and talked with her for as long as it took, instead of just freaking out.

I called my husband when I got to the office to thank him for being such a wonderful dad.
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