A woman was shopping in a Walmart with a screaming child. A man approached and threatened the mother to shut her child up or he’d do it. A few moments later, the toddler was still screaming, and the man returned and slapped the child about four times. The incident makes me see red. I am careful to go out with my toddler only when she is well, fed, and rested, but sometimes toddlers throw tantrums regardless. They are learning and growing and have primitive emotional regulation. I guess I am lucky it didn’t happen to us. We just got a dirty look. And I got out of there, apologizing to everyone near us, just as soon as I’d completed our transaction.

What Would You Do if a Stranger Slapped Your Child?

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7 Comments on “Outrageous”

  1. Emy Says:

    Personally, I want to know more about the situation. How was the mother reacting to her screaming child? Was she trying to do anything about it, hurrying to finish up the shopping to get out of the store? Or was she ignoring the behavior, just letting the child scream and continuing on like nothing was happening? If the latter…well, I can understand the guy a little bit. I absolutely think he was wrong, he shouldn’t have slapped the kid, or even threatened it (I’ve found that distracting the kid, making faces or any kind of interaction with them, usually does wonders), but there have been a few parents I’ve wanted to slap over the years. Again, not the ones who are clearly just as frustrated as the kids, it’s the ones who are just oblivious to it who upset me.

  2. Barbara Says:

    The idea that a grown man would even think about slapping a young crying child is simply astounding! The fact that people are commending him for his behavior(according to the link) is frightening. Children are just learning how to manage emotions, transitions and frustrations. I strongly believe that it is never ok for an adult to hit a child. It is an abuse of power. I was happy to read that other shoppers came to this woman’s defense and subdued and restrained the assailant until the police arrived. What a story!

  3. gerry rosser Says:

    The guy should be arrested for child abuse, simple assault, and, the most important charge, being an asshole.

    If an adult slapped my child I’d cold-cock him on the spot, assuming I didn’t have my firearm on me at the time.

  4. marta Says:

    One time I ignored my son when he threw a fit in the grocery store–because he wanted the attention and he wanted to leave. I got many dirty looks, but I ignored him and shopped anyway. He then realized that screaming wasn’t going to get him what he wanted and he didn’t do it again.

    I don’t like being trapped with someone’s screaming child anymore than the next person. I have left places because my son was screaming. But I also think that since we all live in society that is supposed to be for everyone–including children–then it isn’t the end of the world to have to put up with them even when they’re not perfect.

    If you want to be assured of the world how you like it, then stay home. When we go out we might be bothered by people talking on cell phones, overly affectionate couples, rude adults, grumpy sales people, bad lighting, loud music, cigarette smoke, bad drivers, messy pigeons, panhandlers, overly friendly people, and who knows what else. Why do we think being out in the world is going to go just the way we want?

  5. Christine Says:

    It’s assault. Promptly call 911! Outrageous and almost unbelievable!!

  6. gerry rosser Says:

    Marta is correct. We do not own the world out there “among the English,” and cannot expect everyone, at every moment, to comport themselves as we’d like them to. The world is not all about me.

  7. Liora Says:

    Chiming in a bit late here…

    Not having a child, I can’t fully imagine what it would be like to have a stranger slap my child. But…I can imagine a little. And I am afraid that as soon as I was convinced my child was okay, I’d want to do some bodily harm to the guy. This guy not only slapped her once, but FOUR times. That would be a lot for an adult, let alone a child. In the face, too. Poor little thing. There is no explanation, nothing about her behavior that can excuse this. I don’t need to know any more about the situation. It is horrifying, his behavior. And his mugshot? Well, looks like someone who might hurt a child. Crazy, just crazy. I wish the media would follow up on these people. I don’t want to just see him at his initial court appearance. I want to hear the end of the story: was he convicted, and what was his sentence?