Public Displays of Discipline: What Would You Have Done?
We surely have been frustrated with a child in public, and can understand the challenges with disciplining outside of the home. Mary recently encountered the following scenario:
I was at PDX this afternoon, going into the restroom with my 18 month old, when I saw a woman standing outside of the restroom holding a big black belt. Her older son, maybe 10, walked into the women's bathroom whereby she proceeded to walk into the handicap stall [to] tell him that if he didn't stop crying he was going to get it. He didn't, and so she belted him, three times. Since I was changing my son's diaper I was on the other side of the restroom. I quickly went to where she was and told her to stop, that I was going to call security...She said that this was private (and she was yelling!) and I told her that clearly it was not, since the airport isn't a private place. I was shaking, I was so angry and I was hoping that she was going to turn her abuse towards me because I was ready for it. I felt so, so SO sorry for this boy. I was nauseous and my adrenaline was pumping, I couldn't believe that I was witnessing this. I'm curious, would others have intervened? Did I do the right thing, or did I cross over into the protected territory of 'parenting the way we think is right?' Should I actually have called security? Child abuse is a crime, but is hitting him with a belt a crime? I'd love to hear others' opinions.