The Water Cooler – What Would You Do?

June 9, 2014 12:00 pm · 95 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

If you were in the grocery store, and you saw a parent slap his or her child across the face, what would you do?

Talk about it.

mg June 9, 2014 at 12:09 PM

“If you were in the grocery store, and you saw a parent slap his or her child across the face, what would you do?”

get over myself and mind my own business.

Nelson Muntz June 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Film it? Can’t get involved these days…but we can film it.
A car crashes and people inside are trapped, what to do? Help? No Way. Film it is the American wAY.

SF CityGirl June 9, 2014 at 12:18 PM

There would be trouble for that parent, from me. I would not ignore the matter. Something would have to be said or done on my part,

WOOF June 9, 2014 at 12:18 PM


Mark June 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Mind my own business unless I believed the child was in immediate danger, which is unlikely.

Mark June 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

I would mind my own business, sometimes you need to give your kids a little whack to get their attention.

My friends that don’t spank their kids or give them any kind of discipline are the worst kids I have ever seen.

But never hit them in the face. That is wrong.

Concordejet June 9, 2014 at 12:26 PM


I will do the same just stay out of it.

Nelson good ideal just film it and give it to the child protection service but it may not be so practical ideal since we really do not know who the people are.

Googlar June 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

mind my own business

SKS June 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I’d lend a helping hand!

Nothing June 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I would my own business and allow that parent to be a parent.

PO'd June 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I would probably nonchalantly observe to see if it happens again or escalates.
If it doesn’t, the kid probably deserved it.

JW June 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I would mind my own business unless they were beating the kid or worse.

Upper Hand June 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Ask if they need help holding the child

BusBoy June 9, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Tell my kid… see that, don’t misbehave or you’ll be next.

Leslie Nielson June 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

I would get in line so I could slap him too.

Anon June 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Film it???? What are you all Captain SuperFilm Guy? How long does it take to slap a child?
Better off calling Police and watching from a distance to help the police locate them.
Slapping a child that is 1/4 of your size, Wow – Truly Amazing!

This happend to me June 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Was in the parking lot at Walmart and watched this adult person just slapping the S**t out of a little girl who couldn’t be more than 4 or 5. She was getting slapped on the face, on her legs and on her butt.

Damn straight I got involved. I put myself between the child and her, pulled out my cell phone, took her picture and then called 911 and waited until the police showed up. I gave my statement and left.

I always wondered what happend to that little girl.

Random Task June 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

well if it is the screaming because they want a toy child ….yeah an attention getter and then a trip to the car. Worked for all of us older folks because 1 or 2 times of that and done ……with this time out era and such ….well we will just watch tv ..and facebook for them to make fools of themselves

Mark June 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Congratulate them for being a good parent.

CW June 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I’d ask the parent if I could watch the child for them while they take a minute to cool off.

I would smile June 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

and breathe a sigh of relief that effective parenting hadn’t completely gone the way of the Dodo bird.

Justin June 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

“When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline.”

― Haim G. Ginott

. June 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Where exactly do parents get their training to be parents?

They simply do to their children what WAS DONE TO THEM.

Rob June 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

I suppose it would make a difference if the slap was a light slap to get a kids attention who was out of control, or a strike that was out of control.

If an adult wants to beat on a kid, doesn’t matter to me if its a child or a stranger to the adult, that ain’t cool and I won’t stand by and let it happen – just like I wouldn’t watch as some guy start beating his wife or girlfriend.

anon mom in Conc June 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM

people…the question is “if you saw them slapped cross the face”. Spanking…okay. A slap on the arm…okay. But a slap across the face suggests that a parent is on the verge of totally losing it, and the next thing to happen to that kid will be worse. To ignore it is to condone the marginal parenting in our communities…and we wonder why kids grow up to be violent and angry. How about asking the parent if you can help? tell them a disciplinary technique that has worked for you? Acknowledge their frustration but remind them that a slap really hurts a child. Who cares if they go off on you? If you keep your cool, they likely will too. Perhaps you just saved a kid from a life of abuse. Those of you who always want to MYOB…shame on you.

Umderwood June 9, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I would laugh. Unless it was a real good slap. There is a difference between discipline and abuse, but it is funny when it is deserved and the child does something stupid.

GD98 June 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I will gladly mind my own business while half the respondents in this thread get slapped around.

If you can’t get your point across to your kid without hitting them then you’ve already done a poor job.

Incognito June 9, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I, personally, would mind my own business unless it appeared the child was in danger.

First and foremost, it’s about time everyone learns the difference between slapping and spanking your kid versus beating and child abuse. I, personally, am getting tired of parents living in fear of being reported to the authorities for merely disciplining their children.

Further, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been I public where there have been children flat out have a tantrum for who knows what reason. I find myself embarrassed for the parent who isn’t being a parent and appear fearful of doing something in public to reprimand their kid because it may be labeled as being “abusive”.

When I was a kid, I was spanked, slapped, and given a bar of soap when I told a lie. Let me reassure you, I am now a adult doing just fine. It didn’t kill me, in fact, I believe I am a better human being because my parents did discipline me. As a parent, you can make your own decisions as to whether you feel a spanking is appropriate or not. The bottom line is, be a parent and be consistent – and by all means learn how to say no once in a while.

On a final note, verbal abuse does just as much damage to a kid, if not more than being physically beaten.

Silva June 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I do so support what Justin wrote. Hope it never happens. If it does I’ll figure out what I’m going to do.

Richard June 9, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Whose responsibility is it to raise and at times discipline a child? I was recently at the supermarket when a child of 4 to 5 pitched a tantrum and started pulling things from the shelf. His mother was trying to control him by talking to him in a very calm voice and it was not working. A fellow shopper said to me, “Sometimes, a timeout is just not enough!” I can only imagine what my mother or my father would have done in the same circumstance. As a child, I would not even consider acting like that. But, today it is everyone else’s business and the kid will probably do it again and again, this is not parenting, it’s enabling. Beating a child and striking a child is one thing, but sometimes a slap brings the situation into focus and control.

Anon June 9, 2014 at 1:59 PM

While I do believe in discipline, I personally do not believe in hitting/slapping any living creature, especially a child, in the face no matter what the circumstances are.

While at Walmart (yes…another post about Walmart) a couple of days ago there was a little boy sitting in a cart chatting to himself, playing with a pair of shoes. Not being disruptive whatsoever! He was no more than 3 years old. His mother kept yelling at him to SHUT UP! I thought to myself “poor little guy…he’s just entertaining himself”. Well as soon as they got out of sight of myself and everyone else the little guy started crying a cry of pain. When I walked by them again and glared at the mom she proceeded to tell him “When I tell you to shut up…you SHUT UP!”

I had my daughter with me (who is very well behaved might I add) and she just thought it was the most awful thing she had ever seen/heard. The only reason I didn’t say anything was because I did not actually see anything happen. But boy…was my blood boiling!!!

Anon June 9, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Slap the parent. Then buy some Cheerios, love that cereal.

Multiple posts - different names June 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I have a feeling one person posted multiple comments under different names, as the language is so similar among the posts.

I am pro-discipline, pro-spanking, and believe we would have fewer kids acting out if more of them got spanked like we did.

However, I think a slap across the face is at a different level. A hard swat on the behind is more likely to leave a bruised ego (which is fine) than a bruised bottom. A slap on the face is altogether different.

If I didn’t see the cause of it, I would observe. If the kid was outrightly sassing the parent or stealing or such, and the slap was just enough to get their attention, I would leave them alone.

If the slap was enough to injure, I would try to help diffuse the situation somehow, perhaps by making an unrelated light comment, and stop the situation at the moment. But if the parent is injuring the child, stopping it for the moment is only a very temporary help.

If I thought it was a problem of ongoing anger or injury, I would consider how I might win the confidence of the adult to be receptive to changing behavior more permanently, or giving the child respite. I might say something about how I can understand how most parents’ patience can run thin, being 100% responsible to watch their kids all the time, and how everyone can use a break now an then. I might tell them about several of the programs at our church (or other churches) for kids, where the parents can bring their kids for a few hours, and have time for adult only time, while the kids are safely involved in a great kids’ program. I might invite them to meet me to introduce them to one of the programs and show them the ropes, saying that also there are many adult programs available for encouragement, and education in managing family life, as well as counseling programs, and just time to share and be with adults. I would find some way to encourage them and give them hope, as well as give the kid a good smile of encouragement. I might tell them about a friend with multiple kids who was very frustrated, and took an anger management class they said had many helpful tips for managing well. Finally, I might try to find a way to give them a small gift card as a sign of hope and that somebody cares.

Cathy M. June 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

An adult slaps a child across the face and Claycord chooses to mind it’s own business. A dog is left in a car and Claycord gets involved. There’s something wrong with this community.

Anon2you June 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Not enough info to make a decision…so many things to consider like: the condition of the child, the age of the child, the parents demeanor, the child’s demeanor. The total situation taken as a whole would really dictate my reaction. If the parent seemed out of control in any way, or if the child was especially young or looked to be in danger, then of course I would do something. Whether that be intervene (last resort), call the police or security (if available), or take other actions. If it was a situation where the child was older, and put the parent in a position that dictated a physical reaction, or if the parent slapped the child and then realized their mistake I might take a different tack on it…

Difference June 9, 2014 at 2:42 PM

@ Cathy M.
The difference between a slap in the face for the child and a dog being left in a hot car is life and death for the dog. A slap in the face for the child is some discomfort and embarrassment. What’s wrong with this community is people who can’t tell the difference between the severity of the outcome of the two.

Cowellian June 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Multiple posts – different names@33,
I don’t recognize that name. How many different names do you post under?

Mimi (original) June 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Slapping a child across the face is ABUSE and should not be tolerated! I have witnessed similar incidents and, although was told off by the parent in more than one case, I have interceded. Usually with a comment of “excuse me, but is there a problem here?” and proceeding from there….not popular with the angry parent, but, as others have said, if someone is okay with slapping their child on the face, they probably do even worse things in private. Adults need to control their tempers and find better ways to handle situations with out of control children.

claycordian June 9, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I would do nothing – the kid probably deserved it…

MadMom June 9, 2014 at 3:16 PM

It happened in Safeway on Willow Pass. A mom slapped her little daughter right across her face while she sat screaming in the cart. The mother & I made eye contact. I felt horrible for everyone. I asked the mom if she was OK and she started to cry. Her husband was deployed and had been gone for months. She had no family and just a few friends.
We talked (probably made some people mad as we blocked the isles for quite some time) Finally I gave her a hug and we went our separate ways. She had reached the end of her rope and I just happened to be there to see that she didn’t hang herself with it. Dad always said timing is everything.

Antler June 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I don’t know whether what I “think” I would do is the RIGHT thing. But remember I am a woman endowed with gray hair, and people tend to be a bit more tolerant of my lapses in controlling mind to mouth …. sometimes known as “knee jerk” reactions. I can see me placing myself to the side of the cart (where the agressive parent cannot push the cart into me) and literally screaming, ” DID YOU JUST SLAP YOUR CHILD IN THE FACE?!?!???” (The word “face” would be even louder than the other words.)

I won’t even imagine what might happen to ME next! But at least there would be plenty of witnesses!!! 😉

I do see face-slapping as a criminal loss of parental control. If the adult’s own temper tantrum is bad enough, his “little” face-slap can break the child’s nose or neck or cause concussion. The situation can go far beyond the emotional bruising caused by even a light face slap. Zero tolerance for face slaps!

moron June 9, 2014 at 3:28 PM

We were all slapped in the face or butt and that is why we are morons
If someone wasn’t slapped they are now entitled and holier than thou morons

Puddintain June 9, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Cowellian, I noticed it too, it’s been quite active lately.

Barry June 9, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I’d have to be very clear to the parent, but also to other parents in the store, that a red line for me is if I start seeing a whole bunch more slapping being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation. I might just do something about it then….. or perhaps not…

Random Task June 9, 2014 at 3:42 PM

again a made up scenario posted …..we do not know why…. all we saw was a slap on the face …now when i was young I cursed in front of my parents and right after I got a slap ….did not do that again …..the scenario is flawed at best with no cause only action being questioned …….we could go all day here. One slap is what was asked ……and look at how far off base it has gotten already. So go out and vote for them dems and keep the slaps out of view of the bleeding hearts who are struggling to hold on to their utopia of imperialism

NotPC June 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Never hinder your childs future by witholding proper disipline. A light slap (one) on the face is normaly enough to get the attention of a petulant child or panicking adult. It does no harm (no matter what the crybaby progressives believe) and gets the point across that you will tolerate no more bad behavior from your child. It works even with ADHD.

If it is a hard slap, that is a whole different animal.

I grew up in the era where corporal punishment was the norm. If we got swats or the teacher was forced to slap you because you would not stop acting out, you got a swat at home as well. (the teacher would call to report the violation AND the punishment, NO ONE was sued; it was felt that you earned it!!! And I can say that I’ve never seen that power abused. Never. Two swats was the max they could give, and no one got more than two in a year, because we learned from the first ones, not because there was a limit.)

Somehow, all but one person in my rather large class of ’77 was ever charged with a crime and we are all employed and doing well. AND we all spank our kids when warranted, none of whom exibit “thuggish” rude behavior. (they are properly afraid to be rude – just like we were) I can’t say that about my “progressive” friends who’s kids fully recognize that there are no imediate consequences to their actions (it shows, they talk back, act out, etc; the parents try to “redirect” which only works about a third of the time.)

Some of you may notice the coorelation between the sessation of corporal punishment in schools with the rise of horrible behavior from currently coddled children. But no, that’s just not PC to say that so it can’t be true.

Aspirin June 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Anyone slapping a child in the face in public could be doing far worse in private.

anonanonagain June 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

If this parent was willing to slap this child across their face in public, what is going on behind closed doors, I would wonder.
I’ve only slapped my almost 10 year old child ONCE his entire life and that was on the rump. He ran out into the middle of our street where cars can come up the hill and speed around the blind corner. I thought that slap on the toosh would remind him not to do that again.
In any case, my son is a polite, well behaved child. I would never dream of slapping him across his face. There are other means of getting his attention or forms of punishment besides lashing out……..

Cathy M. June 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Sorry, I’ll let my mother know that she merely experienced “some discomfort and embarrassment” at the hands of my alcoholic father. This is abuse regardless of the situation.

Mayor, it’d be interesting to pose this question to your community:
If you were in the grocery store, and you saw a man slap his wife across the face, what would you do?

Marianne June 9, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I don’t believe in slapping children in their faces, there is too much wrong with that. I do, however, believe in ass whoopings. That is what’s wrong with the children of today, they get away with too much crap!

Total BS June 9, 2014 at 4:24 PM

i would assess the situation and see if I could talk to the parent. If not, then I would just monitor it for escalation.

You don’t need to spank or hit your kid to be a good disciplinarian. I have never hit my kids, but they were scared to death of me when I give them “the look”. My kids were rarely, if ever, punished because they toe’d the line. Were they perfect? No, but now they are lovely, normally adjusted young adults. One is out of college and working in their field and the other finishing up their junior year at a UC.

Someone else said it. If you have to hit them to discipline them, then you are already doing a poor job. I never threatened anything I wouldn’t follow through on. They knew I meant business. I was there for them in all ways, but didn’t put up with their BS or whining.

IMO, I think spanking is lazy parenting. It’s a lot easier to hit your child then actually leave a store, or take away something they like and deal with their emotions.

Besides, if spanking really worked, you would only have to do it once, right?

Dorothy June 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Gasp out loud so the parent knew someone saw it. I’m sure the parent would get mad at me for seeing it.

Kid have bottoms that can be spanked and hands that can be slapped, but not slapped in the face.

LOL ANTLER June 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

You crack me up.


Love it

An UnMarried Man June 9, 2014 at 4:43 PM

While I don’t believe that slapping a child who is misbehaving has any real positive outcome, I would just mind my own business. People in our society have a tendency to get real aggressive towards those who interfere with their personal business. Especially when it comes to telling them how to raise their children. The last thing I want is some overweight middle aged heffer at Target yelling at me because I got into her business about how to discipline her kid.

@ NotPC June 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I totally agree with you….HOWEVER

We are living in a time where children are taught that no one has the right to lay a hand on them, and they use that as their security.

There have been 2x that I have given my son a swat on his butt (he’s 7, and I’m talking a little swat) and he has started wailing about how I beat him and I’m so mean and he’s so scared of me. Give me a break. I grew up getting spanked with the vaccuum cleaner cord and wooden spoons. A swat on the but is not a beat down, but kids these days are taught that it is.

It makes parent scared. I taked to my son about over reacting and letting him know the consequences if he goes to school and tells his teacher that I beat him. But I have to tell ya, I was walking nervous for a while thinking the police were going to show up.

NotPC June 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM

@anananagain – Not all children are well behaved little angels. . . . some need a slap now and again.

Puddintain June 9, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Someone here ended up with multiple personality disorder. Or simply multiple name disorder. Probably from being smacked.

teri June 9, 2014 at 5:00 PM

You DO NOT have to hit a child to make them behave. Hitting kids teaches them to use violence, not to use their minds to solve problems.

Also, kids who are spanked end up more aggressive then those who are not spanked. Twenty-five years as a day care provider and ten yearscas a foster mom. I never hit a kid. And the kids I raised (my own and others) turned out great.

anon June 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM

call the police after taking a photo on camera…follow to cae for.license plate if necessary. I am a mandatory reporter …we all should be for such behaviors.
a police report or cps visit drives home tbe need for changes AND often
provides an avenue of other helpful support to families under stress.
without reporting and a paper trail, abuse continues and
damaged human beings repeat the cycles.
these cycles or the witnessing of violence creates trauma and is the seed of mental health struggles that can last a lifetime. Get involved in a safe and compassionate manner.

TinFoiler June 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Yeah Buddy!!! Just wait until that child is big enough to slap the eff out of you because they are not getting their way. Isn’t that what you taught them – You wanted your child to mind you and reinforced it with a slap. When they want something from someone – Bust out with a Slap!

And for the rest of you parroting “I was beat and I turned out right duuuuhhhhhrrrr”. That’s your whole approach to everything? Your personal experience is now gospel?

Mac June 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I think if you have to hit your kid, it shows a lack of parent skills.
A good parent can get the message across without laying a hand on a kid.
And not teach the kid that hitting is the answer (ever) at the same time.

So i disagree with anyone ever slapping a kid in the face.

Dr. Jellyfinger® June 9, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Hey Puddin’…. I didn’t even post anything!

Oh me, oh my June 9, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Nothing, none of my business. People get shot for sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

bored@work June 9, 2014 at 5:47 PM

If I saw it and felt it was out of line absolultey I’d say something and do something. It’s one thing if it’s a light tap on the cheek, it’s entirely another thing if it’s a slap in the face. I’m not going to stand around and allow an adult to hit a child in the face. Whack them on the ass to teach them a lesson, that’s fine. Hitting them in the face crosses a line that should never be crossed.

Just me June 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM

The kid probably deserved it. Who knows what they’ve been doing all day/week/year to bring it to that point. The kids not going to die from getting smacked and as most parents know, words only get you so far sometimes. Even pretty please.

Sometimes kids deserve it and it’s not my job to jump in and cause an issue about it. Mind your own business people.

Or hell. Adopt that kid and you deal with their BS. Real easy to feel holy at the moment. Different story to walk in the shoes

Atticus Thraxx June 9, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Most rational adults know the difference between putting your foot in a kid’s ass and abuse.Observe and act accordingly.We weren’t big on hitting ours but time to time as a father, I needed immediate compliance and reasoning fell short. A father’s menace shouldn’t be hollow. Nor his love.

@#59 June 9, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Report what? It does not meet the elements of a crime.

Connie Dobbs June 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Aside from the fact that our family motto is “Not In The Face,” I figured I was way too strong to be slapping The Boy in the head region.

Connie Dobbs June 9, 2014 at 6:11 PM

I would do what Madmom did. She’s a good mom, a compassionate human being and a class act all the way.

NotPC June 9, 2014 at 6:22 PM

@@NotPC – My daughter tried that same crap with me once when she told her mother FU and I slapped her.

I informed her to make the call to child services and call 911 for the ambulance she would need. She started crying and ran to her room. She was 12 at the time. Later, she came down and appologized to her mother and I for being innapropriate. We thanked her for thinking it through and took her out for dinner for being adult enough to confront it internaly and then admit she was wrong for cussing at her mom. AND she thanked me for not beating her like some of her classmates are beaten (actually beaten, not a slap) by their parents (which started a whole different conversation about my Use Of Force Ladder I learned as an LEO)

Never heard her abuse her mother again after that, she is polite to this day 14 years later.

A slap is NOT abuse unless it’s used with actual hard force. BIG, big difference people.

Chester E. Kitty June 9, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Honestly? I would probably just stay out of it. I spanked my kid and he is a very responsible adult now. However, I would never (and I never did) slap my kid in the face. Although I felt like it a few times when he sassed me way back when.

Spare June 9, 2014 at 6:35 PM

The rod, spoil the child. I went to school in the south where children were spanked. I would MYOB. My mom was an armbar/joint lock master. We did as we were told. But most discipline was done in private.

Interesting points! June 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM

I notice we are in a grocery store and a lot of kids are in the cart so a swat to the butt would be kind of impossible. SLAPS to the face would get a throat clearing and a look….however a tap I would ignore. Anyone ever get the two fingers in the chest or the hard flick to the nearest body part? I still have a dent in my sternum.

Dr. Jellyfinger® June 9, 2014 at 6:53 PM

@ # 68 – That was my ex wife’s motto too. To her, “going downtown” meant another shopping trip.

Cat Wrangler June 9, 2014 at 7:10 PM

@ unmarried man

Your post reveals why you are unmarried.

Monkey June 9, 2014 at 7:24 PM

I’m totally w/ Mark. The kids without any discipline are horrible little monsters. Take control parents. When can we go back to the 1950’s.

Abbie R. June 9, 2014 at 7:47 PM

My Grandma told Me about this kind of incident happening during WWII on a Bus from Oakland to Pittsburg…A “Drunk Sailor” saw the slapping and said “Hit Him again Lady, He’s still breathing”….The bus eurupted with laughing and the shamed Mommy stopped the slapping.

Maya Piñon June 9, 2014 at 8:40 PM

I think I would stare at the person and say “wow” shake my head and just walk away. It would get them to thinking perhaps what they just did isn’t really the right way to discipline or communicate with a child to get your point across.

Tom June 9, 2014 at 8:40 PM

I would mind my own business. I don’t like it, but it’s not my place to tell a parent how to raise their child.

Ancient Mariner June 9, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Faces are special. Never.
But a spank on the bottom?
Societal norms change slowly.
OK to wear fur? Spank your child? Eat meat? Believe in evolution? Smoke cigarettes? Don’t believe the official government narrative?
“Science progresses one funeral at a time”.
Society changes slowly and everybody changes at a different rate, often by the old ones being replaced by the young. While most people may have made the transition to a new way of thinking, certain others haven’t arrived, yet. For example, we have been indoctrinated to believe that wearing fur is evil (and what is fur, but leather with the hairs left in?), while someone who grew up poor sees a fur coat as a goal to be attained. One person may have come to the conclusion that spanking is evil, while another may believe that it is the quickest, easiest (and safest) way to teach a child right from wrong.
The most horrible children I ever met were the sons of a child psychologist. She set no boundaries, never used corporal punishment and tried to reason them into good behavior. She was distraught – they were little monsters! Some of the people who would NEVER spank their children crushed them into submission with words – guilt, embarrassment, humiliation, manipulation. Those poor children – they’ll be confessing on a psychiatrist’s couch for decades! If they’d had a good spanking, over quickly and soon forgotten, they might have been normal, now.
Do you remember that American kid who went to Singapore and spray-painted graffiti on cars? He was sentenced to six strokes of the cane. Now, citizens of the empire may not be punished by lesser peoples, so the US government intervened, wrangling back and forth for months. Eventually, the sentence was reduced to three strokes. So the kid was caned anyway (not much difference between 6 and 3 – I know, I’ve been caned, and by nuns) and he had to spend six months or so in jail while the negotiations took place. (Don’t complain if I got the numbers wrong – they aren’t that far off). Gee, thanks, US government – you gave me a de facto 6-month prison sentence instead of 3 extra strokes of a cane and a quick flight home.

Shelly June 9, 2014 at 9:58 PM

My mother was a GREAT person. A great mother she was not. I got slapped across the face hard and often, beaten with her belts all over my bare backside, and bars of soap shoved into my mouth and turned several times so they scraped off in my teeth, up until I was big enough to defend myself. Then I was out of her control. She said her father raised his children with an iron fist, and since she was widowed, she had to be the mother and the father, and it hurt her more than it hurt me. I somehow knew even when I thought she was a beautiful goddess it felt so wrong, and
that I would never hit a child. I never have, mine or anyone else’s. It left me with crippling emotional scars as fresh as the day I got them. I remember the specific beating when depression set in and never left. Some people can put it behind them and rise above torture. Not all of them can. Don’t hit children. There’s other ways to handle it. Spare the rod spoil the child, ha! It has the opposite effect.

Shelly June 9, 2014 at 10:25 PM

And, my son is a well adjusted productive member of society, even though I never hit or otherwise abused him.

Dr. Jellyfinger® June 9, 2014 at 10:39 PM

I don’t know about all that Ancient Mariner…. I was never “spared the rod” as a child & now I have a whole team of shrinks trying to figure out how I wound up with tri polar chronic misunderstanding schizophrenia. I wish I could be “spanked into sanity” & I know just the doctor to do it too…. Dr. Felina Bitfriskee…. see me… feel me… touch me, heal me! She says that it won’t work but I’m trying to convince her it’s worth a shot.

Led June 9, 2014 at 11:57 PM

MadMom has the right attitude here. The parent is probably at the end of his or her rope and could use some supportive conversation with an adult. The poster who thinks that you automatically report to CPS (instead of, you know, talking to them!) is so wrong I don’t even know where to start. Yeah, ’cause kids do so well in the foster care system. But don’t think about that, just pat yourself on the back for being a ‘reporter’. Look, there are circumstances where someone needs to step in. It might be a circumstance like this. (It’s a silly question, really. Some slaps wouldn’t even make me look twice. Some would make me drop the parent on the floor.) But for any, ANY, “slap on the face” to lead you to automatically report someone to the authorities, without speaking to them, just displays a harmful, anti-community, anti-family attitude towards social problems. “Just report the infraction to the powerful stranger! Then our work here is done!”

There’s a lot of collective hysteria about corporal punishment. Somehow it is so socially unacceptable, and yet there’s no evidence that, used correctly and moderately, it is harmful. Less than a generation ago it would have been totally normal, totally unexceptional. And are kids so much better off now? The narcissism is measurably higher, anyway! Look, this is a complicated social science question – too messy and too value-laden to get a clear answer across the board, in my opinion. But it’s just crazy how many people think that something that was utterly, utterly normal when they were growing up should now be grounds for automatic, no-questions-asked reporting to the ‘authorities’. CPS is for when the community has failed. Be part of the community, not just some idiot with a camera phone and a desire to stroke one’s own moral ego.

Claycordian® June 10, 2014 at 12:01 AM

I am an outspoken person at times, so in a situation such as the one presented, I would have no problem confronting the parent. Again, like many of the posts, it really depends on the situation at hand. I have no problem stepping in for a child, especially if he or she is being abused. I will not tolerate that by any means.

Ancient Mariner June 10, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Always loved you, Dr. J!
Different people are different – one size does not fit all.
What I thought thirty years ago is not necessarily what I think today.
But sometimes it is.
P.S. Also love the “Tommy” reference!

teacher June 10, 2014 at 7:43 AM

I would mind my own business. Chances are someone else will handle it. Some children do need a swat once in awhile to get their attention, butI do not feel that slapping across the face is right.

Mustang Sally June 10, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Don’t show children by your example how to respond without using violence towards them, and don’t be so surprised when as adults some go postal.

ck June 10, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Mind my own business unless it was very very hard I guess or a punch. Then call police.

What security June 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

It’s horse $$$$T, some of those lil tikes need a swaddle and when they get older and mouthy and disrespectful let them know who is the boss. Otherwise they will walk all over you.

That goes for adults too. Some of the guys need a sock in the face for the crap they pull.

but then again, we have to be express our feeling and let them know how it made us feel when they are disrespectful. man up people Ladies if those rotten lil sons or daughter of yours cross that line you’ll know what to.

Idiocracy June 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Same here #89
I got the belt when I was a brat/punk – it works! Todays kid’s could use a butt whooping or two if and when they lash out like demons

RunDogRun June 10, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Mind my own business!

Difference June 10, 2014 at 1:37 PM

@CathyM: You’re off topic. We’re talking about kids getting slapped not spouses. Abuse by a spouse is another matter.

Amy June 10, 2014 at 9:32 PM

I myself am not a very aggressive person and probably would not do more than give the parent the stink eye but this really upsets me. Children listen and if we raise them to pay attention and respect authority and their elders than punishment like this is not necessary. When I tell my daughter I am disappointed in her behavior she gets very upset and I explain why and what I expect in the future. I doubt that a slap in the face is as effective. While there is not enough information to fully grasp the entirety of this situation I only know for certain that it would make me sad.

@Cat Wrangler June 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

You don’t know anything about me or why I am unmarried. Perhaps I actually enjoy the freedom of being alone and happy and not dealing with the abusive, nagging spouse, who demands everything but gives so little back in return.

In any case, I am guessing something about me saying “….overweight heffer” may have hit a negative cord with you? Pardon me madame, I just don’t believe in meddling in other people’s parenting business. Slapping a kid is never right, but it is not my place or job to tell parents how to raise them. Of course, you can go right ahead any get involved in the personal affairs of total strangers. If the fat heffer ends up sitting on your face let me know how it goes.

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