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2 Bumps

Verbal abuse?

I took my kids to McDonald's the other night. (Not healthy, I know, but we had been shopping and it was late.) Anyway a dad came in with his little girl, I'm guessing she was about 5. First thing I noticed was him pointing at her and telling her to "SIT" and "STAY" like she was a dog while he went up to get food. Then I didn't notice them for a while. Then I suddenly heard him start ranting at her "Don't wipe your hands on your shirt! What is wrong with you?! There is a napkin right here! Don't you know what it's for? You act like you don't even know what you're doing! You're such a mess! You're so embarassing! Do you want me to take your food away from you?" I don't think he said one nice thing the whole time. Now I realize he could have been stressed out about something, and maybe that's not how it always is, but I felt so bad for her. I don't know what my question is, it just really bothered me and I wanted to vent to someone about it. Do you think that's abuse?


Asked by mybella81 at 1:22 PM on Mar. 20, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 17 (4,022 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Verbal abuse is almost as bad as physical abuse. I admit that I have been stressed and lost it with my kids but when that happens I take the opportunity to sit down later and talk it out. I will apologise and then tell them what might have been going on that caused me to wig out. Doesnt make up for doing it but always helped them understand that people make mistakes and learn how to forgive. Now that they are older my teenage daughter will do the same. If she has a verbal outburst she always comes in and says she is sorry and then we talk about what is going on.
    As for the little girl I wish there was something we could do for her. Someone need to tell her how special she is. Maybe she has a teacher that will do that.

    Answer by berryhappy1971 at 1:42 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Sounds more like a stressed out dad that needs parenting classes.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 1:24 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Its the worst way to talk to a child.
    He may have been stressed and we as parents have our moments and may say things that are not right to our child, but we re-group and try our best to not make it a habit.
    Hopefully this is not how he always is.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 1:25 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Id have told him to get into a parenting class. Seriously, or stop taking that kid into public where others will get upset over is obvious LACK of parenting skills.

    Answer by vbruno at 1:25 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Its not a good way to talk to your child, esp telling her she is embarrassing. Poor little girl. Sadly there isnt anything that you can do. I would be sad if I saw that too! How horrible for her.

    Answer by Ambear72 at 1:30 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Being stressed is no excuse for verbally beating down a child! I am appalled by parents tearing down a child's self esteem. Good thing for him that I didn't see or hear him doing it. I would have confronted him.


    Answer by gailpen at 1:31 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • When a parent talks to their child like this in public just imagine how home life is.... I would have tried to get his name or at least his license plate number and talk to the police about this so they can be aware of this situation. I work in public and when a child acts up the parent usually takes the child outside and deals with the situation then or some just swats their behind in front of everyone and then the parent looks around and say "This is my name in case you want to report me but this child of mine will mind."

    Answer by normasue2 at 2:47 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • the parent usually takes the child outside and deals with the situation then

    HAHA I did this once. We had just flown into Washington from Ohio, and went straight from the airport to dinner. He was exhausted and in hind site I shouldn't have pushed the restaurant. But lord was he AWFUL and disruptive. To save the other diners I carried him outside, and let him throw his tantrum in a corner. He kicked and screamed something fierce but the diners were able to eat their meal in peace. One parent was GLARING at me from a window so when he calmed and we went back in I walked over and said My names Elizabeth, we're from Ohio if you feel we've done something wrong report me otherwise enjoy your peaceful dinner and stop the glares.
    Sometimes you don't know the situation so jumping to conclusions isn't the best option. Hopefully dad was just stressed and this isn't an always thing.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 3:04 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I would have been a lot more understanding if the girl was being disruptive or throwing a fit or whatever, but she did nothing but sit there and eat and apparantly wipe her hands on her shirt at one point.

    Comment by mybella81 (original poster) at 3:28 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I definitely think it's abuse, and in a perfect wprld, you would have said so to him. But in this day and age, he could have shot you, and reporting it would have gotten you nowhere. Maybe just a smile and a pat on her head as you left, maybe a comment about what a pretty little girl she was, at least might have made her feel better, and maybe made him look at things a little differently. So sad.

    Answer by elasmimi at 3:37 PM on Mar. 20, 2011