Yesterday afternoon I was at the grocery store with my daughter, we're in the cereal aisle and this woman was there with a young boy (couldn't have been older than 5 or 6 years old, tiny little thing) the boy like most kids his age, starts touching a box of cereal and out of nowhere his mom (I presume) starts shouting and dropping F-bombs at him "Didn't I tell you not to f*^@^*@^& touch anything? + a whole bunch of other expletives that I won't even bother typing. Grabs him by the shirt, and the boy starts crying, and then she yanks him by the arm and drags him down the aisle and I'm just standing there shocked the entire time. I couldn't believe it, I've never seen anything like this before in my life. I've heard of parents being awful to their children in public but I never witnessed that before. My 11 year old daughter and I just stood there staring with blank expressions on our faces... But almost immediately after the woman walked away with her son, I began to feel guilty. I wondered if maybe I should've intervened, said something, threatened to call the authorities. IDK. I'm not too sure what to do in these kinds of situations. I would never intervene with a mother disciplining her child, but this wasn't discipline. This was way too harsh for a little kid touching a box of cereal (he didn't even knock anything down), you would have thought the poor boy murdered someone with the names and expletives she was hurling at him, not to mention angrily dragging him by his little arms out of the aisle. But people like that tend to hide behind the "I can discipline my child the way I choose." excuse and while that's certainly true, where's the line? At some point it becomes abuse... It seems like this woman was taking her frustrations out on that poor innocent boy, when I'm sure whatever she was going through couldn't have possibly been his fault.
The whole thing just left a really bad taste in my mouth, and I left me feeling sick. I can only imagine how she treats that poor baby at home if this is how she treats him in public. I didn't know it was such a crime for kids at that age to want things at the grocery store. Heck my daughter is a preteen and she's always wanting, touching things when we go out. That's just how kids are, that doesn't necessarily mean us parents have to buy any of it, but kids will always see things that they want and that's okay.
I also understand when parents don't want their kids to touch things at the grocery store, because you don't want to be stuck paying for something because your child opened/ruined/ate it, when you didn't give them permission to, or had no intention of buying it, so I get that. But it still doesn't warrant dropping F-bombs and dragging a kid out of the aisle.
Anyone here ever witness parents being unnessarily harsh or downright abusive to their children? If so how do you intereven, without further pissing off the parent, or possibly making the situation worse for the child later on? Do you intervene at all?