Would you be OK with someone doing this to your kid?
by Jeanne Sager
We hear often enough that it takes a village to raise a child. But some people seem to take that a little too literally. Take the supermarket cashier who slapped a customer's 4-year-old son for throwing a bag on the ground.
Mom Selina Johnson sounded off about the incident on social media. Her complaints seem to have lost the cashier -- a woman in her 50s -- her job on the checkout line. And they've opened up a debate about unruly kids in public ... and who has the right to discipline them.
The cashier allegedly told Johnson's son she would smack him if he didn't do as he was told. Then -- to mom's horror -- she came out from behind the register and carried through on the threat.
Of course, Johnson's kid could have been acting like a holy terror here. We've all seen it happen: a brat is throwing a tantrum in public, and you have to fight everything inside of you not to say something.
But you do ... fight it, that is.
You fight the urge because it is not your place to discipline a stranger's child, but most of all not your right to put your hands on someone else's kid.
Granted, there are times where you say something to someone else's kid. That's the idea of the global village -- parents in a community chipping in to help one another out. When you spot your friend's son riding his bike without a helmet, you tell him to get that thing on. When your bestie's baby girl smacks another kid on the playground, you take the shovel out of her hand and tell her in no uncertain terms that hitting is not allowed.
On very rare occasions, you may even find yourself disciplining a stranger's child -- say a kid is running out in the street, you don't see the mom, and you yell, "STOP NOW!"
Again, you say something. You do what we're always telling our toddlers to do -- you use your words!
More from The Stir: Mom's Touching Post to Stranger at the Grocery Store Goes Viral
But using corporal punishment on someone else's child? That's a no no. Period.
It doesn't matter how bratty the child is. It doesn't matter how angry they've made you. And it doesn't matter if mom is right there or a million miles away.
Putting your hands on someone else's children (aside from the obvious, grabbing a toddler as they're just about to run into the street) is crossing a line that can't be uncrossed.
Put yourself in this mom's shoes. Would you be OK with someone doing this to your kid? Have you ever done it?
Image © iStock.com/RapidEye