I just had one of those moments. You know the kind of moment when you see something happen that’s not right and you feel a tug to say something, but you waver for some reason and then the moment is over.
While unloading my groceries into the back of my car a hear someone yelling “hurry the fuck up” I look around for a second and see a mom yelling this to her kid as he’s trying to get out of the shopping cart and into the car. She seemed rather frustrated, but she also seemed to notice that people were watching her and toned it down. I continued to load my groceries all the while watching her. After she loaded her groceries she began to push her cart back to the cart coral. Then I heard more yelling. This time is was her telling some guy to “shut the fuck up” to which he says “no I’m not going to shut the fuck up, you need to take better care of your kid.” He then becomes very frustrated and yells across the parking lot that the kid doesn’t deserve that. I see her face as she’s getting in the car and she looked really upset, like she probably already felt bad for saying it in the first place and now she was being called out by a stranger.
I don’t know maybe she said something else to the kid that the man heard that I didn’t, but that’s besides the point. The point here is, I should have gone over to her and offered her help. Maybe just to help her load her groceries so she could have a moment to regroup. People get so weird when it comes to discipline and kids, it’s a fine line and most people don’t want to step on anyone’s toes in that area. With that said yelling at your children like that is clearly wrong.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve wanted to do it before in the same sort of situation and I have yelled at them before for other reason and I always feel like complete shit afterwords. Unless they are endangering themselves and you need to yell to get immediate attention, I believe that yelling is never a good option.
I felt so guilty as I drove off. But mixed in that guilt was thankfulness that someone who wasn’t a pansy ass like myself said something to her about it. Maybe that was all she needed to snap out of her crabby mood or to think twice about how she talks to her child.
It was a teaching moment that I failed miserably. I drove off not only feeling sad for that little boy but sad for all the little kids who are getting far worse than yelled at and have no one to stand up for them.
I thought I was almost done with my transition from leaving my religion, but something else is happening. I am becoming more sensitive to those around me, not just my immediate family, but my fellow human beings. In my old life I would have just quietly prayed for that mom and little boy. Praying is not the answer, doing something is and you can better believe that I won’t let that opportunity pass me by again. I don’t have to be judgmental about it, but I do need to offer my help in some way.
What moments do you regret not acting on?