There's a story in the news of child punishment that's disturbing:

A mother who was videotaped while spraying her 2 1/2-year-old daughter with a high-pressure water hose at an Orlando car wash told authorities she did it because the child was throwing a tantrum. She told authorities she did not have the hose on full blast, and she said that it isn't as bad as it looks.

I posed a question to a mom friend of mine today: if you witnessed this, what would you have done? After some thought, she said she would probably call the cops but not confront the woman in case she was a danger to her own children. I'll bet most people would do this. In fact, the owner of the car wash facility did just that and now there is an investigation of child abuse. But I just can't. I keep thinking about the girl. If the girl was me, what would I want? The poor thing is probably abused at home. I think I would either say something confrontational to the mom, maybe, "Hey, don't do that! She's just a little girl!" Or I would play innocent to give the mom a graceful way out, like, " Excuse me, is everything ok? Do you need help?" Maybe this way she can yell at an adult, and not her daughter. I totally get how a parent could get so mad and turn to force in an attempt to get results. There have been plenty of times when Josh's tantrums stress me out or when he defies my request to do (or not do) something that makes my temper boil. The difference is there is something in me that says, "Stop, chill, walk away"- or some variation of that thought. I remind myself that he is two and he's suppose to do this- make a mess, break stuff, resist rules, whatever it is. Perhaps this mom was so upset she couldn't hear her inner voice. Or worse, perhaps she doesn't have one. My tactic would be to somehow get her to pause and hopefully hear her conscience. It's probably not the best solution, but I know if I walked away without doing something, it would haunt me. And yes, I would definitely report her butt to the police and/or child protective services!




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