Child Spanking in Public – Would You Intervene?

At some point or another we've all seen a parent spanking their child in a very public place. Would you say something?

Ray Pearson: I recently saw a Mom spank her child in a airport terminal coming off a flight. As a parent I was conflicted about saying anything. However, I am glad other parents didn't intervene disciplining my children. Abuse is not ok and shaming children in public or with their family is not ok too.

Stacey Ross: I would not intervene if I saw a parent spanking a kid in public and I was not a mandated reporter. I suppose if it were abusive or the parent was in a state of rage I might, but otherwise it is not my business. Spanking, slapping, swatting, etc… is never a nice sight to see. It would make me wonder if the parents’ behavior at home escalates and the public display is the light version. I would report it, however, if I were in a school setting by informing administration.

Carol Yeh-Garner: It's hard to say. I don't agree with spanking a child, but I don't think I need to be pushing my viewpoint onto someone else. If it was a stranger and it wasn't extremely violent, I'd probably let it go. If it was someone I knew, it would depend on how close I was with that person. If I was close with the person, I might mention something after the fact. If it was a stranger and things were really violent, I'd discreetly monitor the situation. If I saw an opportunity to speak to the parent, I might say something like, "Wow...tough day, huh! Is there anything I can do to help?"


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