It’s not OK … but what do you do about it?

So this is going to be a blogpost a bit different from what I normally post about.

This morning I was waiting for the bus on the parade in Island Bay in Wellington. A mother was walking her kids to St Francis De Sales school (the local catholic primary school). The kids were riding bikes, an older boy and a girl I’d say was bout 6 or 7. The boy rode up to the corner and waited, but for some reason the girl was crying and not going very fast. The mother was clearly frustrated (and believe me Ive only been a parent for just over 2 years but I can totally understand that happening).What I didn’t expect to happen was the mother to haul off and slap the kid in the face and yell ‘shut up’

It made me feel physically ill, and all I could think of to do was to yell from the other side of the road “I saw that, you need to cut that out”.

I honestly didn’t and I still don’t know what to do in that situation. I still feel bad about not doing something more.

4 thoughts on “It’s not OK … but what do you do about it?”

  1. Not sure what you can do. Calling the police seem excessive but at the same time, how do we know she doesn’t always do that? It’s a tough call but I personally think you did well to shout out, many of us wouldn’t have even done that, moreso because of reaction times than anything else.


  2. i would have opted to go smack the woman. seriously. there should be a card you just walk up and give someone. that says “you’re a right beotch, here’s the number for cyfs or healthline or something”. or embarrassment is a good one. walk up the to girl and say “wow, you’re really upset. i bet it didnt make you feel better to have your mom hit you. maybe mommy needs to get some help so she doesn’t whack someone 1/3 her size.”


  3. It’s not easy to be a witness to abuse. A slap in the face is not stage 1 of “disciplining a child”…
    Would you consider writing to the school principal and relaying the incident? The school is better equiped than a by-stander. Even if it’s a while after the event, your comments could help protect this child (if it turns out to be needed) or get help for the stressed mother.


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