Sunday, July 17, 2011

Public Spanking

My family spent the afternoon walking around Plaza Bonita Mall. It's one of the three indoor malls here in San Diego. During our time there a woman was frantically searching for her daughter. She was asking groups of people if they saw a little girl with pinks bows wandering by her self. There was no doubt in my mind that she was panicked and frightened that her little girl was lost in a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon.

We were there to witness the moment she found her daughter a few stores down. Relief quickly turned to anger that she wandered away. The mom was holding her by one arm and spanking her hard enough to swing forward a little bit. I would have to say that she spanked that girl at least 5+ times in my vision.

The commotion was enough to make the crowds stop and stare. It also made a guard question whether or not he should intervene. What would you do? Would you intervene? Was the mom justified in her reaction? Should she have handled it in another way?

Personally, I was in a similar situation when I was a child and spanking was a common way to discipline. I was around 5 or 6 years old and it was my first trip from the east coast to CA for a visit. I got lost riding my cousin's big wheel around the neighborhood. When I was found my mom expressed her fear and anger in a similar way that the mom from the mall did.

Would I do the same thing if my own daughter was lost? No, the spanking I received only made me feel like my mom was mad at me. At that age her fear of loosing me translate as concern. It translated a message of anger. I wouldn't want my daughter to feel the way I did. I would want her to feel my relief that she was found and loved. What are your two cents?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I wouldn't spank my kids. I don't believe in it, but I wouldn't intervene either, unless I could tell she was really injuring her or out-of-control and not able to stop. Then, I would step in for sure.

    I think that's the scariest thing to lose your child! And, it would depend how old the little girl was. I would expect my 3-year-old to wander away, but my 5 and 7-year-olds know better.

  2. @Grumpy Grateful Mom Thank you for stopping by my blog! I would have to agree with you. Even though the mom was spanking her child I could tell that it was fueled by the fear of loosing her. It didn't seem like she was going to town smacking her either. The little girl looked to be around 3-4 too. She was frantic running up and down the mall looking for her too.

  3. I assume this mother was in such a high that she was not even thinking about what she was doing. I'm not justifying her but just trying to understand her.
    Having said that, I wouldn't spank my daughter ever. I would be extremely happy and upset at the same time, but I would talk to her and make her understand that she shouldn't have done that because she could really get lost and never see me again.
    Actually, at that moment I would be crying so hard that I wouldn't be able to say anything, just hold her very, very tight.


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