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If you saw an adult hitting, roughly handling or yelling at a child in public, would you intervene or just mind your business and assume it was a parent disciplining his/her child?

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That's a tough call. If you intervene it may make things worse for the child once they get home.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Really tough call for the reasons sensei258 said.. poor kids.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Unfortunately, I would mind my own business. I wouldn't be happy about it but intervening where a parent is disciplining a child is a minefield.

On the other hand, if I suspected the adult was not the child's parent and might be trying to drag or coerce the child to go away away somewhere, I would probably follow them to see where they were going.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

...would you intervene or just mind your business

When in Japan, do as the Japanese!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It depends; yelling at, no, sometimes that is necessary. Hitting or roughly handling depends on the age, size of the child and the definition of hitting. A sharp smack on the backside of a larger child is sometimes necessary too but a full on beating is not, at that point I certainly would intervene.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

or just mind your business and assume it was a parent disciplining his/her child?

Again, clumsy wording. Feels like 'hitting, roughly handling etc" your own kid is always absolutely fine and that the only reason you should/may intervene is IF you think/are sure the adult isn't a parent.

Crying/screaming kid "please dad, stop hitting me"! is fine but same kid/situation but no 'please dad' should trigger a "oh hang on a sec, dude hitting the child isn't even the father, that's not on' from us!?

As harry said, it depends on the level of violence (physical, verbal, psychological etc) and probably other factors. Being a parent or not would probably be last on my list.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually I really thought about intervening many times (inside the train, a combini) but in the opposite situation: an uncontrollable spoiled brat screaming and hitting stuff while the mother watches, hoping for it to end. Gosh....if you can't educate it, why having a kid in the first place? At the end, it will be MY kid who will suffer, having to put up with the worst spoiled selfish brat at some point in his life.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I did it in Canada one time, and even called the police. The poor girl looked scared as hell though, and I worried after that I may have caused more troubles for her once she got home.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In Japan, I'm not sure, I don't like violence towards kids, but intervening, in this country, you are taking a risk.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Thunderbird amen to that! I've wanted to slap parents and their children several times.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unless it's a particularly egregious beating bordering on assault or torture, I don't think anyone really should be intervening too much with a parent and their child. Maybe more effective in those cases would be to give the parent a stern or annoyed look or something to draw attention to the parent's behaviour and to show that they are making people around them uncomfortable

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it's very disturbing to see an adult screaming and hitting a child. when an adult, parent or not, screams or shouts or publicly humiliates and or hits a child, that adult should be re-educated, if not simply punished.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Only if it was bordering on child abuse and even then my intervention would be calling the authorities. Getting directly involved in something like that and then just walking away immediately afterwards wouldn't help anyone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@thunderbird: Actually I really thought about intervening many times (inside the train, a combini) but in the opposite situation: an uncontrollable spoiled brat screaming and hitting stuff while the mother watches, hoping for it to end.

It depends on the age. I am aware that people choose to raise their kids in different ways depending on their cultural background, education, social norms, environment, etc. The “terrible two and three” are the age when you see kids throw tantrums and change their mood for the smallest of things. Still, from direct and indirect experience I can say that even the kids who have not been spanked (understand: whose mothers have chosen to wait patiently for the tantrums to pass instead of using physical power to calm them down) have grown out of that age and are now well behaved kids. I may be mistaken, but it seems that the trust between such kids and their parents is somewhat deeper than with other kids.

while the mother watches, hoping for it to end.

Or rather, waiting patiently for the tantrum to pass. You can talk to your kid after he/she has calmed down and make your point by explaining the reasons why you did not grant his/her request.

Gosh....if you can't educate it, why having a kid in the first place?

For many people nowadays “educating” / “education” means patience, understanding and relevant communication rather than using physical force or verbal spanking. Waiting for the tantrum to pass (it always does) does not mean that you are spoiling your kid.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mind your own business unless it is assault. There are too many people in the world that know EXACTLY how you should raise YOUR kids.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@JaneM I'm sorry but I have to disagree, there is no excuse to raise a society waste. Yes, all families have their black sheep but if you don't raise your kid properly the chances are high he will grow up into one of those spoiled self-centered scums that everyone wants to avoid, and he just won't get it, what's wrong with throwing your trash from your car, yelling at some staff or even slapping someone? No one ever told me "no". Please, educate your children to respect everyone equally. Period. But this is just my opinion...

I can tell you, the only things that always prevent me from intervening in these cases is because I feel bad for the mother. And #2 I don't want to draw attention as the "noisy gaijin".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

StrangerlandAPR. 05, 2017 - 10:09AM JST I did it in Canada one time, and even called the police. The poor girl looked scared as hell though, and I worried after that I may have caused more troubles for her once she got home.

Why did you hit that poor child and I am sure the child was scared. Were you arrested after you assaulted her? Did you call the police out of your guilt? If so, I commend you. If not. well I can't say any more. Or is this just a post for you to get attention? You get a lot of attention for so many postings so I am wondering if this is just another. "look at me" post.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I intervened twice, if I recall. By staring at the parent. Not being Japanese myself, I think the parent thought he or she was giving a bad image of beautiful Japan and quit. Or was just embarrassed at being emotional in public. One father was throwing a basketball near his kid’s head as the kid cowered next to the wall. I strolled over and watched. The father saw me. Decided his English wasn’t up to the task and quit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I saw this happen once in Disneyland. There was a 3/4year old kid in a pramr and her mom slapped her across the face really hard. My heart jumped, but I was worried to make the situation worse by saying something to the woman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

I don't want parents to beat their kids to death but disciplining children is necessary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@thunderbird: Yes, all families have their black sheep but if you don't raise your kid properly the chances are high he will grow up into one of those spoiled self-centered scums that everyone wants to avoid,

Only that two- and three-year olds with tantrums cannot be categorized as black sheep yet. If you bother to read more about child-raising you might discover that the tantrums are a natural stage of any kid’s growth and the children grow out of them. Indeed, some parents choose to “educate” their kids by using physical power. Others, with more patience and understanding, choose the more difficult way – communication and explanation why such behavior is not acceptable.

I sure have met a lot of spoiled, self-centered **** who have been “properly” raised by their parents in the old-fashion way.

Spoiling your child is a totally different thing from waiting for a tantrum at that age to pass and then talk about it with your child.

and he just won't get it, what's wrong with throwing your trash from your car, yelling at some staff or even slapping someone?

Children learn by watching what their parents and close family do. More often than not they copy their parents’ behavior and if a child throws their trash out the window, I would question the behavior of their parents first. It is the same with slapping someone. A child who has been slapped or more - physically abused - by his/her parents at a young age is much more likely to emulate that behavior when he/she grows up than a child who has not been treated in that way.

No one ever told me "no". Please, educate your children to respect everyone equally. Period. But this is just my opinion...

The problem is not “never saying no.” The problem is not explaining why it is not good behavior. And, mind you, you need to do it considering the developmental stage of your child. But, yes, I understand, it is always easier to spank the kid because physical power communicates your message faster than any verbal communication.

I can tell you, the only things that always prevent me from intervening in these cases is because I feel bad for the mother.

And there is no need to feel bad for her. I am sure she knows much better how to raise her child than you, a total stranger who by mere coincidence happen to be there for a short moment in time and who knows nothing about her relationship with her child.

And #2 I don't want to draw attention as the "noisy gaijin".

Ah, yes, the usual, “they treat us as if we are a different kind” implication.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Intervene and be labelled a busy body do gooder harpy, who has no children, so hasn't a clue, and to cap it all can't mind her own business....... Or do nothing and be in danger of becoming tomorrow headline, feckless cowardly women ignores child in distress.

Two choice with equally unpleasant outcomes. Morton's Fork by any other name.

Best to take the third option, cause a distraction, attempt a real dying swan fainting fit. lots of staggering and ahhhhh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw a fight recently between two elementary school kids in the street. One was beating up the other and the one losing even pulled his personal alarm. I wanted to intervene but as a foreigner I was hesitant to do so. If I was in the US I would have but I was afraid of stepping over boundaries and getting involved especially with children involved. Would you have intervened?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

boy im an Australian if i saw a person abusing a child by hitting and could not restrain them they would be flat on their back out cold

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hi HaileG, Yes I'd like to believe I would, I cannot bear to see young children fighting. Could ultimately be ill judged, but emotionally I would struggle to walk away and ignore.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If they are just yelling at the child, i will not intervene. If they slapped him one time, i would not intervene, but stop and observe the situation. If they start hitting the child over and over again, i will intervene and stop them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Japan I wouldn't if you are a foreigner. You could get yourself arrested if the person assaulted you, as they would probably get off and you will not be believed. I would take pictures and call the police if possible. That being said, as a citizen, I would tell them loudly that they should not assault anyone. However yelling would not cut it, and that would simply not be my business. If they were actually hurting the child physically, they would be committing a crime. If they were spanking or swatting their child, it would be their right here as well and you probably should not physically intervene. In any case, raising your voice and concern is never a crime. But laying a finger could be and you should beware.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As some have said - this is Japan, and as a gaijin, you keep away and mind your own business.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've had the opposite in Japan. Junior east sitting on the floor of a department store crying tears of rage about some perceived parental offence - not agreeing to buy the requisite toy or some such. East glowering in response and offering stern words in English, letting Junior know this was not acceptable. Some busybody middle-aged Japanese shopper deciding that the child's father, i.e. me, needed telling off about his manner of disciplining Junior. So I picked up Junior and marched off without a word. But I did think, this would not have happened if East looked more, well, Eastern. It was quite annoying.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The question should be rather how to intervene.

@Ron Barnes, if you would knock anybody out cold in any circumstances Australia or in Japan you would be incarcerated and as Australian you should know that. Here it is no touch under any circumstances; in Australia there is the idea of reasonable force, but even that is not on really. In both cultures you call the police, security or staff, someone whose role or job it is. And, yes, it is time-consuming and there is a risk of something worse happening, but that is how it is.

Non-physical intervention, just staring is probably the best that people can do, and lots of posts mention this. Staring, drawing attention to, pointing: these are all viable. More important is proximity - say, out of arms reach at least. Saying something is OK, but more significant probably is how you say it.

But anywhere, anybody, deciding how someone elses kids should be raised or are being raised and getting involved but not knowing the circumstances is like invasion of territory and everyone is going to come out worse, especially if your blood is up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Really tough one. Unless it were a serious and absolutely revolting verbal beat down on a kid I don't think I would step in (ex. if the kid is being called everything in the book for seemingly no reason by a parent, who should know better), and even then, I don't know what I would do. If a parent is just shouting, I highly doubt I would do anything. Hitting's tougher. If I saw a serious beating going on there is no way I could not step in, but how far I would go I have no idea. I have ONCE here approached a parent-child in the midst of a fight -- the mother was seriously hitting the kid, who was being bratty, but didn't look like she wanted to stop despite the kid sinking into a corner of train doorway and some passengers next to him wondering what to do (others pretended to be asleep... or really were) -- but all I could do was kind of get close and ask if everything was alright. The woman looked just about to turn her fury on me, but didn't. She stopped hitting him, though, and he kept on bawling until they both got off at the next stop. I worry, as others have stated, what happened next, but I just couldn't watch it. Unfortunately, it might be better to do as little as possible if a kid is getting a smack, and if it's more than that if you can contact someone with authority (train staff or something) and get them to approach, it might be a little more appropriate in the eyes of the parent doling it out (or at least they might feel more in their right to take it out on them and not another person and/or the child). But if those thing aren't working and it is a serious beat-down, I would try proximity (come close to them) and see if that stops things, and if not maybe saying something. But of course in this nation with all the stabbings and what not for people who just look at someone doing something wrong, it's risky.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I will say from a fright, flight distance, Ha Ease Up ! hoping the person eases up on the abuse.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Aa friend of mine has what he says is an effective technique when he encounters aggressive drivers on the road. Pulls out his IPhone and starts filming them ( sometimes just pretends to be filming them ), says they usually change their behavior straight away. Wonder whether it could work in these cases , just walking up near the abusing parent / adult and start filming. They might stop realizing their behavior is being recorded ....of course , what happens between the parent and child later is a tough one. As many have pointed out , it depends on the level of violence / discipline being dished out, not an easy one to answer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I intervene.

Last time at my train station, I watched a mother drop her change and she yelled at her daughter (down Syndrome) to pick it up. The daughter did, and then the mother started screaming at her and telling her it was her fault. I intervened and and then followed them down the stairs and talked to the mother again. The kid was very afraid of the mother. Two Japanese men came to my support and we went over to the Koban. The lady dragged her kid off the bus line and hopped into a taxi. Poor kid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think you can tell if it is a parent or not pretty quickly. I wouldn't intervene unless it was clearly violence and not discipline.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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