Journal: 02.15.2011

I’ve been holding my glasses together with masking tape for weeks now, so this afternoon I decided I should probably go to the store to get a glasses repair kit. While I was there, I heard a parent threatening their child with a spanking, because they were straying too far from the shopping cart. A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the bus, and a father slapped their daughter because she was being annoying or something.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do in these situations. Right now, usually just stop and stare at them for a while. I’m not sure why… perhaps I’m trying to just be a witness, maybe I’m trying to make them feel uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone actually notices though, and if they do, I probably just look somewhat crazed. But what can I do? If I said something, it would be viewed as completely inappropriate to be interfering with someone else’s parenting. And I’m sure I wouldn’t appreciate someone coming up to me like that and telling me how to be a mom.

But when I see someone being hurt or threatened, I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to ignore it either. If there was a grown man slapped a grown woman on the bus, and she started crying, the bus driver might pull over and kick him off. Or at least it wouldn’t be ignored. Oh, I wish I could just ignore the parent altogether and ask the kid “Are you okay?”… but then, even if they’re not okay, there is absolutely nothing I can do.

When I came home, I worked on some art, and it helped me calm down a bit. Above is a new ATC, “Outer Space”. Also… I never got what I needed to fix my glasses. I guess it will have to wait.

2 thoughts on “Journal: 02.15.2011

  1. I just “discovered” you blog this morning.
    Your concern about what to do when faced with an uncomfortable and distressing situation involving violence and children is something that I too feel sometimes. I have two children and I try and remember the times when I was impatient, mean and selfish with my children. I try and extend that compassion to the parent. Just your compassion to the situation is enough. You will know when your intervention or comment is needed. Reach out with compassion and understanding not anger and judgement. That’s my goal and two cents.

  2. Thanks Melisa. Sometimes in the moment I do find myself having such an intense judging reaction. But compassion, yes, ultimately that is what I should strive for. And I try. But sometimes I’m just not feeling it, like yesterday.

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