Shut your face


Staff member
Earlier this week, I was walking to my local Morrisons supermarket minding my own business. Then I looked up and saw two women frogmarching a young child along the carpark, holding his arms up and almost lifting him across the ground. They were really aggressive towards the (estimated) 5 year old. The mother shouted at him, "Shut your face." It really was quite shocking.

Do children like this have any chance in the world? Are these type of parents morally fit to create and own a child?


Founding Member
I was at Heathrow a few years ago waiting for my baggage off the flight. In front of me was a mum with a small child in her arms and one aged about 3-4 standing next to her. The 3-4 year old was tugging at her skirt and saying, 'Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum'. She bent down and slapped him across his legs. All he'd wanted to do was ask her if he could go to get a trolley to help.

I was so angry I could have cried.


Founding Member
In the USA, there have been published cases (none recently) about how someone intervened in obviously excessive child discipline and got either sued or arrested for it. I am fortunate in a specific way that I live in the Deep South because we have a somehow less brutal attitude towards kids. But every now and then I still see a touch of parental violence.

Uncle Gizmo

Founding Member
I don't know, I remember when we had our first child, we didn't have a clue what to do! There's no manual! However you've always got your Instincts, and you also can rely on what you learnt as you were growing up, taking care of siblings, cousin's, and others. But remember, each child is completely different! What will work with one will not work with another. And just like adults, some kids can be right little sods. They can be manipulative, stubborn, and a lot of the time much cleverer than you are! The other thing to bear in mind is many women are bringing up the kids and managing a job as well! So if you see a mother losing her rag with her a littlun, just remember, you don't really know the situation! You just assume that she's a bad mother. She just might be having a bad day, be tired, or just have one of those horrible little brats that come along from time to time.


Founding Member
But then, one of my favorite commercials is about a man and his son in a grocery. It's not in the English language so there are sub-titles. The kid wants a pack of sweets. Dad puts them back. The kid grabs them from the shelf and puts them in the basket again. Dad moves them again. It escalates as the starts to scream, "I want those sweeties." He has a lie-down-on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming melt-down. Dad is trying HARD to be impassive about the whole thing. And at the end, the commercial is about ... condoms.

First time I saw that, I just about laughed my arse completely off.

Found the link:

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Unfortunately, some children do not stand a chance.

I had the unfortunate situation of being in emergency housing last year (don’t really wish to go into the details as to why). You do hear of things in the media, but seeing them first hand is quite a different matter and the system seems to just like to shove these people out of sight. I knew of one lady who managed to get signed off by social services, yet her children were filthy, underfed and lacking in love. She was verbally abusive towards them. They in turn would ‘act up’ because children will crave attention, even if it is negative. I used to feed her children and give them just simple things such as colouring books and pens because the mother was too busy spending her money on drugs and alcohol.

Now, you may read this and find me horribly judgemental. Fine. I was. People who can’t meet even the basic needs of a child shouldn’t have them.


Founding Member
I don't think you were being judgemental. You were being kind and providing a little of something that for whatever reason the mother wasn't able to provide.

But I also agree, if you can't provide even the basic needs for a child, then leave the breeding to others.


Founding Member
All the players are dead now so all I can do is dredge up ghosts of the past, but...

My dad would have been taken away from my grandmother by Child Protective Services if the two of them had been alive in this century. She was generally neglectful, unemployed, and too damned stuck with her momma to leave for California when granddad had to go there for a job. If it weren't for the kindness of neighbors, my dad would often have had nothing to eat for supper. He might not have had clean clothes either. Dad's education had to be put on hold at the end of the 8th grade so he could go to work to support himself and his useless mother. His two older brothers had already flown from that situation because it was intolerable. Dad was the recipient of a massive guilt trip or HE might have flown, too - but Grannie laid her guilt hooks in him and he stayed. Grannie died when I was three so I have very little memory of her at all.

It reverberated down to me because he pushed me unbelievably hard to get my education. I did what he asked. He swore that he got some dust in his eye when I walked across the stage to receive my Ph.D. But I didn't know about his childhood until his middle brother sat me down one day and told me the true story of what happened. I forgave Dad for the incredibly intense pressure he laid on me after learning what a total piece of garbage my grandmother was and learning how badly she treated him. I understood the tears, too, because he knew I wouldn't have to take dead-end job after dead-end job like he did, busting his body until finally his knees gave out. He knew I would be OK.

If I were able to time-travel back to the time when Grannie refused to go to California with her husband and bring the kids, I would have done so, just so I could slap her and yell at her, time paradoxes be damned!
I am completely with @Uncle Gizmo on this one. There is no instruction manual, but there is something even more fundamental missing, IMO, i.e. the lack of introspection of many parents - before becoming parents, that is - so that they can ask themselves: "Do I think I am going to be a good parent?".

I mentioned before how I believe too many people do not reflect enough about the self nowadays. It's a fast world, who has time to stop and reflect?

What kind of world do I want my kid to grow up in? Do I have the mental/emotional stability to raise a child? Am I fully aware of the potential consequences of saying the wrong things to my little daughter, risking that a misplaced word may change the trajectory of her future life entirely?

Because there is no such manual I do not think we ask these questions. We're too worried about enjoying ourselves, then that biological clock keeps ticking, so when we realize we might be leaving it too late, who really has time to ponder the important questions?

That is my view, anyway.


Staff member
I think many of us are just muddling along in the world. We are cause up in the hustle and bustle of it all, leaving little time for reflection. I wish the internet was around when I was in my teens. I feel like I would have made better life choices, since the availability of information has exploded. Back in those days, it was like some kind of Soviet era where you were kept in the dark!
In a way, Jon, the Internet has done us good - but it has also done us a grave disservice. The number of potential distractions has increased almost exponentially - and with a high exponent at that.

In Biblical days, the tribes gathered around the campfire at night while the Tribal Elder recited the "old stories." The kids had nothing else to do so they listened. It was that or be bored out of your gourd. The earliest books that recorded those stories in many cases became contributors to the Bible or Aesop's Fables. Those stories lived on because there was no competition for your attention.

When I was growing up we had TV but we only had seven channels - the three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), an educational channel, a religious channel, and two local channels that did independent programming and late-night movies. Now on TV we have 300 channels (and it seems like at least 150 are pure commercials 24 hours a day). We have iPhones and Androids and enough Internet sites that we have to switch to IPv6 to handle the number of addresses. We have Kindles and super-small audio players with earbuds. We have BlueTooth on our smart phones, including the ability to link that to our cars' built-in computers.

In the meantime, when I turn on my 300-channel TV service, I see a plethora of CRAP. Then, because of corona virus, it's not even high-grade crap. I mean, come on. Who is going to watch an international arm wrestling competition unless there is NOTHING ELSE to watch? I don't watch USA baseball any more. I have never watched basketball because it's a game I could never play due to being vertically challenged. I never watched that much ice hockey because here in south Louisiana we are refrigerationally challenged. And I only watch the local sports team for USA Football. In 2019, I watched the US Women's national soccer team, who did absolutely great! And I watched the Little League World Series (baseball, for those not in the USA who might call that by another name), were a local team from suburban New Orleans went all the way to the world championship. But both of those were pre-corona virus. Nothing that grand or exciting is available. Re-runs of good sports games kind of lose interest when you know the outcome.

My thought is that we actually have a harder time finding quality information and diversion among all of the information sources we have and there is no evidence that it will get any better. Looking at the offerings on TV and the Internet these days, I am reminded of the old P.T. Barnum quote, “Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.”

Of course, entertainment is a noble profession - if you are any good at it. P.T. Barnum had a couple of other relevant quotes.
“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”
“Comfort is the enemy of progress.”
In the meantime, when I turn on my 300-channel TV service, I see a plethora of CRAP
The problem of overchoice, which also probably dilutes quality. If we had 5 quality channels it'd be easy to pick what interests us most. But 300+ channels? We are going to waste so much time just browsing.

Same goes for the internet - only the choices now number in the millions.

So, all these choices and nobody has yet bothered to come up with "How to manage your kids from A to Z - an instruction manual" :LOL: