how does that make you feel?

I saw a woman drag a screaming child outside, clap her hands around the girl’s face, bend down and yell in her face “YOU LISTEN TO ME! YOU WILL GET IN THAT CAR RIGHT NOW! I AM DONE WITH THIS” then she grabbed the girl by the arm and proceeded to drag her to their car. “Get in there or I will put you in myself!” she yelled at the child then once the girl was inside slammed the door. The little girl was still crying hard and yelling.

Then an old man came running up to the woman yelling at her.

“Hey you!” he screamed, pointing his finger at the woman, “take it easy on that child!”
Then commenced a shouting scene wherein the man accused the woman of hitting her child and threatened to call the cops. Eventually both drove away.

How does that make you feel?

Let me back up.

I saw a woman inside the grocery store, confronting her little girl. The little girl was screaming and wrestling with the woman. The girl was actually large for her age and the woman was having a hard time of it but she managed to get the girl by the arm and begin hauling her to the front doors while the little girl screamed. The little girl decided to take a roundhouse punch at the woman. The woman ducked, stopped and yelled “Don’t you DARE!” then proceeded to pull the girl by the arm again towards the front doors.

How does that make you feel?

Let me back up.

I saw a woman standing in the aisle of the grocery store holding two items heading towards the pharmacy to pick up her medication which she’d been out of for over a month because of financial problems. The little girl demanded the woman stop walking towards the pharmacy and walk towards the produce aisle because the little girl had decided she wanted to eat fruit. The woman tells her  “no, we have plenty of fruit at home, and you had blueberries for breakfast. i’m not buyign anything else, I already told you” The woman turns around and begins to walk away. The little girl screams at the top of her lungs and runs around the woman, blocking her path. Then the little girl tries to strong-arm the woman into not moving.

“No,” says the woman, “I already told you. And if you keep screaming at me I’m going to put back that toy you wanted” She speaks in a testy but even-toned voice at normal volume. The girl becomes enraged and begins screaming again. Then she throws herself into the woman for a nice big body-slam. The woman reels back off balance for a moment but takes advantage of it by snatching the little girls’ toy from her hand. She then places it on the highest nearby shelf. The girl begins howling and screaming “NO! NO! NO! YOU CAN’T!” The woman walks to the pharmacy counter but there is now another customer there taking up the pharmacists’s attention so she will have to wait some more. Meanwhile the little girl runs after the woman screaming and waving her arms. People of course, begin to give them both side-glances. Eventually the woman decides she’ll pick up her medication later and tells the girl they are going home. “I want my toy!” the girl screams repeatedly as the mother walks out and the girl runs after her.

How does that make you feel?

Let me back up.

I saw a woman walking away from the pharmacy counter with her little girl next to her. The little girl was chattering about getting a toy. The woman says “Maybe, we’ll see,” over and over interspersed with “we talked about h ow to behave int he store now. You need to stop yelling at me. If you want something, you have to act nice about it” but the girl continues chattering about how she NEEDS the toy, she REALLY REALLY WANTS the toy and how mom just HAS to give it to her because she NEEDS the toy over and over. The woman rubs her head occasionally as they walk and continues her mantra of “maybe, we’ll see. You need to listen to me first. stop yelling at me” Occasionally the little girl runs in front of the woman and demands that they walk to the toy aisle immediately. The woman tells her, in an even-toned voice at normal volume, “no, you need to stop yelling at me and listen. I told you I would think about it and you are not being very nice to me right now. When you want to talk to me about it nicely, we’ll talk” and continues walking in a different direction. The little girl is getting more and more agitated. Occasionally she stops chattering loudly and smiles at the woman saying “oh PLEASE mom?” to which the woman replies “I told you, I will think about it”

All the while they were walking towards the aisle where toys are kept. Eventually, the child got the toy. But the scene went from “Mom, I NEED the toy” to “Mom, I NEED ice cream too” to which the woman continually replied a simple but emphatic “no. you do not get ice cream”

How does that make you feel?

Let me really back up.

I saw a woman bringing her child to a highly respected child behavioral clinic to make an appointment with a child psychiatrist. The little girl had already been to several play therapy sessions and it was agreed she probably needed a full psychiatric assessment and possibly medication. The medication wouldn’t happen for many months, but the process was in motion. The little girl would be seeing the psychiatrist for the first time in three months. It was the earliest appointment they had available. Prescribing medication for her (probable) condition couldn’t happen until the three-part assessment was finished and she’d had several visits with the psychiatrist. And the parents would have to attend therapy as well.

How does THAT make you feel?

Let me back up even more.

I saw a woman who was saying goodbye to her little girl like she did nearly every day of the week. The little girl cried and begged the woman to stay or take the little girl with her but the mother just said “I can’t” and kissed the little girl with tears in her eyes before walking away again. Like she did nearly every day of the week.

The little girl would sleep at home with her father who was gone all day at work but came home to put her to bed. Then she’d wake up and wait for the woman to come spend the day with her, like she did every day. The little girl could never know who was going to stay with her over the weekend: mom or dad? but it would never be both.

How does that make you feel?

Last back up.

I saw a woman attending a parent-teacher conference. The teacher went to great lengths to describe each and every difficulty her little girl was displaying. The teacher insisted the little girl was not up to academic standards because she refused to do the work and kept disrupting the class. The woman brought from home examples of the little girls’ writing, arithmetic and books the little girl could already read.

“wow,” says the teacher, “its good to know she CAN do these things but if she won’t do them in school, we don’t have any choice but to give her failing marks. Do you have any suggestions about how to deal with her behavior issues?”

The woman was speechless and kept looking at the evaluation papers with nothing but “unsatisfactory” in every column as well as copious notes about disruptive behavior.

Now, how do you feel?

Go back and read the first part again. Still feel the same?

I could tell you even more.

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