This evening I tackled the crazy amounts of laundry that had piled up and needed done ($18 later.. but that's another story). The apartments I live in have a gym/laundry facility on the other side of the complex. They are two different rooms with the laundry room nestled in the corner of the gym but open via windows to the whole building. If that makes any sense. Anyway, I was picking up the last of my laundry and I could hear this commotion coming from out in the gym area. It's a small gym (couple treadmills, an elliptical, some bikes and lifting equipment sum it up) and there was only a couple of people in the whole building (me, another guy doing laundry, a 5 or 6 year old, a man and a woman [I believe were with said child]), so it was pretty obvious where it was coming from. The man was yelling and cursing at the little boy. I'm not sure what exactly was going on. The child was crying and the man was telling him he had to stay on the treadmill. It seemed a little inappropriate for public but I didn't see the man touch the child (thank goodness) so I didn't interfere.
When I went to go load my car.. the other man that had been doing laundry was outside smoking a cigarette. I was mumbling something when I came outside, a bit upset at what I had just overheard. We made small talk about how weird/awkward that was and I even went as far as saying, "I debated whether I should call the cops or not". I decided not to.. but it's kind of left me a bit unsettled.
Like I said the man didn't touch the child (that I saw), he just seemed very verbally abusive. I'd hate to be the one that didn't call when I should have and helped that child out of an unfortunate situation. I'm not a parent, and I know that sometimes you just pop. But that seemed far more inappropriate than it should have been. And it sickens me to know that the woman let the man pop off like that on such a young child.
The thought I can't quit thinking..
What would you guys have done in the same situation?
How do you handle a situation like that when you are in public and someone "disciplines" their child in a way you don't think appropriate?
I'm sure I shot them some dirty looks but that is about it...