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A Mum’s Response When a Stranger Took Away Her Son’s Dummy While in a Grocery Store

As parents, we’ve all been there. We head to the grocery store with the kids, and the toddler decides to have a melt down.  The noise and carry on brings unwanted attention to your shopping trip. The stares from strangers, judging you on your ability to parent, can be quite overwhelming and embarrassing.

One mum, Corissa Rieschieck, was having the same moment with her son in a grocery store. Her two year old was having a melt down, so to fix the situation, she put a dummy in his mouth to soothe him.

One stranger didn’t approve of Corrissa’s solution and took action into her own hands. The stranger walked up to Corrissa’s two-year-old boy and promptly plucked the dummy (pacifier) out of her son’s mouth, while scolding Corissa and telling her her son didn’t need it and she was a bad parent for giving it to him.

The stranger walked off with the dummy in her hand and later returned it, criticizing Corissa even more for her ‘bad parenting’.

toddler dummy

Corrissa wrote how she reacted to the situation on her blog which you can read below.

What bothers me most about this entire situation is not actually that yet another person had the nerve to question my parenting. Being entirely unsure of myself in this aspect of my life, I frequently do just that anyway. No. What bothers me most of all is that the absolute shock of that situation stunned me into silence. What bothers me is that a complete stranger actually had the nerve to get so close to my son as to take something from him without any care for getting my permission . . . That anger at myself for not responding, for being so shocked by the situation that I didn’t tell that woman to go f*ck herself still sits inside me to this day, months later. Though it generally no longer spills out as a rage of vile cursing that I can’t control. Instead, it comes out in this form — a blog post about the situation itself (with perhaps just a hint of that vile cursing). Most of all though, it comes out as questions. Why do people feel the need to comment on the way those around them parent? Do they not remember how hard being a parent is? Have they never experienced moments of doing something as a parent just to get through? Or, if they’re not parents themselves, did they never learn that it wasn’t okay to be so rude?

Our parenting techniques may not be agreeable to others, but respect can go a long way. We can be our own worst critics as parents, questioning everything we do to raise children into good people.

Some of us even feel we don’t do a very good job of it.

That’s why Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and being noticed and appreciated goes a long way for a parent. None of us really know what we’re doing and there is no praise when you get it right.

And yet, there are those who still judge and will make it their mission to ensure their opinion is known.

The stranger’s actions towards Corissa and her son were disrespectful and rude.

Unless a child is in harm (eg abuse) there is no need for others to jump in and criticize a parent – especially when they are struggling.

It may take a village to raise a child, but the village very rarely includes strangers.

Have you ever had a stranger tell you you’re not a good parent? What would you have done in Corissa’s situation?

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters who she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award winning plumber, she also writes an award winning blog called The Plumbette where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec believing a girl can be both practical and stylish. Links to the blogs are http://www.theplumbette.com.au and http://www.styledbybec.com.au/blog

One thought on “A Mum’s Response When a Stranger Took Away Her Son’s Dummy While in a Grocery Store

  1. AvatarWendy

    I would never approach or touch a child. It’s not my place. However…. I just this evening spoke very clearly to someone who parked in the disabled space outside of the supermarket, and “Just ran in for smokes”. Just lazy and selfish. Adults choose their own behaviour, but a parent can only react to a child’s.

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