Protecting Other Kids: Do You Step Up to “Ugly Parents?”

So you’re at a park. You see a dad hitting around his kids.

Do you step in?

This post has almost been haunting me. I can’t stop thinking about it — first because it’s just so beautifully written. It starts off in what appears to be a homage to the kind of shallowness seen on pretty much any reality TV show, but like beauty itself, the beginning is only skin deep, and the twist at the end will leave you wondering about your own reaction to people like this.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been in situations — who hasn’t? — where a parent is clearly not doing the best of jobs with the kids, to put it lightly. I’ve never seen actual violence, but I’ve seen a good amount of yelling and maybe shoving. And like pretty much everyone else present at the time, I did nothing.

Would I, I’ve wondered, have the courage to step in if needed?

Which is why I was so enamored by Charlie Capen’s story about his run in with an “ugly parent” — not the physically unattractive kind, but the kind so ugly underneath that he’d hit a child.

“So, I’m at attention on this bench, debating how to tell this dad just how ugly he is. But then my conscience or decency or whatever, let’s just call it my ‘second guessing voice’, speaks up. ‘Who the hell are you to drop the hammer, Charlie?’ Some onlookers would probably cheer while others cringe. I cringe when I see people approach strangers for less. There’s no question it would be out-of-place and irresponsible of me. Society’s social veneer has me prisoner for the moment.”

Charlie stepped in and told the dad to stop, that he was being watched.

I wonder, would I? Would you? If it takes a village, exactly how far do we go to help save one of the villagers?

Take a read — it’s a thought provoking piece worth everyone’s time.

Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!

Photo: Huffington Post

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