Dr. Molly Barrow

The Official Dr. Molly Barrow Blog offers educational self help advice about relationships, business, dating, marriage, parenting, teenagers and children, self-esteem, love and romance. Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of Matchlines for Singles and the self-esteem adventure series, Malia and Teacup Awesome African Adventure and Malia and Teacup Out on a Limb. Dr. Molly is a relationship and psychology expert host on progressiveradionnetwork.com and television guest.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Witness a Parent/Child Fight? Dr. Molly Barrow author of Matchlines A New Way of Looking at Relationships and Making the Right Choies in Love

Should you intervene when you see a parent struggling with an unruly child in a public place like the movie store? Does the idea of a conflict make you queasy? The child may be in the throws a a tantrum over a movie choice and the parent may appear to be withholding a reasonable request. However, you may be witnessing a public example of what life can be like with a child that has special needs, is learning disabled or has a brain injury. If the parent seems to be calm and speaking in a lowered voice, make an attempt to meet eyes with the parent and give them a nod or smile of support. Most tantrums last only a few minutes, but the the out of control child can be loud, violent or cause injury to the parent and himself. A good parent will understand you are trying to help and protect.
However, if the parent is yelling, red-faced, angry, jerking the arms of a child, or striking the child, then I believe that we all have a duty to protect children from out of control parents or other adults. Avoid putting yourself at risk. Try saying in a loud voice, "Hey, do you need help?" By asking the parent if he or she needs help, they will not take immediate offense but will realize people are witnessing their abusive behavior. Offer to make the call to a police officer for them. It might shock them out of their anger and save a child from a violent parent, without endangering you. If you know someone who is losing it, encourage the violent parent to immediately seek therapy and possible medication to help control their anger. You could save a child's life.


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