11/01/2014 14:23 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Overheard...Anger Towards A Child


The other day I was minding my own business, browsing in a shop when I overheard a conversation that just completely stunned me. I never saw the people so I can only guess there was a Father, Mother and daughter. I don't know if there was anyone else or if they were birth parents or step family. But it went like this...

A young girl's voice could be heard as she excitedly points out things that are on the shelf. It was a craft shop so there were plenty of sparkly brightly coloured things to fill her imagination; she was brimming over with excitement at the things she was finding. The Mother told her to not touch and to be quiet. The girl went quiet for awhile but then excitement got the better of her and off she went again.

Being a crafter and equally as excitable I, on the other side of the shelving unit, smiled and wondered what she was finding so lovely. There was another lady in the aisle I was in and she must have heard the same as she smiled a knowing smile as we exchanged glances briefly. The Mother half hissed half spat "Just shut up" at the child. The child went quiet.

We could now hear the Mother and Father discussing which things to buy. There was quiet; a bit of umming and ahhing as they tried to decide. Again the child was pointing out things and suggesting they bought this and that.

The Mother hissed again to her to be quiet and then continued to talk to the Father in a normal tone. The child wasn't being quiet. The Father's voice was now angered and told the daughter to shut up and to stop going on and on. (I've not included the colourful swear words.) The lady in the same aisle as me glanced at me and we both raised our eyebrows.

It went quiet for a moment or two then the child asked where they were going. With anger again in his voice he told her they were going as far as they could away from her as all she did was go on and on and that was all she ever did and was sick of the sight of her. (Again not included the swearing.)

I can't really get across how much anger was in his voice or how horrible it was to hear. The child wasn't being particularly naughty, just excitable and inquisitive. She was also trying to help them with her suggestions. The lady in the aisle and I shook our heads and we both stood in silence not really knowing what to do. We kept glancing at each other as if to silently say "should we see if she is ok?".

There was no sound of violence. I was just rooted to the spot not sure if I could move. Not sure if I should peer around the aisle and see who had said such things in anger. Did I really want to see what the parents looked like?

As I said I never saw them, I don't know their circumstances but no child deserves to be spoken to like that. Yes, children aren't always angelic. No, they aren't always quiet and sometimes they do go on and on and on. As an adult I would hate to hear this sort of thing said to me. As a daughter I would hate my parents saying these sorts of things to me. As a Mother my heart goes out to that child.

My ramblings as a single mum. My self employed life with 2 free range children, a neglected veg patch, 2 cats and useless attempts of pacing my life with M.E

Blogs at: Confessions of a Single Mum
Twitter: @kairenv