I've contemplated starting this thread for months now but an incident yesterday morning really pissed me off. I have experienced myself as well as witnessed and heard examples from other people complaining about children's behavior and sometimes, the behavior of the adults around them. What do you think are appropriate interactions with children and adults? Should there be any boundaries at all? Personally, I respect children just the same as I do with adults and avoid interacting with them unless I know them very well, and even so I do not force hugs, kisses or other physical gestures. I let the child sit/stand/walk where he/she wants and let them lead by their own comfort levels basically and try to steer conversations to safe topics if not educating/thought provoking or developmentally stimulating. I also teach my own child about stranger danger and body safety and I respect that with others I see as well. However, I have come across a great deal of people that totally disregard boundaries for children and adults as well. I continue to be told that this is normal, stay quiet, let them have their way, that's Trinidad for you, etc. Yesterday marked the third time someone yelled in my infant child's face. I consider this verbal and emotional abuse and extremely inappropriate. If you want to teach your children that this is how you treat other people, including infants, then that's on you. Don't impose your BS on others though. IMO children mirror the behavior of others and frequent displays of aggressive behavior may very well lead to related changes in a child's behavior and/or thought patterns. Before you consider whether he "looked for it" or not as is classic with Trini victim blaming for those with that mentality, his crime was singing and humming to himself and asking for mom and milk while he was with a relative in a store because he was tired and hungry. He did the same thing with me hours later after drinking his milk; singing and humming, and talking to me about what he saw and the people in the pharmacy gushed and cooed "look how he entertaining himself! hear him sing! aww!!" instead of following the relative around for a few minutes yelling at the child about how making noise was giving trouble and being bad and he was a bad boy. Stop. What do you think about this scenario at this point? (Continue) Beneath the surface, my son has some health issues that require anyone caring for him to be on high alert at all times. This is why I rarely leave others with him and am mostly a helicopter parent keeping him glued to my side almost 24/7. I rarely ask others to hold or interact with him and very rarely will leave him alone with that same one relative if I am nearby for very short periods of time. When we are in familiar and comfortable environments I lag behind and let him do his thing where and with whom he is comfortable but remain nearby to act as his advocate in the event of inappropriate circumstances. Also kidnapping is real. *strikes fear in the hearts of parents everywhere* Seems paranoid, I know, but I need someone with both childcare and special needs education and experience if someone is to be alone with him or things can go south very quickly. For someone inexperienced with his issues, they may panic and react in an incorrect manner leading to further health problems or fail to react at all. I have to consider every ingredient in everything going in or on his body (including food, clothing, and hair & skin products on people who will be interacting with him), clothing texture, scents, too many lights, too noisy, not stimulating enough, will this cause an allergic reaction? will this overwhelm him? will he be hyper-reactive to this? does he have enough avenues for sensory integration to keep him balanced? will I have resources at my disposal for damage control if something happens? do I have preventative measures in place? etc. Despite this, he is very empathetic even as a child and usually demonstrates caring actions and words with others, especially children, and can be protective over those he sees being scolded or hit. He is a child and is still learning how to express what he wants, needs, and dislikes and that is his right as a child IMO but he does express himself when he remembers how and is emotionally able to, just as he expressed what he needed to the relative in the store when he was hungry and tired (also in pain from teething) without bothering anyone. What do you think now? It seems though, that the real reason I had a child was for others to use as an emotional punching bag. If I decided to find out who this woman was and drop some level cuss and a planass or two, I would be rude and inappropriate though, right? I am already told I am rude, hostile, etc. for telling people as it is when they come to touch him with perfume laden clothes and scented hand creams, try to push food/drink/toys in his mouth without letting me know or check the ingredients, or grab and pinch or try to pull him out of my arms with no warning or permission. Not rude if you wanna reprimand my kid for whatever messed up $#!% you have in your head though right?#doublestandards Here's why I have to let this incident "slide": 1. I have no idea who this loud mouthed mofo is and it would be obsessive and a bit mental to find out just to put her in her place. 2. She's not the only person who does this. This is a wide-spread mentality. 3. Retribution is not the answer IMO. 4. I have to soothe my son's nightmares and correct his mutterings of "I'm bad boy" myself and demonstrate how to react appropriately to these situations myself because others are incapable of doing it and many people in society will say it's "small ting' and to just forget it happened and teach him to sweep it under the rug. *waves resting bitch face flag high* It is up to me to teach him how to move on in a healthy manner from these experiences, which can be traumatizing to children, and was indeed a traumatic event for him. That's my responsibility and I own it. I should have been there to react accordingly and I wasn't. I don't know who the $%#@ it's up to to keep boundary stompers on a leash. I would think society/community because "it takes a village" and all but society/village has failed miserably if you ask me. These are some examples of what healthy boundaries are between children and adults IMO: Always ask for permission/consent. Do not touch without consent. Do not act in an aggressive or violent manner. If consent is given, only touch "safe" body parts i.e. handshakes, high fives, hold hands, foot games, etc. No one has the right to touch you, speak to you, or behave in front of you in a manner that makes you uncomfortable. No one has the right to force you to do something you are not comfortable with. Respect others. This is everyone's automatic right. No one has the right to take your belongings without your knowledge and consent. Being forced to agree to something through threats, aggression, violence, manipulation, blackmail, bribery, fear, silence, etc. is not agreeing or consent. Private body parts should be identified as such and told to only be touched (washed etc) by you i.e. who it belongs too. Tell your parents, doctor, or someone you trust if someone does anything to make you feel uncomfortable. If they don't listen, keep looking for someone who will. Do not yell, scream, hit, squeeze, hurt, kick, slap, punch, etc. anyone. Children's rights include the right to be advocated for and protected. Adults do not have the right to emotionally, verbally, physically, or sexually hurt anyone. It does not matter if you are smaller, weaker, sicker, quieter, smarter, scared, big, silly, alone, and/or loud. When dealing with children, adults know better. Children are still learning. You always have the right to be respected, just as you should respect others. You have a right to personal space and privacy, just as others do. Do not take anything from anyone or give anything to anyone without prior knowledge and consent from your parents/guardians. Don't talk to strangers unless your parents/guardians say it's okay. You do not have to answer every question that is asked or do everything you are told to. Go to your parents/guardian if a stranger tries to talk to you. I know I didn't get everything and not everyone may agree with those as these are my personal beliefs. Here's an excerpt from Psychology Today on fundamental human rights that may be easier to relate to: What are your thoughts on boundaries between children and adults? What did I miss? Would you change any of these? Please share this around and make these boundaries (i.e. common forms of courtesy and respect) common knowledge. I refuse to accept this kind of [mis]behavior as a "normal" Trini thing or "small ting" and I hope that woman and people who behave like her and encourage/enable such behavior see this as well.