Some Michiganders and Ohioans are on the front lines of living lessons we shouldn’t be teaching our children, namely that physical violence is the proper response to not getting your own way.
Within the last month, a mother-daughter team attacked a discount department store greeter in Ohio, and a mother-father team attacked a school crossing guard in Michigan. Both attacks occurred with children of the attackers present, and both attacks occurred in public places with witnesses present.
The mother-daughter team was angry that the discount department store’s Customer Service desk employees did not offer the service they expected when they tried to reload a gift card and purchase a money order. As a result of this dissatisfaction, when the store’s greeter, 71, asked them to see the receipt for their purchase, the women became violent. They screamed obscenities and racial slurs at him, the mother, 49, threatened to punch him in the face, and grabbed and choked him.
The daughter, 21, ran back to the Customer Service desk, screamed more obscenities at an employee there, and threatened that her boyfriend would kill the greeter when he found out. The daughter also loudly threatened to blow up the store. The women left the store. Police found them in the parking lot. The mother was charged with assault, the daughter with aggravated menacing and inducing panic. The pregnant daughter’s two children were present.
So much for applying the aphorism of “Don’t do in public what you wouldn’t want your mother to know about.”
The mother-father team attacked a crossing guard after he split up the parties in a childhood fistfight. The two children had been involved in a fight at school the previous day. When the parents of one of the boys did not receive the satisfaction they desired from school officials regarding the incident, they encouraged their son to “protect himself.”
When the parents dropped their child off a bus stop next day, he walked up to the 7-year-old he’d had the fight with the previous day and punched him. The crossing guard, 73, pulled the parent’s 7-year-old child off of the other child, and the parents quickly became involved. After a few words between the two, the father, 26, punched the crossing guard in the face, breaking one of his teeth. The father’s girlfriend (the child’s mother), 29, simultaneously attacked the crossing guard from behind as the father punched again.
Local police have arrested the mother but have not yet found the father.
So much for applying the aphorism of “Respect your elders.”
By example, these people are teaching their children that elder abuse and violent revenge are acceptable methods of grievance redress. They are also teaching their children that attacking someone who says something you don’t like is the way to handle a disagreement. In the coming months and years, these same adults will be filling their children’s heads with statements and perspectives about how the attacks were justified. As a result, the children will view the legal repercussions of their parent’s actions as harassment and unwarranted punishment.
The lessons we learn early are the lessons we learn most deeply. Here are three children (and more if these parents continue procreating) who are halfway down the path of learning the wrong lesson: That elder abuse and violence are acceptable, and that punishment is unjustified.
We’re already seeing the generational transmission of these lessons in the mother-daughter team.
Continue keeping it classy, Ohio and Michigan.