This child, who must have been around ten, hit me when she decided to flail her arms around for whatever reason. She couldn’t have seen me coming, so I knew it was accident. She ran up to her mother without looking at me and I went on my way, not giving it a second thought. A few seconds later the mother comes up to me and demands that I apologize to the child. I thought maybe she hadn’t seen what had happened, so I explained it was her child who had hit me. I also said I could tell it was an accident and it was no big deal. She says, and I kid you not, “I know she hit you, I saw it, but she’s just a child, she feels bad and you should apologize”. I explain that ideally her child should have apologized to me, that she was old enough to do so, but that it was no big deal to me one way or the other. Mother says, “But she’s just a child! You’re an adult! You’re supposed to apologize to her so she doesn’t feel bad”. At that point I realized it’s impossible to win certain arguments against certain people. I told her she was entitled to raise her child any way she saw fit, but that I would not contribute to the kid thinking she should be apologized to when she hit others and left. I’ll give her credit for making her absurd request in a low voice instead of making a scene, but it’s no wonder children behave the way they do these days. 0518-14
Allowing a child to feel bad about certain behaviors is actually a very good thing. It teaches sensitivity, deference to others and to be careful in future interactions. Mom should have taken the opportunity to teach her daughter how to approach a stranger and apologize for the unsolicited hit.