Mom Disciplines a Stranger's Kids at Target & Parents Love Her for It

mom at target
MomBabble/Facebook; iStock.com/jimkruger

The saying "see something, say something" is usually associated with reporting a crime to the police. But a video posted to Facebook by mom Mary Katherine Backstrom this week makes a good case for applying it to parenting. Backstrom, who runs the blog Mom Babble, was on a Target run when she noticed some tweens poking fun at a man who'd gone through some cranio-facial surgery. So what'd she do? You know where this is going ... she said something. And her response to the teens is going viral.

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In a Facebook video she shot from the front seat of her car, Backstrom says she was in the Target checkout line when she noticed some kids in front of her taking pictures of and teasing the cashier, whom she describes as having staples in his head, a drooping eye, and cranial deformities.

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Backstrom was appalled by what she was seeing, but, like many of us, she felt a twinge of anxiety at stepping in and "parenting" someone else's kids. As she said herself in the video she shot, which has already been viewed some 56,000 times in less than 24 hours, "I'm just not very confident sometimes in my adulthood."

Luckily, she stepped up anyway.

First Backstrom pulled the kids aside for a little chat about why it's not okay to take photos of a stranger and laugh at him. Then she went the extra mile: She told the kids she would be staying with them until their mom arrived to pick them up, and she proceeded to tell the mom what went down.

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The other mom actually thanked Backstrom for saying something, and now thousands of other people are doing the same. In the comments on her video, one person wrote, "Good for you! We need more mothers like you." Another added, "I like to believe that my 'mothering' other children -- my children's friends, as well as my friends' children -- has sometimes not only made them better people, but has made me a better person as well. It does indeed take a village."

It can be hard to decide when something is worth being said. But as adults, we know when something is wrong. More to the point, we know when we would want someone to say something to our kids, or to us about our kids' behavior. Ask any mom if she'd want to know when her child was being a bully, and what do you think she's going to say? "No, just let them be a little punk, I'm alright with that"?

Parents, by and large, want to know when their kids are doing something wrong, because if we don't know, we can't correct the behavior. It's only once someone tells us -- be it a teacher or some stranger in Target -- that we have the ability to sit our kids down for a talk and/or punishment.

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The Target cashier was just a guy doing his job. He deserves the same respect as any other human being ... and that means not having a bunch of kids post photos of him to Snapchat so their friends can gang up on a stranger.

Backstrom's video is certainly food for thought for the next time you see someone's kid out acting out in public -- without Mom or Dad in sight -- and are wavering on whether or not you should step in. Would you want to know if it was your child? Would you want someone to say something?

Perhaps the best part of all this? Backstrom seems to have stumbled on the mystical unicorn of Internet videos: a post where parents all agree. As of this moment, literally all of the comments back Backstrom up for doing what she did as part of a global village of moms who all step in to make sure our kids are raised correctly.

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