SINGAPORE: A Reddit user asked for advice after scolding an older man who patted her toddler-age daughter on the head. She wondered if by scolding the man, who yelled back, she caused her daughter more distress.
The post from u/caipngnopng on r/askSingapore on July 16 (Sunday), titled, “Old people touching your kids”, evidently struck a nerve with Reddit users, many of whom supported the parent in the comments.
“Having dinner with my family at old airport hawker today and this man walked past my table and patted my 3 year old daughter on her head. I told him YOU CANNOT DO THAT 你不可以摸她 in mandarin and then he retorted why not 为什么不可以 and this went on to and fro for a bit until he started shouting vulgarities and walked off,” the post author wrote.
She added that because her shy daughter got scared, she told her she had scolded the man for touching her.
However, she added, “Now looking back I’m reconsidering my actions. Did I do more damage to my daughter by causing her unnecessary distress? On the other hand I also know that she absolutely doesn’t like strangers touching or speaking to her.
Would appreciate it if parents can share their experiences because I believe this is a common occurrence. Thank you.”
Parents who weighed in gave her full support.
“I think u are doing the right thing. It is very important for kids to remember that they should not be touched by strangers. It’s their personal space and we need to help them guard the boundary,” wrote one.
“Great parenting there!” another chimed in.
“It’s also important for parents to show their kids that they will be protected in such incidents and enable the kids to set clear boundaries when they grow up,” concurred a Reddit user.
“A stranger touching your kid, no matter how innocent, is a big no no,” one wrote, although he added that he would not have yelled at the uncle.
One mum underlined that it’s important, especially for little girls, to know that it’s not acceptable to be touched without consent.
“Why do we ask “can I pet your dog” but not with kids? I can see it as overreaction from outsider’s perspective but it’s still in reasonable mean imo. We often teach children not to touch stranger or their belonging so he’s still rude in my eyes,” another chimed in.