THE BLOG
11/13/2014 12:33 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2015

Woman Attacked By a Mother of Tantruming Child and Parents Side With Mother?

I'm with Natalie Bree Hajek-Richardson on this one. That's the woman who got punched in the face outside of a California Nordstrom for asking the mother of a child throwing a tantrum if she could calm her child.

As a mother I've been in a few scuffles in the frozen foods aisle of ShopRite over my children's debatable behavior, but nobody deserves to be punched in the face for making a request -- nicely, as Hajek-Richardson asserts -- about anything, child included. The recipient of the request can disagree. The parent can tell the person to bugger off if it so pleases them. But no one has the right to inflict physical violence on another simply because they don't like what that person had to say.

The piece I read in PopSugar about the assault said, and I quote, a Californian woman is "realizing just how protective moms can be."

Punching someone in the face because she made a comment about your child that you took offense to but was in no way threatening is not protection. It's brutality. And, the fact that some parents sided with the mother is unnerving.

Have we really gotten this far off-track as a society? We're now placing children and divine maternal authority above all else, even physical violence?

Let's look at the facts on the ground. Hajek-Richardson was in the checkout line of a Nordstrom's when the child who she estimated to be between 4 and 6 years of age started pitching a fit. She asked the mother to calm what I imagine was a screaming, writhing child down "just a little bit." The mother took offense and told Hajek-Richardson "not to tell her child what to do."

Funny thing is Hajek-Richardson didn't. The mother reframed the argument as if Hajek-Richardson had dared to instruct her child, and this is the problem with parenting today. Everyone's child is too precious to be spoken to by an adult other than the parents. Back in the day, adults commonly reprimanded other people's children for misbehaving, and the parents actually appreciated it. Parents desired for their children to behave, have manners and show respect because it was a poor reflection on the parents if they didn't. Societal discipline was practiced because adults were the authority and children were not. As such parents were grateful to other adults for looking out for the common good and enforcing the rules of proper behavior. But those values have eroded, and now we find ourselves in a society run by disrespectful, loud-mouthed, entitled children whose parents shy away from discipline and punch those who suggests otherwise. And, people support this.

In the Nordstrom melee, of course, unless you were physically present it's impossible to know exactly what transpired, and to be sure there are times when a parent is helpless in the midst of a child's tantrum. Discipline doesn't work. You know what you do then? You leave the store. You don't stand in line subjecting everyone in the entire store to your screaming, flailing, lunatic child. And, from what's been reported, the child seemed a bit old for a screaming match. Two and 3-year-olds throw temper tantrums because they are young and unreasonable and illogical, and that's how they express their frustrations. But a 5-year-old in an all out meltdown sounds like she can use a little discipline.

If you watch the report Hajek-Richardson seems like a rather mild-mannered person. She doesn't strike me as the type looking for a fight. What's also interesting to note is that the mother waited to attack Hajek-Richardson. She didn't get into a brawl in the heat of the moment as the argument unfolded in the store. She waited outside the shopping plaza and when Hajek-Richardson emerged she chased her down from across the parking lot. The child was nowhere in sight. I presume the mother left the kid in the car to go attack Hajek-Richardson. Which she did, punching her twice in the face and leaving her bruised with three teeth she may loose. Then the mother took off. By the looks of it, it seems both the mother and the child need to calm down.

But all of that is really beside the point. The fact of the matter is whether you deem Hajek-Richardson's actions to be right or wrong, assaulting someone whose comment you don't like is indefensible.

Although PopSugar disagrees. They asked, "So, did Hajek-Richardson learn her lesson?"

And, what lesson is that? Keep your mouth shut when it comes to other people's kids or you might get pummeled?

Because apparently that's justifiable now.

Stacey Gill writes incisive cultural commentary also know as common sense on OneFunnyMotha.com. She can also be found on Facebook.