A mother in a supermarket slaps her child.

Une mère dans un supermarché
gifle son enfant.

I would cringe and make painful noises.

I would pity the child and think badly of the mom.

I stare at her for a while.

Uncivilised savage!

I would glare at her, but I wouldn't interfere.

Discipline is good.

I wonder what the child did to deserve that.

I think she is reacting a little too harshly.

I slap her. No, I'm not kidding.

I would wonder what the child did to diserve that.

i get angry and consider saying something to her.

I wonder how someone could resort to hitting.

i get angry and consider saying something to her.

If she hurts the child badly, I would intervene

The child did something wrong.

I will be shocked and surprised

mean lady.

Not my business.

I'd think that she wasn't being a good mother, and I'd want
to slap her.

I feel sorry for the child because even if he misbehaved he
was humiliated

I make it obvious to her that I find her behavior absolutely

I'd be a bit shocked, but not very alarmed.

I wonder if I should call the cops.

I don't like slaps in the face, a smack on the bottom is enough

I would think nothing of it, unless she harmed the child seriously.

Is that deserved? And should you discipline in that manner
and in a public

anger--if situation gets bad, call manager


Elle l'éduque avec amour

c'est son droit

Je lance un regard de surprise à la mère

je ne suis qu'un peu révoltée.

Je serais dérangé, mais je ne dirais rien.

Il l'avait bien mérité

peut-être a-t-il fait une bêtise

je les ignorerais aussi

Je lui dirais qu' il est mauvais de gifler les enfants.

elle a ses raisons

le pauvre

je poursuis mon chemin

cela ne va pas le traumatiser

Je ne fais rien.

Je n'y fais pas attention.


S'il fait la comédie pour avoir quelque chose, c'est

c'est terrible à dire, mais je crois que je ne m'en
mellerai pas


Bien fait !

J'espère ne pas devenir comme cela

Ca dépend de ce qu'il faisait

Je ne dis rien, ce ne sont pas mes affaires


----Americans think of their children as "little adults", in many ways. They sleep in their own room from an early age, they are disciplined with reason as opposed to force as soon as their parents think they can understand, and they are expected to manage money, make friends, and develop much in their own way. Sometimes this is tragic, as in the case of the 8-year-old girl who tried to fly solo across the U.S. (and crashed). ----The predominant philosophy in America is that slapping a child is to condition him/her, much like Pavlov conditioned his dogs by using reinforcement to encourage certain behaviors. This goes against the ideals of rational choice and freedom that many American people hold, even for children. ----

----Most of the Americans said that they would be very angry if they saw a mom hit her child in the supermarket. The French, however, said that they wouldn't care and some even said that they would applaude! Are French parents very strict with their children? Is spanking or slapping a common form of discipline in France?

----Il faut de tout pour faire un monde. Certains parents sont tres strictes avec leurs enfants, d'autres sont plutot cool! J'ai connu le cas d'un eleve pas tres doue a l'ecole primaire. L'institutrice avait l'autorisation de la mere pour gifler son enfant quand celui ci n'arrivait pas a obtenir de bons resultats! Elle le faisait devant tous les autres eleves... Je peux vous dire que cela le traumatisait plus qu'autre chose. ----Est ce qu'une telle situation peut se produire en Amerique?

----Si on parle comme une chienne, on doit le gifle comme une chienne.

----It seemed the the French were not quite as shocked about a mother slapping her child. One person even said "c'est son droit". One American said he/she might consider calling the cops. In America with its often interfering judicial system and pushy lawyers, people can be charged for anything. One slap could be turned into a case of child abuse whereas people who are really abused get ignored. How is France different from that? And how do the French feel about raising children-how strict are they? NOTE: This message was sent using a WWW form. The address ysj@mit.edu was typed manually, and may easily be incorrect.

----It seems that americans have an impresion of good children being equivalent to nonbarbaric civilized creatures. Possibly implying that unbearable children are the rule and that those that are good are the rare few. The french did not stress that nondestructiveness so much. How is the quietness or unquietness of a child usually interpreted in France. Quiet children too dumb? Unquiet children too destructive? Another option?

----La France pays des Droits de l'Homme laisserait les meres battre les enfants dans les supermarches? Non, rassurez-vous, on appelle cela de l'education, a condition que ce soit fait avec intelligence et sans violence. Quand j'etais petit, j'ai recu quelques baffes mais aujourd'hui, je vais bien. Enfin, je crois. Par contre, j'ai appris a respecter certaines choses et j'en suis heureux. Croyez-moi, nous ne sommes pas des montres. Sinon, on nous aurait vus dans THE LOST WORLD...

----I have to make a comment on what I find to be this ridiculous hysteria on the part of some Americans about how children are disciplined. The woman slapped the child. She did not make a fist and punch the child, she did not use the child to hammer in a nail. No, mothers in the entire rest of the world does not go around abusing their children. I am incredibly annoyed at the implication that when a child is corrected in this manner it constitutes a felony. Keep in mind that this kind of hysteria caused an entire family running a Day Care Center in America to be sentenced to prison because of unsubstantiated accusations. Do you realise that this is a very recent development in American history? Watch American films from the 40's and 50's. At that time the idea of boxing a child's ears did not cause anyone to have a hemorrhage. Please keep in mind there is a difference between correcting an unruly child and chaining a child to a radiator (a case in New York City). ----Incidentally, there were so many people heartily disapproved of the mother's actions yet they did not act. A poisonous glare was as far as some people got. Why? ----P.S. I am from Jamaica. No, Jamaican mothers are not child abusers.

----Although there were americans who approved of the disciple, there were some who felt that hitting a child was just plain wrong, and how got angry at the parents. This reaction was not found in the list of the reactions of the french students. Do french parents hit their children often? What kind of action would prompt this? Also--I have to say that saying "Bien fait!" or the equivalent when you have no idea of the circumstances which led the mother to hit the child is callous--"no man is an island entire of itself....therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee"--have a care about the rest of the world.

----You ,Americans, seem to be very shocked by a mother who is slapping her child in the face. By definition, a young child need to learn to distinguish the good and the bad. And sometimes, when he tries to find the limit of freedom of which he disposes, he needs to be put in his right place. Be careful, we ,French, are completely conscious of the Rigths of Childhood and we vigourously reprove maltreatment inflicted to children by parents who don't deserve to be called parents. A little slap has never traumatized a child when he deserved it.

----It is not a terrible surprise to me that parents do hit their kids to discipline. I do understand that to some parents that is a method of discipline. However, I do think most of us Americans are more surprised that a mother does that in public. We generally don't think that such a thing should be displayed to others. Usually, if parents here do want to hit their kid for disciplinary reasons, they take them away and do it in private. In my opinion, I don't really like it when people slap anyone across the face.

----Vous (amis du MIT) semblez etonnes par notre comportement vis a vis de la mere qui frappe son enfant. Je crois que ce point merite d'etre developpe. En effet, les francais sont globalement indifferents face a cette situation (dans la mesure ou la mere ne s'acharne pas sur son enfant). Ceci ne signifie pas que nos parents sont des tyrans ni des monstres de barbarie, bien au contraire, simplement ils pretent une attention particuliere a notre education, et font preuve d'autorite lorsque cela devient necessaire. Par exemple, j'ai toujours ete tres impressionne par mon pere et ses engueulades. Pourtant, il n'a quasiment jamais leve la main sur moi. Juste une ou deux fois, a des moments ou il lui a semble que cela aurait le plus fort impact (dans la rue pas exemple). Il ne s'agissait pas de faire mal, comme vous sembliez vous en inquieter a juste titre, mais simplement de me vexer. C'etait tres efficace. ----Bref pour resume, les parents francais font souvent preuve d'autorite, mais pas de violences. ----Cette explication m'amene a poser d'autres questions : Quels moyen utilisent vos parents pour exercer une autorite sur vous? Les baffes sont elles vraiement banies ? Plus generalement, vos parents font-ils preuve d'autorite, ou bien tout est traite par les sentiments (ce que j'appelerais des parents-copains)? ----J'attends vos reponses...

----Most of the Americans said that they would be very angry if they saw a mom hit her child in the supermarket. The French, however, said that they wouldn't care and some even said that they would applaude! Are French parents very strict with their children? Is spanking or slapping a common form of discipline in France?