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Shaming Someone Else’s Kids at the Movies: A Lesson in Humility or Humiliation?

Imagine this: You drop your son, daughter, and step-daughter off to see Cinderella at the local movie theatre. But afterwards you realise all did not go well when your sixteen-year-old boy reveals the girls had been rude to a mother and daughter during the session.

“[They] were behind us, were giggling, kind of talking…kicking my seat,” Rebecca Boyd recalled, speaking to ABC News. “I turned around and I said, ‘You know, girls, we paid for this movie just like you did. Could you guys keep it down?’ They just laughed.”

As the mother of the two girls, the second you find out you’re mortified.

So you take to Facebook to apologise—and find the mother whose film was ruined.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.51.13 PM Posted by Kyesha Smith Wood on Friday, March 27, 2015 via Facebook

Your post is shared so many times in the local community that quickly you’re connected to the mum in question—Rebecca Boyd, of Adger, Alabama. 

“I was shocked that the mother supported me,” Rebecca told ABC News. “I believe they’re good girls. They just made some mistakes.”

But Kyesha remains adamant that Rebecca was in the right.

“I thanked her for correcting my girls in my absence and letting them know that they were wrong,” she told AL.com. “A lot of times people get nervous about saying something to a stranger’s kids. But it takes a village to raise our kids. We as a community need to hear this, that there are parents out there who still believe in old-fashioned methods.”

In an age where many parents’ automatic response is to defend their children’s bad behaviour—and to even ignore polite suggestions from strangers that their kid should, you know, share sometimes—Kyesha’s response seems utterly refreshing.

At some point everyone wanders outta line and needs a few stern words from the village to knock us back into the considerate, respectful, well-mannered members of society we are. I have nothing but admiration for how these mothers handled a situation that could have been about dodging responsibility and peevish finger-pointing otherwise.

Was Rebecca right to tell Kyesha’s daughters that she ruined her movie experience? Would you publicly scold someone else’s kids?

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