We are naturally inclined to make sure that children are safe and secure, even if that means sticking our necks out for someone who is not our kin. A child is crossing the road, not looking up from their phone to finish their. First thought is to go out, yank that kid out of the road before the oncoming car hits them. Of course, one would expect a loving reaction from the parent that someone was there to help their child to safety. Indeed, one would expect that.
However, some people have found themselves surprised to receive very hostile reactions for assisting, or even saving the life of, a child from said child's parents. They shared the experience on Reddit and these are most bizarre of the bunch. Hopefully these will not discourage one from helping a child in the future, no matter how ungrateful their parents are.
Content has been edited for clarity.
"A couple of weeks ago, I watched a mother try to drag her toddler in one of those smaller, flimsy cloth strollers onto an escalator. It was around 5 pm in an area where there's a lot of 9-5 business folk, so there was a line of about five people waiting to get on the escalator. Instead of taking the elevator that was literally 20 feet away, she lifted up the kid, still in the stroller, and tipped up the front end of it to balance it between two of the moving steps. The stroller got caught on the side, and the kid fell forward, landing face-first into the metal edge of the upper step.
Everyone, who was kind of watching in slow motion awe-horror, took in this collective breath as we waited for the kid to get some fingers chopped off or lose an eye or something. The kid started WAILING and the mom just stood there, propping the stroller up. The guy ahead of them turned around and helped the poor toddler up, who had a bright red mark smack on her forehead.
The guy said, 'Seriously, lady? You could have killed your kid,' while doing his best to make sure the kid wasn't bleeding and/or seriously injured in some way.
The woman said, 'GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY CHILD,' and made a big huff about people needing to mind their own business.
Minor stupidity, I guess, but I've heard horror stories about escalators and children my whole life. I THOUGHT IT WAS INGRAINED THAT YOU DON'T DO THAT CRAP."
"I was on my way to my friend's apartment (a co-op ghetto place that runs rampant with little kids). I've become accustomed to seeing kids as young as 2-3 outside playing without an adult in sight. I saw this little boy who looked barely 3 out playing by the jungle gym, which was about 100 feet from my friend's place. There were other kids around, but none seemed to be looking after him. An hour later, he's still there but seemed stressed. He started to look around, and around, and started to quietly say 'Mama.'
Twenty minutes went by and he started to cry. I went over because then he was completely alone and I asked if he knew where his mom was. He said, 'No, she said go play and wait for her.' At that point, he'd been by himself for almost two hours. I asked if he remembered where he lived. He nodded and I asked if he wanted me to take him home.
I already knew his mom probably didn't care or whatever, but I hated seeing him so upset. I started walking with him toward where he thinks his home was. I told my friend to watch the park in case his mom actually came. I didn't want to go too far, but the kid insisted he knew where he lived. He walked me to the apartments next to my friend's (a whole other complex) and he went to 'his door.' We knocked. Nothing. I knocked on a neighbor's door and they said they had not seen his mom.
We walked back toward the park. It was getting darker and I was worried, so I contemplated calling the cops. My friend and I gave the kid something to drink and a snack and waited. Another hour and nothing. I said, 'Why not?' and called the cops. They came and started talking to me and I told them everything. They did their thing (checked names, went to the apartment he said was his) and, just as they were deciding to take him thinking he was lost or abandoned, his mother came flying out of an apartment that was across from the park.
She started screaming at me and the cops and saying, 'I just watched this woman try'na kidnap my son, blah blah blah.' The cops obviously didn't buy her 'claim' and proceeded to arrest her.
Oh, and it gets better.
Apparently, she was in her 'hustler's' apartment filming a dirty movie. She couldn't finish filming and her 'hustler' was peeved. I guess the father had been fighting for custody, but the mother needed the kid for a meal ticket and would put on a horse and pony show about how great she was. Well, this sealed the deal and the boy is with his father who, from what I heard, is actually a great dad.
Needless to say, I am not going to my friend's apartment anytime soon."
"During the summer, I work at a campground pool. Last summer, a woman in the pool caught my attention with a scream. I looked in her direction and there was a tiny, upside-down floaty tube with two tiny feet slipping through it toward the bottom of the large, crowded pool. Had the little girl (who turned out to be about 2-and-a-half) sank to the bottom, it would have been hard for anyone to notice.
I grabbed her ankles just in time and yanked her out of the water. Her head had been under long enough that she was having difficulty breathing (no need for CPR or anything, thankfully) but as soon as she had air she was screaming her head off. Everyone in the vicinity began frantically looking for her mother, who was lounging in the sun with her cell phone. Upon being reunited with her nearly-drowned baby, the mother proceeded to scold her other daughter (about age 6) for not watching the little one well enough. She then stuck the younger girl back into the tube and plopped her into the water with instructions to the older girl to keep an eye on her this time.
I told the woman that she had to stay with her kid, literally hands on, for the rest of the time or she would be asked to leave. I then had to ask her to leave. I'm just glad that the management at my campground really supports us as employees and backs us up when there's an 'incident.'"
"Back when I used to work for a big retail company, I saw a child in an aisle crying. I knelt down and asked him what was wrong. He said he lost his mother. I told him to come with me, and we went back to the cash register. I put him on the counter (so he could sit) and gave him a sucker. I asked him what his mother's name was, to which he replied, 'Mom.'
I called loss prevention and told them we had a missing parents case. The loss prevention manager said he would come get the kid. I tried to talk to him a bit to cheer him up. After a few minutes I saw the manager about 50 feet or so away. At that point I felt a THWACK right on the back of my head. I ducked and felt another. I turned around, and a small Hispanic lady was yelling at me in Spanish and hitting me with her purse. She then grabbed the kid, took one more swing at me, and stormed off.
I stood there awestruck, and my manager patted me on the shoulder and said, 'That must be how they say "Thank you" in different countries.'"
"I was at the local mall and the escalators weren't working properly, so the maintenance guys had a bunch of the steps from it removed and it was a pretty big fall onto some crazy electronic stuff. They only had a bunch of those bright orange cones around it. When walking to the stairs, I saw this 2-year-old kid walking toward it, while his mother was standing about 10 meters away with a great big smile on her face saying, 'Come on Thomas, come here, come on.'
At that point, I slowed down, considering the stairs were right next to the escalator and this 2-year-old obviously wasn't listening to the mother. So, I just watched and the mother was being a complete idiot and tried to get his attention, when the kid came about a foot away from the ledge and had no seeming expectation to stop.
So, I sprinted over the 20 meters to get there and grabbed the kid about an inch away from the ledge and falling. As soon as I did, the kid started crying, and the mother just looked at me in utter disgust and said, 'Excuse me!? What are you doing!?'
I was a bit taken aback, but I had heard enough of those good samaritan stories ending in misery to understand and just put the kid down next to her and said, 'You're welcome,' and got out of there before anything else happened.
Why waste my time on the obvious? If she is stupid enough to let her kid go near something that dangerous, there is no point trying to explain something so simple to her like that. Besides, I have read stories similar to mine before this had happened time and time again and when they try and explain it, it only gets worse and worse."
"I often do my law school work in the front office of my apartment, they have study rooms and it's usually dead silent, etc. It was about 8 o'clock or so on a Saturday night and I decided it was a good time to step outside for a smoke. As I was smoking, I saw this kid (had to be around 7) running (the awkward little kid half-waddle run) past me on the sidewalk. He passed me and I saw his dad, like, 100 feet behind him talking on the phone.
The kid ran out of sight and toward an intersection (a busy one) and he did not seem to be stopping so I threw down my smoke and tore after him. It was dark and the kid had made it into the intersection. In this intersection there are only stop signs. So, I ran into the intersection and grabbed the kid by the arm and pulled him back onto the sidewalk.
His dad came running up, yelling the kid's name. He asked why I was grabbing his kid's arm. So, I told him what happened. He then told me not to touch his kid and that he didn't appreciate smokers being around his child. Apparently, second hand smoke stays in clothing?
Without missing a beat, I told the dad that I was an intern at a known law firm and his actions constituted child neglect and reckless endangerment of a child (they really didn't, but whatever). I walked away (leaving him in the what-the-heck zone), found my still lit cig, and friggin' smoked it."
"I used to work at a supermarket and was just about to finish my shift at 10 pm when a woman came and said she had lost her daughter - she's 4, blonde hair, wearing pink, and her name is Lakeisha. I told the mother I would go look for her. After about 30 minutes of searching the store, I found the mother (who had resumed her grocery shopping) and told her I had had no luck and that I would search around the rest of the shopping center for her.
Fifteen minutes after me searching, I returned to the store just in time to have the mother tell me she decided to visit the other supermarket at the other end of the center and had left her shopping trolley and other three children behind, in the hope that 'Lakeisha would see her brothers and sisters and come back.'
I was left babysitting this woman's children and her groceries. I was freaking out about this other little girl I had been looking for for over an hour. I took the other kids and walked around the center looking for her, in the hope they'd see her and at least recognize their sister. I made my way across to the other side of the center, which is separated by a busy road.
I walked down into the car park and one of the children screamed out and I noticed a little girl shaking by a pole. It was then 11:30 pm. I picked the little girl up, wiped her tears, and began walking her back. She was still crying and shaking as she held my hand as we went back into my work. The mother saw me with all her kids and screamed at me, 'You pervert!' 'You took all my children. How dare you?!' 'You freak!'
I turned and asked Lakeisha if she was OK now, then turned to the mother and calmly said, 'Some people shouldn't be allowed to have children.'"
"I used to work at a science center as a science communicator. Part of my job was also to introduce and close the shows at our 360 degree theater/planetarium. Since this was a 360 theater, we had a large amount of projection equipment in a room below the center of the theater. The opening to this room was surrounded by a 3' wall, with another 3' perimeter taped off on each side.
After the one showing, I saw a woman walk her small child beyond the caution ropes to the wall, hoisting the child up to have a look. Keep in mind, they had just done a show. Not only is this a 20' drop into the projection room, the equipment is hot. It takes time to power down and still is putting out a blinding amount of light.
I frantically told her to get back, listing off as many of the the dangers as I could as I ran through the theater. She just flat out ignored me. I finally got to where she was and asked her to leave, now. Again, she ignored me.
Finally, leaving no other options, I told her that she was to leave the premises now. That got her attention. She put Junior down, turned to me (her back to her child), and began to tear a strip off me. At that moment, her son tried to climb back up on the wall. Just reacting, I grabbed the kid and carried him across the theater as far away from that box as I could. Mom proceeded to yell at me, calling me every name in the book, to which I replied 'If you were being a responsible parent, we wouldn't have an issue here.'
She reported me. I was fired. People are jerks."
"Once while I was walking downtown on my way to class, there was a mother and her little girl (roughly about 5) walking about 30 feet in front of me. As I was, they were walking across the street. The girl slipped and got her foot stuck in a storm drain grate. The mother continued to walk and began to leave the little girl behind while she cried and screamed for her mother. I ran to get the girl, slowly pulled her foot out of the grate so she didn't get hurt, picked her up, and ran her to her mother.
When I reached her, about three blocks away, I tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention. I saw that she was wearing a Bluetooth headset and was talking on it (which explains why she didn't hear her daughter). Once she saw me with her daughter, she instantly slapped me in the face and yelled, 'What the heck are you doing touching my daughter, you freaking pervert?!!!'
Thankfully, there was a coffee shop owner who saw the whole thing and screamed, 'He's returning your kid after you left her behind, you clueless witch!' The woman then looked at me with an angry expression and just stormed off.
I talked to the coffee shop owner (by the way, his name is Simon) about what the heck just happened. He then said that some people are just dumb and that he hopes that little girl does not end up like her mother. He then gave me a free coffee and I went on my way to my class. I regularly go back to Simon's because that was some good coffee."
"I was about 8 years old and the high school (which was attached to the middle school and elementary school) was putting on some play about alien Pandas from space. They were looking for younger students to play some unimportant roles that would involve just standing there dressed like a panda and being a general boss, so I was like, Heck yes, I'll do it!
Five days a week, I would stay after school, go to the auditorium, and rehearse. From the view of an 8-year-old this was like being a grown up. I was hanging out with high school kids, eating snacks, and got to do whatever I liked. HEAVEN, right? Unfortunately the rehearsals sometimes lasted until 8-9 pm, which meant I couldn't walk the mile or so home because it was dark.
Now, one particular night the rehearsal lasted until 9-10 pm, and my mom was off with her boyfriend she was dating at the time (who had just got out of prison for brutally beating an old man with a pipe, if that says anything about her life choices), so she forgot to pick me up. That's cool. The high school had been locked up, so I couldn't wait inside, and one other older student who lived around the corner waited with me until she had to go home. It was around 11:30 pm at that point. Oh, did I mention it was November and I lived in Vermont? Yeah. It was freaking cold.
Eventually, the night janitor saw me outside while he was mopping in front of the back doors and came out to see if I needed help. He asked me if I wanted him to call someone - a family member, police, etc, but I said, 'No! My mom will be here soon!' He ended up giving me his coat and sat out there with me for another 45 minutes and kept me company. Now, it was a little past midnight before my mom rolled up in her crappy Toyota Corolla. She stepped out and yelled at the janitor, 'GET THE HECK AWAY FROM MY SON, YOU PERVERT!' At that point, my 8-year-old mind knew my mom was clearly a freaking idiot, and I screamed, 'HE WAS WAITING HERE WITH ME UNTIL YOU SHOWED UP, YOU WITCH!' Exact words, by the way. When I got in the car, she couldn't even look at me, let alone say anything about her epic failure as a parent.
The only reason my mom realized I wasn't home was because my brother (who I shared a bedroom with) had pestered her about my lack of presence at home, but she thought he was lying. She was super addicted to the internet and was found 16-20 hours a day on the couch just staring blankly at the TV, WebTV keyboard and remote on her lap. I've got HUNDREDS of stories like this involving her. She definitely shouldn't have had custody of myself and my siblings. But, hey, the mother always wins, right?"
"A little kid, maybe 2 years old was running about the market as his mom shopped. Unstable little twit that he is, the kid falls down in front of me. He looks up to see if an adult's nearby for a cue on how to react. I smile and say, 'You're okay. It's just a little spill,' as he realizes it isn't the end of the world and happily gets to his feet. We smile and make pretty faces at each other. (I'm a 26-year-old girl and babies dig making pretty faces at women of child-bearing age.)
His mother then huffs her way over, glaring at me, swoops up the child and checks him for injuries, telling him the whole time that he's been hurt. The baby of course begins crying when his mother tells him he has booboos and owies. She tells me I should be ashamed of myself for not being sensitive towards her poor, darling boy."
"I deliver pizzas. Just last night I delivered to a house and when I rang the doorbell, a 3-year-old kid answered. He told me he couldn't answer the door to strangers unless he knew my name, so he introduced himself and so did I, then I asked if he could go get his mom or dad to pay so I can leave. He disappears, and in a minute here comes his mother, who looks infuriated. 'Why the eff did you let him answer the door?! He's not supposed to talk to strangers! You're going to get effing fired for this! Take your crappy pizza and leave. I'm calling your manager and you will be fired!' The door was then slammed in my face.
I get back to the restaurant and my manager is like...what? They called and demanded their pizza plus extra for free because their son opened their door to greet me. My manager, being a level headed soul, basically told them to buzz off and we blacklisted their address. Some people, ya know?"
"I work at a bookstore. It is not uncommon for children to separate themselves from their parents to look at books on their own. Sometimes they even buy stuff.
One girl, around 8 but very polite and mature for her age, came up to the register and bought a blank journal. Nothing weird about that. A few minutes later, though, her mom came up to the register to return the journal because we 'let' her daughter buy it without her permission. She was very uncooperative throughout the process of making the return and started lecturing me (and the shift leader I'd called over since she was making such a scene) about how it is against the law to sell to anything to minors and she would call the cops on us if it ever happened again.
It's a blank journal, lady, not a pack of cigs."
"My friend and I were at a park one day. We decided to swing on the swing set. We were swinging away happily when I spotted a little girl, 2 years old max, heading towards us. Well, my friend had some momentum going and was swinging like crazy, and the baby was on a path that would have sent her flying across the sandlot.
The strangest part was the mother was standing back about three feet, watching her little girl walk toward annihilation... and SMILING! Kids move fast and stopping a swing going full force isn't easy, especially considering my friend was about 5' tall and swinging with short flailing legs.
I hesitated for about a second, expecting the mother to move forward and grab the baby but NOPE. She just stood there. I jumped out of my swing, swooped her up and dodged my now screaming and flailing legged friend by a hair. I awkwardly set the little girl down by her mother who just stood there, smiling still. Baffling.
I went back to my swing. My friend went back to swinging. Not 30 seconds later the SAME thing happened. Only, this time, my friend had to spread her legs and throw them up in the air to avoid the child's head. Again, I leaped toward her and had to duck her legs as they came back down. I am not even sure how I moved so fast that time.
It was the overall demeanor and the smile on the mother's face that made it really odd. The complete lack of response, and the age of the little girl with the age/speed of my friend swinging - just strange! I remember now my friend and I discussing later and agreeing we thought she was going to react the first time, and just couldn't believe it happened again the second. The smile was definitely the creepiest part of the whole ordeal. I have a feeling she was just young and stupid. Maybe high. Maybe she hated her baby. Who knows?"