A couple of days ago, my 3 year old son and my partner went to a little neighbour's birthday party.
There was about 6 kids aged 0-6 year and their parents, all neighbours.
Most of the kids were playing in the playroom and were rather excited and noisy (they often are when we have such birthday parties).
At some point, one of the mother shouted / screemed at our son something like:
"SHUT UP! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF I WAS DOING THIS TO YOU?".
My partner mentioned that she screemed this very close to one of his ear (about half a meter from one of his ear).
Our son started to cry, walked away and lie down on the floor to cry.
This is what my partner recalls.
Another neighbour mentioned that she went to my son as he was crying lying on the floor and said "this is not acceptable behavior" (I don't think she shouted for this).
Apparently, our son was not making any more noise than the other boys there (I guess the girls were quiter, they usually are).
The neighbours agree that she completely lost it.
My partner was shocked, and so was everyone else.
I don't mind grown-ups telling my son off, but I feel this was more about her not able to take it, losing it and picking on one of the child (our child, as it happens).
As parents, we are trying to provide the best education to our son and to protect him.
If our son misbehaves, we tell him off, but we don't shout at him, just raise our voice and make sure we keep control of ourselves at all time even when we feel at the edge.
It is often more difficult to "take it" when we are exhausted after a long day at work, but I think even (especially) when we are tired, we make our best effort to make sure we tell our son off in a controlled way rather than take it on him.
We have never shouted at our son, and we can't imagine how we could possibly shout at another child!
As far as we are aware, this would have been the first time an adult shouts at our son.
I feel sad and upset that we failed to protect our son at this occasion.
Considering how close she shouted into his hear, we also wonder if we should be concerned for his hearing.
What do you think of what happend?
What would you have done at the time? What would you do now?
How can one make sure something similar does not happen again in the future?