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Old 10.08.2011, 08:51
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

Hi,

In which case, I would write to the train company - in German if possible - to inform them of what happened.

Finger jabbing and other such loutish behaviour is not to be tolerated.

Cheers,
Nick

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No I'm afraid he did not. He told me that we could not ride the train if the child still screamed. My German is quite good, and my other son was with me, and he is bilingual. Plus the driver finger-jabbed and gestured, meaning that no language was really required ...
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Old 10.08.2011, 09:13
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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Hi,

Perhaps it's worth learning a few phrases in German just to describe your son's learning difficulties - just so if he does have an episode somewhere you can put people around at ease. I think once people understand the situation they will give you and your son a break.

As a parent I quickly got used to my son kicking off with a tantrum in the least convenient circumstances - and have sympathy for other parents when a kid decides to throw a wobbler in the middle of Migros etc. In my case, people just give you a knowing look of "been there....got the T-shirt".

Cheers,
Nick
I am not with you on that. I think it is nobody's business to know if a child has learning problems or not. To explain it to strangers is kind of apologising for the child's behavior being not his fault, because bla bla bla.

People need to be more tolerant. Learning to live in society with all kind of other people around you, including screaming children.

That man was wrong. No matter if the child was 1-2-5 years old, with learning difficulties or not.

He needs to be more tolerant and his boss should make sure that message pass.
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  #43  
Old 10.08.2011, 09:19
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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Oh yes. Non specific pervasive developmental disorder. Bit of a mouthful so I generally just refer to learning difficulties. It manifests itself mainly in his inability to speak much .. in many many areas, he seems, and is, perfectly normal - and whilst his behavior can be difficult, to be honest, it is nothing that I have not witnessed before, either in scale or intensity, in other quite normal children. I guess it just hurts that bit more when you know that there are really good reasons for why he sometimes does what he does.

It would clearly also help if I stopped being so sensitive about it ...
Sorry, ecb, there are people who think world will run only their way and try to change the world to actually accept the rules, one of them being quiet kids.

I actually feel that you shouldn't under any condition feel guilty. Little kids are not robots, no matter what their diagnosis is. I wouldn't go into explaining to the driver your little one has speach block and it is painful for him, since he is ready biologically but the cerebral wiring takes more time since some kids deal with multiple languages in a more profound, but slower pace. It is extremely frustrating. He needs support not some jackass telling him to be quiet. Why on earth does that driver need to have a mom, who is busy trying to calm a 3yr old down, to actually run a private piece of info to him in order for him to work professionally? He is not entitled to this info. And another thing, a 3 yr old in multilingual setting, who cannot string a few words together is a totally normal scenario. Been there, done the whole worrying just to have a normal preschooler, who the minute she was able to express herself, tantrums stopped. At about 4. So, be patient, don't stick a diagnosis to your son's forehead, or not just yet, just because the environment here can get so intolerant they cannot deal with normal little kids. Seriously. If some driver behaved like this, I would shift the focus from my child (actually to protect him, he does not need to hear these things in public about himself at all) to the driver sticking his nose into private business of people. God.

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As far as I can see, that driver is a bit "psychologically disturbed". I mean, to react in such a way in regard to what are problems with children often.
I feel similar sentiment. People inflexibly here think world will run the way the rules were set decades ago when they trained. Life moves. Conditions change. Being a driver in a public transport is one of the most stressful job, I am not trying to excuse the driver, but know this since family member medically profiles work candidates and I know (not sure if here but back home for sure) they have to have a strict battery of psy tests and get a shrink certif. And even despite all this, they still go nuts after a few years. It's a droney work, with terrible responsibility. But ignoring normal challenges of life is not going to make it better. That dude should have another fellow passenger to show him his place while you could have taken a few mins to calm your uneasy, upset 3yr old. How do these folks think we can program a toddler? Be seen and not heard?

I'd write a letter, just to make that driver open his eyes before he dares to intimidate yet another helpless mom. But most of all, I would realize, a 3 or old is a 3yr old. Tantrums are part of it, and especially in a multilingual setting. A little piece of imposed autism, if you want to see it in another way, since the symptoms might be similar, the tantrums are just coping mechanisms. It gets a lot better the min the kiddos gain confidence and are able to verbalise. These tantrums might come because a kiddo has extra verbalisation issues, but also completely legitimately because they are hungry, tired, stressed. An angry service person is not going to make it better by unhelpfully venting on the mom and pointing fingers at an upset 3yr old.

I have seen very few families who just let their kids scream in public places for the hell of it.
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  #44  
Old 10.08.2011, 09:32
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

Hi,

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I am not with you on that. I think it is nobody's business to know if a child has learning problems or not. To explain it to strangers is kind of apologising for the child's behavior being not his fault, because bla bla bla.
I think it depends on the circumstances. I sounds like this chap was going to be loutish whatever happened. I'm not suggesting the OP go out with a megaphone and shout it from the rooftops, nor that she feel the need to explain everytime the child screams. However if people are getting agitated it sometimes helps the situation to calm them down. It sounds like the OP did all the right things anyway.

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That man was wrong. No matter if the child was 1-2-5 years old, with learning difficulties or not. He needs to be more tolerant and his boss should make sure that message pass.
Absolutely.

Cheers,
Nick
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  #45  
Old 10.08.2011, 10:33
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

This guy behaved very badly - no question. As a teacher and mum I am pretty good at spotting a child who has learning or behaviour difficulties- and would also try and help diffuse problems, distract the child, or just quietly smile and make mum/dad/child understand that what is happening is fine with me. But I do agree it is a good idea to learn a couple of sentences to explain he has 'problems' in- why not if it helps you and him, and others- have a more pleasant time on an outing or shopping trip? Nothing to lose, and all to gain.

Sadly, and I know some of you won't like me saying this at all, there are 2 factors which can cause difficulty in the case of a badly behaved child (or children) who do NOT have learning or other difficulties - generational- it is a fact that older people are often less tolerant because they have been brought up with the 'children are to be seen and not heard' - and also brought up their children quite strictly, as it was expected of them. And cultural - it is a fact that there are big differences in some countries re. the balance of the rights of the individual, and the rights of the community. And in CH (and many northern countries) the balance tend to go towards the latter. As is also illustrated in the 'sleep after lunch' thread- it is all or nothing here often. I am not saying it is right - as usual, having lived for extensive periods in both countries, I can see it from both sides.

In a case of an autistic, ADHT, etc, child - then tolerance should prevail - and this guy was way out of order. A shame if it spoilt your trip. As said though, perhaps you could nip this in the bud quickly with a very quick and simple explanation if it happens again, without an apology, for your sakes. Bonne chance.
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  #46  
Old 10.08.2011, 20:48
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

I go away for 24 hours and yet more really lovely replies. Thank you all ... I am feeling much stronger this evening .. particularly as we had a go at another day out ... but up another mountain () and everything went swimmingly ... perfect behaviour from both my boys ...

Thank you in particular for your thoughtful replies regarding the question in general of how to deal with difficult behaviour in public and particularly this sensitive balance between letting others enjoy their day but also allowing my little one to get out and enjoy himself. I suppose (apart from the upset and humiliation ..) what did upset me yesterday was that I do worry and think about others and how his behaviour impacts on others, all the time, really, I'm so careful and try so hard to remove him or diffuse situations (to the extent that I know he suffers from my sometimes bordering on obessive concern to not upset others), and sometimes I just don't get it right, but boy oh boy, it's not for the wont of trying, so when someone still comes down on me, I feel it really badly.

So - for those of you who want to know - don't go up the furnicular to Burgenstock but do go down the cable car to Weggis and over and up the furnicular and cable car to Stanserhorn!! Tried and tested on behalf of all of us with sometimes crabby pre-schoolers ...
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Old 10.08.2011, 20:59
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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I go away for 24 hours and yet more really lovely replies. Thank you all ... I am feeling much stronger this evening .. particularly as we had a go at another day out ... but up another mountain () and everything went swimmingly ... perfect behaviour from both my boys ...

Thank you in particular for your thoughtful replies regarding the question in general of how to deal with difficult behaviour in public and particularly this sensitive balance between letting others enjoy their day but also allowing my little one to get out and enjoy himself. I suppose (apart from the upset and humiliation ..) what did upset me yesterday was that I do worry and think about others and how his behaviour impacts on others, all the time, really, I'm so careful and try so hard to remove him or diffuse situations (to the extent that I know he suffers from my sometimes bordering on obessive concern to not upset others), and sometimes I just don't get it right, but boy oh boy, it's not for the wont of trying, so when someone still comes down on me, I feel it really badly.

So - for those of you who want to know - don't go up the furnicular to Burgenstock but do go down the cable car to Weggis and over and up the furnicular and cable car to Stanserhorn!! Tried and tested on behalf of all of us with sometimes crabby pre-schoolers ...
Aha! It's funny I was imagining Burgenstock it's one of my favourite places, staying at the hotel and up the Hammetschwand. Glad you and the kids had a good day! Like Stevie Wonder says building up a stock of happy memories is so important:

When the tension is high and I'm feeling low
In a falsh I can be in an another space
As a different me, have a new id.

I think I'll treat myself to all the
pretty places in my head
Yes, I'm going to treat myself to all
the pretty places in my head

Wahtsoever things are lovely
Whatsoever things are pure
Whatsoever things are honest
Whatsoever things are true
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  #48  
Old 10.08.2011, 21:30
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

I can't believe that the driver shouted at your son like that! If he had quietly said to you something i could possibly understand that, but not at your 3 year old. That is shocking behaviour.

I have worked with children with additional needs in the past, and know how challenging it can be, and I really feel for you in those situations. It's bad enough with any child who decides at that second to throw a tantrum, but a child with any additional needs it makes life all the harder.

All I can say in those situations is that people are ignorantly unaware, and a screaming child is just another screaming child, and unless your child has a physically outward sign of having special needs, people won't know and think he is just another screaming child. But I agree that the driver's behaviour was awful.....esp to shout at him.
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Old 11.08.2011, 16:20
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

My children have had some public tantrums too. All children have tantrums. Some more frequently, some less, but that is very normal in a 3-years old I would say. If I see a 3-yo yelling loud in a train I would never think that he has learning disabilities, but that he is having a normal tantrum. But hey, you seem to be ashamed about the episode: no dear, never. The fact that the driver yelled at your child shows his lack of abilities to do his job, which includes contact with the public. And 3-yo are allowed in trains, aren't they? It was his fault, not your child's or yours. ALL children have had a tantrum at some point. The fact that your child has a disability is only incidental, if you had not given him that information the situation would still be a typical one that he should be able to handle given his job. The fact that he replied saying that it is obvious that your child is disabled is simply humiliating.

IMHO, it is not at all your fault, it is not even the fault of your child, it is solely the driver's incapacity to do his job, and the train's customer service, or the corresponding department or individual in the company accepting written claims should hear about your episode.

A different story is that here it is very usual that you ask about the complaints forms or book and they often don't have them. Nope, from private shops, to public places, only transportation and some restaurants, in my experience. I do ask frequently for those forms. I always ask for the complaints forms if I feel necessary since I do not like to rant aloud. Have tried several times to resolve by educate reasoning, but I must say I found it extremely disappointing here: sorry for this, I do not want to hurt anybody's feelings and I know I should not generalize (and that there will be cases in which you guys received a very good customer service, etc) but given the many many times I tried to reason due to improper customer care I feel that having a Swiss to say "I am sorry, it was my fault" is frankly rare, even when their offense is flagrant (like the one presented here by the OP). Therefore I stopped trying to reason anymore, I just ask for the complaints book. And if they state that there is no complaints book or no regular way to collect customers' feedback I politely ask about who is the master or to whom I must address a written claim. The most frequent output is that they hand over a general e-mail from a leaflet (which has no use, obviously). If I ask the offender's name he/she basically switch to the aggressive mood or contemptuosly ignore me. But I must say when I succeeded in filing the claim and received a reply I feel really good. Not because being proud (well, not ONLY), but also I am happy to contribute to raise the quality level of customer care in this country, which really needs some review in terms of feedback options. I do not believe on "get out of here if you don't like it", but rather "let us contribute as much as possible to make it even nicer here".
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  #50  
Old 11.08.2011, 17:05
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

You should have asked the driver whether he is always like this?
"the driver swung round and laid into him"
Once my wife was on the bus in Zürich and my son had a tantrum.One of the passengers got the crazy idea that my wife was trying to kidnap him and reported my wife to the driver. He stopped the bus and closed all the doors and questioned my wife.It was all resolved quickly. Alot of crazy's in Zürich
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Not really sure this is a complaint but just wanted to offload as I'm feeling pretty upset at the moment ...

My 3 and a half year old boy has developmental delays which affect particulary his speech. Today we were out in the mountains and were about to go into a funicular carriage when he wanted to go in the drivers part. As I said no, he started to scream .. (he cannot talk) perhaps 3 really loud pitched screams. The driver swung round and laid into him then added that he could not ride the train unless he was quiet. Well shouting at him is a red rag to a bull, so he started to scream again .. I was mortified (how can you stop a child screaming) and got off the train (leaving my confused older child behind) and tried to calm him down ... of course he screamed more thinking he could not go in the train at all. The driver let off another load of shouting and ended up with "is he always like this?" so I responded that he is not always easy as he has learning difficulties. He responded that he was obviously psychologically disturbed, it was clear from his behaviour. Luckily, he calmed down quickly and the driver let us back on - good job as we would have missed our boat connection otherwise ...

Just to put it into context - in total he screamed maybe 10 times albiet very high pitched and loud. And that was the only screaming he has done all day - so it is not like he is constantly at it.

Its so hard to know what to do. I know people don't enjoy screaming children - I know I don't - and I hate the idea of upsetting other people's pleasure or enjoyment but on the other hand, he is a human being too and deserves a trip in the mountains as much as the next.

I hate to think the solution is just not to go out and do these things and hide at home .... but how I'm feeling at the moment, it would definitely be the easier option.
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  #51  
Old 11.08.2011, 18:57
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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You should have asked the driver whether he is always like this?
"the driver swung round and laid into him"
Once my wife was on the bus in Zürich and my son had a tantrum.One of the passengers got the crazy idea that my wife was trying to kidnap him and reported my wife to the driver. He stopped the bus and closed all the doors and questioned my wife.It was all resolved quickly. Alot of crazy's in Zürich
That made me laugh ... thanks! Although I can fully appreciate that at the time, it really wasn't so funny ....
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Old 11.08.2011, 19:04
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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I suppose (apart from the upset and humiliation ..) what did upset me yesterday was that I do worry and think about others and how his behaviour impacts on others, all the time, really, I'm so careful and try so hard to remove him or diffuse situations (to the extent that I know he suffers from my sometimes bordering on obsessive concern to not upset others)
I get you. You sound like a very caring, thoughtful parent. Don't over extend yourself though and don't feel guilty your kid is not the stereotypical prototype. At the end of the day, obsessive concern either over your kiddo or bystanders will make your nerves crack more than the tantrums.

Save your precious energy for making your son feel confident and comfortable. Quite often, tots pick up on us being nervous, etc. Moms are buffers, often.

And thanks for keeping us updated. There is hope, loads of stuff fixes itself, when we calm down, when they start believing in their abilities and when first verbal success appears.

I remember last summer when I had to throw a super noncooperative and screaming 3yr old over my shoulder to make it uphill, with a full shopping bag in another hand and pushing the pram uphill with my foot. While people were giving me very strange looks.
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Old 12.08.2011, 00:38
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

You already got brilliant advice so I can`t add more to that.....just to maybe make you feel a bit better....
I have 5 Boys, the youngest 1 1/2, then 3 and 4 1/2 ......
My children are mixed-race and if I turn up anywhere with all 5,or even 3 I get stares as you can imagine.....
A few weeks ago I waited for the Bus at the trainstation in Winterthur,when an old lady was standing next to me.She watched me for a short while and then asked me if I was waiting for that bus.I said yes and she walked off into a nearby shop.....My jaw dropped.A young girl stood near us and she just looked as surprised as I did. I took the bus and went home. It makes my blood boil but I grew up here and have come to accept certain thing.....
I am proud of my children, and yes my little one can screeeeeeeeeeam of joy, it tingles in my ears.But I know I`m doing a good job and after all, they`re always complaining that we don`t have enough children here to later pay our pensions......
I have given up trying to please other people, I don`t care what they think, I know my children are well behaved but they are still children.....if you get me....
I noticed the less I care the more I see friendly people.
Just believe in yourself and do what you think is best for you and your children
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Old 12.08.2011, 01:15
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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also take into consideration the language tones some of you might not be used to. German, and Dutch, and all Eastern European languages imo sound horrible if you dont really know what they are saying. my gf for example thought at one point I was yelling at my mother over the phone, while in fact we were having a normal , pleasant conversation.

In English you dont really have that I find....
When I was really new in Switzerland. I was kind of scared when people try to say something. I thought why swiss are so angry all the time. Eventually, when I was able to pick few german, I literally came to know that it was just an accent so silly of me
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Old 12.08.2011, 02:34
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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No I'm afraid he did not. He told me that we could not ride the train if the child still screamed. My German is quite good, and my other son was with me, and he is bilingual. Plus the driver finger-jabbed and gestured, meaning that no language was really required ...
alright. Then, you now only have two ways. Get over it and forget it as a bad incident with a grumpy driver .... or .... send a complaint letter to the Bahngesellschaft in question, describing the incident, with exact times etc

I mean a train-driver who cannot do his job if screaming children are around is a danger to the community. And his behaviours apparently was simply unacceptable
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Old 12.08.2011, 08:13
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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My children are mixed-race and if I turn up anywhere with all 5,or even 3 I get stares as you can imagine.....
A few weeks ago I waited for the Bus at the trainstation in Winterthur,when an old lady was standing next to me.She watched me for a short while and then asked me if I was waiting for that bus.I said yes and she walked off into a nearby shop.....My jaw dropped.A young girl stood near us and she just looked as surprised as I did. I took the bus and went home. It makes my blood boil but I grew up here and have come to accept certain thing.....
I might be the only one being a bit thick this morning but I can't see anything wrong with this?
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Old 12.08.2011, 10:10
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

I havent read through this thread, but here are my 2c

Whatever the case with noisy children, it seems to me the very best strategy and defence for the parent is simply to have thick skin.

When I see very noisy children (which get on my nerves a bit too but i understand its just a natural thing), I sometimes watch the parents... you can spot the newer parents because they often seem to care about offending people around them. The old hands just get on with it... much better!

If people get upset so be it, dont let it get to you. Almost certainly your child will already have forgotten it. If the situation arises again, just place yourself between your child and the annoyed person, then walk away.... not much point in doing anything else in my view, and less of a headache all around.
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Old 12.08.2011, 13:15
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

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I might be the only one being a bit thick this morning but I can't see anything wrong with this?
Yeah. Maybe she just forgot to buy her valium drops...
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Old 12.08.2011, 16:24
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

And what I find ever more amazing is that apart from not being able to handle a child or an adult with disabilities, the driver has the audacity to shout at a small child and the parent. Yet, no matter how many times I have been on the train, tram, bus, whatever with loud, drunk, Swiss yobs who irritate anyone within an ear-shot, never once I heard a driver reprimand them for obnoxious behaviour. Nice double standard. I am so sorry this had happened to you & hope your little one is ok! Q
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Old 12.08.2011, 16:40
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Re: People shouting at my child ...

Just like all of us can be occasionally, the driver was being a prick. It is terrible to be caught on the wrong end of it but that is what hugs are for afterwards. Next time just remember that being happy and relaxed is much more important than a boat connection and walking away from situations like that is much better than letting them get you wound up further than it already had....that is what significant others are for....imagine what would have happened then.

I don't think that it is representative of the Swiss or anything like that though.
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