This woman was at Target when she saw some teens laughing. Wondering what was so funny, she soon noticed what they were pointing at, and her heart sank. She knew something had to be done. After she took matters into her own hands, her video went viral.
Mary Katherine Backstrom admits, “I have a hard time sometimes accepting that I’m an adult and that I can actually be an adult in situations,” but one particular incident with a complete stranger’s kids definitely sent her into mama mode.
Backstrom was simply trying to finish some shopping at Target when she saw something that sent her into action, and even though some parents might not have responded well to what she did, she decided to step up and take matters into her own hands.
It was while standing in the checkout line that the peculiar chain of events began to unfold. Waiting to pay for her items, Backstrom noticed some cruel kids doing something terribly wrong. A group of pre-teens and teens were making fun of a Target employee.
The man ringing them out had severe cranial deformities. He had obviously just undergone some type of procedure and had staples in his head and a drooping eye. Instead of feeling compassion for the man and his condition, the children saw an opportunity to get a laugh, snapping photos of him using Snapchat filters to send to their friends on social media, Yahoo News reported.
Although Backstrom had no idea what kind of trauma this man had suffered physically, she wasn’t going to stand quietly by and let these kids get away with causing him emotional torment. She knew she had to step in after the terrible things she had witnessed, and with her heart racing, she did.
Backstrom, who is a mother herself but says she’s normally not very confrontational, decided to let the kids know just how cruel they were being. “So I set my cart aside, and when the kids checked out, I walked out and said ‘Excuse me. You need to stop,'” but things were far from over.
The kids looked up at her with wide eyes, like a deer caught in the headlights, realizing they were busted. They knew they were in trouble. “And, in that moment, I realized, yes, I’m an adult. This is OK. I can take control of the situation and teach these kids a lesson,” Backstrom recalled.
Reflecting back on her unease with her decision to confront the kids, she further explained, “You feel like these kids are intimidating to you. I’m just not very confident sometimes in my adulthood. But I felt like something needed to be done about this.”
Although the kids were quick to apologize after Backstrom asked them to think about how the man might have felt if he had known they were making fun of him, she didn’t feel like she had done quite enough to drive home her point and make them realize the severity of what they had done.
So, she told the kids she would wait outside of Target with them for their parents, although she admits it made her extremely nervous, not knowing how their parent would react. Sometimes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Luckily, it went better than she expected.
After the incident, Backstrom hopped in her own van to record the video above and explain what happened. Although some parents get defensive when you point out their little darling’s bad behavior, the woman she encountered wasn’t one of those moms. “Thank you for telling me,” she said after she pulled up to pick up her kids and Backstrom calmly explained what they had done.
“You can tell, she is a kind woman,” Backstrom said in the video she later posted to her Facebook page called Mom Babble, noting that the mother was “going home to take care of business.” She also said that she wished she could tell the woman, “You’re a really good mom,” adding, “The way you handled that, with so much grace… you’re gonna be sending off some decent people in the world.”
Indeed, parenting is hard, and it’s even harder when our precious children want to embarrass us by behaving like “buttholes,” as Backstrom would say. We can all use all the help we can get, but a lot of people are afraid to step up out of fear of how the parent will react.
So, when kids behave badly, many choose to “mind their own business” rather than call out the behavior they see to avoid stirring up any trouble. But, maybe a little trouble is what our kids need now and then, especially when their behavior has certainly earned it.
As Backstrom pointed out, “Kids can be buttholes sometimes, but they get straightened out when their parents are listening,” like this mother did when Backstrom made her aware of the problem. Backstrom then concluded her video with a message I can get behind, and I hope other parents can too.
“And then my message to y’all is,” she said. “If my kids are ever in Target being buttholes or bullies or making fun of people, I hope you do the same thing. Because it’s sometimes hard to hear criticism from other parents or hear that your kids are embarrassing you … but that’s part of them growing up, and that’s a refining process for them, and we all need to be keeping an eye on each other’s kids.”