Shocked by outburst in front of youngster

Walking along a side street on my way home from our GP’s surgery on Monday (August 8) my heart bled for a little girl, probably around two years old.

She was with a young couple, presumably her parents, with a push-chair walking towards me. As I approached the couple were chatting away with the fair-haired toddler walking along happily beside them.

But as we passed by I could not help but overhear the man’s loud voice as he was describing some incident to his partner in animated tones. The female did not react in any way so presumably this was quite normal. I shuddered as twice he used the ‘F’ word and I felt deeply shocked.

Not because I was particularly offended personally by the use of such language. But the fact that he had no hesitation in using such filthy-mouthed words in front of a small child which may, or may not have been their own.

I felt like stopping and remonstrating with the young man, pointing out the error of his ways but alas common sense prevented me from doing so. A warning message flashed through my mind: ‘Remember the Police warning. Do not get involved in altercations.’

For the rest of that day I could not stop thinking of the upbringing of that poor girl (assuming they were her parents). Just imagine if she goes to nursery or when she attends school she may well use such language openly without realising it is not acceptable in such an environment.

When I was a lad (some 60-plus years ago) I was punished by my father who once overheard me swearing. I was not allowed out to play for a while and had my pocket money stopped for weeks. That cured me.

I know standards have plummeted in this country as far as manners and behaviour are concerned, but this incident shook me to the core. What chance has that lovely little girl got for her future with a start like that in life? If her parents read this I just hope it might jolt them sufficiently to make them realise they have a responsibility to show children the best way of growing up, not the worst.

RD Briggs

Mountside Apartments