• Mon, Feb 10 - 5:30 pm ET

Skee Ball Kid Proves Some People Care More About Pageviews Than Parenting

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.03.45 PMIf I see one more video of parents taping their poorly behaved child and laughing instead of parenting, I am going to freak. At this rate, I’ll be freaking in five, four, three, two… When did taping children having total meltdowns not only become the norm – but seemingly encouraged for pageviews? This is just getting ridiculous.

A kid went nuts at a Chuck E. Cheese this week and an observer caught it on camera. Not quite sure where this kids parents are, but someone hands him something at the beginning of the video, so they have to be close by right? The kid is looks to be about 4-years-old, so they have to be close by, right?

The Daily Dot story claims that it wasn’t the parents taping him. Where are they? Are they too embarrassed to claim him? What is going on here? The person doing the taping is clearly a little distressed and shocked about the situation, saying things like, Whose son is this? but continues to laugh and tape while this kid is running all over the lanes and spitting on people.

I don’t think it’s a stranger’s responsibility to stop an out-of-control child, but why isn’t anyone doing anything here? The kid is screaming and jumping in the path of flying skee-balls. He’s also spitting at people. The only thing that is definitely happening here besides the meltdown is the recording of it.

I’m more shocked with the behavior of the child and the absence of a parent willing to do anything about it – but a stranger taping a young child in public and submitting it to World Star Hip-Hop is really disturbing, too. It seems like in the moment, some people forget they are looking at actual events unfold with actual people – which is very different than watching something unfold on your computer screen.

Unfortunately, I don’t see videos like this losing their popularity anytime soon.

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  • brebay

    It’s nice they have this. It’ll provide them with some nice memories when their son is in prison being subjected to beatings and sexual assaults because they didn’t so their damned job. And it will STILL be someone else’s fault. I feel so bad for this kid. No chance whatsoever.

    • cant believe my eyes

      I totally agree with you but where in the heck were the parents and it make you wonder what he see’s at home to have such bad behavior!!!! Maybe while he was distracting others by his bad behavior mom was cleaning out a couple of purses nearby!!!!!! Wouldnt surprise me!!!

  • Amber Leigh

    The sad thing is no one intervened because then the video would have been titled “Random manhandles someone else’s child”
    If anyone had of done more then they did I’m sure he would have done more then spit at them, he would have screamed and hit and then they would have looked like the bad guy for trying to move him away and the internet would have jumped on them for touching somebody else’s child.

    • Lindsay

      Not to mention that skee balls are hard and heavy, and had he been hit in the ankle with one or tripped and slipped and smashed his head into the game, you know there would have been a lawsuit.

    • Guest

      As much as I get the don’t touch other people’s kids things… sometimes I just wish someone would grab em and toss em over the knee for a good old fashioned spanking. I’m not even a huge fan of spankings but when I see kids behaving SO badly I feel like I’m 6 years old again “ohhhh someones gonna get a spankinnnnng” but then the parents never seem to do it and their kid is still a little prick.

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Right, there’s only so much a stranger can do, I bet the second anyone would have held that kid down or got a little rough with him the parents would have jumped from out of nowhere demanding to know why some dared touch THEIR child. They had to have been around and it shows what kind of people they are to let their kid act that way.

    • Amber Leigh

      You can’t touch other peoples precious snowflakes or the mama bear WILL appear

    • Guest

      Actually if you see the full 7 min clip on youtube the man taping says “but you can’t put your hands on him because you know how things are now” No offense but I think taping it was the best thing in the world because had the parents argued about how their kid was mistreated the proof is on the tape!

  • Lindsay

    I don’t understand how people don’t get that their job is to teach their children to be adults one day. Allowing them to behave like this only sets them up for a lifetime of failure.

  • Robotic Arms Dealer

    No, I totally get why parents don’t wanna get involved. You get involved, kid starts spazzing out, bangs his head = lawsuit

    Oh yea, parenting obviously isn’t for everyone and vids like this makes the argument that you need a license to parent that much stronger…

    ETA: Congratulations on the employees, only took 3 mins for them to respond and do something

    • brebay

      Yeah, I’d probably avoid trying to wrangle a crazy-ass kid wielding a skee ball, or their crazy-ass parent packing. I’d get my kids out of there and get a refund!

    • Allyson_et_al

      They probably didn’t want to get spat on.

    • Lindsay

      Meh, you walk a very fine line in that situation. They were probably instructed to wait and see if the parents would respond to it, and they were probably afraid of legal repercussions if anything happened.

    • keelhaulrose

      I’d be afraid that the only time this parent (term used in the loosest sense of the word) would give a damn is when someone else is parenting their kid for them, and they’d go immediately into violent mode. I’ve seen that happen a couple times. Junior hitting dogs in the park? Parents nowhere to be found. Another adult steps in to stop them? Mom appears out of nowhere in full “don’t you dare touch my kid” mama bear mode and, in one case, hits the person.
      And there’s no amount of money they could pay me to work at Chuck E. Cheese. I’ve earned a living showering and wiping my own grandmother. I’d do that for half the money if it meant avoiding the Hell Mouse.

    • 21foot house

      If you pay attention a female employee arrives on the scene about 30 seconds in. Probably after the lady who got spat on drew the problem to her attention (kids scream all the time at these places, so that alone wouldn’t attract an employee’s attention). She enters the frame, sees the problem, and immediately quickens her pace as she exits the frame. She is the one who returns with the security guard at the end, and she is the one who eventually nabs the kid. But not until security is present. The male employee tried to control him verbally, and herd him without touching him. Both employees were probably following very strict rules about touching the children, as in “Don’t ever do it, if you must do it, try not to do it anyway, and if you still must do it have security present when you do it” So frankly, assuming the video was started say 15 seconds into the melt down, it took about 45 seconds for the female employee to respond as she runs to call security, and about 1.5 minutes for security to arrive after getting the call from wherever they were in the mall at that time. 1.5 minutes is not only significantly faster than fire, ambulance, and police response time, but it’s also faster than I can get a burger handed to me at a McDonald’s drivethru when no one else is in line. So yeah, I am impressed with 3 minutes, and that they didn’t get a ball in the face in the process. Those employees did everything they should have done in that situation in a perfectly timely manner.

    • brebay

      Yeah, and I think she was really brave, after having read countless STFU parents comments about “I will cut you if you so much as look at my kid cross-eyed.” I don’t think I would have taken the risk; minimum wage isn’t worth that shit!

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      What can they do? They can’t hold the kid down because that type of force could lead to problems. The only the thing they can do is try and locate the parents which is what I’m sure staff was doing.

  • Guest

    Am I the only person who finds spitting to be the utmost in disrespectful disgusting behavior? If my child ever spat at or near anyone or anything….I can’t….I just can’t…

    • Alicia Kiner

      No you aren’t alone. I DESPISE spitting. And if my kid ever spit on someone, I’d probably smack him or her just out of sheer horror. I’d regret it later. But it would probably happen.

    • keelhaulrose

      My child would not know what hit them if I found out she spat on someone. She’d be in her stripped down cell, er, room wondering how she got there so quick and where her toys went.

    • Not A Mandy

      Last summer while visiting grandma, we went to the local public pool. Kid K has CP but was still working her way up the kiddie slide when another boy decided she was moving far too slowly and spit on her. I managed, barely, to refrain from slapping that kid right off the ladder but did not manage to refrain from telling his mother (who was standing right there and did nothing) that her kid was an asshole and it was her fault.

    • Allyson_et_al

      I really admire your restraint.

    • Andy

      Sorry, didn’t mean to down vote, stupid iPad.

    • vanessa

      So disgusting. My son had a girl drop kick him at a playground multiple times and when I was informed she looked me straight in the eyes and tried to do it again. I pulled her off calmly and said ” no you do not do that”. Her mother yelled at me! When I asked for her information she wanted to fight me! My son is autistic and couldn’t speak to tell me if he was hurt. I was so angry!
      Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • Pissed concerned mom

    How come this wasn’t reported to the police? I tried reporting these videos but for some reason I can’t. Whomever the parents of this child are need to be punished. Apparently they don’t have time to raise their child so maybe CPS should get involved.

    • brebay

      This really isn’t a CPS case. Crappy parenting isn’t against the law. The place should have made his parents remove him, but this doesn’t meet the legal standard of abuse or neglect.

    • Sara610

      Agreed. But I think the employees should have been much stronger in kicking the child and his parents out as soon as he started this behavior. Part of the problem is that people are ALLOWED to behave this way in public places, which gives the impression that this behavior is acceptable or even cute.

      Although in a former comment thread about unruly kids in restaurants, someone–I don’t know who–pointed out that employees and even managers in big chains like this sometimes get in trouble for trying to control unruly customers, because the bigwigs want to hold on to every paying customer they can get. So maybe that’s why the employees waited as long as they did–they were hoping the situation would work itself out without the need for their intervention.

      It seems like a crappy business model to me; if I saw something like this, I would never go back to that chain.

    • SarahJesness

      Yeah, plus our culture has some taboo (is it recently developed? I don’t know, I’m legitimately asking here) against criticizing someone else’s parenting or in any way implying that the parent is doing something wrong. Probably another thing that makes employees and managers hesitant.

    • sri

      It is possible that the kid was just dropped off there, and then it would be a legal matter. An old boyfriend worked at Chuck e cheese when we were together, and he was always telling me stories about parents who would come in with their kids and then sneak out. Sometimes, these kids were as young as 3. The kid would eventually get upset about something like being pushed down by a big kid or running out of tokens, start crying, and then the staff would realize that the parent wasn’t there. A few times, they were able to call down to the nearby grocery store and be able to track down the parent, but other times they had to eventually call the police to come get the kid after hours of looking for the parents. They had to eventually start writing how many adults and how many children were in each group on the wristbands they used to stop kidnapping, and check to make sure that an adult leaving wasn’t the only parent.

      Of course, this was years and years ago, so policies may have changed since then to prevent this.

    • brebay

      Unless the parents brought him in, paid for him, and then snuck out, I don’t think that’s possible. I really do think the camera man is the father.

    • brebay

      There was one in my state where the parents/adults were coaching a toddler to swear up a storm, teaching him to say “bitch,” “whore,” etc. The only reason they were able to bring charges is because at one point they told him “Say ‘suck my dick,’” so they got them on sexual exploitation, but it probably won’t amount to any charges. A parenting class then back home.

  • Emil

    Feeling grateful for my job after watching this, at least I don’t have to work at Chuck E. Cheese.

  • Holo The Wise Wolf

    What video where they watching? “why isn’t anyone doing anything here?” Did you not see that employee climb up there with him? At the very beginning a woman tried to get him down but the guy recording was making such a ruckus I think she thought he was the parent and stopped.

    And you are failing to think about the way the world is today, even if you ARE trying to keep a child out of harms way, you can get in big trouble for “manhandling” other peoples kids.

    • brebay

      I think he was the parent, but didn’t want to stop filming so just played along.

  • Allyson_et_al

    I want to beat the hell out of this kid’s parents. A kid obnoxious enough to steal other people’s skee balls, walk in front of everyone trying to play, and then spit on adults who dared try to stop him, don’t just spontaneously happen. I hope for the kid’s sake that someone in his life loves him enough to discipline him. Soon.

  • tk88

    People are so afraid of getting in trouble for intervening with someone’s child they won’t even do anything when a child is being violent or obscene. I mean, why didn’t they even call an employee over sooner?

  • seth

    people are frustrated with the parents, but keep in mind this could be a situation where the kid was part of a larger birthday party, and chaperones were unable to control all the kids at once. its easy to blame the parents (and certainly his behavior is their fault to some degree), but they might not have even been at the Chuck E Cheese to regulate his behavior.

    • Sara610

      I can only speak for myself, but if I had a four-year-old with a history of behaving that way, I wouldn’t drop him off at a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese with a limited number of chaperones. I probably wouldn’t refuse to let him go to the party, but I would likely stay there to supervise him.

      The scenario you describe actually seems even less okay to me. A four-year-old is old enough to get the concept that going to birthday parties is a privilege, and if you can’t behave like a human being you don’t get the privilege. I was dragged out of more than one party at that age because I was behaving like a little asshole (you know, because four-year-olds aren’t exactly renowned for their impulse control) and my parents knew they had a responsibility to teach me that that kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable.

    • Kay_Sue

      Exactly. We attended a birthday party at Chuckie E. Cheese and while the 11 year old and 9 year old were allowed to pair off as long as they stuck together, the 7 year old and 3 year old were the victim of man-to-man coverage–one got Dad, one got Mom, and that way we could manage the situation. If they left the child there at a birthday party with no parental supervision, that would be a lack of parenting to me too, to be honest. Now, if he went with another relative, that’s on them, not the parents. That’s the only scenario I can envision to excuse the parental supervision in the video…

    • brebay

      First, I doubt this kid is getting a lot of party invites and, second, while I may leave a child that age at a home party alone, there is no way I’m leaving a 3 or 4-year old at a place like Chuck E Cheese no matter how much I trust the parents.

  • Kay_Sue

    This seems like a perfect time to plug my future parenting book that I’m writing in my head:

    “Someday You Will Die: Don’t Stick Us With Entitled, Out of Control Assholes”

    This can be Chapter, oh, 51ish?

    • Robotic Arms Dealer

      Can you add “Dedicated to Robotic Arms Dealer” in one of the first few pages?

  • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    I hate going to Chuck E. Cheese and other places like this because it seems that I end up parenting for people who are no where to be found. Last time I was there it was a little girl who was wondering around being too short to reach anything and just generally needing assistance with Every. Single Game. She kind of hung out with my kids for a while so I helped her a bit, but I was a total stranger to her. I could have been anybody. I finally had to wander around with her awhile to help her locate some parents. Good grief! Chuck E. Cheese is not your excuse to sit at the table and leave a tiny kid to fend for themselves when you can’t even see them.

  • Myra A Cottrill

    This made me incredibly sad. That kid has serious problems, and he needs serious help. Which he’s unlikely to get if the lack of parental presence is any indication.

    • Sara610

      I know. I had the same reaction–sadness for the kid who obviously has serious issues and needs help for them.

      I used to teach a girl in a similar situation: she’s EXTREMELY smart (as in, reading and writing at a high school level in the first grade) but has serious issues with anger, respecting other people’s boundaries, etc. Her first grade classroom teacher tried several times over the course of the year to get the parents to do something, ANYTHING to get her the help she needed, and their response was to deny that there was anything unusual about her and tell her that SHE (the teacher) was out of line in suggesting that their daughter’s behavior was anything but normal and appropriate. Finally the school administration did step in and back up the teacher, but as far as I know the parents never did get her tested or into any kind of counseling. I don’t work at that school anymore, but she’s now a fifth grader and from what I understand the problem has gotten much worse and she now has no friends because the other kids are afraid to be around her. And she can’t understand why her old friends don’t want to play with her anymore–she WANTS to have friends, she WANTS to be someone that people want to be around, and she can’t understand what she’s doing wrong. It’s heartbreaking and she’s paying the consequences for her parents’ failure to get her the help she needs.

  • bren

    If no parent was claiming this child who was acting so bizarre and putting himself in danger by walking in front of flying skee balls, all over an hour time frame, why weren’t the police called? This should have been turned over to a child welfare unit. Something isn’t adding up here. The parents are obviously unfit.

    • brebay

      Pretty sure the dad was filming. The whole “Whose kid is that?” sounded like it was his and he just thought it was funny, and wanted to blend in so people didn’t tell him to go grab his brat.

  • MerlePerle

    Where did that kid learn to spit on people? Is that something boys come up with on their own? (Serious question). My daughter wouldn’t even know that was something you could do, because she’s never seen it (as the adults in her life aren’t animals)

    • Karen Milton

      It’s absolutely not a boy VS girl thing. It’s an asshole VS actual human scenario. I have friends who have sons and I have one myself, and none of them would EVER be allowed to act this way because they know they’d face the wrath of mom. Heck, we’d do the same for each other’s kids if needed. This poor kid doesn’t seem to have that in his life, and that’s a shame. Adulthood is not going to treat him very well.

    • EX

      My toddler (2.5 years old) went through a spitting phase. She definitely didn’t learn it from us. It started at daycare – some kids were doing it so she was doing it. I don’t think it’s something kids necessarily have to have witnessed to do, though. I think sometimes it’s just a part of experimenting with their world and environment – after all, toddlers hit and bite even if they’ve never seen it done. All that being said, we (and her daycare teachers) worked on the spitting thing and she doesn’t do it anymore. I guess my point is that the fact that this kid is spitting at people doesn’t necessarily mean he’s seen it done before. It does mean that he probably was never disciplined for that behavior (or at least not effectively).

  • Karen Milton

    That kid is back on the escalator again!

  • Sara610

    Whenever I see something like this, I just have to remind myself that at least among the kids I know (and that’s a lot; I work with them for a living), the nice, well-mannered ones with parents who actually parent far outnumber the examples like in the video above. They’re not perfect, because children aren’t robots, but there are 150 kids in the program I oversee and I can only think of maybe two or three whose parents truly don’t have a handle on discipline and setting good boundaries. And even in those cases, it’s not that the parents don’t care or can’t be bothered; it’s that they just don’t have the info or tools that they need.

    The ironic thing is that when I taught at a very ritzy private school, I heard a lot of snobbery and judgment about how working-class families are uncivilized, uncouth, etc. But I saw far, FAR more serious behavior problems and parents who couldn’t be bothered to parent at the ritzy private school. There was a lot more denial and laughing at unacceptable behavior–or excusing it by saying, “What? He’s just expressing himself!”

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    Where is that crabby old lady from the supermarket when you need her?

  • Andy

    Ít’s too bad the little shit didn’t get nailed by another kid with a skee ball. One, another kid could get away with it. Two, he’d think twice about pulling this again.

  • G.E. Phillips

    SO many things wrong with this video, not the least of which is the fact that this child is disrespecting the sacred game of SkeeBall. THAT’S GOD’S GAME YOU’RE MESSING WITH, SON!

  • Marisun

    I don’t think the people taping were the parents. I worked at a CEC as a teenager and they market the place as a carefree zone where parents can let their children have fun. However, when children like this have no supervision you run into some issues. I think the employees did as best they could however if you look at the other two clips,this kids was all over the place for a good amount of time. i just don’t understand why management didn’t get on the intercom and describe the child and request that parents come for assistance. That situation needed to get under control ASAP. Very frustrating to watch.

  • Salena

    There are 5 videos of this kid acting like a jerk and the “parents” never show up!!! The guy recording is laughing and that burned me up, too. I would have been the one who was locked up for “manhandling” someone’s kid. UGH!

  • Guests!!

    Pot: Hi
    Kettle: What’s up

    If you found this video so deplorable, you would not have included the video yourself for…PAGEVIEWS!!!! I saw the video posted the very day that the person posted it and then it was only shared in a few circles. Now it has 57,000 with you adding to them. When I did a google search there were only two articles that even gave this video any time and yours was one of them.

    If you actually traced back the video then you would know there were about 3 to 4 other videos totaling about 10 minutes. The parents were never recorded but the establishment employees including security did intervene. And me being a random person there, I would not have touched the child either. However beligerent he was behaving, I’m sure the parent’s anger over “touching” their child would have been far worse.

    • Guests!!

      By the way. This was a mild video. The other one shows the little boy inside the basketball shoot around throwing basketballs at people.

  • sylvia

    Where are the parents? They need to be asked to leave. They need to seek help before it’s tool late!

  • Rob

    I would have punched that little shit right in the damn throat, and then slapped the parents

  • malia

    If you listen to the guy videotaping this its not his kid.. He says at some point no its not my kid you think I’d be sitting her taping it if it was..

  • neonix

    Why does someone handing him the ball mean his parents HAVE to be close? It doesn’t. That could have been anyone handing him the ball.

  • ness

    Id seriously grab that kid like a rag doll and ask everyone in the building whose kid it was. Id then give them a piece of my mind. Teach your kid respect! Watch your child!