Viral video of Williston woman sparks ‘parent shaming’ and ‘abuse’ conversation


FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live): Buzz is generating from a video out of Williston, ND that has gone viral. The video shows a woman handling two children from a car into a shopping cart in freezing temperatures. But a larger question is being raised: How should one react in a similar situation?

williston viral video

“Kind of sad that… maybe she doesn’t have the proper gear for her children,” says Debbie Bartholomay, West Fargo resident, as she reacts to the video.

The viral video has over one million views and over 24,000 shares. People are speaking up and voicing how this video makes them feel.

“I was kind of sad to see that,” adds Bartholomay.

Angela Upreti, South Fargo resident, says, “I think it’s really irresponsible of the parents.”

Everyone has varying views on how they should parent their children, but many try their best to avoid parent shaming. So, how should we react in situations where we think experts need to intervene?

Linda Dorff, Cass County Division Manager of Family Services says, “Always call law enforcement. They’re trained professionals that know how to handle these situations and they have the authority to handle them, as do we at social services.”

Dorff explains that before judging a situation, it is important to remember that you may not be seeing the whole picture. “Parents want to do the best that they can. Sometimes they don’t have the resources or the knowledge,” she says.

She wants to shed light on the stigma surrounding social services. Their goal is not to take kids away from their parents. They just want to help and do what is best for the children. Dorff says, “Our goal is to make sure that parents have the knowledge and resources in order to parent their children safely and appropriately.”

For these situations, experts recommend calling 9-1-1 and reaching out to the nearest social services.

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