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We were at the flea market and like always went our different ways then we meet up and backtrack to pick up stuff she buys.

Anyways I was in an aisle and suddenly heard a scream “let go”. A boy 4ish was standing in his red wagon and had his hands wrapped around his mother’s pony tail. He screamed “I want it” whatever the deal had although he had old tools. Not sure what caught his attention. Another woman was prying his fingers from her hair. It was a thick pony tail. The mother’s head was twisted. I suspect she bent down to say “no” and he reached around her neck grabbing the hair. Just the way her head was twisted at an angle.

When his hands were off instead of looking sorry he looked so angry. The mother said never do it again and punished him by saying she is taking him home right now. The other woman said nothing she did look disgusted.

It seemed like he knew it would cause pain and did not care. That scares me. Even BF and GF when fighting will stop if one squeals and bow down. GF will instantly lick BF if he squeals and they are dogs. This boy deliberately hurt his mother. He knew she was in pain. 

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I told my mother and her response was she should have slapped him when he grabbed the hair. She thinks he could have injured her and a slap may stop him from doing again. She believes this was not the first time.

My mother is concerned of him repeating this in preschool. Her argument is he does it to his mother nothing will stop him from doing it to a classmate in preschool. I think a slap just teaches violence is ok.

Thoughts?