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Mom Reacts To Stranger 'Fake Tickling' Her Daughter At A Grocery Store

Photo: HTeam / Lipik Stock Media / Shutterstock 
stranger, little girl, shopping

A mother shared a bizarre encounter with a stranger she and her young daughter experienced while grocery shopping that has left most parents feeling unsettled and enraged. The mother admitted that she nearly “lost her mind” during the incident, while the stranger dismissed her concerns, and asked other parents if they would have reacted any differently. 

The mother claimed a stranger approached her daughter in a grocery store and began ‘fake tickling’ her. 

In a TikTok video that has garnered over 545,000 views, Alysse Gilbert explains that she and her two children had just returned from a shopping trip at Trader Joe’s. However, a disturbing incident involving a stranger and her nearly two-year-old daughter left her “shaking in anger” even after they got home, prompting the mom to ask other parents what they would have done if they were in her shoes. 

According to Gilbert, while grocery shopping with her two young children, her infant son was in an infant carrier strapped to her chest while her daughter sat in the shopping cart. 



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Gilbert described her daughter as a “very vocal” toddler who would often grab the attention of strangers in public. During this particular store run, one older woman noticed the little girl and took a shine to her. “She says to my daughter, ‘Oh, you’re so cute!’” Gilbert recalled. She thanked the woman before going on her way with her children. 

However, they ran into the same woman again in the next aisle. “I can see out of the corner [of] my eye she was doing something, but then I heard my daughter say, ‘I don’t like her,’” the mother said. “So I turn to her, and she’s pretending to tickle my daughter from afar.” 

Since her daughter had expressed her discomfort, Gilbert turned the shopping cart in a direction that was facing away from the woman. The woman, however, got closer and continued to move her fingers through the air while looking at the little girl as if she was tickling her. 

mom reacts to stranger fake tickling daughter at storePhoto: Antonio Gravate / Canva Pro

“I heard my daughter say ‘Don’t touch me!’ and she’s backing leaning back in the cart," Gilbert shared. The woman’s response was perhaps what threw her off the most. “The lady says to her, ‘That’s not very nice, sweetie,’” Gilbert said. 

That was when the mother stepped in to protect her daughter’s boundaries.

“I said to her [the woman], ‘You’re clearly making her uncomfortable cause she doesn’t know you,’” Gilbert shared. The woman responded dismissively while laughing and walking away. 

The incident left Gilbert feeling especially uneasy. While she acknowledged that her toddler perhaps did not respond in the kindest way when the woman approached her, she pointed out that the little girl was feeling anxious since the woman was a stranger to her. 

“What is it with the older generations forcing kids they don’t know to interact with them?” Gilbert asked her viewers. “Please tell me what you would have done.” 



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Most parents were appalled by the stranger’s actions but praised Gilbert's daughter for asserting her personal boundaries. 

“You should never regret fiercely protecting your child!” one TikTok user commented. “I would’ve told that lady off,” another user shared. 

“You did great. As moms, one of our core missions is to teach our daughters to speak truthfully and not be polite to strangers who violate boundaries,” another user wrote. “I love that your daughter knows boundaries and that she isn’t afraid to make that known!” one commenter applauded. “Your daughter was awesome! Exactly what she should have said,” another added. 

Teaching your children about consent and boundaries will only help them as they grow up.

They will understand what is appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to other people interacting with them, and how they should express their needs. 

“Boundaries are essentially about understanding and respecting our own needs, and being respectful and understanding of the needs of others,” Clinical Psychologist Stephanie Dowd told Child Mind Institute. “And for that to work, we need to be putting a big emphasis on helping kids develop greater empathy and self-awareness.” 

mom reacts to stranger fake tickling daughter at store Photo: Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock 

Children asserting their boundaries may include saying, “I don’t like that!” or “Don’t do that!” if another person is disrespecting their personal space. It is not rude or petty. In fact, it is the complete opposite. 

A child should not have to worry about coming across as rude while their boundaries are being crossed. Both Gilbert and her daughter realized this and handled the uncomfortable situation in the best way they could.

As for the older woman, we just hope she learned her lesson so the next time she encounters a cute child in public, she keeps the fake tickling to herself. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.