Southern California Mom Sparks Controversy Over Shopping Cart Etiquette

Southern California Mom Sparks Controversy Over Shopping Cart Etiquette

Dr. Leslie Dobson, a Los Angeles-based clinical and forensic psychologist, has recently gone viral on TikTok for her controversial stance on not returning shopping carts.

The mother-of-two’s video has sparked widespread debate, drawing both support and criticism.

With over 300,000 followers across social media platforms, Dobson’s message has reached nearly 11 million viewers, prompting a deeper conversation about parental priorities and safety.

The Viral Video and Public Reaction

In her now-infamous TikTok post, Dobson declared, “I’m not returning my shopping cart and you can judge me all you want.”

Her video, viewed nearly 11 million times, showcased her frustration with societal expectations.

She expressed her unwillingness to leave her children unattended in the car while she returned the cart, stating, “If you’re gonna give me a dirty look… f*** off.”

The video quickly ignited a heated debate. Critics labeled Dobson as “entitled” or a “Karen,” suggesting she could bring her children with her or adhere to the “shopping cart theory,” which posits that returning carts is a simple test of moral character.

Addressing the Backlash

In an interview with KTLA, Dobson defended her position, revealing the challenges she has faced since posting the video.

She explained, “I am shocked, but I am also very happy because I’ve received hundreds – maybe to the point of even thousands – of messages from moms saying, ‘I pulled into the spot, I’m looking at my surroundings and I’m more aware now.'”

Dobson emphasized the broader message of her video: empowering parents to trust their instincts. With 20 years of experience working with predators, she underscored the importance of vigilance in vulnerable moments.

“When you return to your car, you have already been watched for a significant amount of time,” she said, highlighting the potential dangers of prioritizing social norms over child safety.

Dealing with Severe Reactions

Despite her intent to promote awareness, Dobson has faced severe reactions, including death threats and being doxed online. She addressed these issues in another video, sharing her dismay over the extreme backlash.

“It’s May 31 and about six million people have freaked out over me not returning my shopping cart because my kids are in the car,” she stated on Instagram.

Dobson provided alarming statistics to support her stance, claiming, “Last year 265 children were abducted in parking lots in America.

Half of those were sexually assaulted.” Although the source of this statistic, a report by Kids and Car Safety, is questioned for its reliability, Dobson’s concern for child safety remains clear.

Legal Considerations and Parental Priorities

Further justifying her position, Dobson pointed out legal constraints. She noted that returning a shopping cart could involve leaving a car running and unoccupied, which is illegal in some states.

“Many comments said that they would turn the car on, leave the air on the kids, and go return the shopping cart,” she recounted. “Well, in Los Angeles in one particular parking lot, that’s at least a 12-minute walk. You could go to jail.”

California vehicle code prohibits leaving a car standing on any highway or public street, primarily to prevent motor vehicle theft.

In Sacramento, it is a misdemeanor to leave the ignition key in an unattended vehicle in any public place, including parking lots.


Dr. Leslie Dobson’s viral video has sparked a complex debate about parental priorities, social etiquette, and child safety.

While her stance has drawn significant criticism, it has also resonated with many parents who share her concerns.

The conversation highlights the need for greater awareness and understanding of the challenges parents face in ensuring their children’s safety.

As Dobson continues to defend her position, her message remains clear: parents should feel empowered to trust their instincts and prioritize their children’s well-being over societal expectations.

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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