Mom ignites internet firestorm after revealing why she’ll never return her shopping cart

Dr. Leslie Dobson, a clinical and forensic psychologist in California, never intended to create controversy when she shared her opinion about returning shopping carts to their corral.

But that’s exactly what the mother of two did when she shared a 16 second video on TikTok that has since gone viral.

“I’m not returning my shopping cart and you can judge me all you want,” Dobson said while she sat in her vehicle. “I’m not getting my groceries into my car, getting my children into the car and then leaving them in the car to go return the cart. So, if you’re going to give me a dirty look, f— off.”

Dobson told she made the video “because predators watch our patterns and routines and I wanted to give people permission to not return their carts if their intuition tells them they aren’t safe.”

In 2023, an “all-time high” 265 children were abducted during car thefts, according to Kids and Car Safety.


While Dobson intended her clip to be a public service announcement, many took it to be a perfect example of “the shopping cart theory,” the theory that a person’s moral character can be determined by whether or not they return their shopping cart.

“I absolutely believe in the shopping cart theory. Maybe the return was across the lot, maybe it was literally across from the spot where you parked. Either way the theory holds true.”

“Mom of a 6yo, 3yo and 9months. I simply unload groceries, return cart WITH kids, and then load them in. Same way that we got out of car. Simple.”

“I’ll always say the shopping cart is the ultimate test to see what kind of person you are 🤷🏻‍♀️even with a baby I bring her with me to return the cart”

“How did your kids get to the shopping cart safely? Did you leave them in the car alone and go get the cart? Or were they portable enough to make it without a cart?”

While I do think she has a point about safety, I do think there is another way to return your cart and keep your children safe. What do you think? Let us know your comments on Facebook.

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