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Hi I am an Au Pair working in France. I have been here for 6 months and I am not sure whether the discipline offered by the father is tantamount to child abuse or not and I would be very grateful of any advice you can give me.
There are three children aged all under 7. My main concern is that he hits the children allot and often without warning and for very little reason. Like yesterday he slapped the one of them across the head hard for falling over. He sometimes warns the children before he hits them but more often it seems just a reaction to his anger, if that makes sense, and is always unduly hard. And if they cry for to long afterwards he will often hit again.
The next topic is homework. the eldest is expected to do homework for over 2 hours every night. and that is not the homework the school provides as that only takes on average 20 minutes. He has decided that she has to do extra. One night a week he comes home form work early to do her homework with her. He does maths with her and is trying to make her do stuff that she has not done at school yet and then belittling her and calling her stupid and getting angry with her when she cannot do it. It is like he is setting her up for failure just so he can insult her. There was a point where he would slap her for every wrong answer but that stopped recently. Now he is just verbally aggressive.
And this is the point where the confused bit comes in. He is a nice person most of the time and he does love his children, he spends time with them at the weekend and they are loved. But i am painfully aware that his behavior is affecting the children's and I sense that they are scared of him. Please help me.