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DH just threatened to smack DD (7) in the face

(135 Posts)
Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 08:54:52

DH and I have 3 DC (2,4 & 7). DH is usually a great Dad but he does have a short fuse in that he will lose his temper and shout easily, he has never hit any of our DC. I am a bit calmer although I will give a smack on the bum occasionally, although not hard.

This morning DH was in a rush and foul mood (as he has been for ages) he asked DD to put her coat on, she asked where it was, he said right in front of you, open your eyes, she said they are open. He then told her not to be so fucking cheeky or he would smack her in the face!!!!! I am FURIOUS....

His foul moods have been affecting everyone, sometimes he is great but more often than not he is just moody and grumpy. I know I am not perfect and I do have mood swings but I think this is more to do with living with him.

RyleDup Thu 22-Nov-12 12:50:42

It is not against the law in england to smack a child as long as you do not leave a mark. There is a huge difference between smacking a child on their bottom, and hitting the delicate bony structure of their face. A smack on the bottom, as long as its not hard, will be a shock rather than cause pain. A smack to the face of the same intensity would be very likely to cause significant pain and damage. A smack to the bottom would not be a red flag to ssd unless other things were going on as well. A smack to the face would be a huge red flag.

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 17:55:52

Have spoken to DH and although he admits the last bit came out as a bit of a surprise even to him, he is still refusing to apologise to DD, so we have reached a bit of a stalemate.

DD is fine, DH has never actually smacked her let alone in the face and I know for a fact he never would. He was never smacked as a child although I was smacked on occasion if I did something really naughty or dangerous, I remember every single time and I was appropriately shocked not to do it again.

I would like to reiterate that I rarely smack DD, when I have it hasn't been hard and I have never smacked either of my younger DS.

I actually disagree with what one poster said about smacking a child in anger being worse, I feel that a premeditated smack in a calm state in order to instill discipline is strange, I have never known anyone to do this.

HoolioHallio Thu 22-Nov-12 18:07:46

Your children are living in a threatening environment. Nobody will admit to smacking a child 'hard'. And justifying your smacking by comparing it to premeditated smacking is a cop out.

Your little girl must be so confused. You are angry at her dad for threatening to hit her, yet YOU have previously hit her.

What about looking at some parenting courses run locally as a starting point ?

balia Thu 22-Nov-12 18:13:35

Do you think a way forward could be to sit down together and have a rethink about discipline altogether? At least that wouldn't sound accusatory and may give you a starting point to discuss some of the other issues (DH's bad temper, foul mood etc) Also, if the flashpoint for you both is often DD, a calm, dispassionate think about her behaviour generally would be a good idea. Are there particular areas of difficulty? It's just the 'they are open' comment reminds me of that very literal type of thinking that could be an indicator of SEN - she might not be deliberately winding you up. (Obviously that is a huge leap to make from one comment, it is just a thought).

I'm completely against smacking of any kind, BTW, but hope I have managed to be constructive and maybe help you move towards not feeling the need to smack?

I am curious as to why you have posted this, are you looking for advice or opinions.

It can be very difficult living with someone who is going through what seems like a very difficult time. Has this always been the case or is it just a recent event? Is there something that could be considered a trigger for your DH moods and behaviour? Like a bereavement, money worries or PTSD?

Sometime these things (and others) may cause us to act out of character, for an extended period of time. Very often additional help and support maybe required.

Like has been stated no one can be considered perfect in parenting and many of us need extra help at times. We all are guilty to acting out of character and over reacting at times and sometimes others are affected by this. In cases like you have described it can be very scary to seek help especially given some people's reactions and the fear of possible implications. It is a brave person in my opinion who even confesses these days to giving their child a smack.

It sounds like your DH has made a small step in the process to looking at his behaviour, I can imagine that this must have been hard for him and you.

I would look for somewhere you could discuss things anonymously with first online or over the phone and then move forward to whether you both could benefit from some couple and family therapy as a tool to helping you in the home and with each other.

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 18:28:24

HoolioHallio - I actually find your comments really offensive and utterly obtuse. Are you saying I'm lying? And that I'm such a bad parent I need classes because I occasionally smack my child on the bum - not hard and fully clothed??? Do you think premeditated smacking is the same thing??? Shall I just call a social worker now and have my daughter taken into care???

balia - Thank you, I did wonder whether she had SN at one point but after talking to our HV and her teachers I think she just has a very intense personality

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 18:32:18

Nicknamegrief - Well we've just had a row as he says me and DD have been 'pissing him off' for a long time now, and 'well done to me for noticing his mood' confused angry .. DD is actually his step DD although we have been together since she was 1. He has problems dealing with the fact she has a very intense personality and also the fact she is not biologically his. I just want to leave him.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 22-Nov-12 18:37:01

OP, not going to get into a debate about smacking, but just reading your last post, I think you need to have a long think about life with this man. It is not normal for a man to say that a child has been "pissing him off for a long time now". I'd be very worried about this.

Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 18:46:02

It was me and I didn't say worse I said illegal. To be reasonable chastisement, amongst many other things which are of greater importance to the defence, It has to be done in order to punish for some undesirable behaviour not because you are angry and have lost control. I agree an angry reaction may be less damaging to the child at the time, providing it doesn't ever progress beyond a tap on the bottom, but it is also less focused and controlled and therefore more dangerous. Anger and loss of control is an aggravating factor. One of the main reasons for banning smacking is to reduce levels of child abuse and deaths at the hands of the parents which occur as a result of escalation. If it is true that you consider smacking in a calm and focused manner as a punishment much worse really that says to me you are not disciplining your child but losing your temper (obviously we all do but resorting to physical action when you lose your temper is quite dangerous).

I agree though that's not really the point I think if your husband is abusive or your relationship very unhappy then it is not uncommon for you to pass some of that toxicity onto your children in a form of subconscious pecking order and this kind of thing needs to be tackled at the root. Your husband absolutely has to apologise to your dd and I think you need to find some way to be able to talk about what is going wrong and make it better.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 18:46:19

Actually OP you are being a bad parent hitting your child in fustration/anger. You are breaking the law doing so. Actually smacking in temper (or any emotion) rather than as a metered out method of physical discipline IS against the law in England and Wales. Please stop OP and get some help/parenting classes. Your dd does not deserve this no matter how much of a madam she is being.

If you stop being defensive about it and accept you are in the wrong smacking her you can move on and build a great relationship with her. Please have a look for parenting classes in your area before your dd starts complaining in school about this and SS get involved.

Orkling, I wish I knew the right things to say.

I think that you would benefit from speaking to someone with professional qualifications to help you figure out what is best for you, your children and your family. Does your DH also want to talk through things? I am aware that now might not be the best time to raise it with him and that some cooling off maybe helpful.

It does sound like you are unhappy and things are tense at home, do you have anyone you could stay with for the weekend to give you some space?

I am thinking of you anyway and hope my words are as supportive as I mean them to be.

Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 18:49:58

You are not a criminal though, you sound a woman at the end of her tether. Having seen your last post I do think you should leave him but that is obviously easier said than done. Your poor dd is going to grow up feeling he hates her. sad

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 19:00:22

InNeedOfBrandy - I'm a criminal and a child abuser who needs help and that social services will get involved soon if my daughter mentions I smacked her on the bum 4 months ago. Shall I PM you my name and address so you can be the one to hand me in?

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 19:01:20

Nicknamegrief - thank you, that's really kind and I appreciate it :-)

cheesesarnie Thu 22-Nov-12 19:06:16

what is stopping you op? i know it's hard (after years of being on here telling people about dh, i've finally taken the plunge and told him to leave).

If my husband threatened to hit my child in the face I would throw him out

and then kick seven shades of shit out of him

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 19:08:13

It's fine, you can be as horrible to me as you like, I just hope Iv'e made you think what your doing, and yes if your dd did mention that the school would inform SS as part as CP. If I was going to be an utter bitch I wouldn't bother giving you advise.

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 19:40:52

cheesesarnie - I was a single parent with DD for a year so I know how hard and how lonely it can be, would I be (and therefore my children) be any happier? They love their Dad, and contrary to how he may come across he is fantastic with them a lot of the time. Money would also be a major concern.

HoolioHallio Thu 22-Nov-12 19:42:07

I really don't care WHAT you think OP of my post OP. I feel desperately sorry for your child. You and your husband are in a very bad place at the moment. Your home sounds like a fairly grim place for that child to be right now so rather than attacking people who are telling you straight what you clearly don't want to hear, get some help for ALL of you. HV, GP, school support, family, Sure Start, Relate - there are loads of places to start looking.

HoolioHallio Thu 22-Nov-12 19:43:33

And yes - as Brandy says, if your child mentioned what her dad had said to her at school, you can bet your bottom dollar they would flag it up under CP legislation.

Lifeissweet Thu 22-Nov-12 19:49:07

I have never and will never hit my children. I have a DSS, however, who is 3 and when he gets in a temper he hits us. My children have never done that. When he has calmed down after time out and we ask him what he did wrong he always says: 'because I smacked Daddy'. I think he must be smacked by his Mum because where has he got that word from? Where has he learned to lash out in anger?

Hitting children is wrong. I'm sorry it is and the OP needs to get some support for what sounds like an angry family.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 20:02:30

Could you imagine how this would sound to a teacher.

teacher: why are you so quiet today is everything ok?

dd: no my dad hates me, he said he was going to slap me round my face

teacher: has he ever hurt you or your mum before

dd: no <sniff>

teacher: have you ever been hurt at home before, how do you get told off?

dd: my mums smacks me when she's angry

^^ don't brush that off and think it won't happen.

OP really really think about what you are doing, smacking is damaging your dd no matter if it was 4 months ago it emotionally does more harm then good as well as hurting her.

Busybusybust Thu 22-Nov-12 20:04:48

This thread has appalled me. Wrathdepan has been so aggressive - so
Did a search and it's a man (why are the few men on here so defensively aggressive?)

But a lot of ladies have been very harsh to OP too. Yes, of course hitting a child in the face is so much wore than a tap on the bottom. I do come from a different generation - my four children are grown up now, but yes, I did smack them occasionally. I have asked them and they just laugh and say that they couldn't remember it.

Their late father, who was a physically abused child - wouldn't discipline them at all - he didn't trust himself and,rightly, left it to me. Needless to say, as I was the hard guy, they adored him - but adored me too (and still do - I'm very lucky)

OP you are right to b appalled.

Lifeissweet Thu 22-Nov-12 20:05:40

I apologise for that sensationally unhelpful and judgy sounding post. I will just explain that I have, just this evening, had this problem with my DSS and I'm fed up with it. I think it's a raw spot. I don't want him being smacked. I don't know how a child can take in board the vital message that their body is his and should never be touched in a way that hurts him or upsets him if he is simultaneously being smacked on his bottoms. So I wasn't really offering anything helpful, OP, just venting. Sorry.

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 20:10:54

?? Aggressive?? Defensively aggressive?? Show me where? < runs risk of being 'defensive'. smile

I'd also suggest that the phrase "tap on the bottom" is vastly under-reporting violence. I brought a very troublesome dog I had rescued to the vets as he had repeatedly 'nipped' people for no apparent reason. The vets said "you mean he bites people?" Umm...yes. 'Nips' was a nice under-reporting of it as I subconsciously didn't want to face up the full implication.

Tap on the bottom serves the same purpose.

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