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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.

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:02:25

if you are hitting your children and use verbal violence as discipline then threats to hitting in the face is just a part of the continuum. (and blaming someone else for your mood swings is misplaced - they are your moods.)

CailinDana Thu 22-Nov-12 09:03:06

I don't see how you can be furious at him threatening to hit her if you have already actually hit her. What he said was extremely aggressive and wrong but if you're a family that hits, then the threat is valid, albeit without the cursing. What's difference between smacking on the face and smacking on the bum?

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:16:01

WrathdePan - I disagree with your last point, I think it's very difficult to be happy when the person you are living with is always unhappy and negative.

CailinDana - Personally I think there is a massive difference between smacking in the face and smacking on the bum.

CailinDana Thu 22-Nov-12 09:21:37

I think there's only a difference in perception between smacking on the bum and smacking on the face. Smacking on the bum is traditionally seen as "ok" because it's reserved for smaller weaker people who can't stand up for themselves (ie children). It is still sore and humiliating though. Smacking in the face is seen as something adults do to other adults so that's seen as violent. Personally as an adult I would find being smacked on the bum far more humiliating that being smacked in the face - your bum is a private personal area that you don't expect to have touched at all. For someone to actually hurt you there is really embarrassing. Hitting is hitting, whether it's on the arm or the head or the bum. Hitting in one place isn't suddenly "better" than hitting in another. Violence is violence.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:22:22

Sorry you lose the moral high ground by already of hitting her.
Neither of you should threaten on hit her if you were in Scotland you would be in jail, what makes you think it's ok to hit a child but not a grown up?

babyhammock Thu 22-Nov-12 09:23:09

I'm very very against smacking in any form but hitting someone in the face is clearly much worse than a smack on the bum in terms of levels of violence....

If someone said that to my child it would be a deal breaker sad

babyhammock Thu 22-Nov-12 09:25:18

Calin I do see your point too. Both are very wrong x

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:25:46

Orkling - you are choosing therefore to be unhappy and 'moody'. That's your active choice. Don't blame him for it.

CailinDana Thu 22-Nov-12 09:26:08

Anyway, if your relationship with your DH is good, then it might be possible to sit down together and make a commitment to take violence out of your parenting, together. Perhaps go to a parenting course.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:28:15

Yes a parenting course and stop smacking it is not good for a child! I say thas as someone who did smack till I realised how awful it was.

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Thu 22-Nov-12 09:29:19

What CailinDana said.

Hitting is hitting is hitting.

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:29:26

WrathdePan - I think it's unreasonable to expect for a person not to be affected by the the moods of another person they live with. It is not as simple as 'choosing' to feel bad.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:32:17

Its more unreasonable to hit your child Orkling. Think about what you are doing.

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:32:59

Well here's a couple of things 1. stop hitting your children 2. stop someone who sounds like a bully (great dad?) from swearing at and threatening the children, and inviting you to be unhappy - it's an inviation you don't have to accept.
<takes of Jeremy Kyle mask>

babyhammock Thu 22-Nov-12 09:33:11

Doesn't sound like the relationship is good though if he's making her unhappy and moody.... and yes I do think living with someone who behaves this way will undoubtedly affect OP's mood and the way she is able to deal with things.

He doesn't sound like a great dad, the children will be well aware of his short fuse and will act walk on eggshells accordingly sad

As I said, this would be a deal breaker for me.

CailinDana Thu 22-Nov-12 09:35:11

I do think living with a very negative man can make you moody. But your children have to live with two parents, one who hits them, the other who threatens to hit them. If being negative makes you moody, what do think aggression from both your parents does to you?

amverytired Thu 22-Nov-12 09:35:19


Why are people jumping on the op? Oh, it must be because they haven't got a clue.
Orkling - you are right - living in an abusive relationship will drag you down. You will get ratty, depressed, stressed and start to behave badly to your own children (been there, got the t-shirt).
But what your dh threatened to do to your dd and the way he spoke to her is completely unacceptable.

Something needs changing - you won't be able to change him, so what are your options?

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:35:45

I'm really trying not to get drawn into a bum smacking debate here but I will just say it, is rare that I will, I have never smacked the younger two and DD only ever when she has really crossed the line and I have lost my temper, the last time was probably about 4 months ago and it wasn't hard enough to hurt her.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:37:28

amverytired Are you saying because she is in an abusive relationship that gives her the right to abuse her dc? Bullshit I went in a refuge I know about abusive relationships and I didn't turn that abuse round on my dc.

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:37:44

That said I would never smack a child in the face, primarily because I imagine it would hurt a lot more than a smack on a fully clothed bum.

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:39:23

No amverytired - it's because we do have a clue and know that the OP has been condoning and contributing toward a life for the children that isn't good and her own boundaries are so fucked that she's blaming someone else for it.

CailinDana Thu 22-Nov-12 09:39:46

Orkling saying a hit doesn't hurt MAKES NO SENSE. A hit that doesn't hurt is a touch. Are you saying you touched your DD on the bum as a way of disciplining her? Seriously?

You hit her when you "lost your temper" - so you did it to express your anger, the same way your DH did today when he shouted. Personally I would prefer to be shouted at than hit. I don't see how you can get angry at him for threatening to hit when you actually hit. If we're talking about things "not hurting" - being shouted at doesn't hurt at all. So your DH was more justified in what he did than you were.

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:40:24

Ok, I am ducking out now.

I have come for some constructive advice and am now, in typical mumsnet style, being accused of being a child abuser.

mummytime Thu 22-Nov-12 09:40:46

Okay Orkling - you need to take control and act as an adult. You can control your actions, it is harder if you live with someone who is grumpy, but it is possible. So start to plan better, keep a diary of the flash points in your daily routine, and plan to avoid them. Talk to your children about getting themselves organised (7 is quite old enough). Decide what things are worth bothering with, and decide what things to let slide.

Read all you can about parenting without smacking. Because in an "ideal" situation isn't that what you would prefer? Who wants to hit their children?

You have to take responsibility for your actions. You have to teach your children to take responsibility for theirs (by not accepting responsibility yourself).

Then you can mention to your DH how unhelpful incidents like this morning are. Just how helpful is it to shout at a child where her coat is, wouldn't it have been easier for everyone just to give it to her? If not, then a simple "its in front of you" would do.

Limit speaking at stressful times, say as little as you can. It gets messages across clearer and doesn't increase confusion and stress.

(And I am a far from ideal Mum, but at least I know what we are aiming for.)

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:41:48

OP - you can't talk about violence to children and then say "I'm not going to talk about violence to children". Really sounds like you are living with an unhappy bully though. Good luck, and do please keep your temper?

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:43:20

mummytime - Thanks, that's good advice.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:44:41

You have been giving advise, you have been advised to stop hitting your precious child.

plantsitter Thu 22-Nov-12 09:49:13

I don't smack my children but I can't believe that people are suggesting a smack on the bum is in any way the same as threatening to hit someone in the face. This is why seeing things in black and white is extremely unhelpful.

OP posted about her DH's increasing grumpiness and added some things to show she is not suggesting she herself is perfect. Crikey.

OP, if your DH's behaviour is new I would suggest he goes to the doctor as it sounds like depression. If not, maybe this morning's events are the catalyst you need to have a look at the relationship and where it's going.

Startail Thu 22-Nov-12 10:01:36

personally, I'm not against smacking or threatening to smack children who are seriously pushing limits or doing something dangerous.

However, hitting or using violent language because you are in a foul mood yourself is not acceptable.

amverytired Thu 22-Nov-12 10:12:51

'amverytired Are you saying because she is in an abusive relationship that gives her the right to abuse her dc? Bullshit I went in a refuge I know about abusive relationships and I didn't turn that abuse round on my dc.'

I'm absolutely not saying that - I am saying I understand how a parent in an abusive relationship can get stressed with their dc and behave badly, I'm not condoning smacking, and I don't/haven't smacked my dc. But I have shouted at them because I didn't want their (normal) behaviour to anger my partner and get him (more) annoyed.
If someone is in a bad mood, has a short fuse, is abusive, it's hard to parent properly when you are trying to placate them (the abusive partner) at the same time.

ErikNorseman Thu 22-Nov-12 10:48:28

Let's just get some perspective here
Smacking is not abuse. Not in law and not in the legal definition of abuse. Threatening to smack a child in the face is
OP this is unacceptable. He needs to sort out his attitude or be removed from the opportunity to emotionally abuse his children.

NoraGainesborough Thu 22-Nov-12 10:50:11

Personally I think there is a massive difference between smacking in the face and smacking on the bum.

I disagree.

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:54:56

For gods sakes, of course it is completely different to threaten to smack a child in the face as opposed to a tap on the backside.

I was occasionally given a smacked bum or legs as a kid, as were my stepkids, as are my stepkids own children, but only for being repeatedly naughty after warnings have been ignored, and never have any of us ever been hit in the face or even threatened with it!

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:56:49

It is abuse in Scotland. You would go to jail for smacking your dc on the bum let alone anywhere else.

Shouting while not great is not hitting. I believe you have failed as a parent if you hit your child because you have lost your temper or don't discipline them in another way. Having a moody husband is not an excuse to not parent properly.

And smacking is a nicer term for slapping and hitting and hurting your child.

Catsdontcare Thu 22-Nov-12 10:58:28

Well I don't want to get drawn into the smacking debate. I will say OP that living with a moody person DOES bring you down, it is draining being surrounded by someone else's negativity all the time.

I think the way your husband spoke to your daughter is out of line and a gross over reaction to a bit of cheek from a 7 year old.

I think you need to approach the issue of his general mood, tell him how it is affecting the household and that you even feel you need to make changes about your own mood and discipline methods but essentially you don't feel that can happen whilst he continues the way he is.

FirstTimeForEverything Thu 22-Nov-12 11:07:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoraGainesborough Thu 22-Nov-12 11:16:36

squeaky that's your opinion.

Laying a finger on a child, regardless of where it is wrong my opinion. Face, bum, arm anywhere. That's my opinion.

You can 'for gods sake' all you want and talk about it not harming you. Good for you. I suspect it did harm some people.

You are entitled to your opinion. But so are others.

Wowserz129 Thu 22-Nov-12 11:25:53

I honestly think saying to a seen year old to stop being fucking cheeky or you will smack her in the face is so vile! It makes me so sad thinking that a parent would speak to a child that way. Horrid.

Your husband obviously needs help to learn to control his anger. There is not a hope I would tolerate anyone speaking in such an aggressive and nasty manner to my son. hmm

nocakeformeplease Thu 22-Nov-12 11:39:43

YY to amverytired, erik and squeaky.

I don't personally smack my DC as I think here re more effective methods but I cannot believe that people are claiming there is no difference between a tap on the bum/leg and smacking someone in the face.

I don't blame you for bowing out OP, it has just turned into typical MN hysteria.

TessBob Thu 22-Nov-12 11:54:14

Orkling, you've been honest, and the facts are not pretty. But it takes courage to put this stuff out there. Well done you.

Take this opportunity to draw a line under things, and promise to yourself that you won't smack your children. It's a matter of self-respect and love for yourself, and for them. You don't need to smack. No adult does. And it scars children. I was smacked. I still feel the humiliation and shock that I felt. I am 40.

Your partner's behaviour, and threat to hit in the face, is an act of terrifying aggression towards a child. You know this already. It is not ok. It is far from ok, and it can not ever happen again. It is cruel.

I wish I had something more subtle to suggest, but the only solution that can work for your children, is to remove him, and perhaps from a safer distance, work slowly towards building a more positive fathering relationship.

Imagine what you would do if you saw a car hurtling towards your children in the street. Everything to save them the fear and the pain, right? He is a car hurtling towards them, every day. And it is worse, because he is their father. Don't be fooled by your children appearing to cope with it. Underneath, they won't be.

Get some help. Start with your GP, health visitor, or speak to a sympathetic teacher about what is happening at home. Don't ignore it because it has happened only once. Don't wait for it to get worse. It is not ok.

Women offering their (asked for) hysteria? Goodness, are we in Victorian England? hmm

OP you have had advice, plenty of it. The fact that posters are leaning towards advising you against hitting your child is part of it, but there is more besides if you decide to ignore that part. Such as parenting classes and having a mature discussion with your OH.

My advice is the same: talk to your husband about losing his rag in such a cruel way and stop smacking, both of you. Feel free to read the first part of that sentence and ignore the second; that's your choice. And it is my choice to offer my opinion and advice.

TwinkleReturns Thu 22-Nov-12 11:55:44

A blow to the head can kill you. A blow to the face is often something seen in DV relationships as not only can it cause huge actual harm - black eye, split lip, can cause you to fall and lose consciousness - it also leaves a visible mark for all to see. "You have defied me, I have branded you". Someone who makes threats of this type is someone who wants to hurt and humiliate as opposed to losing their temper. The face is where we express our emotions and abusers will focus on this area because they want to control - control your expressions of defiance, control your happiness, obedience etc. A threat to hit a child in the face is a huge red flag. Smacking is not ok full stop but this threat of violence is very serious and coupled with the OPs description of her Hs anger issues is worrying.

I think some posters need to bear that in mind.

OP dont duck out, please keep posting, there's a huge wealth of support on here.

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 11:59:51

"It is abuse in Scotland. You would go to jail for smacking your dc on the bum let alone anywhere else"


Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 12:11:25

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. That is fairly by the by. The research shows no benefits to smacking and a lot of disadvantages.

I also think the physical effects of hitting in the face are likely to be worse than on the bottom however hitting on the bottom is designed to degrade someone weaker and more vulnerable so the psychological effects are likely to be worse. I think actually hitting in temper on the bottom is equivalent in wrongness to threatening to hit round the face (and swearing).

Something needs to happen to break this cycle of abuse which is occurring in this family. It isn't the child that is the problem either so I don't agree with advice to look at what could be reasonably expected of the child.

If your husband is abusive op and it is leading to an environment where physical violence or threats of it are becoming a method of discipline you as the parents need to do something about that.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:21:55

Couldn't find exact matches but here is an article talking about the no smacking legislation in scotland. Although it is only for under 3s so far but the Human rights court want it banned from all the uk for all ages.

If you google smacking children and scotland pages and pages and pages come up of parents (not just in scotland) facing jail for smacking their children.

nocakeformeplease Thu 22-Nov-12 12:25:53

Not all the post obviously, tessbar puts her point across and offer constuctive advice too.

But some are yes. Although it seems to me to be more about demonstrating their own superiority with regard to parenting then offering an opinion on the OPs thoughts.

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:28:10

But that article is from 2001 and the law HAS been changed since.

Guidance states
that if a court is investigating the physical punishment
of a child, as well as considering the actions prohibited by the Criminal
Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, it will consider:
•the child’s age;
•what was done to the child, for what reason
and what the circumstances were;
•the duration of the punishment and the frequency;
•howit affected the child (physically andmentally); and
•any other issues personal to the child, such
as their gender and state of health.
Despite these restrictions, a family member can still hit a child without
any legal protection for the child.

PropositionJoe Thu 22-Nov-12 12:32:40

I think the threat to smack in the face does cross the line and your DP should acknowledge this to your DD and apologise, explaining that he was cross and in a hurry and he shouldn't have said it (and would never do it).

I don't think you need any more comments about smacking on the bum.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:36:03

Is a clearer link but yes I was wrong. Still a fucked up thing to hurt your child on purpose. In England and Wales

A parent can be charged with a criminal offence if they harm their child under certain offences, these offences are:
an offence under section 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (wounding and causing
grievous bodily harm)
an offence under section 47 of that act (assault occasioning actual bodily harm)
an offence under section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (cruelty to persons under 16)
Determining what charge will be made depends on the harm caused to the child.
The Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales has produced a charging standard in order to help
prosecutors to determine the appropriate offence in a case. This guidance has suggested that common assault is where
injuries amount to no more that the following:
Minor bruising;
Reddening of the skin;
Superficial cuts;
A „black&#8223; eye.
The charging standard goes on to say that:
“…. there may be cases where the injuries suffered by a victim would usually amount to common assault but due to the
presence of serious aggravating features, they could more appropriately be charged as actual bodily harm.”

So if you leave a red mark after smacking your child you are a criminal and are assaulting your dc.

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).

Kormachameleon Thu 22-Nov-12 19:07:39

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.

cheesesarnie Thu 22-Nov-12 20:15:19

they love their dad.

do they know that hitting is wrong and that to say things like this is very very wrong?

love has nothing to do with it. you can love as much as you can, but as soon as you hit, or threaten violence- love means nothing.

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 20:20:07

Yes cheesesarnie - what's love got to with it? Well, nothing at all.
< busy - I said 'fucked up boundaries' which could be seen as 'aggressive' - or just a suitable use of a exclaimant - either way it's relevant from what the OP indicates life is like.>

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 20:23:13

I was trying to work out what it was you said that was supposed aggressive WP

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 20:24:42

thanks Brandy - I don't know.

cheesesarnie Thu 22-Nov-12 20:37:30

so why post?
to tell us what a violent partner you have?

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 20:47:45

Men on MN, eh? Sheesh!

balia Thu 22-Nov-12 20:52:07

OP - It is Ok to want to leave him, you know. You don't have to prove he is a bad person or justify yourself. You sound very, very unhappy. The money thing is very scary - have you looked into it WRT benefits you would get etc?

Everyone - Look, I am really anti spanking for any reason. But if someone is in a really difficult situation and is just at the point of realising how bad it is and wanting to do something about it, demonising them is hardly going to help.

OP - getting defensive may well be a reflex action at the moment due to the pressure you are under, but everyone here is taking time to try to say things that they think are important in helping your children. Would you rather be in a situation where you felt calm and happy enough to deal with DD without smacking her? Posters are trying ways to get you there. (I understand this is not easy listening)

SminkoPinko Thu 22-Nov-12 20:54:01

Totally agree with busybusybust (and fwiw have never smacked any of my 3 and generally am not in favour of hitting children). Lots of misinformation on the law as well. It says nothing about temper.

This is what the Children's legal centre says:

"It is unlawful for a parent or carer to smack their child, except where this amounts to "reasonable punishment&#8223;. This defence is laid down in section 58 of the Children Act 2004, but it is not defined in this legislation. Whether a "smack&#8223; amounts to reasonable punishment will depend on the circumstances of each case taking into consideration factors like the age of the child and the nature of the smack.
However, physical punishment will be considered "unreasonable" if it leaves a mark on the child or if the child is hit with an implement such as a cane or a belt."

A single hit with hand onto clothed buttocks of a young child would be v v v v unlikely to break the law.

Poor you, Orkling. I would be really worried about this, the more so because he is not her biological dad. Does he ever treat his biological children this way?

Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 20:56:02

It is case law that refines how reasonable chastisement is applied sminko

SorryMyLollipop Thu 22-Nov-12 20:56:22

What's difference between smacking on the face and smacking on the bum?

Erm, well, one (smacking on the bottom) is a legally (not necessarily socially) accepted form of discipline that SS agree do not see as abuse.

The other (smacking on the head/face) is illegal and SS do see it as abuse.

That is the legal/SS position. If any MNers think the law needs changing, they should lobby their MP.

The OP came on here for help.

Smacking on the bottom may not be ideal/healthy but legally it is not abusive

Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 20:59:15

Depends on the circumstances lollipop. Depends entirely on the circumstances. Smacking on the bottom is not legal. What you can say is that it is likely that reasonable chastisement would be a successful defence against prosecution in the vast majority of cases however people have been convicted for smacks on the bottom.

SminkoPinko Thu 22-Nov-12 21:00:01

And what case law is there criminalising a smacked bottom? I'm not aware of any.

I would be in favour of a clear no smacking law but that is not what we've got.

SorryMyLollipop Thu 22-Nov-12 21:00:45

Ok, sorry, this has already been covered.

SorryMyLollipop Thu 22-Nov-12 21:02:13

I have been told by child protection social workers that it is legal. Other people know more than me so I will take a bow and exit stage left.

As you were.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 21:02:51

<pushes WP off thread> <your not allowed here your a man grin>

It is not chastising when OP loses her temper though. So it's not in keeping with the law.

I do understand this can't be easy listening OP, I really wish you the best and you can leave him. You can tell him to leave/pack a bag and start again. I wouldn't stay with someone who would harm my child no matter how broke I'd be or a while and how awful would you feel if you didn't sort this out and he did slap her round the face. Think about it OP and do whats right, if you are scared ring womens aid. You can do this.

SminkoPinko Thu 22-Nov-12 21:04:38
ICBINEG Thu 22-Nov-12 21:09:46

Really really can't wrap my head around being appalled at someone threatening to hit a child in the face and then being all astonished that others are appalled that you actually hit the child.

That having been said there is lots of useful advice on the thread and I think the OP is facing in the right direction if not actually moving in it yet....

The children loving their father is a red herring - children love even the shittiest of parents, believe me. A child's love is no reflection of how good a parent someone is.

TisILeclerc Thu 22-Nov-12 21:17:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 21:22:22

Sminko that isn't case law, that is a media report of something one judge said. There is no level of violence which is legal. Smacking per se is not illegal however it depends on the circumstances as is stated in that article e.g. A Scottish case where a man took down his 8 year old daughter's pants in a medical waiting room and repeatedly smacked her then chased her round trying to carry on smacking her which was not "reasonable chastisement". You can't actually safely say anything is "legal" it always depends on the circumstances.

Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 21:24:04

And yes in law hitting on the face/head is always illegal.

cheesesarnie Thu 22-Nov-12 21:27:45

to be it wouldn't matter whether it was legal or illegal. he threatened to smack your child in the face!

ewaczarlie Thu 22-Nov-12 21:33:41

I live with someone like that - aggressive and moody one minute, happy the next. He's on medication to help but its nt working so I do understand your situation OP and how it effects you and family.
I also was Smacked as a child and see it as totally different to threatening to bit someone in the face (don't have an issue with calm light smacks if its the only way to stop dangerous behaviour). While I tolerate a lot of verbal aggression from my partner (different topic so please no comments) if he ever threatened to hit my ds like that I'd having out the door.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:09

There is a difference between an open-handed blow to a clothed bottom and the same intensity of open-handed blow to the face: hitting the face is far more likely to cause lasting damage and much more painful. So hitting a person's face is more aggressive and violent than hitting their bottom.

cakehappy Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:28

How unhelpful most of these posts have been OP, I'm sorry that you're having such a hard time. Your DH seems like hard work, big time!...and I can imagine your dismay and anger to hear him say things like that. Keep posting, you've got lots of people keen on helping you even though it may not seem like it.

balia Thu 22-Nov-12 21:39:41

Whilst there may be a difference between hitting different parts of someone's body, I think it is important to remind people that the DH in question did not actually hit the child anywhere.

TisILeclerc Thu 22-Nov-12 21:48:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SminkoPinko Thu 22-Nov-12 21:52:43

I am against smacking full stop but I think such a lot of holier than thou nonsense about it is posted on mumsnet and parents who admit to mild smacking occasionally are absolutely demonised. "There is no such thing as a mild smack", come the cries. "Hitting is hitting". Well, I disagree. I was smacked every now and then as a child. With a hand. On the bum or leg. Once. It did no good- I felt resentful and defiant and disrespected my parents for losing their rags. And then we all made up because they were basically nice parents and I knew they loved me. As opposed to people I know who were fucking terrified of their punching, threatening, belt wielding, belittling, critical, nasty excuses for parents. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING. There are degrees. Within generally emotionally warm parent child relationships a smack may not be the worst thing in the world ever, in my view.

Consistently angry cold parenting is far more damaging, imo, and therefore I can quite see where the OP is coming from with her worry about her partner threatening her little girl in this way. I think her own occasional smacking is almost irrelevant.

Touche, Offred! The Scottish case was far from a single smack on a clothed backside but I guess technically you are right that it criminalised a smacked bottom and I do take your point that the law is context specific. I think the DM piece is relevant though- it is a newspaper report about a case that was taken to the Court of Appeal in England.

quietlysuggests Thu 22-Nov-12 22:03:02

TisILeclercThu 22-Nov-12 21:17:3

What an amzing post. I really admire your courage.

nocakeformeplease Thu 22-Nov-12 22:08:02

Agree 100% sminko.

Particularly that consistently angry cold parenting is far more damaging than a tap on the bum/leg from an otherwise loving parent. And I have experienced both.

TisILeclerc Thu 22-Nov-12 22:14:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 22:15:27

How about instead of smacking or cold parenting (which the OP hasn't said she does) we all agree that smacking on its own is not a good form of discipline and neither is any other form of abusive parenting. I could go google loads and loads of statistics that show smacking is damaging to counter your points of ancedotal experiences.

Pocketmonster Thu 22-Nov-12 22:16:42

Hi OP - you sound as though you are very unhappy and stressed. Have you talked more to your H?

I would be very concerned about your H's behaviour to your DD and his comments about being pissed off by her. It is all very very inappropriate.

You've had a rough ride on this thread but also some thoughtful and helpful posts - which I hope you find useful.

I hope you get things sorted.

NeverMindOhWell Thu 22-Nov-12 23:18:03

Newbie here, be gentle :-). All I have to say re: smacking is, it is not only the physical pain which is the issue, but also the "shaming" of anyone who has been physically assaulted. At what age do they realise they should not tolerate being hit? Is it ok as long as its coming from a parent?

Also, how would OP feel if DD turned round and smacked her (on the face/arm/bottom etc.?) Would it be ok if she had "really lost her temper" and it didn't hurt?

All this aside, it doesn't sound as though the DCs are benefitting from a safe, stable home life and if my DH was moody/withdrawn/threatening and telling me and DD I was "pissing him off" he could sling his hook.

itsallinmyhead Thu 22-Nov-12 23:43:11

OP, you are quite obviously a disgusting human being, who does not deserve the right to be a mother. How you & you alone choose to discipline your children is unforgivable.

You know something, if this wasn't someones REAL life, I'd be in stitches at some of these posts.

This woman is not the only mother in GB to smack her child on the bum, yet some of you suggest she needs parenting classes?

Get a real life grip of yourselves. It must be hard balancing up there on your pedestals looking down at the less than perfect!

I love the whole 'school script' with not only verbatim dialogue but direction too!

OP it is against the law to abuse a child, not to use bum smacking as discipline.

My advice, for what it's worth, is hide this bloody thread & take care.

nocakeformeplease Thu 22-Nov-12 23:44:32

Of course we can inneed. I cant recall any post suggesting that smacking on its own is a good form of discipline.

Im so sorry, I missed out the IMO when I copied the quote. Although clearly no one is allowed to hold an opinion unless it agrees with yours.

RyleDup Thu 22-Nov-12 23:56:04

itsallinmyhead heres a grip. Take it and hold on tightly. You clearly need it.

RyleDup Thu 22-Nov-12 23:59:18

Sorry itsallinmyhead. i've misread your post. Sorry sorry sorry.

< takes back grip and hits self over rhe head with it>

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 23-Nov-12 00:00:17

the IMO wasn't missing, it was another form of abusive parenting being added on to justify the smacking that was silly. It doesn't really matter whether you agree with me or not, smacking will be completely illegal in 10 years max I'd put money on it. the UK is one of 5 EU countries where this inhumane act is still legal. The EU courts and all the NSPC type charitys are pressuring the gov more and more to ban this.

and yes itsallinmyhead you really need to get a grip.

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 23-Nov-12 00:00:53

Oh I read that totally wrong then blush

itsallinmyhead Fri 23-Nov-12 00:13:26

I most probably do need to get a grip in a lot of ways.

But this OP is not doing anything wrong.

If you feel strongly about no smacking, whoop de whoop but you do not have the right to even suggest that someone change their discipline choices!

This is not a case of abuse no matter how much you bloody google it. The woman occasionally smacks her DD to discipline her...that is her choice & obviously something she believes works for her.

So whether or not it's something you or I would do, it's none of our business to suggest any other form of discipline unless we knew this op in rl & suspected abuse, rather than discipline.

Must be a grand thing to be bloody perfect.

itsallinmyhead Fri 23-Nov-12 00:20:32

Ryledup no worries, I see my sarcasm was a little on the heavy side.

Lots of things I need to get a grip on, all the same grin

nocakeformeplease Fri 23-Nov-12 00:23:50

I am not justifying smacking. Read my original post, I don't smack myself. But what I think is silly is claiming that there is no difference between a tap on the bum (over clothes) and smacking someone round the head.

RyleDup Fri 23-Nov-12 00:25:46

Oh yeah, me too itsallinmyhead. grin Not this though.

SminkoPinko Fri 23-Nov-12 00:48:09

I was not justifying smacking by comparing it to other forms of "abusive parenting". I am not in favour of smacking. I do not smack my children. I would like the law to be changed so that children have the right not to be hit under any circumstances just like other people. But I do not think a blanket condemnation of smacking as if there are no gradations is a helpful response on this thread. And I do think there is a spectrum of "abusive parenting" which we are all on at times since none of us are perfect and Orklings smacks sound like they are at the milder end. Along with my occasional roars of rage at my children and laxness at making my teenagers do their homework, my partner's occasional over-protectiveness of his daughter and over-exasperation at his sons, my friend's occasional over-high expectations of her 2 year old's behaviour and perplexity at said 2 year old's failure to comply with her commands and frustrated decision to smack occasionally to enhance compliance which fails utterly and my other friend's over-indulgence of her teenage son and willingness to believe that the sun shines out of his behind (which has never been smacked) even when it is clear that he has been behaving v badly as all kids do now and then according to their wont. All of these are not ideal and all of these are born out of stress and family personalities and dynamics and imperfect understanding of child development etc etc etc and all the children involved have warm loving parents and hopefully they will emerge largely unscathed from all the mistakes we make because they are in homes high in emotional warmth (I hope and believe). I think Orkling is right to hear alarm bells when anger and scariness is coming to the fore from her partner. I think all this analysis of the evil of her smacking is a total red herring. She is right to be worried about her partner's behaviour towards her little girl as that is a potentially a big slide along the abusive parenting spectrum, right away from good enough.

I was smacked on the bum and in the face when I was a child. To me at the time there wasn't a huge difference.

SminkoPinko Fri 23-Nov-12 00:54:52

nocakeformeplease said the same thing as me in 2 sentences!

Orkling Fri 23-Nov-12 10:29:26

We've sat down and really talked. I said I wasn't prepared to carry on with his moodiness. He said he has been moody as he feels I have been taking him for granted and snapping at him constantly, he is also under a huge amount of pressure at work.
He says his main problem is that we can't agree on disciplining DD, he feels that I am too soft on her and allow her to get away with too much and am inconsistent. He thinks a firmer approach (not smacking, he has never smacked) is needed and if she misbehaves she shouldn't just be sent to the naughty step for 7 minutes then all is forgotten about, she needs to really know that she has misbehaved so that she won't do it again, i.e. sent to her room for an hour or have a treat taken away.

He says I forget too easily, whereas he can't do that. I was brought up in a fairly relaxed house (although I was occasionally smacked), he was brought up by a very authoritarian father but was never smacked.

I don't think her behaviour is that bad, he does, and he also feels that as he isn't her biological father that it makes it all the more complicated... stalemate.

mummytime Fri 23-Nov-12 10:40:31

Are there any parenting classes you can both access?
Is he harder on you DD than his own children?

To be honest I don't think being sent to their room for an hour is a suitable punishment for a 7 year old. I also believe you need to discuss what is the purpose of punishment? Is it to teach a child not to do something? Or is it to make the child upset and publicly pay for their "crime"?

TisILeclerc Fri 23-Nov-12 10:42:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlphaBeta82 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:55:59

Unfortunately by being ok with one sort of smacking makes it difficult as others have said to draw a line a bit further down the continuum. Personally violence of any sort against a child is as far as I am concerned not a good form of punishment or supporting their development.
I have to say DH swearing or threatening my child in that manner would be a deal breaker for me.
I don't think you are unreasonable to be annoyed at all, but I think may be you both need to sit down and discuss boundaries over what you think is right and worng for your children.

Orkling Fri 23-Nov-12 12:25:30

I think relate or some kind of counseling would be a way forward, either on his own or us as a couple. He is really against it but at a push may come along...

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 23-Nov-12 16:06:24

Please find some sort of parenting class. Naughty step IMO isn't effective but consequences of actions are. Even if you bought a book like how to talk so kids will listen
and work through the book would benefit and it's a very relaxed sort of approach but lots and lots of common sense.

catstail Fri 23-Nov-12 19:36:07

OP, I dont know what is wrong with people on this thread today, apart from ANYTHING ELSE, smacking your kids on the bum is perfectly legal in England whereas smacking the face is a CRIME.

I'm not sure why anyone would be so obtuse as to not see the difference frankly

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:39:01

I don't see how anyone could be so OBTUSE to see an actual smack is different then a threat. And you cannot smack your dc bum in anger/fustration that is illegal, it's not just as simple as you can or can't.

olgaga Fri 23-Nov-12 19:48:01

I think you've had a hard time on here OP. Your husband sounds rather jealous of your little girl, and his attitude - this being annoyed at you and her, feeling that he's being taken for granted - is worryingly childish of him.

I think you both need to find a parenting class. Try your local authority website, or local SureStart/HomeStart.

catstail Fri 23-Nov-12 19:52:32

brandy, of course a threat and a deed are not the same, my post is clearly in response to all the posters clamouring that it doesn't matter where a child is hit because it's all the same

YummyHoney Fri 23-Nov-12 19:56:55

I think you should get off MN and be a hands-on parent.

Pocketmonster Sat 24-Nov-12 16:37:33

That's right Yummy - because using Mumsnet means you can't be a hands on parent. hmm


YummyHoney Mon 26-Nov-12 11:25:32

Absolutely! There are countless women who spend hours on MN instead of looking after their DC - which is why such a lot of them are asking for advice about sick children.

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