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Gran smacked DS

(45 Posts)
Peachsummer Thu 13-Jun-19 13:21:21

DS 16mo has started biting when he doesn’t get his own way. I’ve been yelling Ow! so he knows he’s hurt me, and saying NO that’s naughty, we don’t bite! DS knows I’m annoyed because he cries when I tell him off.

This morning he bit my DM and she smacked his bottom. To say I’m furious is an understatement. He cried hysterically and when I comforted him DM told me off for “petting” him after he’s been naughty.

I told DM in no uncertain terms that she is not to smack my child. At first she tried to insist that you can’t call that a smack, it wasn’t hard and it didn’t even hurt. I persisted in saying it’s unacceptable so then DM switched to saying You just let DS do whatever he wants and it’s ridiculous, he’s going to grow up naughty, this is the problem with the world nowadays, I might as well go home because you’re just being nasty to me and I’m clearly not wanted.

I rely on DM for childcare and truthfully couldn’t afford to pay someone if she wasn’t available. But now I’m worried she’s hitting DS when I’m not there.

NoonAim Thu 13-Jun-19 13:24:10

Well he probably won't bite her again.

headinhands Thu 13-Jun-19 13:25:48

Unfortunately I don't think you can carry on with the childcare arrangements. That's the bottom line here. You'll have to think of something else

newmomof1 Thu 13-Jun-19 13:30:01

It's one thing her punishing him (although completely unacceptable IMO), it's another thing her arguing with you once you've made it clear you're not happy for your son to be treated in this way.

I can say without a doubt in my mind that if any of DD's grandparents ever smack her, it will be the last time they ever see her.
They're all very aware of my feelings with regards to punishments.

TeeBee Thu 13-Jun-19 13:31:18

I wouldn't be having her watch my child at all. If she's smacking him in front of you, what will she do when you're not there? If she insists it's okay behaviour, I'd smack her and say 'well, you were naughty, and it wasn't hard'.

Chipsahoy Thu 13-Jun-19 13:37:41

I disagree with the pp who said he won't bite again. He's 16months!
My dc3 is 13months and I've never known a child to bite like he does. I'd never hit him. I don't even say he is naughty cos I don't agree with calling kids naughty or even their behavior but that's a whole other thread.. Anyway at this age, it's remove and distract.
If anyone smacked my child they'd never be alone with them again.

ImnotlikearegularMomImacoolMom Thu 13-Jun-19 13:38:08

Smacking would result in a chewing out from me, DH and if it happened again, no more childcare.
My DS also started biting recently. I say no firmly and put him down, he starts crying and I just ignore him for a few seconds until he comes for a love. I hope this is the best way to deal with it.

mynewkindle Thu 13-Jun-19 13:40:24

Well if you live in Scotland it's illegal to smack your child.

What a difficult situation.

Soola Thu 13-Jun-19 14:01:13

I’m not completely adverse to smacking but at 16 months the child is far too young to understand.

Either you have a proper chat with your mother when emotions have cooled and calmly show her articles about smacking and how it is not a favoured method of punishment and if she is sincere and accepts that she must never do it again hen you could think about moving forward and putting the incident behind you.

Or you drop her from being alone with your child.

Peachsummer Thu 13-Jun-19 14:38:05

No not in Scotland. I’ve tried chatting to DM a couple of hours later and her attitude is - well if you’re going to have a go at me I just won’t come over any more. I said that’s lovely, you’re going to stop seeing your grandson because you aren’t allowed to hit him. And she said it’s not hitting.

If I had any other childcare option I’d take it. But the situation is either DM babysits for free or I have to SAH because there’s no money to pay for childcare.

Deadringer Thu 13-Jun-19 15:20:58

Was it just a reaction, as in a smack without thinking because of the pain of the bite, or a deliberate act iykwim? Either way your dm is in the wrong, but she probably doesn't want to back down, or be accused of being abusive so she is playing it down. If you need her for childcare i think you should let this one go as long as it's understood that going forward smacking is a no no. Never seeing her again would be a complete over reaction, you need to have a conversation about this when you have both cooled off a bit. My friend's mil smacked her child once in similar circumstances, my friend was very upset but they had a proper talk and it never happened again and the DC have an amazing relationship with their Nan.

SarahAndQuack Thu 13-Jun-19 15:34:57

Oh dear.

I would find this very difficult. My parents smacked us (and worse), and I know my brother had to have a very difficult conversation with them when his children (older than mine) were born. My dad's recently made a comment about how they used smacking as discipline, implying he thinks it's a good idea, and I had to come down hard and point out it was absolutely non-negotiable for me that he didn't smack.

However, if you're saying you rely on your mum, you are in a really awkward position.

Do you think it's possible she has reacted so strongly to you telling her it wasn't ok because she never anticipated you'd disagree? It might have caught her off-guard and made her defensive. After all it is an implicit criticism of her parenting of you.

I think it's plain bonkers to smack a 16 month old, but I wouldn't say that to her. I'd let the whole thing cool down, then maybe talk to her very calmly. Maybe show you're vulnerable here too, eg by explaining you are just working things out for yourself as a mum, and you're not always sure you're right, but you really appreciate her advice? Presumably there are lots of good things she does? That might pave the way to getting her to agree you can differ on this one, but you really feel it's important she tries your way for now.

BishopofBathandWells Thu 13-Jun-19 15:44:34

I understand your position, it's really bloody awkward. But I don't think you can trust her not to smack him when you're not there. She obviously has a different opinion on it and you confronting her about it hasn't changed that.

Ultimately, either you stay in work and accept she's parenting him (or not!) in a different way to the method you would use, or you finish work. It's horrible for you, but that's the bottom line I guess.

Fairylea Thu 13-Jun-19 15:46:43

I wouldn’t leave my child with her, even if it meant I was unable to work. I could never trust her.

Piffpaffpoff Thu 13-Jun-19 15:59:58

I’ll get flamed for this but here goes...

She’s made a mistake. She’s now hurt and embarrassed and is probably feeling that you are judging her whole behaviour as a mother. I had an interesting convo a while with my mum about me breastfeeding my D.C. which ended up with her almost apologising for formula-feeding me, saying that’s what they were told to do at the time. That breastfeeding was seen as old fashioned and unnecessary!

My point is, things change, knowledge and understanding changes and we almost need to educate our mothers. Smacking used to be seen to be ok, just like smoking in front of the children, wearing seatbelts in cars or not wearing cycling helmets. She needs to understand that while those things were seen as OK in her day, they aren’t ok now.

I say you need to have a non-critical conversation along those lines and convey to her that while that might be the way she parented you, it’s not how it’s done these days and she must promise never to do it again.

(As an aside, I often wonder what we do today that our children will be horrified by. Cling film and vaping is my best guess!)

RatherBeRiding Thu 13-Jun-19 16:06:14

It appears that you really need her child-care services or you won't be able to work. However, DC is YOUR child and whether or not she is doing you a favour she simply must respect your wishes about how he is treated.

Once emotions have cooled, could you have a conversation and basically agree to disagree on the smacking issue? Tell her you know she thinks your opinion is wrong/too soft/whatever, but if she cannot promise to respect your opinion and your way of doing things you will be forced to give up work because this is too important to you.

Would she be amenable to a sensible adult discussion without either of you getting defensive or heated?

Stompythedinosaur Thu 13-Jun-19 16:09:22

I don't see how you can leave your dc with her again now.

GhostIsAGoodBoi Thu 13-Jun-19 16:11:55

16 months old?! Nope. How do you know she hasn’t hit him before? He’s too young to tell you and will be for quite a while yet. There is no fucking way she’d be seeing my child again.

PrincessScarlett Thu 13-Jun-19 16:19:32

Sounds like your DM will not accept she's in the wrong on this occasion so you either have to back down and apologise to her so you can keep your free childcare or not rely on her for childcare anymore.

I would not be happy backing down for free childcare.

Peachsummer Thu 13-Jun-19 16:31:10

Was it just a reaction, as in a smack without thinking because of the pain of the bite, or a deliberate act
Deliberate. She grabbed his arm and smacked his bottom with her other hand.

it is an implicit criticism of her parenting of you
Yep. She’s very defensive in general about parenting issues. We had a conversation not long ago about how she smoked in front of me despite me being asthmatic, and isolated me socially by saying we couldn’t afford after school activities like the other kids did but she could afford to spend a fortune on fags. Unsurprisingly that didn’t go down well.

she simply must respect your wishes about how he is treated
This is basically how I’ve left it. I said I don’t care what her opinion is, he’s my child and I say no smacking, and she needs to respect that. She took the huff and said fine she won’t look after him any more, and stomped off.

GinoPlaysTheTango Thu 13-Jun-19 16:42:57

This is really tough on you, but unfortunately you may need to SAH if you can't get alternative childcare. Otherwise it's pretty clear that your DM will hit your son. She has probably done so before already, but you just weren't there to see it.

Is there any way you could do a childcare swap with anyone - you look after their kid sometimes and they look after yours? But I'm sure you've thought of all this already.

If you have other family (or family friends) then you might try telling them about the situation; possibly your DM might be shamed into realising that times have changed when she hears their reaction. But your DM doesn't sound like a great person to be leaving a kid with anyway, to be honest. This isn't just about the smacking, it's about her need to overrule you.

You need to be able to trust anyone you leave your DC with, and you can't trust her.

Nonnymum Thu 13-Jun-19 16:46:45

I'm sorry but I think she will do it again and she has probably done it before when you are not there. You will have to rethink your childcare arrangements

Buddywoo Thu 13-Jun-19 16:53:42

She shouldn't have smacked him. However you are getting free child care and that is worth a lot. If I were the granny I would say look after your own children, I'm out of here.

AuntMarch Thu 13-Jun-19 16:54:00

Staying at home vs. working and paying childcare can make very little difference financially, I know. But is there any option of condensing hours into fewer but longer days? Working an evening job? Weekends? While dad takes over child care.

When I grew up dad worked early morning to mid afternoon and mum did a late afternoon/evening so no childcare needed and two pay packets coming in.

thirdfiddle Thu 13-Jun-19 16:54:03

Sadly it sounds like you have your answer. At least she's been honest with you and not just continued when you weren't looking. It does sound like she doesn't have much respect for your parenting decisions generally so may be for the best to stop the arrangement sooner rather than later.

What's your work and finance situation like? Have you looked at all possible childcare options? Sometimes a childminder can be cheaper than nursery fees and a lovely setting for a small toddler. Can you and/or partner take some holiday to cover notice period?

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